Marty H has chosen another loop, and it’s a ball-tearer.
It’s interesting, too. Last time we had a heap of easy, flowing bitumen and dirt road with a couple of dead-set obstacles along the way. This time I suspect the dirt road itself might raise the heart rate in places. A careful driver could drive a family car around about 99.9 per cent of the course. The 0.01 per cent I’m holding back is made up of the erosion drains on some of the hills.
There’s only one hill I think will make some of the less-experienced riders stop and think, but it doesn’t look as tough as the one everyone conquered last time. The trick is, I think this one is actually tougher, and that’s only because it’s longer. You can see Marty tracking up part of it on the video, and videos and film always make hills look flat. When you get halfway up this one you’ll hope you’re wearing brown undies, because it’s not until you’re halfway up and go around a corner you see how much further it has to go. There’s a trig point at the top, and as Marty points out, that’s a fair indication of how high it is compared to the surrounding landscape. Still, there’s a car-sized dirt road running up there. That should tell you it’s not that tough.
Other than that there’s a few gentle slopes with some ruts that I don’t think will bother anyone, the fallen bridge we had to miss last Challenge, and a heap of little sidetracks running all over creation. We can do as many or as few of those as we all want. Those who don’t want to try them can stay on the road and watch most of the riding from there as they tool down the main dirt road.
There’s some great scenery, some good fun, open dirt road, and plenty for everyone to enjoy.
All up the loop is only 75km, so we’re going to start later. We’ll leave Macca’s at 9.30am. Make sure you’re fuelled, coffeed and ready to leave by then.
The other thing that will be different this time is that we’ll finish at Urunga, about 20km south of Maccas.
There’s a couple of good coffee shops there, a pub, a fabulous park where the surf club will have a sausage sizzle running, and we’ll only be about two minutes from the highway. Anyone who wants to keep riding can head back the way we came after lunch, or even motor off into the surrounding bush. There’s heaps to choose from there.
As always, Marty has a heap of cut-outs for anything challenging or tricky, and as always, we’d best hope it doesn’t rain (although Marty has cut-outs for wet weather, too).
The final new aspect of this ride will be that we logged it on GPS during the survey ride. If you’re switched on to GPS and want the route to follow, let me know and I’ll ask Marty to e-mail it to you.
Last thing for today: Caroline is still in Sydney and still recovering. She’s had some more surgery, but that’s all I know.
Okay here’s the video that’ll give you a good idea of what to expect on Saturday morning. It looks like we’ll have a great crew again, so I’ll see you all there.