MONKEYS TAKE A ROAD TRIP TO GOSFORD
Author: Guy Manera
Ride Map: Click here
Daylight saving robbed us of an hour’s sleep so we were all surprised to see 10 of us turn up on time at six am. Murray had already decided a tyre change was in order, so he was doing his best to show off his technique which was to be severely challenged later in the day. Ten minutes later we were off and found our eleventh man, the cycling ninja aka Kato, at Wiley Park. Only 175 km left, but dawn was starting to break.
Ant man took a bold lead role for the Eager Eleven that was to last most of the 180 km journey and he steered us to Hornsby for a nature break at Mt Colah about an hour and half later. Then came the fun bit a with a descent into Brooklyn. Daniel, Dayne and Ant bolted down this hill and all the subsequent ones each striving to take the alpha male crown while the rest of us were content conserve and enjoy the serenity.
After crossing the mighty Hawkesbury River came the grind up Mt White and thoughts of a hot breakfast and respite at the Road Warrior Café. The café was overflowing with big bore motor bikes, testosterone, leather and mean dogs as we did our best to fit in with our lycra, polystyrene helmets and manly looks. We barely got our gloves off when Dayne announced we had no time for hot drinks or food as we had a ferry schedule to make. Ernie, our token senior (the other one), was upset only having had a cup of tea and piece of bread for breakfast – pensioner rations. So after Dayne graciously allowed us to sniff someone else’s bacon and eggs, we were on the road again where we hit our maximum speed of 80+ dropping into Gosford. We reached Ettalong Ferry with plenty of time in hand. Damn – we could have had breakfast after all.
It was about this time that Ric was realising that this was turning into an all-day epic and he may have been a bit optimistic telling the missus he’d be home for lunch. This became an increasing concern as the day progressed for more than just Ric. The pleasant ferry ride gave some the opportunity to add Strava km while Ernie and Guy were eagerly presenting senior cards for discount tickets.
About 120 km along at Newport Beach, Murray’s rear tyre went again. Dayne and Daniel went back to help and called Guy for extra help with the tyre welded onto a Campag bead. After changing the tyre twice (a gash) and two bleeding thumbs we were off to chase the others to Dee Why Beach where they set themselves up for lunch. Pete had already left us to reunite with his family in Narrabeen while Ric continued grow more concerned about his marital status. Daniel showed us how to fuel up with a Gin and Tonic plus two main meals.
Not far to go when we reached The Spit and Dayne knew a short cut through Mosman on cycle friendly roads exceeding 20%. We only had 30 km to go. A dash across the bridge and some city dodgems saw us picking up speed as Penshurst approached. All eleven made it through with four of us backing up the next day for a recovery ride. A great ride on a perfect day under the belt.