A soggy start

Cycle Against the Beast – 2019

Day 1 – 5th October, 2019

📍SCG 🚴75.82 km 🚄14.6 km/h 📈🚴75.82 km
🏁Blaxland ⏱5 hr 13 min ⛰1049 metres 🌤Very wet

The day has arrived – with lots of heavy rain! My second Cycle Against the Beast bicycle ride for FightMND. To donate, please go to:
https://support-fightmnd.everydayhero.com/au/catb2019

This morning, I left the SCG at 07:30. I was already drenched before I even got there this morning. As a result, not many photos were taken today.

Taking cover
Taking cover from the rain.
A fully loaded bike.
A fully loaded bike.

I had intended to reach Greystanes, for a cuppa, by 10:00. Suffice to say, that never happened. This time, my bike is a lot heavier than the last time I rode to Melbourne – with the addition of a tent, sleeping bag, mat, and a few other things. As a result, I didn’t get to Greystanes until 10:45.

A mocha at AJ's Cafe, in Greystanes.
A mocha at AJ’s Cafe, in Greystanes.

A quick mocha, and then it was time to get on the move again. And then I came across the first steep hill, which took about 20 minutes (instead of what would have taken less than 10). A heavy bike and being very much out of form, isn’t a good combination.

The original plan was to bypass as much of the Great Western Highway, between Eastern Creek and Penrith as much as possible. Instead, I abandoned that idea, and stuck to the Great Western Highway. Traffic actually wasn’t too bad. I did get a few shouts out of car windows to get off the road. But I’m used to that. 🙂

Lunch at The Natural Choice, in Penrith
Lunch at The Natural Choice, in Penrith

I arrived at Penrith, had lunch, and then crossed the Nepean River, at the Yandhai Nepean Crossing. This is a new pedestrian/cycle bridge, which was opened less than a year ago. I’ve actually been there before, but only walked across it. This was the first time I actually rode over it.

Yandhai Nepean Crossing
Yandhai Nepean Crossing

Shortly after, it was time to climb the mountain. Mountains in Australia aren’t exactly high. But a mountain is still a mountain, particularly with a fully loaded bike (and being a little out of shape 🙂 ). It was basically start stop, start stop. The aim, at this point, was to get little wins. IE: 50 metre gains. Or 100 metres, if I’m feeling ambitious.

At the top of the incline, just before Glenbrook, I met my friend John. He’s a lecturer at one of the theological colleges in Sydney, and rode with me for a few kilometres. I then gave up at Blaxland. I was soaking, worn out, so caught the train to Katoomba, where I’m now staying the night. It was a good idea that I made that decision – shortly after, fog descended. This made visibility really bad. Time to rest, reset, and then continue on tomorrow – to Bathurst! Thankfully, the weather will be much better.

Calling it quits, for the day, at Blaxland station
Calling it quits, for the day, at Blaxland station
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