A great start, and a tyre blowout

by Stephen
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Cycle Against the Beast – 2017

Day 1 – 20th May, 2017

Spotless Stadium
90.76 km
15.4 km/h
5 hr 54 min
90.76 km

[Click here to donate at the fundraising page]

Spotless Stadium, just before departure.

The day has finally come! My Cycle Against the Beast, Sydney to Melbourne, bicycle ride, in support of the Cure for MND Foundation (or Fight MND). After a rather rainy night, the weather had cleared up by the time I set out, from Spotless Stadium, this morning.

The first part of my ride was very straight forward, as I was following my usual route to Bonnyrigg. Once past there, it was all new cycling territory for me.

Approaching Camden Valley Way, Horningsea Park

After grabbing something to eat at Gregory Hills, I continued on through to Narellan. The Narellan Road and Camden Bypass intersection is a very busy one, with no easy way across for cyclists.

Narellan Road, Smeaton Grange

The good thing, though, is that the Camden Bypass has a fairly decent shoulder, or a pretty good cycle path – until it just stopped dead. The annoying thing was that the cycle path was on the other side of the road, and it was not easy getting over to the proper side of the road. First, I had to cross the oncoming carriageway, cross the median (which had barriers), and then cross the carriageway of the direction of travel.

I was making really good progress, and had halfway crossed the Macarthur Bridge when the rear bicycle wheel started wobbling. I had a blowout. My first ever blowout. I’ve heard that blowouts can sometimes throw you off the bicycle. Thankfully, it didn’t.

Also, thankfully, I was within a few kilometres of a bicycle shop. And, if the blowout hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t have been able to take the below photo of the Nepean River, from the Cowpasture Bridge, in Camden.

Nepean River, from Cowpasture Bridge, Camden

Camden Cycles, in Camden, had me back on the road in 25 minutes – only charging me for the cost of the replacement tube. Fantastic service. If you’re ever in the Camden area, and need a bike shop, they’re located at 184 Argyle Street, Camden NSW 2570. Their telephone number is (02) 4655 7408.

After getting back on the road, it was just another 25 kilometres to go. Quite difficult kilometres, though, with plenty of climbing. I’m not the swiftest, going uphill, as I’m not exactly a light weight! But the view was definitely worth it at times.

Finns Road, Menangle
From Menangle Road, Douglas Park

It was almost dusk, by the time I got to my day’s destination, in Picton, but it was worth it.

The Picton Hotel, Picton (I didn’t stay here).

Tomorrow, I continue on to Bowral – once home to Sir Don Bradman, Australia’s (and the world’s) best ever cricket player.

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