Ride Report

A Misty Mulgowie Moose

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Still in my first year of membership with Audax QLD, I ticked off another new event for me – the Mulgowie Moose (but only half a Moose, doing the 108km event). A cool, misty morning greeted us all at Lowood for the start. 18 of us all up, with only 5 doing the shorter version.  Good to see some familiar faces amongst the crowd, and was thrilled when John showed off his new Aldi gloves that I’d recommended on the club Facebook group. I’m an influencer now! 😉 The first 20-ish km of the course were common for the two distances. I settled in with a group of four others doing the 200, and enjoyed the quiet company over the damp roads and deep fog. Plenty of eerie silhouettes of cattle in the mist as we cruised along the rural roads. I waved goodbye as the 200km riders branched off to their route, and settled in for some solo riding. I was keen to see how the legs would respond if I pushed them a little, so resolved to try and carry a 25km/h average for as long as I could for the day. After a traffic-dodging crossing of the Warrego Highway, I saw Adrian standing off the roadside. I was worried he’d had a mechanical, but turns out he was having a navigational head-scratching moment. Pointing out the turn-off onto Old Laidley Rd, I put my head back down and continued pushing through to the control at Forest Hill. Pulling up at Caffe Sorella to get my brevet signed & grab a quick soy flat white (which was expensive but acceptable), I checked my bike computer. My average speed was bang on at 25.1km/h, and I was still feeling ok. Happy days!  Adrian and then Jeff rode by as I was downing the last of my coffee, and so I hurriedly finished up and set off in pursuit. The next section was probably my favourite, from Forest Hill through to Coominya. The thick foggy mist was not going anywhere, and gave the landscape an eerie quality. I rode past lots of vegetable and produce farms, and they were a real hive of activity.  Lots of picking going on, particularly the cauliflowers, and many of the pickers smiled and waved as I passed by.  Ticked off lots of animals too – cattle (of many breeds), horses, goats, alpacas/llamas (one or the other!) and plenty of dogs.  One dog came for a chase up a long hill, but fortunately his short legs meant he has never really a threat. I spied Jeff far up ahead during this section, at about the 66km mark, and I finally managed to make the catch 10km later.  The effort I’d been putting in was starting to take a toll, so I enjoyed easing up and riding the rest of the way with him. The roads over this final section were a rougher chip seal and a bit slower, so the shared conversation about Audax and our previous cycling adventures certainly made it appreciably more pleasant! All up, another terrific morning on a wonderful course. The flatter-than-usual course was relatively quick and very scenic.  The rougher chip seal at the end though has certainly added fuel to my desire for an upgraded Audax machine that can take wider tyres – my thin 23mm Michelins were bouncing all over the place! Many thanks to the club, and to Peter for organising! 🙂