If you are a diehard Audax rider, there is only one logical way to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the first ever Audax 300km ride. You sign up for another 300km ride !! And it even came with the prospect of a second anniversary chook badge.
The Centenary 300km was marked by Audaxers around the world and across Australia. But it is likely that the FNQ Centenary 300km could claim some sort of record for the best course. We plotted our favourite course, starting in Atherton, sailing downwind to Mt Molloy, dropping down the Rex Range and finishing in Cairns. There was a bit of climbing involved (2200m), but it was the nearly 3000m of descending that had us all anticipating a quick and easy ride.
We gathered at Audax FNQ headquarters on a particularly chilly Tablelands morning. While most of us waited until the last second to strip off the trackie-dacks and jumpers, Keith showed up in pure short-sleeved lycra. We were already in awe, despite him claiming it was simply an incentive to ride faster to warm up.
The nine finishers broke into roughly three groups, with three distinctly different approaches to the problem. Keith and Grahame opted for a cracking pace from the start, possibly trying to keep warm as the road initially tilted upwards to the top of Upper Barron Road. They arrived in Cairns about 12 hours later, well before sundown, having enjoyed the Cook Highway in full daylight. Roy, Ian and Sean followed about an hour and a half behind, after taking slightly more time at controls to savour the goodies on offer (and chat). Mark, Nola, Mary Ann and Gayle took a more leisurely approach, finishing in 16 hours and 50 minutes (an extra five minutes was spent doing a team blockie to make up a lost kilometre on Mary Ann’s Garmin). Each control was relished to it’s fullest extent. We stopped for photo opportunities and whenever we felt like it. And we experienced the Cook Highway by night, with the moonlight bouncing off the waves just beside us. We definitely got our money’s worth!!
Many thanks to Mundi, Leanne, Kim and Glenys for your great support of our ride. We can’t wait for the Centenary of the 400 !!! More chook badges for everyone.