Sixteen keen riders loosely gathered at the river front in Innisfail for the ride briefing at 6:45 am. And … it wasn’t raining! Members of the Innisfail Bicycle User Group had erected the marquee and strategically placed the Audax flag on the adjacent footpath. Unfortunately, due to some Audax website software glitches, riders did not get an email spruiking about the the nearby coffee hole-in-the-wall. But riders seemed to be awake anyway, and a group departure at 7 am looked pretty good with most riders sporting their North Qld Audax cycle jersey.
Riders headed south along the Bruce Highway duly warned about the many rail crossings they would encounter. First victim was Mark T, but he survived to ride the full 100 km. Well done!
Nico regretted ignoring a pressing maintenance issue and had to retire with a bent hanger that was lucky not to get sucked into the rear wheel.
The most hazardous (& double) rail crossing at about the 12 km mark was negotiated by all safely. It must be easy from here, surely? From here onwards a few groups formed as riders teamed up to ride at different paces. Soon after that riders got wet in the only decent passing downpour – but enough to wet all riders right through to the squishy sock point.
The 75 km riders turned right or west into Silkwood, while the 104 km riders turned east to visit Kurrimine Beach. The Kurrimine Beach turnaround was at 38 km next to the King Reef Hotel. Nice view, too early for a beer. And we were all a bit moist so it was worthwhile riding on.
Next stop was Silkwood at 50 km, with Sue handing out some wonderful home cooked goodies. The ride continued west to cross the low bridge at upper Liverpool Creek rest area, then onto Mena Creek and a quick pic of the suspension bridge with Paronella Park in the background.
This is where our group of five had a flat-tyre delay, which enabled Chris to recover (not fit enough, perhaps?).
The next section wound through the red soil country around South Johnstone, and across that tricky bridge while avoiding the gravitational pull of the parallel tram lines!
A west turn and up to Reira Lookout with a view eastwards.
A small climb up the rest of Henderson Drive, and then the final Geronimo! down to the Bruce Highway via the the Palmerston Highway. A few back roads to avoid any Sunday traffic saw us pop out back at the river front in Innisfail. Plenty of yet more home cooked biscuits and slice went down well.
Many thanks to the vollies from the Innisfail Bicycle User Group – Cheryl, Narelle, and Sue.