100km ride report with a bit about the 200km route.
The North of Northam rides were Audax WA’s first rides after the COVID-19 required break in scheduled rides. We had to remind ourselves to spread out for the start photo taken by Glenn who motorcycled all the way to Northam, an hour from Perth, on this icey morning. It was only about five degrees & clear skies when the seven of us headed off from Northam. Six riders (Nick, Gary, Ed, Perry, David, Wayne) doing the 213km and me the shorter 100km route.
For the first 40kms the seven of us followed the same route. The undulations soon had us spreading out along the quiet scenic roads and stopping for the compulsory donkey photos. There was a quick re-group at the junction where I turned left to Toodyay and the guys turned right to Goomalling, endless undulates, and sparse towns further afield. A bit of traffic on the Toodyay – Goomalling Road but not unsafe despite no shoulder to ride on. Enjoyed the undulating road and the scenery.
The weather warmed up so I could shed the layers. Found Toodyay streets and shops to be very busy, clearly moving forward from the COVID-19 lifted restrictions. I completed my required loop in the town (water/toilets & bakery if needed), 68kms done, before heading to off to find Dumbarton Road on my way back to Northam.
I was riding along Dumbarton Road wondering how the 200km riders were going in the wind which was picking up from the N/NW. It was getting warm. The road to no particular place that I was on looked like it had been recently resurfaced. Along a few kms, there was more and more gravel dust on the other side of the road, started me wondering what was ahead. Yeah gravel. Bit of a surprise, did a quick recce of a map on my phone, OK doable I though and shorter route is ahead, on I went wishing I was on my MTB. A couple of interesting moments in patches of loose gravel over the next few kms before back on perfect bitumen and a great downhill stretch. A couple of weeks later it was acknowledged there had been an error when creating the route. I was glad it happened as it added to the achievement but probably would have felt different if it had been wet and my bike got muddied! Rest of ride back into Northam was easy and enjoyable taking in more views of the yellow/brown of the wheatbelt.
The 200km riders all made it back it time. David and then Nick led the field. I understand that a few enjoyed a good break in Caligiri.
Thanks to Gary as RO and Nick for sorting out the routes.