We had a great ride now nicely finished off with a beer at the Concordia Club. Sadly the band was not playing
but a nice lady was delighted to see that I had pockets in the back of my shirt and how handy is that?!!
Our ride started at the cafe at 6am and we found a few extras were tagging along for part of the way - 12 in all. Some people we expected didn't appear (Hales, Richard) but we set of shortly after 6 and caught up with Mark L and Amy at the end of Bestic Street into the expected southeasterly head wind. This seemed scary to me as Mark and Amy appeared to be on the front of our bunch. Fortunately Geoff got a mechanical and we got dropped immediately.
At Waterfall we set good bye to Pete T who headed back to Marrickville and we got ready for the descent into the park with a few RNP first timers and a wet road, we took it gently. At Stanwell Tops we regrouped. When I arrived (after a wait for a flat to be fixed) and despite a cold wind we discovered Adam had already eaten an icecream. As you would. At that point, Pat and Will turned back to Marrickville.
Breakfast at Austinmer and Mark and Amy were patiently waiting for us in the cafe. Given we had no real cafe plan, it was excellent that we met up for a really good breakfast. We went through to Wollongong where Mike flatted. Stuart, Geoff and Jo the Builder headed off to the train and 6 of us continued on determined to do the full ride. By then there was Mike, me, Camilla, Adam, Andrew and Skye.
Still no rain and pretty much ideal conditions as we headed off to Jamberoo and suddenly there were cows everywhere and Camilla had to take a picture because that's what you do when you see cows. We headed up the climb to Jamberoo and found ourselves at the pub. It was a pretty rowdy affair near where we were seated in the garden, right near what looked like Johnny Warren's grave or memorial in the garden. 2 football clubs, one a fine example of how to run a family event and the other out on a mission to get terribly drunk and create havoc. The bad boys, from Bowral, were just nasty and got chucked out so the let the hose loose into the dining area. Nice.
Our coldest part of the day was sitting in this beer garden I think. Soon we were on our way and back through more bucolic countryside until we crossed the highway and found ourselves first in Stepford Wives country before traversing the best of industrial Australia in Port Kembla and back to Wollongong just in time to run onto the train (literally). Mike amused us with some stretching, we ate interesting new energy things that Skye had. Wolli Creek and off to the Concordia Club.
Top marks to Adam and Andrew, neither of whom had done the distance before and who rode strongly all day.
There are pix to come ... I hope.