Sunday the 20th of October was the Brisbane to Gold Coast Bike Ride. Thousands of crazy people on bikes lined the Southbank Streets for a 5:15am start that morning.
I was running late to get out the door in the morning and I thought I was going to miss the meeting point and meeting time that I had arranged with my family.
It went from what was going to be a nice trundle into town, to an individual time trial for me to make it in time. A 30km average and I was still late by 3mins… It was a good warm-up for the morning.
I met with my Dad, Brother and Uncle for the start of the 100km ride and we would be picking my Sister up at the 40km mark along the route.
As the sun came out we turned off our blinky lights and prepared to tackle the road ahead.
This was going to be the longest ride that my Dad has done since getting back on the bike and he was very much looking forward to the challenge.
The weather was perfect! A nice cool, gentle breeze kept us happy and there was no rain to be seen at all. We often have rain for this event, so it was a very welcome change.
I was looking out for some other TDC kits, but couldn't see any in the sea of 10,000+ people...
The first section of the ride takes along the busway. This has to be the highlight of the ride. The road is super smooth and fast. It takes no effort to ride from start to finish and before you know it, you get spat out onto the service roads at Eight Mile Plains.
We saw lots of people on the side the road with flat tyres this year… We were very lucky and didn’t have a single problem in our group. (The family mechanic must have had all the bikes in peak condition leading up to this event) :P
At the first rest stop, we had a bite to eat and re-filled our water bottles. This was also the 40km mark and Jacinta (my Sister) would be starting her ride from here. With a quick bike tune-up, she was on her way.
From this point Dad rode with Jacinta. Myself, Zac and my Uncle went ahead and pushed the pace up a little bit.
They had changed the course on us this year... Normally this ride is known to be a very flat 100km. This was not the case in 2013. The middle section of the ride had some nice pinch climbs thrown in to test a few people.
With the second rest stop in our sights, we only had about 20kms to go from this point. We refilled the water bottles and snacked on an ever famous Brisbane to Gold Coast fruit bun with a shot of honey to for a sugar hit. Delicious!
Uncle Graham looked very happy as he pulled into the second rest stop. :)
We battled the headwinds as we got closer to the ocean and we could smell the finish line. Locals lined the Gold Coast streets, cheering us as we rode by. With the sand and water on our left hand side and the breeze hitting our faces, the scenery looked amazing. What a great way to start the day.
The Brisbane to Gold Coast brings out the “best” in the cycling community… Its always interesting to see some of the bikes people turn up on or the outfits people wear. It a common thing to hear someone say they had bought their bike last week, thinking it would be a great event to be part of. (Watch out for cheap bikes on eBay in the next couple of months) I overheard a guy turn to his mate, and in a surprised tone he said, “I even went for a couple of rides before today…”
We rolled through the finishing chute with crowds of people on both sides. There was music, food, and product stalls surrounding the finish area park lands. Stephanie and Mum were waiting eagerly on the finish line for some sweaty celebratory hugs from us. :)
Dad and Jacinta weren't too far behind. They had a great ride and i'm very proud of them for completing their first Brisbane to Gold Coast Bike Ride. They are now looking forward to next years event.
I found a great place to park my bike while we waited.
On our way to the car we ran into some TDC people! I knew there would be some somewhere! Jamie, Renee and Lynda were chilling out on the grass. We stopped for a quick chat and post ride debrief before making a move to get back to Brisbane for a friends 30th birthday.
Congratulations to all who participated in the 2013 Brisbane to Gold Coast Bike Ride. It was once again a great event put on by Bicycle QLD and I look forward to participating in 2014.