Although I’ll head out with the group tomorrow morning, today was the last serious hit-out with the Noosa bunch for this holiday. The early loop followed by the traditional Boreen Point smash-fest is a ripper and the numbers were high, including at least four Victorians – two of whom you see at the front of the photo above.
It was a pre-5am rise this morning to meet the small group of early loopers out on the Cooroy Road. Eight of us headed out for the relatively cruisy roll up to Black Mountain and through Pomona and Cootharaba before joining the bunch near the point for the fast section back to Tawantin.
If you read this blog regularly, you will be aware that most Noosa rides begin (in the first 8ks) with a three kilometre climb up The Range (Gyndier Drive). This is the climb used in the Noosa Triathlon and is well known to anyone who has ridden a bike up here. Closed road and fairly smooth hot-mix surface, albeit often littered with leaves and tree litter.
So as I was still trying to wake up this morning, I was a bit distressed to find myself on the front of the group riding next to Andy Fellows as we commenced the climb. I’m thinking, “I have about five MTB magazines with me here in Noosa. Four of them have interviews with Andy and I’ve read them all within the last week. This man is one of my most admired pros and I’m half asleep riding up the range next to him! Wake the *%*#$ up!!” It didn’t take me long to get spinning of course and the nice pace up even allowed us (me in particular) to chat.
Andy is a cracking fellow and his humility has always impressed me. It’s always great to be able to say you’ve ridden with guys of such esteem and with my MTB interest, he’s one of the best. I think I made a few of the local boys sick with my keeness to get a photo with Andy at the coffee shop. Unfortunately he’d taken off by that stage… probably to do another 150k.
The early loop was absolutely beautiful this morning in countyside as nice as you’ll find anywhere in Australia. Some good climbs and screaming descents had us well and truly warmed up by the time we wound our way down to sea level to join the larger bunch heading back from Boreen Point. I would estimate 25 riders joined forces to paceline (mostly) the fast route back to Tewantin on mostly flat, straight roads. At times, the pace was super-fast with as few as four riders contributing to the work on the front. Some of the chasing today was as good a training as you’ll get with the Warny only weeks away. Ben (of Eight Legs fame) and I delivered ourselves into the hurt-box on more than the odd occasion with this in mind. Ouch!
A couple of triple shots at Costa (Sunshine Beach) and the great company of locals and holiday makers finished off another fantastic Noosa riding experience. Only a couple of days left – bugger.