I had camped with the Toowoomba Bug, and have been declared an official accomplice. It was cold over night, zero degrees or less and I had my thermals on to assist. But still I needed to go to the toilet in the wee hours of the morning. Every time I did this (about 3) there were 3 or 4 other people doing the same. I am glad I did not have a tent close to the toilets. We did a set piece photo shot before heading out on the ride.
In the morning we had a slow start. I was not worried as it was going to be a shorter day, and the others just took some time to get going. For the first time the three Greenspeed Trikes were riding together. With myself, Hugh on his GT3 series 1 and a bit, and Rob on his 1 week old Anura delta trike. We rode along the main street of the town. There was little traffic as it was early in the morning. Many bike riders were at the local cafes.
We rode most of the way to the first rest stop together. Hugh is generally faster than I and I am faster than Rob. Though the latter is becuase of Rob’s lack of preparation. I suspect Rob is a much better rider overall than I. When in a pack, I do not normally lead as I am no use to others for drafting. This means I am usually tacked on the back of the pack. But with these other trikes, we formed a little group and I spent some time out in front. I was going to ride at about 20 to 25 kmh, but the others wanted me to ride fast, so I rode at around 30 to 35 kmh. This totally destroyed my longer term plan for this day to be a day where I take it easy. Eventually the hills told the story and Hugh pulled ahead and Rob fell behind.
Out first rest stop was at Warwick Aerodrome. Now I think that any aerodrome that is at the first rest stop from town is too far away. They need to move it closer to the city. It is the home of the South Downs Aero Soaring Club. One of the riders had been a member of the club and I think was once the treasurer. They also have the RAAF’s glider at the club. I was impressed that it was also a military base. We stopped here for some time as people wandered around and chatted. So I took some pics of the people riding across the cattle grid. The organisers were trying to stop people from riding across after one woman fell into the gap on her bike. Unfortunately this was before I started taking photos. Still a few sneaky people got through. Rob’s cousin, the one who does not like foreign words, even rode across without her helmet. As she tried to ride off, she rode past Sgt. Col O’Shea of the Queensland motorcycle police. He was mighty not impressed and some shouting ensued, mostly along the lines of stop! put your helmet on.
After morning tea we again rode together, though we would separate and then rejoin several times before lunch. On one occasion, Hugh took the camera and took some photos of me riding taken using my camera. Though just before morning tea there was a photo taken by the official photographers (All Action Photography) of the three of us together and this made it onto the official CD of the event. We also saw some smoke off in the distance from a bush fire.
Lunch was in Dalrymple Park in Allora. The TBUG peoples were gathered there not far from the butterfly peoples. We marvelled at how their wings folded back into an aerodynamic shape as they flew along. With a tail wind, we speculated they would sit out and catch the wind, speeding you on your way. Then people decided that they needed to ride the trikes. Steff rode my trike and then a boy who I felt had what it took to be a good racer. After Steff rode off they told me that the day before she had destroyed one of the jockey sprockets on her rear derailleur. I still wonder how she managed that feat. Also, Hugh showed us all the advantages of being on a trike when filling up your water bottle.
After lunch I mostly rode on my own and rode at a gentler pace. I stopped at one of the very many 1 meter high flood-way markers. As you can see to go in water that deep I would need scuba gear. I guess 10 to 20 cm would be the maximum I could do. I also passed Adrian stopped by the side of the road towing the sea queen and said hello as I went past.
On the penultimate ride, I finished the day in Clifton. As you can see by the lack of bags, I was quite late into the camp site. I managed to avoid the trolls on the bridge, and followed the coffee van into camp site and set up the tent for the last time. I was becoming quite proficient at doing this. Though I still can’t work out if I should thread the fly though the cross pole. I presume that it why the tags are there. It still gets a little puddle in the roof and I presume it is becuase I am setting it up incorrectly.
I headed into town to take some photos. When there I met up with Geoff and Marian and also Adrian and the Sea Queen. She was a very happy little girl. I had a beer with at the pub before continuing around taking pics. All the while others were still riding into town. It was the right time of day with the sun setting in the west. They asked how I was feeling. I said that physically I was feeling better than I had in years. But my legs were tired.
Back at camp, I had dinner. I was amused to see a queue forming at the entrance, with people sitting and chatting on their stools. In previous years you had to bring your own seats and this was the first year (I think) that they provided tables and chairs. So many people still had their own seats. In the nightly briefing session they announced that next years event will start in Yeppoon and ride around Rockhampton way. I had had dinner some nights earlier with two couples from Yeppoon and they were excited to have the ride near where they live. The was also some wrap up information. Most people were of the opinion that this had been the friendliest event ever run. Well, I have not been on any others, but I agree that it had a wonderfully friendly and cooperative atmosphere. Is was a pleasure to be on the ride.
I spent the evening chatting with the TBUG peoples before heading back to my tent for the last night of the tour. I was still a bit apprehensive about the following day as there was very much to do and quite a distance to travel. I had been told previously by the people from Toowoomba that it is built in an ancient Caldera. I did not know this and had never noticed the caldera. I planned to look for it when I was next in town.