1,498 meters climbing, and 1,494 down – 55 km gravel.
I am very pleased that the day has been shortened by 20 kilometres, as the 20 kilometres it was shortened by was all gravel. My average speed on gravel is about 8 km per hour on wet, loose and slippery gravel, so that meant 2 hours less riding today. As it was, it was 5pm by the time I got into camp.
The first 25 kilometres was hard going – steep climbs with some thick and slippery gravel. I am not great on gravel, especially steep down hills as I have a poor sense of balance. Ironically it was a fairly flat stretch at about 20 kilometres when I came off. I hit a rock and slipped, and for some reason braked! Over I went without managing to unclip in time. Thankfully I was not badly hurt, a few more bruises and a strained groin and left foot. Luckily I was wearing long cycling pants as they ripped, but if I had not been wearing them it would have been my skin!
I also managed to twist my seat to a funny angle, and was not strong enough to twist it back. Very strange riding with a seat that is pointing the wrong way. Luckily I saw Brett about 5 kilometres later, he had stopped to adjust his brakes. Brett was able to re-adjust the seat and had a tool to make sure it was tight.
So off I went, now even slower on the gravel! Luckily 2 kilometres later there was tarmac again for 25 kilometres, but then gravel again all the way to camp. There were also roadworks with some really thick loose gravel that was not rideable. We went past a couple of beautiful lakes.
The place that we are staying is a restaurant, and we are camping in the grounds. The owner was so delighted to have us staying that he roasted two lambs especially. He slow cooked them, standing them up against the fire on racks, turning them occasionally.
I eat meat, but like to delude myself by putting out of my mind that the meat that comes from the supermarket on black trays with cellophane is actually the result of animals being killed. So two cooking carcasses was a bit in my face, and the carcasses looked quite small. I tried not to dwell on the two lambs who had been happily skipping around the paddock until this morning. I was very thankful that he had not cooked pigs, as there would have been heads still on their carcasses.
There was a nice fire, plus they sold organic beer from a place just nearby, and wine. The owner put on a show after dinner, singing and playing the guitar. After that a few of us worked on our final night performance songs/skits (for anyone who has heard my singing don’t worry, I’m not singing!).
By the end of the evening I was feeling quite stiff as the result of the fall, so am considering taking the lunch truck tomorrow, especially as there is a lot of gravel to ride.