So with Leg 2 scoring done, and some good lessons learnt, we said farewell to Ox and Simon and got back on the road. Technically we had 14 hours to finish our ride (10am to midnight) but with the aim to be back in Sydney by 4 that cut riding time down to 6 hours. If we’d been pushing harder (and had a quieter week at work ahead) we’d have done the following route:
As it was, we technically had 6 hours but agreed we push it out to 7 hours and at least collect a few bonuses on the way home – even if we were mostly going to be riding back past things we’d collected on Friday night.
On our way, we had a good 3 hours riding before we hit any new bonuses, but we did wave at the Blue Heeler on the way past. We stopped to fuel up the human engines in Singleton and then continued south and east to the Port Stephens peninsular. Reading ahead in the bonuses, HEAD in Newcastle required a prop to maximise the points so we pulled into the servo at Beresfield and found what we needed.
First up in the bonuses for the day was ‘BOOM’ – usually a large boomerang but currently being rebuilt:
Next up was the big ant. The poor guy is missing an arm but he’s still pretty cool and we read the bonus correctly and got the whole bike in the pic as well! On his own, he wasn’t worth a whole heap of points but with Ozzie the Mozzie from Friday night he gave us the BUGS combo worth an extra 1000 points.
Last on the peninsular was the big peach. It’s looking a little mouldy and was worth a measly 250 points. But we needed all the points we could get.
Finally, it was across the Kooragang Island bridges and into Newcastle where a road closure made life a little difficult but we got there in the end.
Along the Main Street of Newcastle are the big headphones. Double points available for wearing headphones in the photo… You can only imagine the looks I/we were getting from the normal people out for a Sunday afternoon drink.
So that was the end of our bonuses. It felt like a bit of a letdown after Saturday’s ride and I think we were both disappointed not to have picked up a few more bonuses. But things had gone to plan. We arrived home just after 5pm to a very excited Hettie, unpacked the bike and started preparing for the work week.
What did I/we learn?
- Our routing routine works well and we know how to make small adjustments without breaking our stride.
- Our bonus collecting routine is really smooth – we will just need to make sure we keep checking things as we get tired to avoid a repeat of the am/pm fiasco last year.
- I/We need to test out more options in our routing before we commit to a ride – including testing ‘what if…’ and ‘could we do…’
- My ride fitness is loads better than it was this time last year and we can do the time in the saddle without too many dramas.
- Our nutrition plan worked well – finding similar options to pack on the go will be our first job on the road from Minneapolis to Greenville.
- Having bonuses to aim for and keep my mind busy makes the time on the bike far easier for me and makes the ride go a lot quicker.
- Not being able to talk to Kiwi mid-afternoon is not working for me. We need to work out a better time to charge the headsets so that we’re not offline in the bluest part of the day.
Just quietly, I’m actually loving this… Don’t tell anyone ok?!
Many thanks again to Ox, Tiger Bill and Simon. It was a great experience and I’m very grateful to be a part of this community of generous people who are prepared to share their wisdom and time and weekends helping this rookie rider!
Next time – our Saturday ride to Temora…