Day 7 - Friday 25-Mar-2011 - Busselton to Balingup - 100 km (62 mi)
Click here for Rider Route details.
I made it, I'm alive... But very tired and a bit sore.
The ride today from Busselton to Balingup was 100km, it wasn't too bad as only the first 90km were uphill (check out the profile attached). After 6 hours riding in 32°C [Edit: 42°C] heat, I had 101.85km on my cycle computer with a max of 55kmh and an average of 16.4kmh.
I did not get much time to take many photos while riding as we had such a long ride ahead. We decided to treat the ride as four 25km (approx.) rides in sequence using the morning rest stop, lunch stop and afternoon rest stop to break up the ride.
At the first rest stop we had a community stall selling cold drinks, hot drinks, chocolate bars and other sweets/lollies/candies as well as water melon slices. The water melon was delicious. We also had some relaxing cello music to listen to while we took a break (Toilet, refill water bottles, re-apply sunscreen).
On the ride, I drank the contents of five and a half 700ml water bottles, including one of Gatorade. You need to drink about one bottle per hour to prevent dehydration.
I also had to use my "Granny Gear" alot. This is a gear on the rear sprocket that is significantly bigger than the rest of the gears and allows you to have a very low gear for climbing hills. My speed is around 8kmh when using this gear. Look at the large silver coloured gear in the picture below.
My kids like having granny gear races. These are funny as they are pedalling like mad but going very slowly.
While I am telling how hard the ride was, I have not told how beautiful the scenery was.
The countryside is still very dry as we have had the driest summer on record. The dams levels are very low and many have had to ship in water to supplement.
We also have ride marshalls on both motorbikes and on pedal bikes. They ride ahead to various road intersections to assist with the riders crossing. One of the motorcycle marshalls has a camel on the back of the bike.
The last interesting thing that happened was that in the last section of the ride, at the 82km, one of the water trucks that help provide water for the ride was parked on the side of the road. One of the crew had walked down the road towards the way we were coming and told us to signal the other guy if we wanted a drenching. Did not get a picture, but I can say the water was very refreshing.
Time for sleep, we can sleep in a little tomorrow as the ride is only about 50km and more level.
The Route Profile for the day is attached to the bottom of this article.