I barley got 3 hours sleep so arrived at Bullsbrook feeling very tired. After faffing about setting up my bidons, rack etc, I set off with the group feeling like crawling into bed and struggling with energy levels. I was hoping with coffee, the right nutrition and the right hydration I would come good. I didn’t.
After the first checkpoint (Bindoon?) I started to struggle to keep up. The headwind got stronger and stronger and the hills got stepper and steeper, and I got slower and slower. Carolyn, Rowena, Steve and Grant kept stopping to wait but eventually Steve and Carolyn had to ride off because of time constraints. I eventually, barely crawled into Toodyay, the 100km point and realised I would not be riding 300km today.
The cafe at Toodayay is awesome! They have a range of amazing food, drinks and desserts and I felt better after after a huge salad and cheese sandwich and a drink.
I set off back to Bullsbrook along the very bumpy Julimar Road. I kept up with Grant and Row for a while but eventually they kept dropping me and then stopping to wait. I got slower and slower and they eventually took off to the control so that Grant could get water. I met them there only 10 mins behind (they took the high road and I took the low road). After a drink and a break I managed to hang on until the end of the ride.
I would rate this as the hardest ride I have ever done including Dambusters, a 300km ride and the first ride back 2 weeks after breaking my knee (i.e. my knee was still broken and extremely painful). The hill, heat and headwind were relentless and really sapped my energy levels which were low to begin with.
However, it was great to get out again and catch up with the guys, Caroline and meet Missy24. We rode through some spectacular countryside along very quiet roads with very little traffic. It was very relaxing to ride without the constant noise of cars. A huge shout out to Caroline who kept going on to do 300km after Toodyay, you are an amazing rider. Thanks to Grant again for the company and Missy… if that is how you ride when you are struggling, I don’t wanna see you on a good day. Congrats to all.