Audax ‘Coastal Cruise’ – 200km

It was great to catch up with the guys (and gal) again on a day with with nice weather and a scenic route down the coast. The first leg took us through Fremantle and down the coast to Rockingham. Most of the 200km riders didn’t stop but pushed on to Mandurah for our first break. The ride through Rockingham and down the coast towards Mandurah is picturesque with great views of the deep blue ocean for much of the route. The only problem with the coast is headwinds!

I was supposed to be looking after Shaw (who I ride with on South Perth Rouleurs rides) but as the headwinds picked up and my pace dropped off, he ended up dropping me for the first time on the ride.

I caught up with the slower riders at Mandurah for some cake and coffee. After a short break, we set off again through the spectacular Halls Head and down the coast to Port Bouvard. The ride is fairly flat but as the headwinds picked up even more, I was ready for a break and to turn around so that the headwind would become a tailwind!

By the time I reached the turnaround point I had joined other riders and the now team of four would ride (mostly) together until the end of the ride. The ride through Wannanup and Falcon turned out to be a bit tricky. There were a lot of turns and a lot of streets were not signposted. We were lucky to be riding with Shaw, who called turns using his Garmin and kept the group on track. I found out after the ride that most people got lost in this section. I can only blame the ride organiser (me) for not picking a better route.

What happened next was unusual and disconcerting. I was riding in tight formation with three other riders on Pinjarra Road heading out of Mandurah which is two lanes each way. We were riding two abreast as is legally allowed in Western Australia. Cars started driving up behind us and tooting for us to get out of their way even though there was a whole other lane for them to use (and when I checked it was quite often empty!). After riding Audax all over WA for more than a year, this was the first time I had experienced that kind of behaviour. The most odd part of the whole thing was that there wasn’t actually anywhere for us to go. The shoulder was too narrow to ride on and there was no bike path so we held our ground until we reached the Freeway PSP.

I was so glad to be off Pinjarra Road as I was sick of the tooting drivers and for once enjoyed the smoothness and quietness of the PSP. A tailwind behind us we made short work of the trip home and finished in just over 10 hours, one of my quicker 200’s. I was great to “help” Shaw through his first 200, even though he dropped me at least three times and I kept having to chase him down to catch up!

Ride discussed here

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