Grom Pre Recon Mission
4.30 alarm rings, my eyes opened easily, as if they were already open. I didnt sleep much guess maybe 3 hours total. Might of had something to do with me wearing socks to bed. I heard a rustling in the kitchen, maybe a rat? It was Henry, who had his arm, elbow deep in the candy jar, scooping up milkos and choco’s at 4.30 in the morning. I scared him.
Changing into some Velocio bibs, a long sleeve linen shirt and my puffy jacket. Forgetting to change my pedals the night before to the sportier, endurance choice of cleats and too lazy to change them now, just threw on my Rossi Boots - thinking i'd know if that was a bad choice later that day.
I rolled out at 5 with the tiniest hint of light on the horizon.
The first sunrise I had seen in years it felt like. Sleep-ins have been my thing for a while now. It was a long! Dragged out for an hour, don't remember sunrises taking so long. Maybe because I was riding straight into it, I watched it evolve without distraction. It was as pink as my tired eyes could handle. The rolling grassy mountains looked soft and friendly and he road cutting through the easiest gaps in the hills. Love it when it does that.
I burnt through the first 140km with relative ease. I was eating a lot, drinking a lot, knew the roads for the most part; having ridden them for the past few weeks finding the most luscious route for the Grom Pre.
Personal markers of progress at familiar junctions that broke down the long day. Thunderbolts Way, the other side of the Riamukka State Forest. The new Georgian style two-storey home at Orandumby with its Flemish bond brickwork, cedar joinery, dormer windows on the upstairs bedrooms and single storey wings at the rear of the building.
- I’ll stop at Niangala road for a lil stretch, having not ridden this section but tried to remember when I was in Henry's $200 white falcon ute taking the corners. Woolbrook for some water and a little sit down. And so on.
The day broken down - helping me get to 160km without much fuss.
Crossing over an unexpected river crossing, I took my shoes off, noting my hideous white feet. Stumbling, wincing over the rocks of the knee depth river. On the other side, surveyors creek road - Fair white sandy road. A river lined with willows, and grassy banks to the right. The road cut across the side of the farming hills. Just stunning.
The next 30km I lose all the elevation I had riding up on the New England Plateau and the last 50km I gain it back up. A cruel end to the ride really, A 50km uphill is not friendly.
The last 50kms we painful.The good comfy pace I enjoyed all day violently ended at 167.6km. I toiled uphill, watching the night close in. Trying to enjoy the golden show as the sun seemed to race away. I remember sunsets going longer than that?
It was 20km of the steepest grade to finish. The reflecting lights of the eyes from the black cows and spiders were the only company until the stars came out. Not unnerving at all. The southern cross iconically right in front of me, strangely low. I hadn’t ever seen it sitting on the horizon like that before.
I was counting my pedal strokes….telling myself that I could stop and have a break at 1000 pedal strokes. 10 lots of counts to 100. I lost the ability to count properly and after reaching my poorly counted 1000 pedal strokes, having a break. I changed to getting to 100 counted pedal stroke without jumbling the numbers - if I did - I'd start again. Anything to take my brain away from the task at hand.
I had started to tell myself ‘good girl’. I do this when I am doing something hard and want to retain some grace. ‘Good girl’ reminds me to keep my head up.
Peaking over the last lump to roll into Niangala at 217km. Niangala, just one street lamp on the junction and that was almost the only light in the village. 5km to go. I had one line of Cardi B stuck in my head.
"I could of done what you did to me, to you, a few times" Be Careful.
The road was fast, I got to finish with some wind in my hair. My shirt, so heavy with sweat, unwelcomingly chilling me.
The lights of Henry’s house. Suddenly I felt like I could keep going. Someone told me once that the most important thing is to end with grace . I don't know how graceful I looked but I felt like I still was human.
Henry ran me a bath, told me he was proud of me. And then I went to sleep with a stomach ache after 17 hours, 222.3km.
The Grom Pre Walcha Edition will be great. I know this for sure.