a baptism of fire
I celebrated by ferrying everyone I could around the park as a warm up, generating tons of smiles. By Friday night I was ready to kick off, leaving at 7am the next morning.
After a gorgeous sendoff at the Port Douglas Surf Club, surrounded by new friends and one unexpected relative, I headed off with a sense of excitement and nervousness - very ready to receive the treasures I know this trip holds for me.
The first 10km passed uneventfully, and I headed into the next 33km of hills with a good outlook. I quickly realised the danger of this leg when the shoulder disappeared, the climbs became too steep for me to take in one go, and the traffic (mainly large trucks going a decent speed) increased. I scraped through it all by picking out stops ahead of me where I could pull as far off the road as possible to take a drink and steel myself for the next sprint, and watching an listening constantly for traffic.
The climb to Rex's lookout was the steepest of the day, and summiting with jelly legs was the most glorious highlight! Taking a break to watch the hang- & paragliders zooming off the top was a lovely respite. A chat with a girl who had cycled Australia a few years before gave me back the steel in my spine to continue on to the end.
A couple of visits by concerned Police broke the trip up, but as I said to them - the only direction I could go was forward, cautiously. Sadly, I didn't achieve the flashing lights and escort I was secretly hoping for!
A blown tyre held me up, but not for long.
Time in saddle: 10hours
Avg. Speed: 4.28km/h
Max Speed: 52.13km/h