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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Port Campbell to Geelong

Well-set up Audax bike at Port Campbell....

and another one....

and another one.... Mick's Barchetta.

Near Port Campbell.....sodden paddocks.

Suicidal worm on the road between Port Campbell and Simpson...

and another one up close.

Near Geelong: this is at the wayside stop on the freeway into Geelong from Colac.  A tour bus had stopped there and I chatted to the drive for a while and got one of the passengers to take this photo.

After a good sleep at Port Campbell I woke up to see the predicted rain pouring down, then showered and had breakfast.  I was scheduled to do the 200k return ride through the Otways but decided against it, I had made it "home" the day before with 20 minutes to spare in fine weather and with a 6am start. Foul weather and an 8am start changed all the equations a bit.  In everyday person terms I was probably being sensible.

The youth hostel was a flurry of activity in the morning.  Sodden 600k riders were coming in from the 50k Timboon leg of their ride and Peter Donnan and his team were serving them up carbo-laden breakfasts of champions of huge plates of toast, eggs, bacon, and baked beans.  200k riders were heading off into the wet weather, and eventually I did too, but let Peter know I'd be heading inland,  avoiding the hills and not doing the official Audax route.  There have been injuries and deaths on Audax rides and "come home safe" should always be the priority.

This proved to be a good decision, I was able to go at my own pace and have a look at the scenery, as well as ride some of the route of another Audax ride I might try a bit later on.  I saw sheep, lambs, cows, worms, a kangaroo, a fox and managed to take a short video. Without maps, GPS or even a speedo but reasonably familiar with the area, I rode through Simpson, Colac and Winchelsea back to Geelong, with most of the ride on the Princes Highway.  I stopped for half an hour or so at the excellent Simson General store and had a pie and a cup of tea there, and later, briefly at Colac to top up the fuel tanks with iced coffee and large pink, nominally strawberry donuts.

The Princes highway was ok for the most part but the rain came back in the form of a savage rain squall came through as I was approaching Winchelsea, and the roadside shoulders were a bit sketchy at times, especially with large trucks swooshing past at high speed.  As well, I had a dicey moment, almost coming off-balance when crossing a wet, angled railway crossing outside of Colac, I should have seen this one coming!

After Winchelsea there is a divided 4 lane highway all the way to Geelong and the road shoulder for bike traffic is very wide.  Unfortunately its also very bumpy and I felt that the road surface was slowing me down but at least its relatively safe.  The freeway has a "bikes must exit" sign near Geelong and the exit it takes you to a monster roundabout which I navigated ok, and it was easy going all the way back to the Kardinia Cafe after that.

Asides from an issue with not having appropriate low speed gearing, the only problem with the trike over 2 days was the derailleur being out of adjustment for the highest gear and that was fixed with a screwdriver without problem.

Thank You Audax, Thank you ride Organisers, see you next time.

Steve Nurse

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