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Saturday, July 4, 2020

South of the Murray Audax 100

Simon, Ian, Peter, Cobram pub

3 Gents and their bikes, Cobram Colonial Motel

Richard who rode with me on the Murray tour with and ride organiser Rodney at the start

Rodney announces the ride instructions

3 Amigos, Peter, Ian, Simon, coming in to Katunga and...

in Katunga.

Curious cows outside Katunga where I stopped to fix a puncture.

A stop for food and to peel off clothing where I..

picked up the sign on left which had been lying in the field.

This was a nice stretch, a bit of sun, tailwind and the tyre was holding up.

Nice roadside display.

End of the Paddy melon season, these were just rotting by the side of the road. They were fresher but useless, same as the ones we saw on the Murray tour.

Done!  Peter Matthews arrived a few minutes after me and signed my Brevet card.

The white trike sidepanel is "My impressions of the South of the Murray Audax ride", by Fred Bike. Facilitator Stephen Nurse. Back wheel mud and chocolate milk dribbles on white corflute.


A few times I've been up to Cobram to complete some of Rodney Cruz's Audax rides. The terrain is flat for many kilometres around. As well, the Murray tour rides I've been on have passed through Katatamatite in the area, so I know the district and rides reasonably well. So when Simon Watt posted that he was doing  one of the Cobram  rides, I booked up the time to go away and signed up on the Audax website and at the Motel where Simon and his mates were staying.  As well I rang my Dad's cousin Mary who lives just over the border in New South Wales and organised to visit her and her husband Geoff.

The South of the Murray ride was on a Saturday, and I drove up to Cobram on the Friday, checked in to the motel, then drove across the New South Wales border to Barooga and a few k's out of town to visit Geoff and Mary. That trip went well, and by the time I was back in Cobram, Ian and Peter had arrived, and it was soon time for our booked pub dinner. That went well too, despite a lost (Corona-virus compulsory) booking which was soon sorted out.

Next day it was cold and clear, and about 17 of us gathered at Mivo Park, and Rodney read out the ride descriptions, a 100k ride going into NSW, a 106k staying in Victoria, and a 206k combining both. I was on the 106k ride, all I really wanted to cope with on a short Winter's day.

 After riding for a bit with Simon, Peter and Ian, I realised I was slowing so checked my front tyre and sure enough it was going down. On stopping to fix it a herd of cows gathered around me but by the time I'd finished most of them had ambled away as I was old news.

Everybody had passed me when my puncture was fixed. Simon texted me at Namurkah where he was lunching with Pete and Ian, but I passed on lunch and rode through, a bit concerned about the flat tyre fix and able to carry on with the food and drink I had onboard. And I was right about being worried, by Katamatite the tyre was down again. But I had a foot pump to push air in to the tyre fairly quickly and I rode on, pumping up the front tyre every few k's but still managing to finish with 40 minutes to spare before the ride time limit. Now (Monday) I think I have finally fixed the tyre. By noting where the latest (3rd) puncture is, I managed to find and remove a tiny sliver of glass from the tyre.

Later on Saturday, I heard about increased Corona virus cases and lockdowns in Melbourne, and within 2 days, the escalating number of cases meant the border between New South Wales and Victoria was due to close. People like Mary and Geoff will be stuck over the border and unable to go to their nearby big town, Cobram, and some or all of Rodney's rides would have been cancelled.

Hopefully the whole Corona virus thing will be over soon but I don't think so!


Steve Nurse

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