If you were looking for a Challenging, Rewarding and Fun weekend, the weekend of 2nd & 3rd April when Logan Triathlon Club rode to Byron Bay and back had it all.
Challenging – because it was the biggest distance that most of our club members have ridden in a day, let alone turning around to do it again the following day to get home. Over 300km!
Rewarding – because so many Personal Bests were achieved over the weekend. With the amazing support and planning of the Organising Committee and Support Crew EVERYBODY achieved their goal ride. Despite 3 vehicles available as SAG Wagons, not one rider used them.
FUN – because everybody had an absolute ball. The camaraderie and encouragement between club members to make sure every rider made it to the next check point was amazing. Not to mention the drinks Saturday afternoon and the dinner and walk-through Byron Bay Saturday night.
For the 1st Leg we had 18 LTC cyclists leave McDonalds, Loganholme at 5:30 am on Saturday morning with 3 support vehicles and a crew of 4. It took us to McDonalds, Hope Island, our traditional Maccas to Maccas ride, for our first check-in and coffee. A straightforward ride that we know well and all went smoothly.
The 2nd Leg was a little more complicated taking us through the busy Esplanades and some Highway segments along the Gold Coast. Traffic was building with a constant lookout for opening car doors before we diverted from the highway at Tallebudgera along the bike ways from Townson Ave to Palm Beach then back along the Esplanande at Currumbin following the beach down to Chris Cunningham Park, Tweed Heads behind the Twin Towns Services Club logging about 85km so far. The support crew was waiting and had already set-up with a selection of fruits, pastries, drinks and other nutrition. The riders ate well, replenished their hydration and took a well-earned short break before hitting the next stage.
The 3rd Leg took us along the Highway through Tweed Heads South before we hit Sexton Hill, crossed the Tweed River and got back on the Highway at Chinderah to start the Freeway dash to Sleepy Hollow for the lunch break. In NSW they have a large shoulder on the Freeway to allow cyclists to also use the Freeway. Having cars and trucks pass at 110kph is a bit unnerving and extra care was required at the off-ramps and on-ramps but with the support of club members riding in groups everyone made it safely. As is often the way on sections of road like this there was plenty of debris and we started to see a few flat tyres happening but once again club members worked as a team to get us back on the road again. Shane Hatch and Mick McGann were making a professional pit crew after the 3rd flat they changed. :
Once again the Support Crew were already set-up with Subway lunch, more fruit and treats and more ice cold water, cordial and Gatorade. With almost 120km down now all that was left was the final dash into Byron Bay. We had one errant rider with Andrew Lindsey looking for a head start to the 4th leg and sailing straight past the exit!! But Kirk rose to the occasion to make sure he also received the benefits of the Support Crew, just 10kms further down the road.
The 4th Leg was more Freeway cycling, a few more flats and regrouping at the BP heading into Byron; well everyone except Lisa who couldn’t wait to get to Byron and check out the beach. We then rode as Sea of Yellow lycra to Nomad’s Backpacker’s Resort logging 152kms for the day. After some initial check-in issues and a bigger job than expected stowing the bikes safely; thank you to Di Batley for arranging a Toyota Landcruiser from Motorama which came in very handy storing extra bikes as well as being the trailer tow vehicle. It was then time to sit down for a well-earned drink, before heading out to the local Service Club for dinner. By now the group had grown to almost 30 with other family and friends making the trip down by car to join us. Some members completed their ride here while the rest considered the challenge of the ride home the next day.
The walk through town was a hoot with plenty of “spotting” and pointing for hazards; glass, potholes, walkers-up and anything else we saw. Ross Lewis took some glass to his double-plugger to record the first walking flat, but fortunately no damage was done. A great dinner, some more drinks, some good laughs, another walk through town with the obligatory hazard spotting followed by ice cream, then to bed for a really solid sleep.
We rose early again to be back on the road by 6:00 to start the ride home. Kirk discovered a 24-hour bakery that also served really good coffee. Top job Kirk, the caffeine hit was very welcome!!
Then the ride home began. Once again with check points and food and rest stops at Sleepy Hollow, Chris Cunningham Park and Maccas, Hope Island the Support Crew delivered in spades. Not only setting-up, serving and joining us for a catch-up, but then packing-up, and cleaning-up after we had all gone on to the next stage before they did it all again.
The Support Crew of Helene Fletcher, Belinda Bayliss, Alison Read and Kirk Stiffell did an outstanding job and many members credit that support to their ability to make it through the next leg and not succumb to the comfort of the SAG Wagon. They were also the Organising Committee along with Julie Kenderdine who couldn’t make it for the ride but played an integral part in the planning.
Over 300km was logged on the round trip over 2 days and Sunday afternoon and night brought some welcome rest, recovery baths, drinks and another solid night’s sleep.
Thank you to Helene, Belinda, Alison and Julie as the Organising Committee well as Kirk in the Support Crew for ensuring the weekend went smoothly, it was absolutely awesome and we look forward to doing it again next year!!