So at 7:10pm i left for Brisbane....
Arriving at my brother's abode (thanks again for the free accommodation) i got to bed around 10:30, with the alarm set for 3am. After what felt like a surprisingly reasonable sleep, i woke up before the alarm, delighted that i wouldn't wake the whole house with it. It was a few moments before i happened to look at my watch, which said "11:41".
Crap. Back to bed, and again i woke up before the alarm. Because it was 12:10. FFS.
When i woke up for the 5th time at 2:10am i said "fuck it" and gave up on the idea of getting any more sleep. After an hour in the car down the delightfully empty Pacific Motorway i was at Firth Park at Mudgeeraba, getting things ready in the pitch black pre dawn.
The first 20kms was just as enjoyable as i was expecting, the solid but steady pitch allowing me to follow my preferred climbing technique of winding up to 95% and just holding it there indefinitely. Despite the early start there were a couple of other riders ahead of me and i swept past them within a few kilometres.
By the time i reached the top of Neranwood it was quite light, and the temperature started to nudge up. It's at this point the road starts to roll around a bit, and some of the pinches are vicious, at one point i looked down to see just 3.4kmh on the Garmin. There are dozens of little paddymelons on the side of the road up there to keep the mind off the pain though-
That's not actually far from the truth, as the sweat was gushing off me, not so much from the heat but just the constant severe effort. On a couple of occasions i allowed the meter to nudge past the 95% mark and managed more by luck than skill to ease off and hold back from blowing up.
After what felt like a VERY bloody long time the Best Of All lookout car park came into view, and i wandered along the footpath through the forest-
To the lookout itself-
I ate a couple of rather unappetising muesli bars (turns out having them in a sweaty jersey pocket for an hour and a half doesn't improve the flavour) and steeled myself for the downhill. Being up over 1,000m above sea level the air was pretty brisk, but nothing like the last time i headed up there.
With the road being very steep in places and frequently covered in moss, i was not particularly happy on the downhill until well after Springbrook village. The lower slopes were far more pleasant, especially as the Mick Doohan wannabes were still thin on the ground.
The last time i did Springbrook (which was also the first time) i covered the 28.7km climb in 1:41:05, though i did spent a bit of time faffing about with a video camera. On Sunday, i managed 1:26:40, good enough for 35th out of 386 on Strava. Another 10 minutes would have me into the top 5, and i'm really looking forward to giving that my best shot.
That was just the start of the day, but the remainder will have to wait for this evening.