Destined to do the 55km Brissie to the Bay Bike Ride again this year minus the chain dropping antics experienced by Trusty in 2004, Malcolm decided to use the skills he acquired from doing the Bicycle Maintenance course at Yeronga TAFE and service Trusty himself. After several hours of careful tweaking and detailing, Trusty rolled out of our makeshift workshop (the garage) positively gleaming and sporting a new KMC gold chain and Shimano XT 11-34 cluster. Well at least Trusty was ready for the ride ahead of him. Unfortunately the same couldn't be said for his riders.
With all good intentions, we endeavoured to get a reasonable night's sleep so as to be fresh for the 55km ride ahead of us on Sunday 29th May. However, the evil grasp of insomnia enveloped me. Come 4:15am, when we were due to rise to get ready for the Brissie to the Bay Bike Ride, I hadn't slept nor had Malcolm. I knew I wasn't in any fit state to cycle, and Malcolm wouldn't be either. So we made the joint decision to abort the ride, well temporarily anyway.
After four hours of sleep, I awoke at 8:30am to ask Malcolm if we could still do the ride. Given that the ride commenced at 7:00am at Orleigh Park, West End, we were realistic about where we could "cut-in" on the ride. We decided that we should be able to join the ride at Balmoral, which we could do easily seeing how we live near the bay. So, kitted out in our souvenir MS Brissie to the Bay Bike Ride cycling jersey, we headed off at 9:30am to join the Brissie to the Bay Bike Ride.
Taking the most direct route to Balmoral, via New Cleveland Road, we must've attracted some curious stares from passing motorists. I mean, we must've looked as though we'd gotten ourselves lost enroute as we cycled along roads that were not part of the Brissie to the Bay Bike Ride. What compounded this thought for me was our large yellow rider numbers that were affixed to the front of Trusty and those telltale MS jerseys. Then when we dropped onto the back of the tail riders at Balmoral State High School, they must've been wondering how the hell we got so far back in the pack when we were able to soar past so many of them.
I must admit that I was a tad upset about being too late to pick up the ride at Wynnum. I love riding along the Wynnum Foreshores; it's so relaxing and picturesque. Anyhow, at least we were able to pick up the ride at Balmoral and rock on into Drink Station 2. There we fuelled up on cookies and cream flavoured Powerbars before taking ourselves in through Norman Park and Woolloongabba for a photo finish at Orleigh Park, West End.
Once at Orleigh Park we dropped Trusty off at the BQ stand so that we could make our way over to the sausage sizzle stand. Because we were rather late in, we missed out on the onions with our sausage sizzle, much to my dismay. We finished our onion-free sausage sizzle with rather mediocre custard buns, which I was hard pushed to find the custard. Now that we were sufficiently satiated with the good recovery mix of animal protein and complex carbohydrates, we then wondered back to the BQ stand for a chat. We weren't long into conversation when Ben Wilson and John Franklin asked me to get an autograph from Simon Black for them. Not being a footy fan, I found myself asking, who's Simon Black? The response I received was he's the one signing autographs at the information stand. So, I wondered over blindly to the information stand in order to obtain an autograph from someone unbeknown to me. Mind you, I didn't suffer from the same trepidation when seeking autographs from Robbie McEwen or the FDJeux boys at the South Bank and Surfers criterions last year. Anyhow with my BQ duty done for the day we then set off for home, which proved to be hard because of the fact that we were quite weary by this time due to a lack of sleep from the previous night.
While not having effectively done the Brissie to the Bay Bike Ride this year, we did clock up 65km on Trusty. Malcolm and I are undecided as to whether we'll do the Brissie to the Bay Bike Ride in 2006. This is because we would have liked to have taken advantage of public transport in order to get to the start of the ride, ie. do our "ride-train" thing with Trusty. However, our first train from Birkdale station did not coincide with the start of the ride. In fact, neither did the first Bulimba ferry, which takes you directly to Orleigh Park. I guess you could say that this was one of two stimuli behind our decision to sleep in and join the ride later in the morning.