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 Articles >>> Cycling
GBBR 2005 bites the dust
Cycling: 22.03.05, 01:33:48 by DrBread
Cycling Surrounded by thousands of enthusiastic cyclists, I stood impatiently in the middle of South Bank with my husband Malcolm and our trusty tandem, awaiting the start of the 2005 Great Brisbane Bike Ride. I was conscious of the fact that friends were talking to us as I heard Ben Wilson's (Manager, BQ) preamble in the background but I was distracted by the hoard of cyclists that were building up at the start/finish line. All that I could think of was getting at the back of the line up so as to be in the first wave of cyclists because you get that big adrenalin rush as the bunch sets off. But alas, this was not to be as the waiting crowd of cyclists had heavily boxed us in. When we finally found a gap in the crowd we moved determinedly towards the start/finish line to become part of the third wave of cyclists. At around cycling o'clock we found ourselves riding cautiously out of South Bank, thus embarking upon our second GBBR adventure.

Riding along Grey Street and Coronation Drive with the formidable sight of a bunch of cyclists was an absolute buzz but there's always one nong that misbehaves and spoils it for the rest of us by riding the wrong side of the witches' hats. It is during these first few kilometres of the GBBR that many cyclists suffer from the condition of "brain fade" as they begin their battle for the "prize" position in the pack. And then there are the ones that want to ride three or more abreast in bottlenecks along the route, holding up the works. Us, well we tried hard to manoeuvre around those types of riders but it wasn't easy on the tandem.

We had a nice steady ride out to the 30/50K mark. We sat on an easy 20-25km because we were riding with a friend who rode at considerably slower pace but this helped us to stay fresh for those nasty hills to come in the 50K circuit. By the time we hit the 30/50K mark the throng of remaining cyclists began to thin out considerably. In fact, we pretty much rode a solitary ride with our friend through Fig Tree Pocket, Chelmer, and Yeronga. I found this to be rather disappointing because for me, the GBBR is symbolic of many cyclists riding as a bunch, not three solitary riders. The latter is more akin to our everyday rides.

Further disappointment came my way when we hit the water and toilet pitstop at Fig Tree Pocket. Unlike last year, there were no containers of water or fruit to be seen. However, when we hopped back on our tandem and rolled off again the magnificent houses and their vast plots of land at Fig Tree Pocket soon preoccupied my thoughts. Those houses were in stark contrast to the living conditions of the homeless indigenous people we saw residing in makeshift dwellings near the Paul's factory. Anyhow, just when I thought there could be no more disappointments on this great cycling trek I was struck with a third one when we hit the Food Stop at Graceville. This is where I really felt as if we were among the last riders to come home but I knew we weren't because we'd passed quite a few cyclists coming into the stop. There was hardly any food left, no Gatorade or flavoured milk left, and to top it off the foodies were packing up shop. Talk about not being welcome. After we fuelled up, we then started our slow trek back into South Bank, thinking constantly of those nasty hills to come.

Malcolm and I, on our trusty tandem, made it up those nasty hills without a great deal of effort. Phew! We even broke the speed limit on several downhills. In fact, it gave me a great deal of satisfaction to note that the "boy's in blue" couldn't even keep up with us on our descent on Dornoch Terrace, losing us in the corners. Lucky for us they didn't have a speed camera with them.

By the time we rolled back into South Bank the thousands of cyclists had dwindled into hundreds. We joined the weary queue of cyclists to collect our t-shirts and bidons before having a look around at the displays. Then it was time to head home but first, we had to stop off at our local bakery, The Walkabout, in order to refuel. Another GBBR bites the dust.

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If you are going to cruise
22.03.05, 01:40:33 by mib
I guess the lesson learnt from this Great Brisbane Bike Ride is, 'if you are going to cruise and do the 55km ride, make sure you leave in the first wave'. Other than that the ride was fun and roll on next year.

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