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With a choice of three distances (1200, 1000 or 200 km) the fifth edition of the Perth – Albany – Perth randonnee has something for everyone.

 

PAP2014 STARTS on Monday 6 October at 5am

 

The Swan River foreshore at South Perth with its backdrop of the city lights is the departure point for riders who will head south along a 70 km cycle path before taking to the roads. Over the next four days, they will visit the best that the southwest has to offer: forests, vineyards, farmlands and the magnificent Southern Ocean coast.

The first overnight stop is amongst the tall timber forests at Nannup or Pemberton and the second night will be spent at Albany, a port on King George Sound, the location of Australia’s last whaling station. Next morning riders will climb Mt Clarence for a spectacular sunrise before turning inland and starting the long trip back to Perth.

The journey to the last overnight stop at Wagin or Williams features the spectacular scenery of the Stirling and Porongurup Ranges and passes through wheat farms and sheep grazing country. Clear dark skies and a full moon ensure that the Milky Way is at its brilliant best.

The final 200 km has its share of ups and downs before riders take once again to the cycle path and turn their wheels towards the final checkpoint at South Perth Bowling Club.

Over the coming months we will be providing updates as we progress the organisation of the event, posting information via this webpage, the PAP 2014 Facebook Group, and the official Audax Australia Twitter account @AudaxOz #PAP2014.

We look forward to seeing you in October for a fantastic 5th edition of Perth-Albany-Perth.

Follow the riders carrying trackers around the course 

Ride Guide

Notes to Riders

Cue Sheet 1 (South Perth to Nannup)

Cue Sheet 2 (Nannup to Albany)

Cue Sheet 3 (Albany to Williams)

Cue Sheet 4 (Williams to South Perth)

PAP 2014 Route 

Frequently Asked Questions

Lighting Requirements

Start List

Jersey

Terms and Conditions of Entry

Travelling From Airports to Perth City

Some Accommodation Options

Perth Albany Perth 2010

PAP 2014 Volunteers Gallery

General Enquiry: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PAP 2014 REGISTRATION - Although registration is now closed you can join the Wait-List in case more places become available.


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The PAP 2014 Event Committee gratefully acknowledge the contribution of the following supporters

 

LUCRF Super knog

Aussie Butt Cream Bicycle Western Australia

Perth Albany Perth 2014 Volunteers Photo Gallery

The PAP 2014 organizing committee would like to introduce the volunteers without which this event would be impossible.

Perth-Albany-Perth 2014 Starters List

 

Always a popular event with overdeas randonneurs, 2014 appears to be no different. Although registration is now closed you can join the Wait-List in case more places become available.

 

Country No of Participants
Australia 87
Germany 1
Indonesia 8
Japan 5
New Zealand 3
Singapore 8
Switzerland 1
Sweden 1
UK 2
USA 10
Total 126

  

 

Surname First Name Region Country Gender Distance
Abdillah imirsyah Dian Jakarta Indonesia Male 1200
Acuff Jan Seattle,   WA USA Female 1200
Allen Edward Martinborough New Zealand Male 1200
Allen Ted Noosaville, QLD Australia Male 1200
Ardill Paul St Peters, NSW Australia Male 1200
Armsworth Garry Lindfield, NSW Australia Male 1000 + 200
Austin Geoffrey Numurkah, VIC Australia Male 1200
Banks Debra Sacramento, CA USA Female 1200
Beecroft Spike Hamilton Hill, WA Australia Male 1200
Bennett Andrew Atwell, WA Australia Male 1200
Berveling Steven Newtown, NSW Australia Male 1200
Bharuna Bob Jakarta Indonesia Male 1200
Blacker Dewey(Ricky) Olympia, WA USA Male 1200
Boehm Ian Moreland, VIC Australia Male 1200
Branch Robert Armadale, WA Australia Male 1200
Bryant Katherine Dee Why, NSW Australia Female 1200
Bunn Owen Stirling, WA Australia Male 1200
Cairnduff Gary Mitcham, VIC Australia Male 1000
Calder Logan East Perth, WA Australia Male 1200
Carlsson Jesse Brunswick, VIC Australia Male 1200
Carrington Mark Turramurra, NSW Australia Male 1200
Chant Jim Rosebud, VIC Australia Male 1000
Chaplin Sarah Boronia, VIC Australia Female 1200
Clark Ross Padbury, WA Australia Male 1200
Cockrell Bryan Boston, MA USA Male 1200
Cooke Charles Surrey Hills, VIC Australia Male 1200
Cortis Roger Norwich, Norfolk UK Male 1200
Dash Paul Carlton North, Vic Australia Male 1200
Del Fabbro Ben Roseworthy, SA Australia Male 1200
deMan Henry Croydon Hills, VIC Australia Male 1200
Dempsey Simon Nunawading, VIC Australia Male 1200
Dixon Michael Fremantle, WA Australia Male 1200
Djauhari Edward Ardross, WA Australia Male 1200
Donnan Peter Surrey Hills, VIC Australia Male 1200
Driscoll Dan Arlington, TX USA Male 1200
Dwianto Hernowo Jakarta Indonesia Male 1200
Dyson Julian Ulverston, Cumbria UK Male 1200
Eden John Wahroonga, NSW Australia Male 1200
Edwards Stuart Newtown, TAS Australia Male 1200
Egan Gerry Currumbin Valley, QLD Australia Male 1200
Ellis Chris Redbank Plaines, QLD Australia Male 1200
Endropriyanto Suryo Jakarta Selatan Indonesia Male 1200
Evans Gareth Black Rock, VIC Australia Male 1200
Facchini Stefano Ticino Switzerland Male 1200
Fadjar Rijanto Eko Jakarta Indonesia Male 1200
Faizal Muhamad Singapore Singapore Male 1200
Freeman Luke Lane Cove North, NSW Australia Male 1200
Gadomsky Guido Gooseberry Hill, WA Australia Male 1200
Garrity Ian Dee Why, NSW Australia Male 1200
Gass Michael Olinda, VIC Australia Male 1200
Gilangkencana Gita Ratna Jakarta Selatan Indonesia Female 1200
Goble Steve West Perth, WA Australia Male 1200
Grannas Martin Macedon, VIC Australia Male 1200
Hamilton Rus Ringwood, VIC Australia Male 1200
Hancock Timothy West Pymble, NSW Australia Male 1200
Harrington Dave Tremont, VIC Australia Male 1200
Hazelton Wayde Mosman, NSW Australia Male 1200
Heal Peter Duffy, ACT Australia Male 1200
Hendarko Harvardi Tangerang Selatan Indonesia Male 1200
Henderson Simon Wellington New Zealand Male 1200
Heng Ok Singapore Singapore Male 1200
Hillebrand Fred Perth, WA Australia Male 1200
Hornby Brian Ferny Hills, QLD Australia Male 1200
Inagaki Mitsuaki (Micky) Nagano Japan Male 1200
Jenkins Roy Bendigo, VIC Australia Male 1200
Jensen Jan Erik Fredriksdal Sweden Male 1200
Jones Shayne Bateman, WA Australia Male 1200
Kerr David Ferntree Gully, VIC Australia Male 1200
Kimball Hugh Seattle, WA USA Male 1200
Klaassen Spencer Missouri, MO USA Male 1200
Laugher Tim Box Hill South, VIC Australia Male 1000 + 200
Lee Hwee Nah Singapore Singapore Female 1200
Liaw Andrew Singapore Singapore Male 1200
Linnett Kevin Blackbutt, NSW Australia Male 1200
Loh Teck meng Singapore Singapore Male 1200
Luke Mitchell Macedon, Vic Australia Male 1200
Maddison Simon Williamstown, VIC Australia Male 1200
Mahony Sean Nedlands, WA Australia Male 1200
Mann Brian Lynwood, WA Australia Male 200
Mast David Kyneton, VIC Australia Male 1200
Mathews Peter Box Hill North, VIC Australia Male 1200
McDonald Duncan Carina, QLD Australia Male 1200
McGregor Craig Wellington New Zealand Male 1200
Morgan Alex Maroochydore, QLD Australia Male 1200
Muoneke Vincent Seattle, WA USA Male 1200
Murdie Ruth Bedford, WA Australia Female 1200
Nankivell Tom Isaac, NSW Australia Male 1200
Nicholson (Adam) Joel Upwey, VIC Australia Male 1200
Nitsche Wolfgang Weilheim Germany Male 1200
Noble Russell Hackett, ACT Australia Male 1200
O'Doherty Tim Ballarat, VIC Australia Male 1200
Ong Khina Singapore Singapore Female 1200
Page Warren Hornsby Heights, NSW Australia Male 1200
Paterson Leigh Stirling, WA Australia Male 1200
Peterson Stuart Stirling, WA Australia Male 1200
Pietsch Stanley Mildura, VIC Australia Male 1200
Pustow Bill Louisville, KT USA Male 1200
Pyrka Andrzej Singapore Singapore Male 1200
Raffelt Kym Springfield, QLD Australia Male 1200
Rahman Abdul Jakarta Indonesia Male 1200
Richardson Anthony Middle Park, QLD Australia Male 1200
Richardson Chris Yeronga, QLD Australia Male 1200
Riley Mark Toowong, QLD Australia Male 1200
Roberts Andy Ringwood East, VIC Australia Male 1200
Rock Daniel Hillarys, WA Australia Male 1200
Ross Errol Oxley, QLD Australia Male 1200
Sato Jun Shinjuku Tokyo Japan Male 1200
Schulz Jeffrey Glenelg East, SA Australia Male 1200
Scott Ross Wattle Grove, WA Australia Male 1200
Smith Michael Dulwich Hill, NSW Australia Male 1200
Smith Miles Melbourne, VIC Australia Male 1200
Taylor Tim Toorak, VIC Australia Male 1200
Theofanides Sally Nunawading, VIC Australia Female 1200
Thomas Mark Redmond, WA USA Male 1200
Tinkler Andrew Hampton, VIC Australia Male 1200
Toh Zhi Qian Singapore Singapore Male 1200
Tomioka Machiko Saitama-ken Japan Female 200
Tomioka Yasuhiko Saitama-ken Japan Male 1200
van der Schans Arno

Cobden, VIC

Australia Male 1200
Wall Garry Milawa, VIC Australia Male 1200
Watt Simon East Geelong, VIC Australia Male 1200
White Adam Calwell, ACT Australia Male 1200
Wong Michael Killara, NSW Australia Male 1200
Yap Melvyn Greenslopes, QLD Australia Male 1200
Yeates Peter Wattleup, WA Australia Male 1200
Yoshida Hitoshi Sapporoshi Tyuouku Japan Male 1200

Last updated: 18th August 2014

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Perth-Albany-Perth 2014 Jersey

PAP ride kit is now available for order. In addition to the official event jersey, there is the option of wind vest, knicks, arm and leg warmers. The closing date for orders is Sunday August 10th Midnight EST Australia. Orders will be delivered to Perth Audax WA and they will issued to riders at the official registration and bike check BBQ on the 5th October 2014.

 PAP jersey v1.0

 

 

How to order:

Orders are done directly on the Champion systems website. This is called CS Direct.

 

The below video will show you how to create your own 'sub-account' and purchase the new gear.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ukoGdGKAz10 ­

 

To ensure that your ‘sub-account’ links to our designs, enter in the following details before creating your account:

Username:      audax           

Password:       audax

Link: http://custom.champ-sys.com.au/Login/en-AU/in.aspx

 

Once you have setup your personal CS direct order site, the system is much like an online shopping cart, allowing you to select items and pay for everything online. Future return visits to the portal can be made by simply entering in the email address and password you select when you set up your account.

 

PS: have you seen Champion System’s new CS VIVID? If not, see it here – taking rider safety to a whole new level!! http://champ-sys.com.au/csvivid

 

 

 

Last updated: 22nd July 2014

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Far North Queensland Gran Turismo… a Super Series within 9 days

Prologue 1 – Dist: 0km

Remember GT NSW 2010 (there was no GT 2011)? Stage 1 completed and already carnage at the end of Stage 1 (400km). Warren had cracked a rim, had a wheel rebuilt and then discovered it was such a bad job that the wheel wouldn't fit. He borrowed a mates Campy cluster/wheel to ride the Cowra stage, stripped it with his Shimano set up. Drove back to Canberra on the rest day and completely replaced wheel and entire drive train and his mate's wheel.

Meanwhile, Bec's frame was cracked through both seat stays and had to be welded to complete the series... couldn't happen again on another bike on the next GT!! Well no, this frame cracked through on the seat tube even before a pedal was turned.

Option 1 - Stuff it! Wasn't meant to be. Let's just have a holiday.

Option 2 - Buy a "cheapie", transfer what you can across and keep everything crossed.

… stay tuned to find out the result of option 2 :)

GT - an event where the rest days are the most exciting.

Compensation - found the best bar in Townsville - the Brewery. This place has some of the best beer I've ever drunk and we're working our way through the list... drinking responsibly at the point of writing.

Prologue 2 – Dist: 0km

They say a day is a long time in politics. It's not as long as a "rest day" on the GT though.

Like I said earlier, the rest days are the most exciting.

Poor Tom has taken a tumble off his bike and now carted to hospital in an ambulance with shoulder/wrist injuries.

The other two vollies needed to pull out for various reasons prior to the accident.

Another vollie has come forward and is now on her way from Cairns to Townsville (yay)!

Bec has had huge help from Gareth to marry the two bikes together. The "cheapie" with the original parts. Thanks heaps Gareth. Presently in bike shop to have gearing problems sorted and cables cut etc, just want to get out of here and get things ready for 10pm departure.

Very limited support for the first 400.

Hey! Most of us are experienced riders.

Fingers crossed.

Stay tuned!

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Tom buckles under pressure as GT Organiser

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Gareth and Bec working to prepare the new bike

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Meanwhile, I did what I could to help

GT Primo – Dist: 400km

.....did I ever tell you I hate a night start! :)

Not sure how much sleep anyone else got, we got about 90mins rest after all the goings on with getting Bec's "cheapie" bike up to standard.

Tom made it back from hospital, with his arm in plaster, in time to set everyone off for the 10pm start. He seemed remarkably chipper (considering) and introduced his new "assistant" Tracey, who'd just arrived from PNG.

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Let the games begin

The evening turned out to be very cold and, despite the rapid pace, everyone wore every bit of warm gear they had.

There were a few riders up front, one main peloton, followed by a smaller second group. Everyone made good progress over a pretty flat course on mostly straight roads with some assist at times. Only 900m of climbing over the first 300km.

The main peloton pulled into Cardwell Roadhouse (165km), for their first breakfast at about 04:45, just in time to see the leading group disappear.

A leisurely rest stop, but cold. Everyone was eager to see sunrise.

Second breakfast at Mission Beach (235km), then a quick photo opportunity with beach and palms before heading on to Liverpool Creek and Wangan (295km).

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Mission beach

Soon after Wangan the climbing to Millaa Millaa started... and once it started it didn't seem to stop. We passed a number of signs declaring 10% for 3km or more. The 3km descent part way up was the only relief for the 40km to the township. Lasagne and a beer at the pub then it was straight back to climbing, reaching around 1,000m altitude.

Ever done a ride where the final destination never seems to get any closer? Well this was one of those. Three times we saw signs that read "Atherton 10km". I think we saw the town from most vantage points, coz we climbed to take full "advantage" of its twinkling lights.

Finally, what we thought may never happen, the finish point.

Tom was there to greet and Tracey was busily making batches of tuna pasta, which we washed down with a cold beer.

Tummies full, all's good!

... did I ever tell you I like to sleep at night?

GT Secondo – Dist: 200km

Another chilly morning, but we were at nearly 900m altitude. Once Tom started on the brief there was no stopping him :) a 06:40 start.

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Some of the cabins at Atherton

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Tom gets the group psyched up for the 200 - Atherton

Pretty undulating right from the start and a few riders shot off the front.

The Curtain Fig was the first CP at 32km. Pretty impressive! Tom had set a question on the brevet that required a written answer. A number of checkpoints would be like this today as towns were sparse and the route wiggled around a fair bit. There were many roller coaster sections with very steep pinches.

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Curtain Fig - Checkpoint 1

Everyone made a leisurely stop at the Lake Barine Teahouse CP (87km), with almost everyone briefly coming together. This section was through some beautiful pockets of rainforest, going via Lake Eachem. Some of the best riding so far.

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Tom Soldiers on at Lake Barine Teahouse... bless his cotton socks!

More climbing to be done until reaching the top of Gillies Pass. At last our reward for the big climb to Atherton on Monday, a huge descent, plunging hundreds of metres on winding roads to the valley towards Gordonvale.

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Not a word we like... 15 minute wait to descend Gillies Highway

Although there were no checkpoints along this next section, most took the opportunity to replenish drinks and fuel up for the climb ahead.

The route took quiet back roads through cane fields where possible, but at times had to return to the Bruce Highway, as we zig zagged in a generally northerly direction.

The countdown to Cairns began. Only 10 to go... now 5, only 2 yay!

What's this? We're turning away. Tom has slipped a 32km side trip up to Lake Morris, a 16km climb that reaches 550m, before it descends, climbs, descends to the viewing platform and kiosk. The kiosk is not a viable concern at present and they are looking for tenders... any takers?

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On the way up to Lake Morris

A few snap shots and it's retrace your steps back down the hill (after you've climbed, descended, climbed again).

Straight back to Cairns now? No way man! We're going to see this town from every perspective first. We ducked and weaved like Mohammed Ali, and my legs no longer floated like a butterfly, and that last climb stung like a bee.

We saw the airport, we saw the train station, we saw the rivers and even the sea. We cruised the bike paths, and suddenly we were there. The Coral Tree Inn, our home for the next 3 nights... Fantastic!

Tom was there to greet and allocate rooms (and chores). Great rooms, nice place, good location. Ok, we'll forgive you Tom.

Cairns Rest Day 1 – Dist: 0km

Good news 100% success so far. It doesn't get any better than that!

Wow! This is looking like a holiday! Two days off and I'm not even tempted to hop on the bike for anything.

Matt Rawnsley was talking about riding up to Kuranda. Crazy guy. Six of us took the train up, indulged ourselves, before taking the Skyrail (fancy name for cable car) down again. Great day, overspent... WTH!

Others just slept, chilled, did other stuff.

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Cairns Lagoon in downtown Cairns

Cairns Rest Day 2 – Dist: 0km

A group did the reef and dive trip. Ditto chilling.

Found a great Irish pub.

Tom returned from day surgery with plate and screws in his right arm.

Dinner together at "La Porchetta", a nearby Italian restaurant.

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Dinner at La Porchetta, Cairns

Matt slept in and didn't ride to Kuranda... showing signs of normality :)

From here on it gets interesting. 300km to Cooktown tomorrow, followed by one rest day and then the 600km.

GT Terzo – Dist: 300km (make that 323!)

Tom had decided to seed starters for the stage to Cooktown to make it easier to support the group.

Group 1 left at 05:00, Group 2 at 05:15 and Group 3 were given extra chores and left at 05:40.

Quote of the day: "Come on, hurry up, we've only got 20 hours." (Matt Rawnsley)

Martin Pearson and Sandy Vigar had arrived last night. Martin will be riding the 300 & 600 events, whilst Sandy helps with support... all is well, Sandy is here!

Once out of the suburbs of Cairns it wasn't too long before the Captain Cook Hwy followed the coast in a north westerly direction. What a fantastic stretch of road this is. Gentle undulations and long sweeping bends. The timing was perfect, right on dawn, the sun rising over the water. Red skies.

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Ben posing at Rex lookout on the Captain Cook Hwy just after dawn

We passed the road into Port Douglas. Very tempting, it's our final destination at the end of the 600.

After about 75km, before reaching Mossman, we doubled back south, heading for Mount Molloy, only to turn north westerly again on the Mulligan Hwy. There was one big climb up to approx 500m, leading to the first CP at Julatten (81km).

Once on the Mulligan Hwy we had a great run on straight roads with a nice assist. It was here though that Ben's (SA) tyre blew off the rim with a loud bang. Tyre was good (phew!) and he was going again quickly. Suddenly loomed the climb up Mount Elephant, which included a 2.5km stretch at 10%. Part way up, Sandy was there (secret control) to hand out supplies and make up sandwiches to order. Great views of the plains below.

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Kerri-Ann climbs some of the 10% up Mount Elephant

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Mount Elephant - Sandy (Qld) prepares some more fuel. Michael, Marea and Kerri-Ann (ACT)

The climb continued to the next checkpoint at Palmer River Roadhouse. This 100km stretch was the toughest section of the day. Heat (32°C), strong headwind, many climbs with descents that were buffeted by the wind.

Most stopped at the Lakeland Roadhouse to take on more water, although it wasn't a CP.

The road finally turned north to Cooktown, and although there was more climbing, the fact that the wind had almost died away made things a lot easier.

Oh! and in case you hadn't noticed, this ride was 323km long, due to the fact that Cooktown couldn't be moved any closer to Cairns.

Everyone was greeted on arrival and fed beer, pizza, pasta and more beer.

Another 100% success rate. Fantastic to know that everyone has achieved their goal so far.

Cooktown Rest Day – Dist: 0km

Most people didn't do anything too dramatic today, though Richard and Ben (SA) did climb up "Grassy Hill" which had short pitches of 16% & 22%. Great views apparently.

Generally though, the group was happy not to sit on the bike at all, but walk the 1km into town, find a pub lunch and check out the waterfront and jetty.

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Captain Cook - always a Yorkshire Favourite

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Cooktown Jetty

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How's the weather in your neck of the woods?

"The Croc Shop" was a good stop off for local souvenirs. Although I had originally only gone in there for (yet another) pair of replacement sunglasses, I was momentarily tempted by the kangaroo scrotum lighter/bottle opener value pack and the numerous cane toad caricatures decked in fluorescent colours in varying poses, which usually included bottles of rum. However, I did give myself a cooling off period and pulled out last minute.

Sandy and Martin catered and prepared a pasta meal for the whole group. This gave everyone a chance to catch up, exchange gossip and reuse old jokes.

Big thanks to Audax Queensland.

Tomorrow's first stage (320km) looks on paper to be the toughest leg of the whole GT tour. We have to retrace most of what we did on Saturday, but have to also climb back up to Atherton, which is over 800m altitude.

Most of us are dreading this a little. Conditions sound much like they were on Saturday. Hot, windy and very exposed on roads with no shade.

There is talk of some sitting this one out.

We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Same format as the 300km leg, though different times – 05:45, 06:00 & 06:15.

GT Quarto – 1st leg Cooktown-Atherton – Dist: 322km

As I said earlier, this is where it gets interesting.

The dynamics of the group are changing. It's the long haulers versus the fast and furious. Mental and physical stamina count for a lot when doing a super series within 9 days.

Franco and David Adams decided to sit this one out due to fatigue.

Gareth Evans also made the same claim, but decided to ride back to Port Douglas via Cape Tribulation to join up with his wife Bridget :)

We started with a 4km loop, downtown to the jetty and by the time the main group got back, the last group were just heading out. From here, the only sealed road out heads in a southerly direction along the Mulligan Hwy for the next 28km.

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Dawn - Annan River, just south of Cooktown. Croc Country!

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Foothills of Black Mountain. An amazing range of hills completely covered in boulder.

As you might expect, a very mild temperature to begin with.

This was the most relaxing section of the day. The sun was yet to rise and start to bite and the wind hadn't made it's mind up what to do.

After the first 28km the Mulligan Hwy goes through 180 degrees (anti-clockwise) over the next 226km to Mount Molloy. This made the last 100km of the half circuit, into headwind. Very high UV and dry as!

By the time we reached the Lakeland Roadhouse (108km) all riders had arrived pretty much at the same time. The next time we'd all be in one place at the same time would be Atherton.

Tom, Maya and Sandy had set up a mobile checkpoint, roadside, at about 160km. By now the group was widely spread, which made it much easier to feed everyone.

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Mobile CP 160km South West of Cooktown - "we're on the road to nowhere!"

Although Mount Molloy (229km) wasn't a CP, most stopped to refuel.

Even the front riders didn't reach Mareeba (268km) before dark.

The final climb back up to Atherton wasn't as bad as most of us thought it would be, mainly because we'd gained altitude on some of the steep climbs earlier in the day, and because the route leading in was over roads that gradually gained height.

The first got into Atherton at 21:25 and the last around midnight.

By this time it had gotten pretty cold.

Before heading off "next day" everyone needed to allocate whatever time they could to eating or sleeping.

GT Quarto – 2nd leg Atherton-Port Douglas (and around the block) – Dist: 280km

The final group shrank again. One DNF from yesterday.

Last in, first out! That's the hard reality of distance cycling.

As I mentioned earlier, the last ones on the road finished between 11:30pm and midnight. Those same people ate, slept for 45 to 90 minutes without time to waste on showering and changing, only to leave in the cold, the mist and the long hours til dawn. The first ones went out at 02:15am... How am I selling it so far?

I believe everyone had left by 04:30.

Ok, 280km is pretty bog standard for long distance cycling, but this was on top of nearly 1300km already and not much time to recover from yesterday's stage. No one gets complacent on the last day of a GT.

The first 130km was in fact a loop from Atherton via Millaa Milla and Ravenshoe (highest town in Qld).

We all did some hours in the dark and some did a lot. However, I'm glad that dawn was just breaking as I turned from Millaa Millaa onto the Old Palmerston Hwy. The road suddenly plunged into the misty valley below as we skirted the Malaan NP on one side and the steep rolling hills of dairy pasture on the other.

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Old Palmerston Hwy between Millaa Millaa and Atherton

The route then turned to climb Misty Mountain, a name that lived up to its reputation this morning. Wow, what a special area. This my favourite section of the whole trip.

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Dawn - Misty Mountain

On reaching Ravenshoe, Sandy was at the checkpoint with soup, Milo and bread, just what was needed. Iced buns were on offer too.

Soon after leaving Ravenshoe the climbing seemed to go on forever, on an exposed road in very strong headwind. It was good to plunge hundreds of metres back down the hill to Atherton, where things were a little more sheltered.

This 130km had been the toughest section of the entire series. Just under 2,000m of climbing. No one rode it under 6 hours and some took more than 8 hours. Just as well we went out early... 150km to go!

We all refuelled at Atherton before heading out once more to Mareeba (we'd passed through last night), but this time via quiet back roads, passing sugar cane fields and water channels. We also rode in reverse the 42km section from Mareeba to Mount Molloy.

Mount Molloy gave me the opportunity to eat another burrito from a roadside stall. I'd shared one with Errol on the way to Atherton. I'd been dreaming of another one since. No sharing this time. I OD'd on home made chilli sauce and even my nostrils are burning.

More back roads to Julatten and beyond along rolling hills and creek crossings. Then the big glorious sweeping descent of around 8kms that we had to climb on the 300 stage.

We were now off the hilly ranges and back on the coastal plains.

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Paul Bertolino - are they Crocs he's wearing?

One final push into Port Douglas. The first group arriving at 6pm. But what's this! Paul Bertolino (last man in, first out) only minutes behind on his recumbent. Not long after, Peter Donnan rolls in. Marea (pocket rocket) England and Robert Branch.

The peloton, including Chris Rogers, arrived just before 8pm and the last two on the road had plenty of time before the cut off.

It's done.

Dump the bike.

We need to eat.

Who needs a drink?

Make mine a large one.

GT – Final Wash Up

There was one final night together as a group at the Court House Hotel, near the Wharf in Port Douglas.

We dined on the upper floor balcony of this historic building, amongst the lower branches of the giant mango trees. Fruit already aplomb.

Plenty of laughter and frolics, speeches and thank yous. There was even a presentation ceremony, with Kerri Ann presenting the medals.

Thank you to volunteers – David Adams for the loan of the 4 wheel drive and box trailer. Tracey, Maya and Sandy. Always smiling, helpful and constantly putting food in to hungry mouths and water into bidons; for always coming through, even when it meant taking over the 4 wheel drive and trailer, because Tom was unable to drive.

Thanks Tom, without you there would have been no GT FNQ. You pulled it off mate. Despite busting your hand, swanin' off to hospital high on morphine, attending day surgery, pinned and plated. Then back to wave us on, looking like the returned soldier. You never once allowed it to get in the way of those epic briefs, and it's no bad reflection on you that you managed to do what none of the 18 riders did in 1,500kms, just by riding down main Street Cairns :)

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Tom - never lets a bad injury get in the way of a good story. Farewell dinner and presentation.

Thanks for all those memories and new experiences Tom. Top Job!

I'm sure everyone now regrets, singing as one, (to the tune of "The Wicked Witch is dead" from the Wizard of OZ) "hey ho Tom is dead, the wicked Tom is dead" after riding into a driving headwind to Lakeland RH.

Moments like these!...

  • Franco on his mountain bike, rides 2km off the front of the peloton on the 400, at around midnight, up to where Matt and Brian were riding and asks Matt "would you like me to do a turn at the front".
  • Matt's response "where the hell did you come from"?
  • Ben Del Fabbro and Richard Scheer ring ahead for take away pizzas, 10km out of Mareeba.
  • Bec completes the series on the "cheapie", after the Ti frame had cracked... the name on the bike - "Audacio."
  • "Ben and myself arrive at night in top pub Cooktown, helmets, fluorescent vests, flashing lights. We burst in coz we're gasping for a beer. The NSW ride jersey is often mistaken as that worn by cycle Police. Patrons think its a police raid. All spliffs are quickly extinguished and several ran out the front.
    "F&@K me dead, we thought you were cops man" said the guy in dreadlocks and beanie, who could hardly see, let alone walk. Ben noted that he was the bar tender at the lower pub, next day.

fnqgt26
"Audacio" comes through

Well! Should you have come after all?

Did you miss much?

Nup! :)

 


 

G’Day Tom,

Just a quick note of thanks for the brilliant Gran Tourismo series you put together in Far North Queensland. I really had a great two weeks. The countryside we rode through was fantastic in its variety and beauty. As one of my mates, Dave Harrington, said after the NSW GT last year “The riding was great, but just as good was the time off the bike between rides”. Townsville, Atherton, Cairns, Cooktown and Port Douglas were all very different towns, each with their own attractions. Some people went on reef tours, or snorkelling, or train trips, or to galleries, or botanic gardens, or museums, or just moseyed around.

The people at the GT, including riders and vollies, were a great bunch of people. Around twenty riders must be almost the perfect number. We got to know each other well, and I think all got on so well. It was good between the rides to mix up the people in the accommodation, and it was a pleasure to really meet people you only know by name from chat lists and Checkpoint.

I guess all of us have our personal high points and low points on the rides. Personally, I absolutely loved the Mulligan Hwy between Mt Malloy and Cooktown in both directions. The lush rainforests, and spectacular scenery of the curtain fig, crater lakes and other National Parks were all stunning. But the dry lands west of the divide were totally unexpected. The landscape seen coming over Bob’s LO on the road south was stunning. The scattered trees scenes on the plain below the LO were pure Fred Williams. I was so fired up that I posted Tolstoy back to Wang, and bought a copy of Rivers of Gold, a history of Mulligan’s prospecting expeditions and the later development of the Palmer River gold field, for my airport read. As I read the book I recognised the names of many of the dry rivers we crossed as the names of early prospectors or field officials. As I mentioned to Peter, I think that in honour of one of the rivers we crossed I am going to change my nom de latte to Rocky St George.

We all have low points on rides. My personal low was on the 600 between Malanda and Milla Milla. In the cold and misty dark the road just seemed to go up and down, up and down, up and down. But with dawn and Sandy’s tomato soup in Ravenshoe things picked up markedly.

It is a wasted ride when we don’t learn something. I had real trouble with flats at one stage. After each flat I pumped the new tube up to a point I thought good and tight. Yet when I used the track pump the next morning I found I only had 70 psi instead of my usual 90 – 95 psi. This low pressure was really a problem on faster descents in the dark on roads with a lot of loose stone about with even more pinch flats. Following Peter’s suggestion I will invest in a small pressure gauge to carry with me in future.

I have also learned that I have to do a lot more work on my French two-cheek kiss. They seem to do it so well on the podium of Le Tour, but when I tried it at the presentation ceremony on the balcony in Port Douglas I got the timing so out that it was an embarrassment to everyone. Oh well.

So Tom, thanks again for such a brilliant Gran Tourismo.

See you soon,

Chris Rogers

 


 

A few words of thanks - Tom got so many things right here, it is hard to know where to start with the superlatives. Surely a candidate for the prestigious Audax Ride Organiser of the Year Gold Logie (if we had one). I thought who in their right mind would go to the enormous effort of organising a GT in a remote location? But it was obvious from the start that Tom has an incredible passion for FNQ, and was motivated by a desire to share his love of the area. He waxed lyrical about his pre-PBP 2011 training from Cairns (probably because he went on to finish PBP in a blistering 67.5 hours). One of my fondest memories is listening to Tom's enthusiastic pre-ride orations (as he cradled his broken wrist), so enthralled that we didn't even notice the start time roll by.

Highlights included:

  • The weather, two weeks of glorious sunshine with not a drop of rain. This was beyond the comprehension of the riders from Victoria.
  • Tom obviously spent a great deal of time honing the routes, which provided fabulous scenery and diversity on all rides. We saw rain forests, beaches (and even where the rain forest met the beach), curtain fig trees, crater lakes, sugar cane fields, tea plantations, the lush pastures of the tablelands, magical misty mountains where Puff the Magic Dragon could have frolicked and dry, savannah grasslands along highways like giant bike paths there was so little traffic. We saw major cities (Townsville), tourist towns (Cairns/Port Douglas), quaint towns (Atherton/Ravenshoe) and roadhouses and frontier towns (Cooktown). We even had a crossing of a crocodile infested creek to complete the quest.
  • The accommodation was superb, either in caravan park cabins or cheap motels/inns, pitched at a suitable level of budget and comfort.
  • The support was fantastic – whilst encouraged to be self sufficient, never did we want for or run out of anything.
  • The camaraderie, encouragement, good humour and support within the group was second to none, what a great way it was to get to know fellow Audax members.
  • Overnight the Route Sheet Fairy would tiptoe through the mangroves and deposit a route sheet at our doors for the next ride. Not once did the route sheets arrive after we had actually completed a ride.

The only lowlights were:

  • Tom falling off his bike and breaking his wrist on the first day (but the show must go on - he was still issuing instructions whilst being loaded into the ambulance, sucking on his morphine stick).
  • Bec arrived with a cracked frame, but undaunted purchased a new bike and with the help of Gareth transferred selected parts - and finished the FNQ GT series just the same.

From my usual position at the back of the field, I saw some awesome riding from members both old and new - a couple of riders, Franco & Robert, hadn't even completed a 400 Km ride before. I saw some of our most capped randonneurs Matt Rawnsley, Howard & Bec and Chris Rogers, and could understand why. I saw leadership come to the fore, Kerri-Ann and Michael when Tom was injured, Tracey taking up the full volunteering workload on the first two rides, Gareth when Bec was building her new bike, Howard with his Audax list FNQ updates, Paul tending to Tom, Johan loading the Garmins and Richard and Ben loading the trailer. I saw people get stronger throughout the series, including Marea the pocket rocket and Paul on his recumbent, who by the end of the 600 km ride had to expelled from the Lanterne Rouge group. I saw incredible generosity with Dave Adams lending his four wheel drive and trailer for the entire two weeks. And I saw the generosity of the volunteers who gave up their holidays to support the ride, Sandy (banana cake heaven) and Tracey & Maya (pasta heaven). I got to know people I'd never met before, Dave, Brian, Errol, Franco, Robert and Johan - some of whose life stories would make a book, and are an inspiration. But most of all, I saw friendly people enjoying themselves. Of course, one last tribute for my fellow Lanterne Rouge team mate Chris Rogers (Nom de Latte Rocky St. George), you are an absolute legend.

So thanks Tom, no matter how much work it was for you - it was worth it!

Cheers,

Peter Donnan

Perth Albany Perth 2006

Upcoming Rides

Sat 17 November
NSW Sydney, Observatory Hill 172km InformationRoute MapRegistration
QLD Tudor Park, Clarks Rd. Loganholme 100km Route MapRegistration
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Tue 20 November
QLD Regatta Ferry Stage Toowong 40km Route Map
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ACT Boorowa 400km Route MapRegistration