Fifty-five kilometers is not a long ride by DUBBUG standards. Ninety per cent humidity and 30 degree heat however makes it altogether a different proposition. Heart rates can be accelerated up to 10 per cent by such heat and high humidity. Hence Darwin is a popular training ground for athletes preparing to perform overseas at their peak in such conditions.
For the hardy band of bike riders gathered at the starting point in Urunga such conditions are normal for this time of year and are a source of fortitude and camaraderie. It was great to be accompanied by John visiting from Armidale. Ian and Clare from Bellingen also rode with the group for the first time.
Glenniffer Road was nice and shady although the gravel section was somewhat corrugated and care was needed to avoid any nasty spills on the slippery winding descents.
Covered from head to toe to avoid further skin damage Alan was finding the going rather hot and wife Bev, always looking after his welfare, joined us for coffee at the Old Butter Factory in Bellingen to see if he needed a lift home in the car. Needless to say Alan proved his resiliency once again and remained cheerfully stoical all the way back to Urunga.
Fifteen kilos lighter, Kurt was showing us all a clean pair of heels on the ascents courtesy of his successful diet of meat pies, bourbon and coke. It will be a modern miracle if the same diet can sustain him in the forthcoming Grafton to Inverell bike classic.
Tim had recovered from his long ride the previous Sunday and Phil was his usual indefatigable self while Mike slogged away at his Sunday penance on the bike. Notable absent friends detracted a little from the usual sociability of our longer Sunday ride but their participation is anticipated in future.