Lunch and Day 3 of the SS5000K

I set the alarm for 4.15am with the intention of leaving Wagga at 5am on my Super Tenere.  I had a drama with the facilities in the hotel and ended up leaving 15 minutes late again.  I really have to work harder at my longer breaks! The sun cam up heading into Adelong and then it was time to unsquare the tyres on the Snowy Mountains Hwy. It was going to be busy up here today, the Snowy Ride was on but it was my intention to stay as clear of it as possible.

My first stop was Cooma for fuel and tank bag snacks then rode Bombala, Imlay Road (great little ride there) and down to Mallacoota. I grabbed some fuel and headed for the pub and lunch with friends.  No rush to leave as home was only 777ks away and I had 15 or so hours available to get there and still qualify for the IBA SS5000K. Being ahead of time was the whole reason I decided to do the bulk of the riding in the previous two days.

Here's the main street at Mallacoota, The Super Tenere is in there somewhere.

I had a great time chatting, talking about riding with my friends old and new.  Meetings like this are fun and the chicken schnitzel chips and salad at the pub were great. But I shouldn’t have had them.  When it was time to leave (30 minutes before my planned time) and I was trying to get ready to get back on the bike it struck me that this unusual break in the ride rhythm was a bit of a drama.  I have a fuel stop process, a motel/overnight process  so I do most of that without thinking.  Everything in the same place, everything done in the same order.

I don’t have a stop for a long lunch and chat process and I was still on the clock.. Securing my stuff and the bike meant that when it was time to leave I opened everything looking for it. I put my helmet on 3 times by the time I realized I hadn’t put my beanie on, then my ear plugs. It was a disaster. Anyone watching me would have thought I was a complete idiot.

As fun as the Imlay Rd is I was out of sorts wondering if I’d forgotten anything else and realised I had forgotten to take some layers off (my pre afternoon reset) and was overheating.  I made it to Bombala and had a vision of an Angel sitting outside a coffee shop with a drink and an ice block. I did a U-Turn, ordered a coffee, some water and baked cheese cake and sat down with one of the guys who had left Mallacoota before me and was taking a break. We had a nice chin wag while I got my head and body back together.  I still had plenty of time up my sleeve from my earlier than expected departure from Mallacoota.

The other rider offered to lead the way back through Cooma and on to Canberra where he would see me around the traffic and on to the Federal Hwy.  Having someone take the front for a while is pure heaven on a long IBA run.  You don’t have to think about speed or direction. You can be a little less focused and even enjoy the view.  It was a huge rest for the mind and I really appreciate your help buddy (you know who you are).

During that part of the run despite stopping for fuel along the way I made up at least 10 minutes on the ride plan despite the roadworks.  Back on the Federal Hwy it was white van race day so I did some strategic drafting and made good time to Sutton Forrest for my last fuel stop. 

It had dropped to 25 degrees, it was just on dusk so I layered up.  I’ve made this mistake before. As I dropped into Sydney it jumped to 28.  A layer correction and coffee and cake were in order at Macas at Thornleigh. The incompetent Yabby Pump taking orders and making coffee saw a stop I thought would take 8 mins took more like 20! Any time I’d made up and a bit more were blown but I was still not in any hurry, just a touch frustrated with time wastage.

An uneventful ride back home to the local servo at Lambton with a docket time of 10.28pm.  My plan was 10.25.  The one thing I hadn’t planned on was that my traditional end of ride docket purchase, a twin pack Cherry Ripe, only cost $1 on special. Awesome! A perfect end to a good few days on the Super Tenere. 5070KM in less than three days. SS5000K conquered.