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looking forward to it.

I've registered.

Staying overnight in Lithgow Saturday and Sunday nights (Lithgow Valley Motel).

Riding up on Saturday, back on Monday. Well, that's the plan. 

patchy rain forecast for Saturday, Sunday and Monday Michael.

Bring an umbrella.

As long as it's patchy it's ok. I'll just ride around the rainy patches.

I am sure that you have also had days where the scattered / isolated showers / rain have remained isolated directly over you all day magically following you for 200 km. Looking at the forecast I would be taking good wet weather gear and possibly flotation devices as Wayde seems to have included a swim leg at around 111 km

You are correct Bill. Murphy's law of audax does state that scattered showers will, as you said, remain overhead along the whole route.

I was trying to be optimistic about the rain i.e. fool myself into believing it will be sunny and dry during the ride/s. 

"swim leg" Ha ha. Good pick up Bill. I'll pack a snorkel. 

Hi Bill, that road across the lagoon wasn't even there. We continued along the road around the tip of the triangle you can see at the top of your pic. I enjoyed that bit of road so much I rode it again when I didn't need to.
Hope it went well, not the nicest cycling weather here and your isolated showers looked isolated between Lithgow and Bathurst most of the day. How many riders, would you recommend for a nice ride.

I had to promise Wayde I would do his next Parkes weekend late March to make up for not fronting for this one, at least Parkes is flat.

a huge weekend. Photos and a possible report. Down to the wire.

Won't be forgotten for a long time, great weekend Michael.

I'm hoping Michael adds to this because I'm to stuffed to recall everything.

Set off on Saturday morning from Penrith for the journey over the mountains to Lithgow with loaded touring bikes. It was wet pretty much the whole way over. We took back roads as much as we could and both Michael and I were constantly pleasantly surprised by the room we were given. When there was no room, sometimes even when there was, drivers would hang back and wait for long stretches of more open road to pass.

Lovely descent down Hartley Vale Road after all the climbing followed by a nice stretch of wet dirt and clay. I was well behind Michael as he rode through the mess getting himself a clay face mask.

even the guards could not keep all the dirt off.

There was a few occasions where I thought mudguards might have been useful. One in particular when riding over a stretch of nice damp clay road. Nice neat brown spots all over my front including face, glasses and helmet. Not a spot could be seen on Robert on his guarded tourer.

Plenty of rain and a couple of nice pinches up through Lapston told us what to expect of the day. Mainly quiet roads, spookily patient drivers and a few cafe stops made for a nice leisurely ride over the mountains.

As Robert said it was a nice descent down Hartley Vale Rd after another cafe stop at Mt victoria. The climb back out of the valley to Lithgow presented a challenging climb with some proper steep sections.

The day of the ride.

The course is one steep hill climb after another, each climb followed by a sharp descent, never really gaining a rhythm to stick to. Expend energy climbing, hanging on for dear life descending. Add to that the start of the day where descents had to be slow due to driving rain and the wind that was driving it.

Apparently 45km\h winds, thinking some big gusts coming through the many gaps in hills were stronger than that, large branches on the road from trees many meters away on the opposite side of the road gives you an idea of the wind strength.

The best we did getting into checkpoints was 20 minutes early at checkpoint one in Bathurst, from there it just dwindled down to only just making it into the Chifley Dam checkpoint and scraping it in at Wallerawang.

Michael unfortunately got a puncture at Chifley Dam and urged us to keep riding, thanks.

I knew I was on the borderline with time so when the railway crossing bell and gates started coming down just after I crossed the tracks I was glad I was working hard at trying to catch Wayde. That guy rolls faster on flats than I do. Yeah, maybe 38mm touring tyres were not the best choice for an Audax ride but they work well in touring mode the day before and after and I rarely felt how rough the roads looked.

If you only carry one spare tube then solid tyres are a good idea, was digging glass out of the tyres yesterday. Also was glad I had guards on the bike.

There was a point where we could've thrown the ride and taken the 15km short cut home. Our average was 14.8kmh at that point (173km). Wayde was going to through in the towel and he mentioned some nasty hills coming. Some stubbornness on my part had Wayde and I go back the long way. 10 metres into turning left instead of right it started bucketing down, again. Wayde looked and said it was not too late to turn around. Not an option, decision made.

From there we gave everything we had left and pulled in 10 minutes before closing.

Of the 6 starters there were 3 that completed the course. Navigational errors were the theme for the day with 2 riders ending up 6km short of Bathurst after reaching Chifley Dam checkpoint, that is a huge navigational error.

Hoping some of that made sense, too tired to edit.

big bastard hill, I walked up.

slow hot lap, rained over the top of the mountain

Chifley Dam, threatening rain.

Quick call to my wife to say I may just scrape it in.

Wayde about to descend one of the scariest fast drops I've seen.



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