As far as I know, for the last 8 years (at least) in winter, on a night with a full moon, there’s a ride ostensibly for the fixed gear crew that travels from Surfers Paradise to Brisbane.
Historically it starts at midnight and ends with pancakes at the Pancake Manor on Charlotte Street. But this year it was decided to start it earlier and I guess that was my cue to participate for the first time. I only realised the ride was happening when I checked my phone early on Saturday morning. And when I told Dee of my intentions — let’s just say she wasn’t quite impressed that I would be riding 180km in the dark on a Saturday evening leaving her all alone.
So it was meant to be Shirts leading a train of me, Scott (above right) and Jesse (above left), but Shirts being the man of mystery was a late bail-out. A discussion ensued about whether we take the train down with the rest of the crew but I had psyched myself up to do the trip both ways and so I was like, “Let’s do it.”
Jesse and Scott were good troopers and agreed.
For the first hour it was a procession of traffic lights and frustrating stop-start stuff. But past Logan Central everything opened up and we could ride in a vaguely “epic” state that this event dictated. Indeed it was then that we saw the full moon for the first time and it was massive. I tried to document it but there was too much glare and it was too hard from a moving bike.
That’s the moon – but I couldn’t do its majesty any justice.
All these photos are SHIT by the way. It was dark, I didn’t use the flash and I was jumping around on a bike.
After Yatala things got DARK. The sun had well and truly set and the full moon was helpful, but no street lights and big trees all around weren’t.
Meanwhile I was having a ball. I really enjoyed the peace and calm of the night. The air was crisp. You could still get a sense of the natural environment and of course being a ginger, for once, I was in no danger of dehydrating and it felt exhilarating being on such a big ride not having a drop of sunscreen on my skin!
It was a bit like Lost Highway — just following the white line into the unknown — or oblivion.
At Coomera/Dreamworld we stopped for a meal at a family-run roadhouse. They were nice people. We all had pies and a stack of chips and the father gave us free gravy. Yum.
For the next 27ks we followed the prescribed V1 route to Surfers into increasingly shit-house headwinds and tackling these shitty rolling hills and more bullshit traffic lights. It seemed to be the longest leg of the journey so far even though we had covered 55ks to get there.
We found some place that did food and booze and pretty soon the crew that had come by train arrived. We rested and ate and drank a bit for the next 1.5hrs and then rolled out around 10pm. We had 13 of us!
The first flat was just 7kms in!
Pat and Scott compare “horns”. By Pat’s body language I think Scott won this battle.
Second flat was at about 20ks. And it was Scott – LOL.
It was hard riding in the dark. It was fucking cold — my toes started getting numb, then quite painful. Everytime you stopped it took ages to warm up again. Your eyes were all twitchy from the pain of cold air and you swallowed a bit more bugs than usual.
But we got to see a lot of wildlife. Heaps of rabbits — one that ran along side us at 30+kms/hr for 300ms and a massive kangaroo. Plus there cockroaches that devoured Pat’s dropped chip at Yatala.
So I made it home just before 2am. The bike path near QUT was a mess with the detritus of the full moon high tide. The other guys party’d on — but I was happy to call it a night.
All in all — it was a great ride, but I am not sure I will do it again. 🙂