It’s been a feast of alleycats of late and the latest was Bridges of Brisbane 3.
The idea here was to visit 8 of Brisbane’s bridges choosing your own route and the order and noting down some clue at a specific spot or doing some activity with the checkpoint person at the 3 bridges that had someone there to greet you.
There was only really two choices about the order — clockwise or counter-clockwise.
Upon some discussion with Scott and Shirts about the fact the Story Bridge checkpoint was on the footpath on the eastern side I changed my original plan and decided to go counter-clockwise.
But as it turns out that was all moot as I DNF‘d. But more on that later.
It was a simultaneous mass-start and I smashed off with what seemed like two-thirds of the 20ish participants and got a decent run all the way to the ‘Swamp Bridge’ at Stones Corner to find it without its appointed caretaker. It seems Marty had got a bit excited and went past this bridge to take up a lonely position on a different bridge 1km further down the road. LOL.
So the 8 or so of us in this bewildered daze eventually just decided to push on. On O’Keefe Street Shirts and Scott went straight ahead (they’d worked out a shortcut) while I led everyone else along the bikepath. They put at least 30 seconds on us with this little trick which Shirts told me later he had thoroughly researched including investigating elevation differences.
Meanwhile I felt my saddle behaving oddly. It seemed I was slipping forward but I dismissed it as just the fact I had knicks under my shorts. At the other side of the Eleanor Schonell Bridge Shirts was already caning it back towards the city with Scott just behind. Kristine gave us all a peg (which I attached to a brake-lever) and we pressed on.
It was just Jordy, me and Red at the top of Annerley Road and I told everyone to grab my wheel cause with gears I could be better use to the group on this downhill. And on the Goodwill Bridge I jumped off the bike to find the clue we had to note down and it was then I felt my saddle was actually bending. Not good. Instantly I knew it was too dangerous to continue racing so the others rode off and I wondered what to do. The saddle was cracked in several places but seemed like it was stable enough to make it back to Dan and Kath’s at the start/finish.
But it was hard to go from “race-face” to a boy with a broken bike limping home — especially when everyone else was out there having so much fun — so I decided to go to the Story Bridge checkpoint and wait for Shirts. So I rolled off via the Kangaroo Point cliffs and waited about 5 or 6 minutes and then followed him back from there. I smashed out of the saddle almost the whole way but it hurt so much trying to rest your legs just standing on the pedals. OW. We both got a great run and negotiated the final tricky bit — getting across Shafston Road (which has this huge traffic island in the middle) — with the help of a green light and no traffic on the wrong side of the road (which we took for 2 blocks).
Shirts got a time of around 35 minutes — which I think was quicker than the time Declan did when he won the first Bridge Battle when there was only 6 bridges to visit.
Red, who came second, told us later he had run across 6 lanes of road at the northern end of the Story Bridge amidst honking and general craziness. I would have killed to see this!
Naturally I got rather wasted at the end and was rolling around the ground at several points in fits of laughter and at one point jumped over the fire attempting to do a heal-click as I did so. I was informed later that lycra is highly flammable and that possibly wasn’t a great idea. “Ok,” I said.
Of note when I attempted said “over-the-fire-heel-click” I actually missed my left heel and instead took a big chunk of skin out of my ankle — which was only noticeable when it started hurting like a motherfucker when I got home and into bed. Oh Davey, when will you learn?
So sorry about the poor quality of the photos. The little camera isn’t that great at low-light shots and plus I got a bit too fascinated by the fire in the state I was in.
This is BEFORE and below is AFTER: