On the 26th March 2017, 400 riders took on Ride The Range in Toowoomba, with around 110 people tackling the 100mile (165km) challenge. There was a ride for everyone, the 112km classic, 85km challenge and the 50km nifty. The ride is a great opportunity to get away for a weekend in the country and enjoy some awesome riding. And is there any better way to spend a Sunday than riding around the beautiful QLD countryside with a bunch of beautiful, strong, determined and supportive & somewhat quirky friends?! Ummm no!
So at 6am we departed Picnic Point in Toowoomba and screamed down the range, it was steep, lets just say I could smell the rubber burning! Regrouping at the bottom the BBL crew stayed together, and made this little ride something to remember. We picked up new friends along the way and quickly made formation into rolling turns as we chewed up the km’s in the beautiful countryside and wide open country roads. Everyone was in high spirits, there was plenty of banter amongst the team and a positive vibe that made us all feel a part of it. The rotary rest stops along the way were awesome with their home baked goods, cold water, free smiles and supportive attitudes, they were always there when we needed them. Especially in the last 50km when the sun started to beat down and feelings of fatigue set in, heavy and pumped legs, and depleting energy stores. Just as you start to think things are getting tough you come across a rest stop with cold sugary fizzy drink goodness! So kudos to the volunteers for staying out there and making our day!
We continue on; our little peloton of 16 people slowly dwindling as we neared the range and started to hit some hills at around the 140km mark. It was about 11am with only 25km to go now…. up the Range, no biggy right! A 12km climb, with a couple of decent pinches, the last 5km at a 9% average gradient was a brute! Times did get a little tough, which may have been intensified by the heat that was now beating down upon us as we climbed. The air was still and the road was so hot & sticky, that little tar rocks were getting stuck between my back tire and the break caliper! Many were walking, as cramps set in and for some the end seemed like an eternity away, but in the end the cyclist wins, and we all made it home!
In summary (and in true BBL character) we could call this a post 3 Peaks Falls Creek recovery ride! A nice little 165km roll around the Lockyer Valley, Gatton & surrounds with a steep bit thrown in for fun!
If you are a cyclist put it on your “to do list”, take your road bike and just as importantly take your Mountain Bike! Go ride around the beautiful country roads, up and down the range and visit Jubilee Park for some downhill dirt action, and well why were at it why not stop by Hidden Vale, Grandchester and get your mountain bike on there too!
Thanks to everyone who made the day awesome: Bubba, Shelly, Vicky Liese, Kirsty Hearn, Mel Bairstow, Chris Main, Ross Salter, Tim Wakeman, Belinda Holloway, Shayne Mckavanagh, Kirsty Wright, Les Cadzow, Amanda Scott, Chrissy Conyers, Sheridan Bosworth, Steve Weir, Mary Mollard, Lee Butcher.
Lets do it again next year!
Brian "Bubba" Cooke
Lifelong (almost) cyclist, exercise physiologist and above-all-else just love riding my bike. Been lucky enough to ride some of the world's most epic roads and now live on the beautiful Gold Coast, hidden gem of Australian cycling.