It’s dark and cold as I unload my bike from the back of my car. Once again I am late for my self-nominated start time. It’s 4.45am by the time I set off on the 100km Sandgate-Scarborough Brevet Permanent. I’ve parked overlooking Moreton Bay, which is gorgeous under the full moon. Two hundred meters up the road I pass Hoffy’s Cycles and reset my bicycle computer to officially start my ride.
The traffic is light on the urban streets that take me away from Moreton Bay towards Brisbane’s north western suburbs. My legs spin comfortably, propelling my bike along at about 27kph. Traffic lights slow me down but the light from the moon and stars mesmerizes my mind. I love cycling in the dark.
I leave the clutches of Brisbane’s urban sprawl. The street lights disappear and the air gets colder. The only light comes from my bike lights and cars that pass me. I turn my head back to check my tail light regularly. It’s a good thing too because it fails (I didn’t charge the battery properly), making me thankful for Audax Australia’s lighting rules requiring two lights to be carried at all times.
The horizon behind me starts to brighten at about 35km into my ride. Sunlight changes dark silhouettes into green mountains and the sound of grass blowing in the breeze to a visual display. The air gets colder now as night changes to day.
The Dayboro Bakery marks the checkpoint of this ride. At 43km it’s the perfect place for breakfast. I buy egg and lettuce samdwiches washed down with plain milk. I’m practicing patience and riding without anxiety so take a longish rest before continuing. I want to feel comfortable and confident during my rides, rather than focusing on speed and panic like I used to.
The less said about the ride from Dayboro to Petrie the better. It’s 15km of narrow rural highway with climbs, trucks and commuters all mixed together. It’s a bad mix with everyone being in a hurry and many driving much faster than the 100kph speed limit. I put my head down and bum up for 15km.
Reaching suburbia’s outskirts is a blessing. The scenery isn’t as pretty but the roads are wide and much quieter. I’m also in familiar territory so know exactly where to go: pass North Lakes shops, cruise down the railway line bike path and zip across the Redcliffe Peninsula to the Scarborough waterfront.
Riding along the waterfront it stunning. Winter is the best season for Moreton Bay. The waters are clear and blue now that the summer storms have passed. I look out to my left a lot on this final 15km of the ride because that’s where the water is.
And then I’m back at Hoffy’s Cycles. I bonked a bit at 98km with not enough food. All I’ve eaten this morning was two steamed pork buns at home, the egg and lettuce sandwich at Dayboro and an apple. Next ride I will bring some nuts or boiled eggs (I don’t eat sugar or packaged foods anymore so can’t just grab some museli bars). I buy some spare tubes and a new spare tail light (my backup was a bit dodgy) at Hoffy’s and get my brevet card signed.
I’m hungry both for food and another rando. Maybe I can squeeze in another century before I go overseas on holidays in a fortnight.