I made it. The Paluma Push '08 was quite an ordeal and I made it through with nary a scratch- no broken thumbs, no grazed elbows, knees or shoulders- at least not on this body. The Push was not kind to a lot of people this year.
The course was modified for the competitive class with a circuit around the Paluma Dam. Now I have to confess, I only rode the recreation class, so I didn't have the "joy" of experiencing the dam circuit. But from all accounts of cycling mates, it was absolutely horrid. About 10 km of greasy, tree root riddled, rock strewn hell.
More than 1 rider came to grief on this section with a couple of riders hitting the deck: one destroyed knee and one very nasty collision involving a rider's mouth and a large rock.
The whole of the group rode the section to the dam and it was no easy stretch either. The road had been graded last week to smooth out some corrugations but then we had 50mm of rain to turn the clayish, dusty surface into a claggy mess that sucked your tyres onto the road and sapped all of your strength.
I had to stop several times and walk simply because there was no way to ride forward- too many people pushing their way forward on foot- no track to ride. And as a result of reduced wheel speed, the mud/clay was not flung off but had a chance to accumulate on the tyres. Fun factor 0%. And this section of road claimed casualties- one unfortunate lady came to grief at about the same place I did last year, ending up with a compound fracture of the radius and major laceration to the bridge of her nose.
A couple of collisions with trees and rocks along the single-track also had a few riders unable to finish the race. So all in all, a great success!!
Dee returned from her conference today with a well deserved award from the Spatial Sciences Institute of Queensland- "Professional of the Year" Yaaayy!!
Oh yes- and another new bike has joined the stable. BoaB is now going to be getting about on the roads on a new Specialized Tarmac Pro- "Shweet!!"
Cheers- ride safe