Day 1. 173km. Sydney – Newcastle

Posted: November 22, 2021 in Australia, Cycling, NSW
Tags: , , , ,

“Where are you guys going?” asked the kid in his souped up hoonmobile who had pulled over as I inched up the hill in the dark.

“Newcastle,” I replied.

“F*ck me!” I guess lots of people had been wondering what these hundreds of cyclists were doing cycling though the rain in the middle of nowhere in the dark.

Newcastle Overnight checkpoint at Mt White

The Newcastle Overnight is an annual event where a wierd bunch of people (including me) leaves Observatory Hill near the Sydney Harbour Bridge at 9pm to cycle through the night to Newcastle, 173km to the north. It includes some longish ascents and descents in the dark to Gosford before the brain enters spaced-out mode, cycling past the Central Coast beaches and lakes when all are sleeping and only the crazies are out.

I met with Jo again. We have met on several of these rides and shared stories about the crazies. The famous one is of the 20 year old guy walking down the street naked at 3am near Budgewoi holding nothing but a branch. The event pulled the brain out of its inner processes to focus on the now. Once focussed, I had passed. No evidence photo was taken. Only me, Jo and dozens of others had seen it.

This year, no naked guys with branches but I did pass 80,000 km on the bike, just a few km from naked man road.

80,000km for the bike

Just after 80,000 on naked man road I passed a hungry man. There was no Budgewoi checkpoint this year and nothing open for about 20km. Luckily I like taking a lot of stuff on these trips. Although I couldn’t interest him in a kitchen sink, he was interested in some fruit cake and bread.

As is usual on these trips, you start together, have short stints cycling with others and having a chat, but most of the time is spent in a meditative brain state. I started cycling with Jo, and we met up again at the end.

Before departure in Sydney
Made it! 173km later in Newcastle

Thanks to Josh and Annie who both Jo and I had chatted with en route, for taking us back to Sydney in the car!

With the weather forecast of rain all week, I have decided to not cycle in the Snowy Mountains this week (through snow, sludge and freezing temperatures) but rather to take the Newcastle Overnight cycle as day one of my cycling holiday north of Sydney.

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