Bike Odyssey
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Journal for 2-Jul-2003 : Gympie

Overnight rain delayed the start. Noosa Heads a nightmare of roundabouts, with not enough signage for our purposes.

Rode the "Cooroy Bike Route", which was a really nice forested stretch of old road (now bypassed) which doubles as a motor racing track.

We really seemed to eat up the Ks early today. By Pomona we passed a sign saying we'd attained 480m of altitude, and an average of 20kph. Road to the highway became increasingly narrow, down to just one lane sealed at Traveston.

Lunch at Cooran and we saw another cyclist (lightly loaded - rear panniers only) but he sped away before we could say hi.

Tried the back way to Gympie via Kybong, and turned back to the Bruce Highway once we saw the first ski-jump hill we were expected to climb up.

Lots of oversized traffic on the highway. We should have expected the second half of the house after the first half ran us off the road. I really wonder what happened when they met the yacht and cabin cruiser heading the other way.

Gympie is renound throughout Queensland as having a lot of hills. It came as a surprise that the approach roads were not all that hilly, and there were no large hills visible. But ... once we tried to use the back streets into the centre of town we started to understand. Every street routes itself over the top of every hill in sight. We climbed seven of these monsters before finding the centre of town.

On the local news (just Sunshine Coast - pop <200,000) the lead story had been a fatal car crash every night since we've been here. Having seen the these Queenslanders drive (turn first, look second) I can't claim to be that surprised.

[A bit later]:
We are staying at a motel by the highway, and heard the screeching of brakes followed by a shuddering crash. Someone was trying to turn right off the highway into Gympie, and another person paying Queenslander attention to what they were doing rear-ended them. I'm filled with confidence now.

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