Early morning mist against the ranges, and C grade going faster than I expected.
I don't find supporting a race easy. I don't drive much any more, so it isn't a 'no brainer' at all (not that it ever should be). I am mindful of the safety of the bunch. Sitting close enough to let traffic pass, but far enough back to have time to react to a crash. The radio crackles with complaints from truck drivers and caravan pullers. I want to snap at them to give these guys a break for 30 seconds for Chrissakes, but I leave the radio on the seat.
The first rider is spit out the back far too soon. I stick with him til I see D grade on the horizon, then pass and catch the main group. I don't know the course well, so it seems to take forever to the turnaround. Then the race really starts and riders are getting dropped, we are catching D graders, and it is getting complicated. A rider is spat out the back. I pass him knowing support and sweep are just behind. I check the rear view and he is fine. I check again and he is cartwheeling in a crash. WTF!
I slam on the brakes and look in disbelief at the rider prone on the open highway. I u-turn as fast as I can and go back, heart pounding. There hasn't been a single car either way since he went down, thank goodness for that! He is just a teenager, and confused, disoriented, and freaked out by the blood. I play the standard Mom card. You are fine, you are hardly bleeding. It is just scrapes, get in the car, have a tissue or 12.
I struggle to get the bike on the Thule carrier. I haven't practiced and it is too hard. Another car stops and helps me, then we are off the few kms to the finish. Hand him over to Mom and Dad and the race director, the full first aid kit. Lots of clucking. Hope he is just a bit bruised and recovers quickly (well, maybe a couple days off school as a reward).
So I didn't race but I did good. BoaB was second in D grade. I got a quick ride in to do an errand at the office, all good.
I could whinge about the cold all week, and the wind and my chapped face. But I won't because the Badger shames me. It isn't THAT cold, and I need to harden up.
And finally, a slice of life in north Queensland. When friends visit. We share a similar taste in shoes, but the traditional footwear is of course, none at all.