We left with 6 eager riders perfectly on time.
Finding a good rhythm early, we got to the next stop 2 minutes ahead of schedule.
By the second stop, we were down to 5 riders but still up 2 minutes, possibly thanks to our first rolling natural break! The wind was starting to pick up, and we saw some kind of giant non-native snake coiled up on the side of the road! Truly an exciting segment.
It was starting to heat up when we were stopped by a train before our 20-minute stop.
The next stretch was really technical. The wind was head/cross, coming from about 11 o'clock, and the road surface was chaotic. We were all really focused on rhythm and positioning. Little traffic, but we did come to the check 2 minutes down.
Hard. Headwind. Chip-seal. Cowling. Drag strip (14% at 14kph). Rising temperatures. 18 minutes behind schedule.
Riders in difficulty, we were down to only 4 of us left, and it was looking like maybe only 3 would make it. We stopped a few times to try and recover in the shade and got split up by a red light in the last 3km. But we made it. 2 minutes ahead of our maximum arrival time! 20.7 kph average speed for nearly 5 hours.