...riders awoke to the tragic news of the death of one of their fellow riders the night before. Out of respect to family members, the riders name was withheld. The news made the start of the most difficult day of the ride even more difficult, everyone felt the loss.
After a quick and quiet breakfast, Michael and I set out to catch riders. We came across Bhanu and Soufiane, only a short distance away, trying to install a new internally routed rear shift cable after the one installed had broken. Lesson one, even if a mechanic says the cable is OK, insist they change it anyway. Lesson two, practice fixing any fault you may encounter out on the road while at home. Over two hours were spent on the task, it was difficult for Michael and I not to assist here, but Audax is based on riding self supported and this was something they needed to sort out themselves. Kudos to the two riders working at solving the problem.
First checkpoint of the day was Cooma at 122km after enduring the fast and heavily trafficked Monaro Highway. Time for refreshments and a rest before getting onto the quieter Snowy Mountains Highway heading towards Adaminaby. It was great to see that Soufiane's bike was back in operation and both he and Bhanu in good spirits, although hot.
The day was warming up as the riders climbed along towards the Kosciuszko National Park. Wolgal Hut was a welcome rest point for riders and Phillip put on another big effort supplying riders with food and water. Phillip was lucky to make it as the transmission in his car was overheating.
The next stop was McPherson Plains Caravan Park, but first a huge descent down to Tumut River and then the difficult climb back out of the valley. Note, be aware of brumbies.
By 21:50 5 riders had arrived with the rest of the field yet to roll in. Peter Makin and the merry band of volunteers at Laurel Hill Checkpoint were up all night making sure riders were fed and shown their bed for the night.