This is what greeted the Winter Warmer riders early on the Saturday of departure.
Lesser men (+women) would still have been in bed but those who showed knew what the Winter Warmer meant, a stripe on the sleeve that could be worn with with pride for the next twelve months.
The road ahead was waiting and the early group which left thirty minutes prior was gaining momentum. So we packed our bags inside plastic garbage bags(for the rain) and hit the road.
The weather looked tough all around us but the clouds seemed to part for us, maybe it was mother nature's way of saying " happy birthday Gibbsy", after all your 21st only comes around once.
It wasn't all riding, in fact there was a lot of other good stuff going on, a few tall stories, the odd snickers bar and a quick game of "Ray eyes" before the bakery stop at Woodford. Woodford was 85klm into the ride, the first 85klm was like this.....
Did I mention there were hills and rain?
Some of the males on the ride boosted their morale at the bakery, here's Greg with a cream horn.
We couldn't wait to get back on the road after a few Pies and a couple of hot coffees we were ready to ride up the range. A big thanks to CJ's Pastries for their great food and good service.
After Woodford the terrain is flat for 20klm then it 25 klm uphill, One section of 900 metres is over 20% and can be faster to walk than ride. It was too wet to get photographic evidence but those who did it know who they are.
Tranquil Park was everything everyone hoped for, a hot shower some clean clothes and some deep fried food and beer. We really felt like we deserved every drop of ale, Glenn and Phil especially whose ride up was amazing, congratulations guys.
The evening saw a bit of the energy bounce back, a few bottles of wine and of course Gibbsy's birthday cake.
We were all well fed and we were all well.. tired.
As soon as I woke up I knew it was raining still because of the hat Blair had on.
We were used to it by now and it was all down hill, we had a great breakfast and got ready for our departure and group photo. A big thanks to Tranquil Park for a good weekend.
This is how we roll..... Winter Warmer style. By the way, to best of our knowledge no Platypus's died due to our influence while we were in Maleny, WE DIDN'T SHOP THERE!!
The wind was our friend on Sunday, it blew us most of the way home and made our first stop at CJ's Wamuran seem nice and short. Big Trevor Tucker made a fantastic effort to get just shy of Wamuran, a massive day for him. CJ's impressed again and we saved our home made muffins (thanks Corinne) for the Sunday group.
Another game of Ray eyes and a few coffees then it was off to chock out the jewel of the north, Moorina rd. Two stripes were removed from Tony Moore's sleeve for his persistant disobedience of directives. That would not be the only sleeve stripe removal.......
In the above photo we have a shot of the wind dodger himself. Do not be fooled into thinking that he is in the wind, he is directly behind the cameraman. His stripes are at HQ. They will be re-instated once he has done his time in the wind. If you see him approaching accelerate, you will receive no assistance from him in times of need. 2 days riding+ no time near the front = -4 stripes. An official stripe removal ceremony will be held nextStaurday at the coffee shop.
It was a smooth ride in and the truck was finally behind us, We would be approaching Brisbane safely with a slight tail wind. Our bodies were weary it had been a long few days and we had made a lot of new friends on way.
That was the 2006 Winter Warmer, its like choosing your favourite son rating each Winter Warmer. Some say it's a nice old ride, others tell the truth.