The Freeway Bike Hike was on today, and out team the Bitumen Bumblies were on the Mandurah-Perth option. Got up at 3:20am, picked up teammate at 3:40am and then we rode in to the Esplanade train station. At 4:30am there were special trains for us riders which took us to Mandurah. The south-bound lanes of the fwy were closed and the ride started at 6:30am.
Many people took of like rockets, some flew to the end, others burned out, crashed, and were later seen smouldering along at a cinder's pace. Others just took it easy, riding mountain bikes, hybrids, things with carriers and mudguards, recumbents, whatever. We took the middle option and started at 31kph, a pace that I managed to maintain for the 2h12m that it took me to get to the end. Along the way I have seen many rear tyres of bikes that I was drafting. It was not all like that though, some 30% of the time I was at the front of whatever makeshift group I was a part of, eventually forming a co-op with three other blokes of similar size, ability and willingness to put in. There was a gentle cross wind, ocassionally slightly head-on but nothing major. Along the way we saw an ambulance, it looked like someone crashed and had an arm in a sling. I also had a near miss when a bike I was passing managed to swerve right and hook its handle bars over the top of mine for a couple of seconds. I hung on! (so did he)
As the high rise of Perth came closer, I was flooded with enthusiasm and soon went through the yellow finish gate. When my team mates arrived we went for the free ice cream a got a puncture repair kit to go with it. Then for the short ride home. There it was 90km all up today, 70km on the freeway and two 10km legs between home and Langley Park. Thats almost twice as far as I have ever ridden in one day!