Although we had a few last minute drop outs (Joe / Monty - not good!; T-Bone, I'm sure your excuse was solid), we managed a reasonable little posse of six hardy souls for what was planned to be a local ride with some distance but still back before noon.
Stephe, Whisperer, Richard, Brian, Rees, and Doug managed to start out at the Tryon Road Tennis Courts in East Lindfield (just off Archibold Road).
Doug had swapped tyres with Whisperer before setting out, so it was just up to Brian to do his last minute bike maintenance requests, before we could get underway... Shortly after kicking off, we met a mate of Brian's on the track, who pointed out that someone had left their windows open - so another short delay... Then Stephe discovered that his bottom bracket was toast, and went back to the cars with Whisperer - so another short delay...
[By now, you're no doubt beginning to see the picture!]
In any case, we finally got underway - and did a fairly aggressive pace down from Lindfield to the climb up to the edge of the River - which was a fantastic challenge, with most nailing at least one section of the climb. The pace kept up once we started down from the top section to the River, and then along towards the Roseville Bridge.
Given the lost time, we took the urban route from the Roseville Bridge through Forestville, dropping back into the track behind the retirement homes. Another great blast - unfortunately with a bit more faffing about with gears and things between solid riding stages...
Wasn't long before we were at Manly Dam, doing a fast loop - to the Golf Course picnic rock, where we had a quick bite to eat. We finished off the Manly Dam loop, back across Wakehurst Parkway, and then on to the Scout Hall - where we changed a tyre, and faffed about a bit more (it was truly one of those days!).
Had some fun on the technical bits on the way home, with everyone performing well - even as tiredness set in.
Overall, a brilliant ride - with much less 'hike a bike' than at least some of us had feared (and recalled from previous rides). We maintained a very solid pace - when we were moving, and not faffing about with repairs - and all arrived back at the cars totally buggered. Which can only be good.
Unfortunately, the GPS carked it somewhere around Manly Dam, so haven't got the track for publication - but it looks like around 40kms all up - nearly every bit of which was great fun.
The full set of photos is here