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Wisebytes.net     Day 7 (Mansfield - Yea, 76 km, a few hills and a strong headwind)
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Day 7 (Mansfield - Yea, 76 km, a few hills and a strong headwind)

Ride Guide Map

Elevation map for day 7

The early morning packing was a little less focussed than usual, and the Green contigent had their first success of the day when they finished packing before the Wises. However we loaded luggage together and then headed off to breakfast in Mansfield. It was rather indulgent, but very enjoyable to eat our pancakes and strawberries (girls), poached eggs with ham, spinach and hollandaise sauce (me) and muesli and assorted croissants (David). Tim and Nicola passed as did many other riders, as we smugly ate our feast. We set off at about 8:00 on what should have been a reasonably pleasant ride.

Unfortunately as the days progressed, each day seemed to be worse than the previous one. In this case, the highway was not very pleasant - too many logging trucks and fast cars passing too fast, a strong headwind and lunch only 10 km from the end of the ride. Krista was very lethargic and couldn't seem to find extra energy to overcome the headwind, so it became a war of attrition between her and the road. As Sophie and David disappeared over the horizon, we struggled on stoically, stopping at every opportunity to eat and drink and rest weary body parts. The day ground on and eventually we made it to lunch, up Cotton's Pinch and down into Yea much to the surprise of David and Tim, who were fully expecting a ride on the sag. They had very kindly saved us a tent spot and retrieved our luggage which aided in our physical and mental recovery from the day's efforts.

After organising our campsite, we went into Yea to meet Barb (our friend from Melbourne) and to have some food. We got ice-creams and snack food and sat on the grass eating it and chatting to Barb about our adventures. As dinner time approached, we found ourselves ambling in to a grotty-looking cafe for dinner - about halfway through the fish and chips, souvlaki and pizza, it finally rose to the surface of our minds that we were eating possibly the worst food we have ever chosen to ingest, and we suddenly needed to share this realisation with each other, along with a range of hypotheses about the business model, lifestyles and hygiene habits of the proprietors. Tim and Nicola eventually discovered us in the cafe - shocked by the standards we had dropped to, and totally puzzled by our choice to spend money in such an establishment in preference to Bicycle Vitoria's food - and they rescued us by leading us to a very nice cafe next door with proper tea and coffee and delicious-looking cakes.

Krista, Nicola and Sophie returned to camp early while Tim and David and I stayed chatting to Barb for a pleasant time. Sophie and Krista were in bed by the time we returned to camp and Tim and Nicola went to watch the movie (The Phantom Menace). In a fit of exuberance, David and I decided to check out the local nightlife, and having decided that one of the pubs looked a bit rough, we opted for the other (which looked a bit less rough) - the beer garden was standing-room-only with bike riders, so we opted for the warmth and barstools of the public bar, which was mostly peopled by locals ... the smoking laws have obviously not reached to Yea quite yet and so we were enveloped in smoky pub atmosphere and yelled our conversation to each other over the general racket. We wandered back to camp at the exhiliratingly late hour of 10:50 - the first bedtime after 10:00 pm on the trip.