If you are going to celebrate 100 years of anything, it’s worth doing something Audaxious. In FNQ, say audacious and 200km in the one sentence, and one’s thoughts immediately return to a hilly, wet, windy, cold epic ride in 2018. We Got High on the Tablelands, and it remains one of FNQ Audax’s finest moments. We visited Watsonville, Herberton (twice), Ravenshoe, Millaa Millaa, Malanda and Yungaburra, mostly in driving rain and bone-chilling cold. But that ride was in July 2018. This was September 2021. What could possibly go wrong?? So we organised exactly the same course – and set off to find out.

In 2018, 24 riders registered. The weather was awful, but amazingly – they all showed up. Sometime during the ride, around nine of them bailed out and went home, leaving 15 finishers. In 2021, twenty riders registered. Eighteen made it to the start line. Of those, six had been there before and should have known better. The weather was damp, breezy and chilly. A touch better than in 2018, but you could definitely see the resemblance.

The hills were unchanged. Over 3,500 metres of climbing. Or about seven Copperloads – depending on which local you were riding with. It was definitely a big day out. And 16 riders made it to the finish, with several first timers for a 200km. There were celebrations all around for a huge effort. Congratulations FNQ Audax, and Happy 200km Centenary. We are in good form.

Thanks once again to our amazing volunteers – Kim, Jenny, Mundi and Fiona. And to Juanita for her great video and David M for his ride report.

Keep up your training for the Audax Centenary of the 300km – Saturday 11 June 2022. May the chook be with you.

Only 200km you say? (David M)

After 600km two weeks ago that should be a walk in the park! With the weather forecast looking a bit un-enticing we got up early to drive up to Atherton for another kick off. We were greeted by around 18 riders who had decided they could not resist a 200km ride in the mountains. The Super  Randonneur gang was back together for another big ride in the mountains with questionable sanity the main cause of concern amongst us.

Off the group rode into the drizzle. Little did we know that this would keep us company for the majority of the day.

After a quick leg warmer up the Herberton range we shot out to Watsonville before heading back to Herberton where we were met with our very enthusiastic volunteer support crew. Seriously. These people are so UNDERRATED!

Smiles and cheers saw us roll on towards more climbing in the Herberton range on our way to the Gentle Annie lookout where we were greeted by a flock of chickens.

Given I had two flats before we made the lookout, some would say the chickens waiting was an Auspicious sign given the centenary ride badge has a chook. So we felt we must push on!

Onward to Ravenshoe we were treated with blustery winds but a short break from the rain where we unloaded the Ravenshoe bakery of all the goods they had left to sell before we hit the old Palmerston highway to climb up to Milla Milla. 

As beautiful as the road is, the rain and the wind was a tough contender. By now we were completely soaked through and questioning how badly we wanted a badge with a chook!

Once we past through Milla Milla mentally this was a monumental step, as a lot of the climbing was behind us by then and they rain was easing off.

Motivated to get to Malanda ASAP we finally caught our first tailwind of the day. Being greeted with hot coffee, soup, and Gayle’s dog Patch was an absolute winner.  (Editors note: Patch is Kim’s dog. Gayle is just on staff at their household).

Knowing we weren’t far from the end we dug deep, gritted our teeth and climbed the remaining rolling hills over through to Yungaburra and back to Atherton.

All in all a Big Day out for only 200km. 3672m of elevation gained. Lots of variable weather to contend with but a massive sense of achievement to have smashed out another big day on the road.

Bernie (1st 200km!!), Dietmar, Gayle, Verena (1st 200km!!) and Mary Ann
First Name Control 1 Control 2 Control 3 Control 4 Ride Time 
Location Herberton Ravenshoe Malanda Atherton 2021
Distance 40 km 100 km 157 km 200 km 8h46-11h45
Open / Close 7:50 to 9:10 9:50 to 13:10 11:42 to 16:54 13:10 to 20:00 2019
Times in 2019 8:14 to 8:56 10:30 to 12:51 13:28 to 16:26 17:20 to 19:20 10h50 – 12h50
Grahame A 8.16am 11.14am 2.38pm 4.42pm 10h12
Mary Ann A 8.39am 12.09pm 3.38pm 6.15pm 11h45
Verena A 8.39am 12.09pm 3.38pm 6.15pm 11h45
Juanita B 8.20am 11.39am 2.38pm 4.42pm 10h12
Keith F 8.08am 10.42am 1.55pm 4.39pm 10h09
Graham J 8.05am 10.28am 1.16pm 3.16pm 8h46
Ian K 8.32am 11.53am 3.14pm 5.40pm 11h10
Michael L 8.39am 11.54am 3.35pm 5.56pm 11h26
David M 8.16am 11.38am 2.52pm 4.46pm 10h16
Virve M 8.20am 11.38am 2.52pm 4.46pm 10h16
Kevin N 8.08am 10.42am 1.55pm 4.39pm 10h09
Dietmar R 8.32am 11.53am 3.18pm 6.05pm 11h35
Gayle S 8.39am 12.09m 3.39pm 6.15pm 11h45
Bernadette T 8.39am 12.09m 3.39pm 6.15pm 11h45
Chris U 8.10am 11.14am 2.38pm 4.42pm 10h12
Roy W 8.32am 11.53am 3.14pm 5.40pm 11h10

(25 September 2021)

"No hour of life is lost that is spent in the saddle" Winston Churchill