Colt 45 – 7 February 2018

Banjo was right!! Pass around the word about a Colt, and there will be plenty of movement in sleepy ol’ Tolga on a Sunday morning.

It was the second year for the Colt 45,  and 102 cyclists descended on Tolga ready for action in our first Audax ride in FNQ for 2018.

A ride of this size needed not one, but two coffee vans, to provide essential pre-ride caffeination for the massive 43km course ahead.


There were a few anxious moments as we pondered the official attention our small gathering seemed to have attracted.


After all, we had been trying to keep a low profile.




But on a closer, sneaky inspection (I don’t think anyone noticed us peeking in  !!)…..




It was all good. (I think they’re on our side.)



Wil kicked off the usual pre-ride briefing with lots of helpful advice – “Be good, have fun, ride well, enjoy the views and don’t get back too quickly because the pub isn’t open until 10am”.

And so our orderly crowd wound their way along the rail trail, down some bitumen stuff, across the dirt and around paddocks until Tinaroo came into view.  We even paused in a somewhat organised way to stamp our brevets as directed, taking a few moments to appreciate the slip of blue on the horizon that everyone hopes will become a full dam in the next wet season.   As we cruised around the back blocks of Tinaroo, we caught sight of the front-runners steaming back towards Tolga.  They looked like they were having fun, but something in their beer-focused eyes suggested that, just perhaps, they hadn’t been listening to Wil’s tip about pub opening hours.

At the turn-around checkpoint at Barabadeen, FNQ riders showed their level of increasing sophistication and preparedness for Audax rides. 

Most shuffled quickly through the brevet signing process, mindful of the ride ahead, the threatening rain clouds and the gathering crowd at the pub.


Then there were those who had all of those issues well in hand (possibly aided by insider knowledge), and did their best to epitomise the Audax spirit of “have a good ride”.

Audax rides in FNQ have historically been blessed by the weather gods.  However, on this occasion, the responsible deity chose to demonstrate just how fickle their attention to detail could be.

Was there a relationship between the observance of unusual on-fence rituals……



And the almost concurrent experience of a tropical downpour  ???



After a few twists and turns, and a short trundle down the now-famous “Yes, Turn Right Because This Really Is A Road” Road……….



….. it was back to the Pub for a thorough de-briefing of the morning’s events.  The crowd proceeded to boost Tolga’s economy, give advice to their co-conspirators, and hatch plans for coming rides and adventures.

And as the sun was setting over the horizon on another great Audax day out (or was it just that most people had finished drinking for the morning), the final group made their way home, still smiling and ready for more!!!

Thanks again to Wil for a great ride to kick off our Audax year.  We hope that the whispers of more dirt rides sneaking their way onto the calendar are true !

Join us for a new Audax 100km road ride starting in El Arish at 6.30am on Sunday 18 February 2018.  The Banana 100 is an easy and mostly flat jaunt around Mission Beach and returning on the back roads via Tully.

Online registrations are now open.

(10 January 2018)

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