An (almost) perfect end to the tour.
I set off at about 8:30ish into the cold morning. I didn't repeat the mistake of detouring through back roads so I knew what to expect - some good flat bits around Lake George and hills that weren't too bad.
The biggest problem with this route is the lack of decent stopping points, ie cafes, along the way. There are basically two - one at Collector about a third of the way to Canberra, and a service station at Eagle Hawk Hill that is quite close to Canberra. OTOH the route is also fairly painless and I made good time for most of the day.
I stopped off at Collector to refuel with a light meal then was on my way along Lake George which is quite a pleasant ride. Then up the hill to the Weereewaa Lookout where I turn right onto the Old Federal Highway. After a few hills I came to the crossroads with Shingle Hill Way where I stopped for a snack that I was carrying. I also chatted with another cyclist during this leg, nice chap.
After that it was time for the run to Eagle Hawk which includes a really fun descent down the Old Federal Highway before it runs out. Just before getting to Eagle Hawk I had my first (and only) puncture of the tour - I missed spotting a patch of glass and a piece obviously tore through the right tyre just like that. Changing it was routine.
Still most of my precautions for this tour were successful in foiling Murphy (even if I paid a weight penalty for all of them):
a. I had a sleeping bag and a space blanket in case of being caught too far from civilisation...which never happened.
b. I had a rain jacket and bought waterproof covers for the panniers just for this tour...and had perfect weather throughout.
c. I carried two extra spare tubes (total of four) to deal with punctures...and only had the one.
Of course, other stuff didn't go entirely according to plan but I think it all turned out fine in the end.
I stopped at the service station at Eagle Hawk for more food and then set out on the final run home.
I really like approaching Canberra via the Federal Highway from Goulburn. On cresting the final hill you get your first view of the Telstra Tower and the mountains stretching away in the distance behind Canberra. Then you're rolling down a great descent which only gently curved as the energy levels come back up from the last pit stop. The Federal Highway continues on into Northbourne Ave as the descent becomes a fast run on a flat road with a bike lane.
Sure, eventually I have to turn off, but it's sure fun while it lasts.
And now the stats for the day:
Average: 16.83 kph
Max: 54 kph
I had fun, caught up with family and friends, and piled on the kilometres. Good to be me. :)