It is at least 25 years since I last entered an endurance event. As I recall it was a 42 km cross country ski race, the Kangaroo Hoppet at Falls Creek. I finished. It may have been 3000th, but I finished. I even had the cheek to sprint past some other poor bastard at the line condemning him to 3000 and 1st or so.
So now that I am a trained endurance athlete having completed three months of cycling about 20 km five times a week I am (or may be) ready for the R3R Charity Ride. It’s tomorrow and it’s not a race (not a race, not a race, not a race …)
The ride not race is organised by the Maryborough Rotary and sets off from the famous railway station. It is so impressive that Mark Twain described Maryborough as “A railway station with a town attached”. Unless, of course you believe the Twain scholars who tell us that he said no such thing. Even if he didn’t he should have.
If you want to join me you had better hurry up. Go <HERE>.
The route visits the three local reservoirs, hence the name, and the full journey is 108 km. However there is also an R2R – 73 km and an R1R – 33 km. I’ve signed up for the R1R. I know, pathetic.
But I will cut a dash. I am borrowing Gayle’s gloves. They will go on. It’s getting them off that’s the challenge but I’ll have all afternoon. I have invested in cycling shorts so that’s OK. The hi-vis work shirt tops the ensemble off, hopefully hiding the belly a little. Admittedly my fat wheels will put me at a disadvantage compared to road bikes. Nonetheless I do expect to be quicker than some grannies at least those accompanying very small children.
For just about everything that Mark Twain is said to have said there is a Twain scholar to say he didn’t say it. For instance that thing about golf being the opiate of the masses, he never said that.
Not far from me is the Maryborough railway station which Twain thought so grand that he said “Maryborough, a station with a town attached”. It’s pretty certain that’s another of the things he didn’t say but he did say this …
Don’t you overlook that Maryborough station, if you take an interest in governmental curiosities. Why, you can put the whole population of Maryborough into it, and give them a sofa apiece, and have room for more.
He visited the town in 1895 during a year long world tour at a time when he was deeply in debt in the US. It invites comparisons with our own Clive Palmer, up to his eyes in debt and living it up. However Twain’s was a lecture tour intended to raise the funds to repay his debts. Which to his enormous credit he did, despite the fact that he was protected by the bankruptcy laws and could have walked away from them. So no comparison after all.
The station is a bit of a curiosity. It’s part of popular local mythology that it was actually meant to be built elsewhere. There is a Maryborough in Queensland which still causes confusion. I’ve also been told with all apparent seriousness that Madras has a little station and Maryborough a huge one because the plans were accidentally switched. In reality it was erected just as intended, just where intended at a very important intersection of various country rail lines.
It was begun in 1890, completed in 1891. Passenger services stopped in 1993 but resumed in 2010. I took my camera along recently when an old diesel locomotive brought a train full of enthusiasts to town …