Last weekend, I joined a small group of riding pals for this year’s Pemby 50. Pre-ride Hammer Coffee completed, we set off, anxious to see how early-season legs would cope with 50kms of premo Pemberton single track and give or take 2,000 metres of climbing. I silently hoped that a long winter of skate skiing, a few longish Spring bike rides--followed by admittedly too many beers--and caffeine doping would get me through. I was nervous.
After the third stage, a long, punchy climb, followed by a rowdy, dusty descent, out and back from One Mile Lake, I was informed by group consensus that we would forgo the recommended stop at Mount Currie Coffee. I took the news like a 4 year old robbed of his lollipop. Real tears were barely avoided by the promise of homemade lamingtons, complements of the Central Coast’s very own Huw Jones. Skeptical of lamingtons without coffee, I rode on.
Heavenly lamingtons finished, we ascended as a tight group and, with exception of a classic (for me) fatigue-induced, no-speed fall that quickly escalated into a bout of semi-coherent curses, completed the loose and heavy-flow Live Like Lisa without incident.
Welcome to the pain cave.
The final climb to Mosquito Lake loomed large. Legs punched and on the precipice of cramp, we climbed higher even as we descended into our own personal pain caves. Obligatory happy snaps completed atop the famous Cream Puff, we began our final descent to the vehicle staging area and well deserved cold beer.
All group members safe and sound. The Pemby 50 completed in 6 hours 11 minutes (moving time).