Day 1 of the tour was a grueling circuit of Toowoomba.
The morning was quite pleasant, though a little cool – nothing like the cold that we had in Warwick later though!
A morning coffee was an essential, this is something we decided right at the beginning! Luckily the coffee wagon was part of the camp set up and even followed us to lunch stops on the way during the 9 days.
As this was the first day and some cyclists were still arriving and putting up their tents (we stayed at Toowoomba on the USQ campus for Friday and Saturday night), the start time was a little later with the majority of the riders starting around 10 am.
We had both made sure we had good quality knicks and cycling tops to look the part!
Part of the Toowoomba circuit for the day took us through the city but the most impressive, and hardest cycling, was through the hills around the city.
We had the chance to look out over the range where the level drops from that of the Darling Downs to the lower levels that lead across to Brisbane, Ipswich, and the coast.
The smiles and poses do not reflect the shock our bodies were feeling after several very steep slopes to cycle up.
Conscious that I would likely be the only person not to appear in a photo taken on my phone during the tour, I discovered the selfie!
The views were spectacular and made us feel very small.
Lunch was at picnic point which, you guessed it, was at the top of another very steep ride. Despite our best efforts we sometimes had to get off and walk!
We wondered whether we would be able to make the 9 days at the work-rate we were experiencing on this, one of the shortest rides of the tour!!
The tour also has the support of a bike shop which spends all week following the tour and offering service for repairs. The also set up a cycle parts and repairs shop at each camp site during the week.
By the end of the day the size of the camp had grown with many personal tents added to the Easy Campeasy Campsite that we were using.
We were well and truly ready for our evening meal and eventually turned in about 7.45pm. We followed this pattern throughout the week despite entertainment being on offer until about 9 or 10 pm each night.