We awoke to thick fog in Goulburn for the start of day 6 of Pollie Pedal, a 120 kilometre cycle to Mittagong. Following breakfast in the municipal park, we were soon riding out of town, led by four young cyclists from the Goulburn Cycling Club. Luke Gosling, the Member for Solomon, has joined us for the last four days of the ride. Luke served in the ADF for 13 years, including in PNG, Malaysia and Timor-Leste.
The previous evening, we honoured two of the stalwarts of Pollie Pedal, the late Max Hadlow and the late Peter Moule. In many ways, Goulburn is the home of Pollie Pedal: the event has passed through the rural city on seven occasions, and many of the volunteers who make the ride happen, including the ride director, Graham Northey, are from Goulburn.
Goulburn has a great cycling tradition. It is the home of many talented cyclists over the decades, and continues to have a very strong club.
After about 10 kilometres, the fog lifts, enabling us to appreciate the beautiful ride along Ash Mountain road to Bungonia, before heading back to the Hume Freeway at Marulan where the Lions Club have provided a welcome morning tea for us. They also make a donation to Soldier On.
Marulan is on the 150th meridian – hence exactly in the middle of the Eastern Time Zone. It is small village just off the Hume, with antique and craft shops.
From Marulan, it is a fast run through the Southern Highlands to Bundanoon, where we enjoy the hospitality of the Quest for Peace centre. While having lunch, Petrea, the director of the centre, and Peter, a Member of the Commandos during the Vietnam War, talk about their work with people suffering from various emotional and psychological injuries. Quest for Peace is supported by Marcus Blackmore, one of the significant sponsors of Pollie Pedal.
Our final leg for the day is to our overnight destination, Mittagong, where we receive a warm welcome at the RSL Club. Along the way, we stop at Berrima for a refreshment and the chance to watch Winx race away with the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick. Two steep climbs out of Berrima and then a long downhill stretch takes us to our destination for the night.
Tomorrow is our shortest day in the saddle, an easy 65 kilometre cycle to Camden.