286A Pacific Hwy
Sydney: The Convict Cogal.
When Great Britain decided to colonize Australia it sent 11 ships with 277 free persons and 753 convict men and women on board. The convicts immediately became Australians. Their brave masters endured cups of sugarless tea as they built a nation. It was a ghastly business; whipping the prisoners into submission, feeding them every second day, all the time enduring the hideous noise of leg irons clanging and the death rattle.
Quite by accident, they created a master race of hardmen. Hardmen who learned how to toil through exhaustion, withstand pain and brutality and ignore hunger, thirst and hardship. Hardmen of questionable breeding and average intelligence, with giant chips on their shoulders, a general hatred of authority and a passionate desire to prove their worth to the rest of the world. And the rest of the world didn’t really didn’t give a shit.
The Sydney Cogal borrows from this idea – tough, exhausting and struggling for relevance. A long section of the route follows an old road north of Sydney, forged by convicts, called Old Northern Road – evidently named by the same guy who named the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Great Sandy Desert. Genius. To round up the offering, an imperial century, scenic river flats, a few solid climbs and a whole day to debate whether Cuddles would have survived one day on the chain gang…
Date: Sunday, June 3, 2012
Start: Brewhaha, 286A Pacific Hwy, Hornsby NSW 2077
Espresso: 8am onwards
Depart: Hey! Be tranquillo – the ride will start soon enough!
Classification: Casually deliberate
Post Ride Recovery Beverages: The Bluegum, 55 Pacific Hwy, Waitara NSW 2077