The morning started out with a ride back out of
Daylesford. We had to climb a 150m rise out of town over about 10km. At about 8km out of town things got interesting when I got my 2nd flat for the trip, this time the back tyre. Man, I knew I should have got the punture gaurd inserts for my tyres! The punctures were from a thorn called bindy which is from a weed called cowtrot. It's found where ever you find cows, or it
might just be a farm land thing.
After getting the wheel fixed we headed to the next town to catch up with the others where we downed a Vegemite and cheese scroll (or 2 or 3). Having a hill ride at the start of the run was a killer. My legs were burning at the first stop and we had over 100km to go!
Once my legs warmed right up and the sweets and rolls I ate at the last stop kicked in, I was able to put my head down and bum up for the long ride to Geelong where I would be ending my ride. This was the last stretch. Knowing I would be seeing my wife and kids soon was a great feeling, that, the sugur and my Dad's riding chant of YoHoHoHo coming up from behind got my legs pumping. It was sit back and listen to that chant for the next 4 to 5 hours or pump it up and get a peacefull ride through the contryside with soft music from my iPod ... so I picked up the pace to about 35km/h and as fast as 58km/h on the down hill parts.
Oh look, he's sleeping!
The roos in this part seemed to pick the oddest places to take a nap! I had to hit the brakes for this guy as he was sleeping right across the bike lane and there was a truck coming up from behind hitting his horn, letting me know he was not moving. After passing some more sleeping roos I hit a steep S bend, going down it at 50km/h with trucks going past me, not caring that I was forced off the road into 2 foot of gravel on the edge of the cliff as they overtook me. It was the hairiest thing I have had to go through in my life.
We stoped in a small town called Anakie for a snack before the last leg of our ride. With about 30km to go before we'd hit the edge of Geelong, we decided to stick to a group and all put up with my Dad's chanting ... YoHoHoHo. But lucky for us, he got a burst of energy and in MaryPoppins style, overtook us all to lead us into town.
Then, before we knew it, there it was: the Bay and the city of Geelong. Geelong is the second largest city in the state of Victoria (Australia) and is the largest regional centre in the State, so the ride was not over. We still had to get to the hotel where the Rotarians who where staying on for
the confrence were going to stay. We made real good time and got to the Aberdeen Moter Inn at 3:40pm, with Poppins getting a flat tyre just as we arrived!
This was the end of the ride for me. We had zig zaged across the country from Shepparton, all the way to Geelong, avoiding all the major highways for safety and a for a more peacefull ride and so we could take detours off our path for a nice meal and place to sleep. Some parts were harder than I expected and little things like the music I had on my iPod got me through it.
I will not stop here, I will keep riding. It is changing my life for the better! This ride has given me a new confidence in myself and helped a good cause at the same time. Thanks to the riders that were a part of this.
Graham Brown (the Druid) (got a question about a Tree?)
(Princess)Leah Ross ( If you thought Princess Leia was tough in Star Wars, wait till you ride with this lady!)
(Flash) Gordon Ross (no hope in hell of catching him!)
(Sniffels) Eileen Gatt (got my hankie, lets go!)
(Marry Poppins) John Gatt Snr (he may look odd on the bike but he keeps going!)
Laurie McGoldrick (Silent Steady Eddi) you won't hear alot from him but he's always there!)
And a big thank you to Margaret Brown, our support van driver. Thank you for being there at every stop to feed us and keep us going. Without you this ride would not have been possible.