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Tuesday, 22 November 2016

RMHC Ride For Sick Kids 2016 - Day 3

RMHC Ride for Sick Kids 2016 - Day 3

Meningie to Victor Harbor via Tailem Bend Primary school.

Maillot jaune - Handed over from Knobby to the pint sized Tabitha the cat 

Muppet award - Mr Lucas to Dick Harro for using his mobile whilst riding and then quickly over to Kristen and Linda for multiple Faux Pax's in the lead car but read on for what surely should have been the winner by Tim Tam MohanBala or Yumsing Victor.

The tubular bells from Mike Oldfield continued to belt out from some of the rooms that were enough to keep a deaf man awake!

Waking up seems not to be as easy as it was a week ago, as it feels as though my quads have been trampled by a marauding herd of elephants!! Or another night with Demo!

Dinner was reasonably uneventful with Victor taking a close muppet nom by putting his hand up at the first plate exiting the kitchen, irrespective of what he had actually ordered, but should have been surpassed by the great man TimTam MohanBala, whilst aggressively pursuing the Broken Hill fundraising cash mound, he proceeded to follow the Meningie town Mayor into the amenities furiously shaking his tin and demanding a coin donation for using the public restrooms!

Chloe showed her tender years to Sturmy as the conveniently set time of 5am was in fact 1 hr before she actually wished to raise and continued to hit the snooze button repeatedly every 5 mins! and the never ending snooze alarm was not the required wake up music Sturmy had requested!

At Breakfast Kristen and her beauty queen sleeping tips were being passed onto sturmy, much to the delight of the riders that were in earshot of Kristen's bedtime routine!

Onto the first leg, a 5 k ride down to the Bates hotel to bring the peleton together, and a no show by the double double attemptees mainly Demo had put him in first place on the muppet leaderboard.  (Milroy could have been up there for a faux Pax that has yet to be mentioned), and as i am not a throw him under the bus sort of guy unlike Sturmy, I shall refrain from discussing,)

We headed out to our first school visit at the Tailem Bend Primary School, where the kids had gathered together in a timely fashion as the rain just began to fall.  After briefly discussing the run sheet for our visit with Mr Lucas to do a short talk on RMHC and Bade would do his bike safety talk........much to the delight of the grown ups wearing Lycra in the room, our introduction was not just merely introducing me, but a 5 minute Q&A with the students on Bike Safety!  The thunder had been stolen only to be compounded by Mr Lucas inadvertently introducing our World Champion Nettie Edmondson.

Dick Harro had also managed with some soft lollies I'm sure to have a young member of the audience ask the delightful question to the now fairy flying wings on my back with 'I have never seen a fairy with grey hair before!'  the return reply in which included referring to myself as the fairest and prettiest seem to be met with acknowledgement from the school children, albeit mostly with laughter.

Lucky Lewis hits the Tarmac on a Keep clear painted road sign just after the scheduled visit at the school where Bade usually gives a talk on road safety! Muppet Leader after morning break.

Team Time Trial and tribulations data and info to follow including reducing Mr Lucas to frail old man that was making Ol Man Geoff now look a lot younger.
Nettie, Tyrone, Diesel, Yumsing, Tim Tam and Mr Lucas on Sturmy's team with lead vehicle Ol Man Geoff, were the only team worth mentioning as they showed the egalitarian virtues of a true team and nursed their team into the line after 20 k's, taking comfort in the knowledge that no gaming or cheating had taken place in their team.
As both other teams are now under investigation from ASADA, the results have been withheld until further notice and therefore the day winners shall be unnamed before being shamed of their indiscretions!

Just prior to lunch as some had fallen into the black pit of despair a rider sometimes finds themselves in, with what can often have a faint glimpse of hope and light in it from their riding partner, can also be quickly turned off in a flick of the switch and the keys thrown away by that very same person.  What we do not expect is to find a Sergeant being the offending officer indeed flicking the switch and condemning Mr Lucas to his locker to be alone and not to come out! Thanks Demo!

Lunch and a visit to the van, saw the peloton take off and leave Mr Lucas no choice but to pursue the peloton in the Van.
Yumsing Victor attempted to show the young residents of a local farm house (Unwittingly) that Malaysia does indeed have snakes the same as Australia at a quick roadside stop!

Long Black Tim Tam Mohan Bala needing to pull over for what was apparently a quick wee stop, that quickly turned into an impromptu visit to a local farmer, at which point the very polite but somewhat forceful Tina Tam, pushed his way past the local farmer and made his way immediately to leave a few kids in the pool, upon which he asked the good Farmer for a donation on his way out!! Farmer obliged with a fresh pineapple and the fundraising continued!

As the two Wiggle chatterboxes blissfully unaware of the pain and torture of others in the peloton, were deep in conversation of the bias of political system within the boundaries of democracy, had to make a call for car up, both managed to do this without losing any momentum in either bike speed or conversation.  This however had not translated well down the line and like the worst game of chinese whispers on record, and in-between gasping for the last remaining ounce of oxygen that had been left for hi to suck in, Dick Harro could only managed to splutter out a few words that must have sounded from behind like he was attempting to castrate a billy goat orally! Demo once again could do nothing but expose into fits of laughter as he soulfully supported Harro up remainder of the climb.

Double Double was achieved by some, but only after another attempt to strip both Lucky and Demo of their forthcoming awards, by firstly the Maillot Jaune wearer falling off his bike followed by the cackling Algate to busy making her cacophony of noise also failing to unclip and going over too!  Now too more challenging for the Muppet Leaderboard position!

A visit to Gav and Nat at McDonald's Victor Harbor where the team were supplied with ample McFlurry's and Coffee and nuggets for Chloe and Kristen, and then back to the McCracken country club for a rather raucous night at dinner, with the tone set by Tim Tam Mohan Bala himself!
We were also introduced to the small armed Trex that was formerly know as knobby as he received his sons arm warmers back and required feeing as his cutlery were still not capable of reaching the food to his mouth!

Till tomorrow, when the gorgeous hills of the Southern coast bear their ivories at us and kick Mr Lucas in the preverbal's, I'm signing out and will talk again in KI!

Now to a small ditty from Jaws "Im tired and I want to go to bed, i had a little drink about an hour ago and its gone right to my head!"

Love you all and goodnight.

Monday, 21 November 2016

RMHC Ride for Sick Kids 2016 - Day 2

RMHC Ride for Sick Kids 2016 - Day 2

The day Mr Lucas put his Committee hat on to ensure he was across all facets of the ride and not just from a riders perspective as he has the previous 4 years!
Incidentally leaving your Garmin on and placing the bike in the van at Lunch (130k's), not only allows the GPS to still work but also ensures you to win a muppet award if you indeed allow the Garmin to then upload the 201 km day that you did not do!!
Shame Shame Shame Mr Lucas!  Good luck explaining the fairy wings to the children at the Tailem Bend Primary school!

As the Brass band from last night was assembled with Tubas and trumpets playing deep into the night.

A list of the offending trumpeters was assembled to ensure they could be gathered in their own room for more practice and peace for the rest of us.

Demo thought he had flown to Christchurch to see what an earthquake would actually be like as  4 Qtr Danny boy blissfully unaware of his windward ability, peacefully slept through his entire rendition of Beethoven's symphony 7!

More to come on Demo's Swollen Perineum also and his Nads story!

The morning roll down to Breaky at the Adventurous spoon, not unlike a trick Demo had shown me the previous night, was short and downhill and early at 6.15am.

As the haggads were consumed by all and Rhino's had been removed from the previous night, and Lucky Lewis left his delightful odour in the amenities, (single cubicles had given Lucky the privacy away from Demo he required).

After Breakfast had been devoured, we rolled out and looked forward to the rest of the day, a 200km slog along a not so windy road from Robe to Meningie.

All was going well with the front six chatting away to Knobby who knowingly nodded to their conversations with little knowledge of what was being said as he could not hear them!  Including when Nugget road up to ask him to back the pace off up front!

I do recall the those days of sitting in the front six, enjoying the riding and feeling no pain in the legs, but alas those days have gone and the lack of bike time was to take its toll!  
First on 4 Qtr Danny boy, and then at lunch by Mr Lucas who thought it best to jump in the van just as the tail wind was to push the peloton home for the last 70ks!
The look on Nuggets face when I informed him of this, was enough to make a grown man cry! So he did!

So lunch was a little emotional, with the knowledge that this would be the first year that I would not complete every kilometer on the ride, but with the knowledge that I would ride again and ensure that I make it back to my family intact.

As 4 Qtr Danny Boy got back on his bike to complete the last 70 k's from lunch, the peloton got to enjoy a brisk pace back to Meningie to complete a double century and some had already roped in a few with more Brawn than Brain to complete a Double Double tomorrow.

188k's and into Meningie for a quick detour into a howling headwind for the guys and girls to complete an out and back to make it to a century, this time avoiding an oncoming truck as they did their Uturn and back safely to the Lake Albert hotel and some to the Bates Motel further down the road On a secluded back road  with bugs and all!

After a mammoth effort by all and special mention to Lozz Murphy for achieving this personal effort, and to the support team for all their help on and during the ride.

Maillot Jaune was won by Knobby for not listening to anything anyone says.
Muppet award was given to Mr Lucas for too many indiscretions to talk about. But just remember 'Strava never lies!"

Well done all and good night.

Mr Crampy Lucas.
Blog is decidedly somber tonight after a dark day in the saddle sorry.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

RMHC Ride for Sick Kids 2016 - Day 5

RMHC Ride for Sick Kids 2016 - Day 5

Nettie kept us up all night, so I will update, while Demo is in the hurt locker and I'm throwing the keys away up Cape Jervis' equivalent of Hamburger Hill, and I also have to put the filter on the stories that I've heard this evening to ensure they fall under the correct parental advisory rating!

RMHC Ride for Sick Kids 2016 - Day 4

RMHC Ride for Sick Kids 2016 - Day 4

The Ferry Crossing..................

Hump day for some Mountainous for others.

Strava still continues to tell no lies! Even across the Ferry.

The morning started with a fresh Brekky after a 5am wake up and by 6.30am we were rolling on a brisk Late November morning being about 2 degrees below zero.

We rolled down the gentle rolling hills and past the Victor Harbour Maccas and onto what we all knew was going to be a somewhat tough day in the saddle. Well at least for some.
As we started the first little rise of the day that was only about 3.2%, Milroy riding next to me, inquired as to how I was feeling, politely enough, I don't think he had expected the answer he got that had some bias on the negativity at only the 4.67 km mark!! If Demo had been close, he would have just put me in the locker once again and flicked off the light!

The first 60ks to the ferry was going to be a morning not to remember as we traversed much of the same nasty hills we had in the R4sk's 2012 2nd year ride, and I distinctly remember not enjoying much of that back then either!

As Bade had worked out that being at the back of the Peloton was going to be the only way to ensure that we all got on the 10am Ferry and make it to our school visit, Steve Sturmy took to the front lead rider role with much enthusiasm.  

With the helpful encouragement of Fabio and not the Demoralising Sergeant himself, who had been pushed forward to break some other poor suspecting cyclist on tour, of which TimTam Mohan Bala was putting himself in line to be!  We made it to the base of the last climb before the sump power could be turned on, much to the delight of the furiously pedalling Meg, who had a cadence of about 200 as she attempted to roll faster down the enormous 16% gradient, only to have Mr Lucas propelled by copious volumes of sump power gleefully glide by free wheeling!!!! The only opportunity I will probably ever get to do to the whippet.
At the base of the climb we were only held up by a muppet award nomination going to Timtam as we had a 2 minute nature stop, where upon after 2 minutes had passed, Tim tam running into the ablutions block declaring that the previous four outings in the morning to relieve his bowels were not enough and the chilli's had asked to be removed and they were clearly not waiting for anyone! 

At the KI Ferry at 9.40am for a 10am departure and everyone had made it in one piece, well sort of anyway.  Fabio the most beautiful man on a bike had indeed cracked the highest descending speed that would have got him a speeding fine if Demo had had his uniform on, and Maverick had topped the leaderboard with the Cape Jervis descent of 4.4km in 4 mins 31 and sump power had made it into the Top ten at number nine with JT Lozz rounding out the top ten and the place getters being Rhino Milroy 2nd and Diesel 3rd.  Mr Tickle, Shamwow Big Kev, Sturmy, Lucky Lewis (Thumbman) and Bade picking up the minor places.

plenty more to come as I have to go to bed now sorry.

RMHC Ride for Sick Kids SA - Day 1

RMHC Ride for Sick Kids SA - Day 1 

The Torture Begins!!

The Bus Trip begins from the House and those that don't have any precious Ailments were given their allocated seats in the Tour Bus driven by Lode and directed by Ailsa.

As the bus trip down to Mt Gambier is quite picturesque, it is none the less relatively boring and quickly a syndicate was formed to relieve the boredom and the days races were picked for the syndicate for our much awaited fortune! We were confident as in the syndicate we had secured Lucky Lewis and we're sure to rake in the dollars!
(Please remember to gamble responsibly)

A quick unscheduled stop for a nature break as many of the bus occupants were eagerly eyeing off the empty drink bottles around as good sample vessels for the inevitable drug screening for those elite athletes among us.

Demo and Lucky Lewis at the trough............
Lucky Lewis Lingas Longa as the deputy strides up to the trough and nonchalantly cramps Lucky's style, and the arid lands of the SA outback have not had their drought broken by the dry man!

We had attempted to get away quickly but appeared to be one rider short, when across the road, racing from the Foodworks came Constable Demo, galloping like a frightened Impala, loot in hand and yelling "Start the Bus"!!!!
The good Constable shared his prized food with the occupants of the Bus in an effort to ensure his anonymity would be kept! (one does believe the stolen goods were indeed paid for legitimately).

Syndicate gets into the swing of it as Lozz picks a horse that could possibly be a long shot as it appears to be carrying a slight injury......scratched was interpreted literally by Lozz so she then proceeded to the next best option of American genius as the bus was obviously void of any Australian geniuses!!

First race come and gone and the syndicate is poorer for it with both horses still running as the professional punters led the way.
On pondering the syndicates decision to not put Lucky Lewis first up starter to set the tone, we were informed of the now tarnished Lucky streak that had befallen the once mighty winner of all things to win.  On a recent training ride, the ever conscious and vigilant rider Lewis, gave quite clear directions on the importance of watching the white line, upon which all riders safely navigated the dangerous obstacle only to watch the Lewis Tarmac attempt to embed itself in said surface!! To a rapturous applaud the riding group realised that the spoils and fortunes of the ride may have a more even spread of winners than a one man band taking it all home!
Lucky Lewis Loses!

Lucky Lewis keeps his winning streak up with the only lucky plate in 1000 people cram packed room for his first win of the tour!
Strategically seated at the only winning table, it was clear that the Lucky Lewis winning streak was alive and kicking! He then went on to make it to the last five Heads and Tails competitors and then conveniently threw his opportunity to allow the last rider Sturmy the chance to take out first prize, unfortunately the Lucky streak is not transferable and without the prompting of Lucky, Sturmy failed to progress any further in the competition.  Well played Lucky!

An Early start from the Lakes resort and down to the Mt Gambier Maccas for coffee and a quick photo and then up to the Blue Lake for yet another photo, I could have down without the 3 metres of 9% gradient, however my dilemna paled into insignificance as the agile Algate was squealing in distress as her handlebars had indeed been put back together by Sturmy and Diesel rather loosely and as she grappled with the 90 degree angle of the bars, I believe I heard a slight snigger from the rider in front of me! Just happened to be Sturmy, and the Muppet award had surely been taken before 10k's had been completed.

Clearly prior to Nettie being a Cyclist she had been training with the Australian Gymnastic squad, as the budding photographer and GoPro videographer, scaled the fencing to get her shot, safety Bade` was not impressed and Nettie proceeded to take of the Tour Leaders role.

A flat day and a scheduled to keep to we headed out at TDF speed and one lamented the enormous amount of training that had been excluded from my regime. 
The pace continued onto lunch and the effervescence of Mohan riding next to me, did little to comfort my screaming quads!

I did take some comfort in the knowledge that my gooch would be in far better condition than that of Fabio's as I was perched upon the road absorbing Roubaix, whilst Fabio was upon the same Venge that destroyed me last year.  When asking Fabio how his backside was at lunch the ever smiling Fabio simply replied "Um Yeah". Enough said.

We continued on, appreciating the fact that without a monumental Faux Pax, Diesel and Sturmy had confidently taken out the muppet award.
Lucky Lewis attempted to turn the attention away from his winning ways by sabotaging his own bike to get a flat at around 120k's.

Not sure who had the most protein in the first six, but as the sound of thunder ricocheted down the peloton, there was a sheepish look upon Bade's face!

Lawrence of Arabia Made a strange appearance today in the peloton for a reason only he can explain!

Viktor Yumsing the very attractive man, decided by his own volition to completely disregard the Velo rules by wearing a cycling cap to dinner!

Muppet day 1 Tab the Masseuse for forgetting  her massaged table 
Yellow Jersey Lozz Murphy for outstanding contribution to the Charity

Muppet nomination to Megan for going to change and returning wearing the exact same outfit!!

Ol Man Geoff the magnificent continued to do as Cotter had asked and wait on Mr Lucas for the entire ride, whether in the bus or not!

As Mohan continued to harass he kind citizens and visitors at Beachport by bearing his white Gnashes like a snarling pit bull for any loose change of $50 notes that may be lying around in the unsuspecting visiting victims!

Organic Cola!! What is that Nugget!!

Yum sing for Viktor the very attractive man, on winning the Yellow jersey
Muppet as expected dual winners Diesel and Sturmy and an honorable mention for Legs Liam for amply applying no Hamilton Sunscreen and looking like a boiled Lobster! 

Just made the day home with sore legs and another ride to Robe, and now to make the short journey to Meningie for day 2 (200k's)

Thank you to all the wonderful support crew that make this ride possible, I look forward to joining you in the coming days.

Still plenty of stories to follow from the impromptu beer and CC fest at the Robetown apartments.

Until tomorrow, good night and see you all shortly.

Mr Lucas

Friday, 18 November 2016

RMHC Ride for Sick Kids SA - 2016 Prologue

RMHC Ride for Sick Kids SA - 2016 Prologue

'The Night Before' For any 'James' fans out there this is the first of many references to them!

To be honest, I cannot believe that a year has passed since the 4th instalment of the SA Ride for Sick Kids and a lot has come and gone, unfortunately some things have come and not gone and that includes my new found girth that closely resembles that of a Tasmanian Huon Pine tree!

After the inception of the first ride in SA back in 2011 when I was a spritely 5 years younger and fitter, little did Sam, Big Bubba Tony, myself and Jami know the momentum, people and funds that would be built and gained through this fantastic event.  For all those that have been involved along the way from support, riding or sponsoring from Bade` from ConnectSport, the boys from Bike Society (Have Ol Man Geoff with us again this year) and the House itself, thank you, and I hope this ride is as successful as the last four, whether that is enjoyed with the warm comforting hand on my back or backside from the faithful Nugget or the luxurious comfort of the Bus seats!

The weeks (51 of them to be exact) have not provided me the ability to maintain the strict training regime of Colonel Wilhem Klink Nugget, but instead I have had a rather Ibiza like year of an undergrad from Cambridge, with travel and alcohol being staples for the year!
So the promise of days in the saddle with lumpy bits in the middle and no help from Jiz Stephens Russian coach Iva Biggun, I can't say I am overly motivated to make it on time to the Bus in the morning!

Big Bubba's bet on my finishing or not on the bike from last year would be well worth a couple of dollars on the tote this year.

We have had a fantastic year of individuals and their fundraising efforts and we already have over $130k on the fundraising page with the SA McDonald's Licensee's tipping in another $100k, we look like having a cracking year to round out the first five years of this event.  Well done to all.

So we look forward to re acquainting with some old alliance members and welcoming some new riders and House supporters to the ride and hope that all can enjoy the week of rolling through the picturesque Southern coast of SA in support of RMHC.  I may or may not be using rolling as reference to my form of transport with or without a bike!

So in a week we will roll into the house with the Help of the Police and the some Harley's and we will attempt to keep those of you following, up to date with the latest shenanigans of the riders day's trials and tribulations after each day, and I preface these daily blogs with an apology, as some blogs will be written with the clarity of a tranquillised gibbon to those that have not been privy to the in house frivolity and jocularity that is regularly peppered throughout the day for the riders.

For those that also follow that suffer from grammatical OCD, I will attempt to ensure you also have something to cringe and cry over as the blog is often finished in the wee hours of the morning after a late night Wayno Burger is consumed!

I'm very much looking forward to Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, the rest of the week I will leave for the others to enjoy.

As the excitement builds and the last minute finishing touches are made to the vehicles and the all important portable friend of Mr Lucas' (I like to refer to him as defib) is collected by Tyrone for Paramedic Pete, we are set for Mt Gambier to Adelaide (only 450kms by car) 1000k's by bike!!

So hoping that Bryce has got Mt Gambier prepped for a big send off and we will make our way to Naracoorte Maccas and First National Office before bunking down for the first night together as a team and praying for the weather gods from last year to be on permanent vacation as we ride out to the pretty Southern town of Robe for our first stop.

Until then, goodnight and we will speak soon.

Mr Lucas

                                              Ol Man Geoff picking up the Van

Sunday, 22 November 2015

SA RMHC Ride for Sick Kids Day 7 (The Final Roll..........Uphill!)

Saturday 21th November 2015 Mawson Lakes to Ronnie Mac House via a few lumps as Stuart O'Grady said.

This ones for you Nugget!!

And the tour is completed for the 4th instalment............................No heat, not much wind, but more hills than my heavy legs were looking forward to!

Distance - 57.8 kms (The shortest day on tour history, as we had already completed 952.2 km's in the previous 6 days, and didn't require the additional 21 percent climb up corkscrew for any good reason!)

Time in saddle - 2hrs 22 minutes 17 seconds   

Average Speed - 24.4 kmh (The same speed as yesterday.  I would like to say that this was attributed to the one day riders that had joined us in setting such a slow pace, being, Katherine Bates, Stuart O'Grady, Lippy Harry, and Darren Allard.  Sadly this was not the case). Max Speed by the Venge and sump power, down Torrens road was a spritely 65.5 kmh, very quickly put into perspective by the flying Aussie O'Grady who's decent was only hampered by the sluggish driving of lead driver Sturmy as 100 kmh was not quick enough to escape the chasing rider!!)

Elevation gained was not so nice again as after a gentle roll with the peleton able to have some small talk up to 5.55 km's we entered the happy place of hills, and the first rise was turning right off of Bridge Road and making our way up McIntyre road at our own pace.  Not the morning roll I had been hoping for, and as my Greipel like climbing ability was tested early, at least the weather was nice! 761 m over 57 km 

Calories used : 1364, We then consumed this amount as we arrived back to hot dog heaven upon our arrival at the house.  (Gourmet dogs and beer and family........this was my happy place).

A sleep in in the very luxurious Mawson Lakes Hotel, and an early home time for the specimen as he had been out devouring the local food outlets in multiple burger quantities in the wee hours once again, and still with the physique of Fabio.

Most of team were relaxed and enjoying breakfast with the sun appearing to be the only bothersome thing for Mark B, who was obviously concerned of being recognised in his home town by the paparazzi and was incognito with cap and sunnies donned.  Or was this masking the scars of the previous nights tumble over the handlebars of Tozer's Tarmac.  I believe it must have been the former.

As Mawson Lakes Hotel had closed off the road for us, we began the day with a tyre changing challenge for the Bike Society Cup.  This saw riders pitted against each other in a knock out challenge to progress through to the next stage.  However as it became apparent that we would be here for several days, as not all good cyclists are proficient mechanics, and some clearly require the use of modern technologies like phones and the RAA when caught on the roadside with a flat! We had recorded the fastest times that had actually completed the challenge and banished those that were unable to complete the first step of removing the tyre to the grim knowledge that either a good toolkit or another rider were required at all times for them in when continuing their sporting passion.

With the professionals of Cotter, Tozer, Birkdale, Bade and Nugget not competing, it came down to a match off between Diesel who had obviously been called upon by all in his riding groups to be the go to man in the case of a mechanical and Demo who had smashed TimTam Mohanbala who was unable to beat Demo with only completing the simple step of only blowing the tyre up, while Demo had managed to complete the assembly of an entire bike and an IKEA flatpack kitchen!

And the winners were............

Petrina v Whippet ---------- Petrina with a fine display that didn't let down the nervous Tozer on the sideline
Mr Lucas v Spiderman Sam ----------Mr Lucas (after pinching the tube to the point that was about to make the Hindenburg look like a small explosion).
Wayno v Elbows Hodge ------------- Wayno with the help of helpful pump man Hodge lending a hand in the tight finish.
Demo v Mohanbala ------------- Demolition Demo 
Lauren v Trudi ------------Abandoned match after the 4 hour time limit had expired (Although trudi showed her strength with one of quickest times in manually removing a tyre, she faded quickly after this speedy start)
Diesel v Lucky Lewis----------- In a surprise for all Bookies, the much favoured winner of all competitions was reduced to babbling mess, when it appeared that when talent was required to win a competition, that Lucky Lewis' Luck had run out!
Specimen v Specimen ................Specimen (nobody likes to beat the specimen!)

The most expedient times of the now barely morning were Diesel & Demo, and as we had absorbed most of our allotted time in the first rounds due to the inept ability of most of us, these two progressed through to the Grand Final of the inaugural Bike Society Tyre changing challenge.
With an early lead to the methodical Diesel, Demo was reduced to resorting to sabotage tactics as Diesel moved ever closer to the much sort after and coveted title.  Alas the trickery and sorcery of Demo did not prevail over good this time as Diesel clearly demonstrated that slow and easy wins the race, not unlike his cycling prowess.  

Winner of the 2015 Bike society Tyre changing challenge 

Diesel (also occasionally known as Peter Wolters)

As we had now filled our professional riders Kate Bates and Stuart O'Grady full of confidence in our mechanical expertise or lack thereof, I'm sure they were now brimming with confidence to ride out alongside us?!

Nevertheless we had a time schedule to keep and a police escort and the house to get to, so out through the arch and the rapturous noise and support of the morning crowd as we exited Mawson Lakes and our way home had begun.

Its odd that during life, we often have a predisposition to treating people differently given their profession or notoriety, however when you are all on a bike in a peleton and wearing the same smelly knicks and jersey that you are all just cyclists, and the conversations are that of experiences and family, and that is what it has been like for the last three SA RMHC Ride for Sick kids, and true to its form was the same for this years ride.  This was the same when 17 year Tour de France veteran rider, Olympic Track Gold Medallist, and Paris - Roubaix winner, Stuart O'Grady and Australian Track Cyclist, and World points Race Champion in track, and SBS Commentator, Katherine Bates,  joint us for this leg of the ride.

As the two stars amongst us seamlessly slotted into the peleton, we rode along at a leisurely pace that was to ensure that none of us would blow up in front of the professionals and i was buoyed to here Stuart refer to the days ride as 'a little bit lumpy'! Little did he know that my definition of a little bit lumpy is the speed humps as we exited out of the car park, and not the reference of Alpe d'Huez that he had summited on numerous occasions.

The first challenge was at the 5.55km mark with the legs still heavy with fatigue and a hill that my first car, a 1977 Mini Leyland, found easier rolling down backwards than actually progressing up it on hot summers days, and the bpm began to rise.  So early in the day this was ominous for the remainder of our leisurely day to the house.

As we turned onto the Grove way and then Grenfell Road, I was acutely aware of a road and ride that had been traversed on previous Bupa tour rides and was lamenting once again the lack of hills that surround Port Pirie and the Upper Spencer Gulf, that my numerous training rides had been unable to prepare me for.  With this in mind, I had some inspiration support with the knowledge that Elbows Hodge was continuing to blaze his own path up through the Adelaide Hills and North through Range Road, One tree Hill and onto Seaview Rd, Mohanbala, that continued to put one pedal over another regardless of the obstacle put in front of the 61 year old, (Inspirational was Mohan in his dogged determination to not let anything be a barrier in his life, but merely an obstacle worth overcoming, if for nothing else, some character building!) and Lauren Murphy who had not let the previous days battles get her down, and continued to pedal her way on a borrowed specialized with the help of Nugget by her side.  Three guys that are completely selfless on these rides and have just as much determination as those riders that are clearly either in the bin or scavenging just outside of it, are Nugget (Chris Halley), Mark Birkdale (Bike Society), and Stifler (Craig Cotter and the Fabio of salesmen in the bike game, Bike Society).  These guys continually offer support and help to those of us who's training hasn't always kept to the nugget 16 week muscle building regime, and without whose help, not only would the tour not be possible, but no where near as entertaining either.
Thank you to all of you for always being there when a rider needed you, your presence in the ride is invaluable and much appreciated by all and especially the fatmarn Mr Lucas.
Also a special shout out to Matt Tozer from Bike Society who also is a very accomplished cyclist and continued in the same vain as Nugget, Mark and Cotter, continually doing the hard yards and offering support during every stage of the tour.  Top effort guys, and thank you for everything.

The end was in sight and with a few pinchers to go and those that were still able to dance on the pedals like Contador waiting patiently by those that would have been overtaken possibly by anyone who happened to be walking by, and the descents could begin.  
Torrens road onto  Gorge Road and we were nearly there from what had been the most brutal tours of our ride history and one that won't be forgotten quickly by all involved, including the casualties of;

Day 1 : Norwood Football players, doggedly made it to the end of 167 km day that was a PB for all of them, as they walked off at Cowell with a horse still between their legs.
Day 2 : Muppet back to back Winner, Tyler, that fought all the way to make his way back to Whyalla without falling off for the entire second day.
Day 3 : Heat smashed all of us that was to be a telling point the following day
Day 4 : Day when the Sun and wing were not our friends, and Rhino succumbed to appendicitis and was left at Melrose after being cannulated by PP and Wayno and awaited extradition at Melrose.  Only to be followed with Paramedic turned patient Wayno locking up like a frozen Han Solo in a carbonate freezing chamber. (Thats what you get when in an alliance?) after having completed a mammoth couple of days protecting the entire group in excruciatingly hot conditions.
Day 5 : And the antibiotics that Trudi had taken to help ease the issues of a nagging flu she had brought on tour, eventually made her more nauseous than the offending bug had been.
Day 6 : Two day rider Lauren, reminded us of the first tour when super fit Triathlete Wendy joined an already ridden in group of 22 riders with over 800 km's in their legs, and 50 - 100 kms in Blew up like a puffer fish prior to being consumed by it enemy.
Day 7 : everyone out of the bus and you all will make it to the house on the bike even if it is not at break neck speed.

That is how the week that was, was, and although the first and last days had been almost pleasant, the stuff in the middle was memorable for many reasons but certainly won't be forgotten for its less than kind conditions.

As Stuart showed off his descending abilities and Katherine rode like she has never been off a bike with injury or having a child, we paused at the top of the Kangaroo Creek Reservoir in the knowledge that this whole challenge was nearly complete, and some time for reflection as we descended Gorge road past some Mountain bikes and down to our meeting place with our SA Police escort and where the boorish and brusque behaviour of some more motorists quickly ceased in the presence of 2 squad cars and 4 police bikes.  How pusillanimous they soon become in the presence of the law, or maybe they realise that there behaviour of attempting to run our paramedics vehicle and riders off the road is indeed dangerous and illegal, just as well we are recording the behaviour of not only our own on the road but those users that put lives in danger and all footage will be passed onto the Police.  We understand that we may sometimes inconvenience motorists on the road at times, but we are attempting to help make some other lives slightly more comfortable and we would all like to get home safely to our families.  So thank you to all those motorists that smile and cheer us on as we completed this challenge.

Off the bike and climbing behind us, Stuart and Katherine again became celebrities as the riders took their opportunity to have a photo with their hero's and we just waited for our cue to go and the green light corridor provided by the SA Police all the way from the base of the hills into the Ronnie Mac House on Melbourne street, with the Police maybe requiring GS 1200's for their next motorad fleet as the bikes did show the need for sometimes going cross country, to the delight of the now speeding peleton as we rolled along at Strava segment cup winners with no red light in sight.  If only you could ride like this all the time we thought (then that wouldn't make this as special as it is).

Round the corner of the Stag in a better state than i had previously as young 20 year old leaving that very venue and the flags and Arch of the Golden Arches awaited us along with a huge crowd of family and work colleagues as another guard of honour and we spotted our families and rolled into the house carpark on red carpet (Green astro turf actually) and realised the emotional triumph we had all just completed and endured.  There's not much else that brings grown men and women to tears but the accomplishment of completing a mammoth personal challenge and seeing their families welcome them home.  Thank you too all the support of the families of the riders and the House families that give us the inspiration to complete this ride, for in your strength is where ours comes from.

So thats it, a few festivities and speeches by tour Director Bade Stapleton of Connect Sport for another successful and completed SA RMHC Ride for sick kids, with House patron Liz Scarce and Hot dogs and Beers and the tour was over, until next year and I'm sure there will be a $20k S-Works Bike required to ridden for another tour in 2016?! Ill await your call Mr Cotter.

Now I'm off for a ride as the training begins today!!!! Ha maybe not, its a bit hot and the only seat i like at the moment is the bathroom throne, with its soothing cool edges.  

Thank you firstly to all the support Crew that actually make the ride possible and our life as riders as comfortable as it could be, and maybe we can get together as Wayno said to Chloe, how about you guys ride to somewhere and we will drive there and meet you! No seriously you are all unbelievable with your generosity and support and it has been an absolute pleasure knowing all of you.

Support Crew

Chloe Watts - Queen of Logistics, 4 time veteran

Kristen Hardy - Formerly and actual beauty Queen and team Bursar and School visit coordinator, 3 time veteran

Stacey Solomou - Team Paramedic, comedian and paramedic Pete, 3 time veteran

Glenn Bowyer - Muscles and Truck protector and all round operations guru, 4 time veteran

Bill & Jan paxton - First time support crew who were perfect in every way and team bus drivers

Linda Pitt - Lippy's mum, Team Masseuse, official photographer and part time pole dancer, 2 time veteran

Geoffrey Trenwith - Bike Society Team mechanic, helpful hand, supplier of contraband, and videographer, 3 time veteran

Katherine Elia - Committee Secretary, and event and schools organiser

Steve Sturm - Sturmy, Lead Driver and Chauffeur to Mr Lucas, 3 time veteran

Tony Baj - Organisor of all things Port Lincoln and Ride Initiator

Sam Sturm - Committee media and digital , and sponsor coordinator also Ride Initiator and Married to Lead driver Sturmy

 Team R4SK's SA 5 Day Riders

Bade Stapleton - Barday, Lead Rider, Tour Director since day 1 2012, Safety Officer, and 4 time veteran

Chris Halley - Nugget, Blads, Stuart O'Grady lookalike finalist, Lead Rider, 4 time veteran and top bloke 

Craig Cotter - Stifler, the Machine, Lead Rider, on road mechanic, on road Specialized salesman and drinker of all things that bare the the name alcohol percentage. 4 time veteran

Mark Birkdale - Bike Society sponsor, Lead support Rider and all round nice guy, 2 time veteran

Matt Tozer - Bike Society Rider and support Rider and first time half of a rider couple

Petrina Hall - Rider and the other other Half of the rider couple

Trudi Riddle - Rider and antibiotics specialist

Mohan Bala - Tim Tam Mohanbala Rider and oldest Rider on tour this year @ 61 yrs old, and two time veteran

Sam Harper - Rider and two time veteran Spiderman Sam

Brett lewis - Rider, Lucky Lewis, Legs Lewis and First National Sponsor Rider, All additional funds will be inequitably divided between Lucky Lewis and Wayno by Mr Lucas. Alliance member.

Wayne Demery - Rider, Demo, Brick with eyes and the only man on tour to have shot someone, part of the alliance, also was filmed in an expose' that has become known as the Wayne sandwich?!

Wayne Armitage - Rider, Wayno and on road Paramedic. Alliance member and Han Solo impersonator

David Allen - Rider extraordinaire, Specimen and the Fabio of calves on tour, also holds the record of most amount of Filet O Fish consumed in one sitting at McDonald's Whyalla.

Megan Algate - Rider, Whippet, and Winner of the most talkative rider on tour, along with the winner of the  individual Time Trial, and founding member of the Alliance. 2 time veteran

Ryan Trezise - 5 day Rider turned into turned into 3.5 day rider for appendicitis, Rhino and 2 time veteran

Peter Wolters - Rider, Diesel and 4 time veteran, winner of the Bike Society Tyre change Challenge and good mate of mine.

Jami Hodge - Rider, Elbows, Horsey Hodge, 4 time veteran, trains with Diesel incase he gets a flat, Committee Vice chair and McDonald's Licensee.  Winner of the Nugget MIR (Most improved Rider)

Neil Lucas - Mr Lucas, The Fatmarn, Blogger, and winner of nothing but owning the quickest bike when someone else is on it! 4 Time Veteran,  School spokesman and Committee Chair

2 Day Riders

Darren Allard - Port Lincoln Media Guru 

Tyrone Harris - Rode to Whyalla and stopped as he knew what the forecast was, so the smartest man in the peleton

Tyler Stringer - 1st Back to Back Muppet award winner in Tour history, but made it home, well done

Lauren Murphy - Joint for the final two days and Coca-Cola sponsor rider, happiest looking rider when in the bin on the bike.  Great effort off of minimal training on a bike that soon be replaced by captain Cotter I'm sure.

1 Day Riders

Katherine Bates - Kate, Ride ambassador and Media spokesperson, MC and all round fantastic lady

Stuart O'Grady - 17 year Tour de France veteran, Paris - Roubaix winner, Olympic and Commonwealth Gold Medallist and now finisher and participant in the 2015 SA RMHC Ride for Sick Kids

Harry Pitt - Son of Linda Pitt, Lippy, and tour participant 2 times, youngest rider to complete the tour and only resident of the house to have ridden in the tour.

Well, that about domes it up.  i do have some photos to add, but as many of you have been following the tour on twitter and Facebook, you would have seen plenty by now, so i will try to put some in at a later stage.

Thank you again for all your support to family and friends and we look forward to the next instalment of the SA RMHC Ride for Sick Kids form somewhere to somewhere via the hardest route possible in 2016.
Until then stay safe and in contact and i can't wait to see many of you again, and that includes you Jiz! Time to see you in SA again?

Mr Lucas
(I hope that suffices Nugget!! you owe me a beer!)