Oct 28th 2012 Whyalla - Point Lowly - Port Augusta
Total Time : 4hrs 34mins 08 Secs (approx)
Total Distance : 128kms
Average Speed : 28 kph (including 30kms of the Paris - Roubaix road surface!!)
Total gain : 354 metres Total Descent : 367 metres
Max Speed : 50kmh (average pace for Team 3's Time Trial 13km)
The Morning of..........
The day began early for some, 3:30am, as the bus police were out in full force, as some locals appeared to have been out with Sneaky Pete enjoying the Eyre Hotel, and the bus was an easy target.
Little did we know, that there are a couple of super heroes in our midst, that came to the vulnerable buses help.
The Man from Notting Hill (will forthwith be known as Spike), launched himself to the front door and balcony wearing none other than his underpants, and started berating said intruders with some Africaaaan expletives, while his trusty helper, Grant, had unwittingly discovered that Whyalla had infact stumbled across the first TV remote with mobile phone technology! As he convincingly persuaded the bus vandals that the remote was being used to call the Police!
Disaster averted, and the earliest muppet moment to date, the rest of us, blissfully unaware of the peril the bus had been in, continued our dreamy sleeps and woke to a hot brekky for some of us, and we were on our way.
As I was forced to gaffer tape my antlers to my helmet for an offence that had had a harsh penalty attached, and Fi 2 was discussing the pros and cons of changing her tubular before the much anticipated time trial, we were looking forward to another wind favorable day, with a pitstop out to Point Lowly.
A Brisk pace out to the turn off from the highway and the teams were assembled.
The Girls were ready as the labrapoodles had been released and the leashes were let go..................and what a rabble. In the excitement of it all and the prospect of smashing the boys off the top of the Dias (not sure how we were at the top in the first place however?) they seem to have forgotten that the operative word was Team time trial as they headed off at breakneck speed, with little Sam charging to the front. As the girls were herded into some organization by Bra boy Ben, the tempo was now being set, and they were the team to chase down. Later, video evidence showed the 3 girls in an organised formation with one Africaaaaan horse that had bolted from the gate, and was leaving some carnage on the road behind her. I just need to remind people that the reference to young Sam is because she is only 17 yrs old!! And one day she may ride as well as her fashion guru Father Spike!
Team 2 decided it was their time to have a crack and left 2 mins after (or so Bladder's watch had said), and moved off at a pace that would have seen an electric gopher put them to shame! This was short lived however, and the team had taken it upon themselves to smash out a 42kmh headwind pace, and duly paid the price 3kms in, as there was more road kill left behind than we had seen the previous 300kms!With the ever patient Team 3 waiting to take to the track, a 15 minute team tactics meeting was held before we pushed off. With Spike leading the way, an orderly and well oiled machine was rolling down the road, with the machine left at the back to bark orders with effortless efficiency, and in no time had the carnage from team 2 in sight, this saw us putting on the anchors prior to running into Curtis in the teams support vehicle. A quick on road brief, and a nature break was soon called for Team 3, as they allowed team 2 to roll on some distance. Back on after this short interval and the chase of the Bike Society support vehicle, was too good an opportunity to pass up and the rolling pace line was in full effect (there seems to be a lack of video footage of this Pro tour like crew, so you will just have to take my un bias word as part of Team 3). The flags were in sight and as we gently rolled nextto and past Team 2 over the line, team 2 Captain (Bladder), looked over to team 3 Captain (now known as Stifler, thanks Katherine) with a look of gracious defeat and gently leaned over and whispered "Welcome Back Cotter"!.................Sorry, fell asleep during last blog, due either to sheer fatigue or possibly the inane ramblings of Sneaky Pete?!
Now Oct 29th in real time, but still continuing previous days blog, thanks mainly due to my new house mate Jaws and his recently aquired saddle cream.
Now, after some discussion and excruciating expressions of pain on the girls team faces, as they anxiously awaited the results and official time keeping records, it was decided that they could wait another 100kms before knowing the outcome of the days smashfest, at the days end & debriefing.
As Ben casually referred to our morning tea break as "just a couple of K's up the road", we pushed on for another 15-20k's out to the now much anticipated Point Lowly lighthouse and its view across the gulf. "A couple of k's he said! This along with some colourful expletives was now being mumbled from a now Rabbies like foaming mouthed puppy, Sneaky Pete, as his eyes now fell upon the beautiful backdrop of the Gas Refinery at Port Bonython, and once again he was a shattered man.
We eventually made it to morning tea, and a very rewarding view for us to take in, and a chance to take some team pics by the lighthouse. Much discussion had been had over the now infamous dressing down the boys had got from Ben Bra Boy Bade, for an error in judgement and a cardinal road rule broken. As Safety officer deputy, Bladder not only begrudgingly handed in his badge, but was also in prime position for Muppet glory!
With a quick stop off at the popular gymnastic gym lavatories, and some media committments complete, we headed off down the same road we had come in on, the humour in this had now been completely lost on Sneaky Pete.
We had one more test for a girls v boys time trial, with Spike and daughter Sam, ready to slog out a 2 km TT, and while it was a chilly 19 degrees, there was more perspiration flowing from the brow of our Africaaaaan giant than than we had just seen overlooking the entire Upper Spencer Gulf! As bladder was backing in the young gun Sam in a desperate attempt to releive himself of the potential wearing of the antlers as the incoming Muppet,. The odds were now tending towards the big maaaan, but as the pressure built, so did the premptive excuses, and it was dawining on Spike, that potentially he was soon to be the weakest rider in his family, and the determination was evident as he stripped down his bike, dropping the bidons and the heavy weight of that pesky bell! Would this help Spike, or just serve to embarrass & humiliate him further, and the chance of the Maillot Jaune would surely be a distant and iratrievable dream.....................and the race was on......
With the old man being set off first, the hammer was down from the get go and the fear of losing had inspired the legs to actually work harder than his mouth, and a finish line speed with Ben on his wheel was most impressive. With a minute gap before young Sammy was let out of the blocks by smashfest junkie stifler, the nervous tention ha dincreased as she crossed the line within 60 secs of her father and the slim hope of victory for spike was slipping away. On an official time keeping protest, initiated by the now shattered man, it appeared that maybe for dramatic effect, the horse had bolted early............and the men were to pick up their first victory, suprisingly by the man in underwear Spike!
We turned North from the turn off to ride out the next 100kms to Pt Augusta and the thought of a BBQ around the Pool and a couple of quiet beers (Sneaky, taking the precedent set by Ben, now beleived that a couple could consist of any number from 2 to 30, and was looking forward to his couple!)had the peleton salivating and a nice tempo was set.
Fi 2's pre conceived mechanical by Sidler, had them change a tubby (tubular tyre) on the Schnell's, and TT back to the group effortlessly, only to have the quiet Davo bust a spoke and be set with a new set of wheels that just happened to be at the bargain Bike Society price of whatever Stifler needed to have to clinch the sale. A little bit of sabatoure work by curtis the night before, was now paying some good dividends for the Stifler.
With a nature break called to allow a less exhaustive TT back, we had the pleasure of a family stop and pull over on the highway with their caravan, only to come over, introduce themselves and give us their support and then generously donated $50 to the cause. The real reason they stopped I discovered when the Father explained to me, was his son had just yelled "look Dad! A half dressed woman in the bush!, (we know her as the Fi 1, rapidly becoming bladder 2), to which the Father had no option to stop and investigate such a wild exclamation. This generosity has been felt by the riders all along the way, and while bashing out some long days in the sadddle with ever diminishing stocks of Aussie Butt cream, these are the moments that have us reflecting on why we are out here, and just how kind people can be. To that family, thank you from the entire team and we will ensure that your best wishes are not wasted.
With 150k's under the belt for the day and a shortcut available to the pool, Ben advised of the route we were about to take. (Ben had done some recon down this road, only it was from the luxurious comfort of a vehicle and certainly not from the saddle), as I quote "it's not that bad, it's pretty good really". This road puts the Paris - Roubaix to shame, and as we shook & shattered each bone in Bronte's body, the peleton was quite barring pieces of equipment being rocked off of their rides.
A sixteen year olds acne covered face, would have been smoother than any part of the next 30 k's home.
After rattling past the old detention centre at baxter, we arrived at ours! The beautiful Oasis apartments had us safe and soundly locked inside and provide the entire pool and BBQ area for our own private function. With the support crew flaring up the Barbie, and Foxy Lady Gangnam styles famous salad, we sat down to a refreshing dip and Lunch, well deserved by all.
A short trip with an aquired trolley to the local bottlo, and we were in for a nice relax and a couple of drinks! (all middies of course). As a game of trivial pursuit ensued with beer cap questions and stats Stirna on song, copius opened bottles of beer were now scattered around Stifler, Sneaky, Toddly doddly and Stink, that left them with no option but responsibly consume said liquor.
Only dinner left, and the blog could have been completed, only a strategically placed Davo Marada, at the exit of the kitchen had decided that any name, male or female, called out by an exiting Waiter/Waitress with a full plate of food, had now become his!! Only after multiple name disorder Davo, Mike, Helen, Roger had engorged himself on a five course meal, was I able to have somebody's dinner!
A scenic drive back into the tightly secured compound of the Oasis Apartments and a good sleep in a huuuuuge queen bed (thanks Sneaky & Doddly), and prepare for our soon to be longest day in the saddle through the Pichi Richi pass into Quorn and onto Pt Pirie.
Good Luck Guys & Girls, the breakfast will surely see you through till the end!!!
Two lighthouses sneaky!
Ahhh the pool & BBQ
Stifler (aka 'THE MACHINE')