25th October 2012
The Team assembles for meet & Greet and a great nights send off (Thanks Big Tony!)
Well the game playing and banter has continued from some previous meetings and was well underway, as early as the airport the first kiwi jokes had started for Jason Jaws.
There was a quick noisy flight across the gulf for most of the riders, that were pleased to know that they had not only avoided the early morning rise of the support crew, but also not having to see their breakfast twice!! As the ferry ride across the gulf took its toll on most of the support crew. The things the support crew are willing to endure and suffer for the greater cause are much appreciated by all.
Team briefing by Bade or was that Ben? was organised, and we were quickly sent off to our luxurious Port Lincoln Hotel rooms with kit, laundry bags, Aussie butt cream and bidons, to get ready for the Celebration community event put on by Port Lincoln, with a huge effort by Local Maccas Licensee, Tony Baj and his wife Gina.
Huge turnout and some fantastic auction items. After Bade had managed to pry his way from the Ladies table, we got into the auction, with the chance for one of us to try out a new profession of spotting! Unfortunately I will still be a licensee for the time being as there was some confusing signals from Jaws, that appeared to be bids of increments that neither himself or I had any idea of what they were! I think he may have ended up with some women's Jewellery for an undisclosed Bank SA price!
We had the pleasure of Kaarle McCulloch at the night with her London Olympics Bronze medal, to give us an insight into here Life as cycling professional and an Olympian and triple World Champion.
She also did a great job auctioning off some items and helping us raise over $11,000 for the night.
Fantastic job from the Port Lincoln community and who truly got behind the charity, as we all know that a signed Warren Treadrea ball shouldn't cost that much! So thank you so much to all of you that got involved in the bidding and made for a fun night.
After we departed a little too early, sorry guys, we were following sneaky Pete at the head of the peloton, we made our way off for a nice couple of hours rest before the big day!
Some anxious moments had been had as Jaws pulled a line from 'Top Gun' "so Neil, have you worked it out yet? Worked out what? Who's the best? As he sauntered away with a swagger that suggested he knew!
October 26th........The day has arrived.......we finally get to roll out
Well 3k's out to the local school, St Joseph's, to a rousing reception and to some very excited and orderly young school kids, for the first of our five school visits during the ride.
A quick chat with Kaarle, a bike safety talk be Ben & to draw out the winner of the Bike society donated bike for one young lad, and some Bank SA packs for five other kids.
St Joseph's had had a ride your bike to school day and a casual day to raise some funds, and graciously handed over a cheque for $600!! Great job guys.
As we left the school under the careful guidance of Ben & Kaarle under the schools line of honor, we were truly about to start this journey......
Day 1 Port Lincoln to Cleve 148kms
Total time 4hrs 34mins 13secs (approx)
Average speed 32.4 kmh (nice for the first day!)
Total gain 789m total descent 593m
Wind South Westerly 25kmh (just what we ordered)
Max Speed 55kmhWell, what a first hit out. To all riders and support crew and the wind, well done to all on what was a great first day. Even if sneaky Pete did take a ride on the not so well bus with Foxy from Tumby Bay to Arno Bay, where the girls in the peleton did some damage to the group with a cracking pace that was tempered down on the last 30 k's into Cleve thankfully.
The group got into formation early and six brave souls sat at the front to take 20min rollovers between them while the rest of us sat and enjoyed the first 50k's into Tumby. Well that was until the 40k mark when Arnie (Sneaky Pete) decided that a heart rate nearing 200bpm and smashing out 44kph uphill was not his idea of a leisurly pace!! Maybe it was those hairy legs sneaky? or that huge upper frame of yours!
Some early mechanicals gave Craig 'The Machine' Ironman a chance to test out his new supersonic ride to bring Jaws and himself back to the pack with a 55kph time trial! I reckon Jaws would have had that 42 on the back rocking.
Other than that pretty uneventful ride with a lovely tailwind up to Tumby for a well deserved coffee and cake, all done by our fantastic support crew, Grant, Foxy, Wheeler Dealer Karl, Tony, Chloe, Sam, Kurtis and Wendy.
Out of Tumby and onto Arno Bay for a 70km stretch that was to be at a muscle hurting pace for the first 40 km, with the bus struggling to keep up! Then Twinkle Toes turn to have a puncture, only as a result of the inaugaral 'Muppet' award winner Fi, dropping her bottle at the head of pack. Thanks Fi (Miss Piggy), for doing this while I was next to you, much appreciated you keeping me out of harms way.
As for the pace, not sure who was the main perpetrator of this speed with the front six being, Diesel, Neil, Dave, the two Fi's and Chris the pusher. Me thinks that Chris and Diesel were sent to the front to get the first Lasagne at the Arno Bay pub, and were not letting anyone get there first, until dave and Fi 1 hit the front and smashed out a pace that would have them tucking into the first slice of lasagne!
All settled down after a great meal at the pub and only 30k's to head up to Cleve to finish the day,
that would have been the case if Foxy hadnt first left Chloe without a ride home as she drove off without her and then decided to turn the opposite way down the road than the peloton to get a picture of us. As we were now 2kms down the highway in the opposite direction, this was now a somewaht difficult task for Foxy and camera! Ben or Bade? then put a nice casual tempo down with the African connection Sam at the front and the rest in tow. Bronte and Jami had been having the pleasurable feel of Ironmans hands on there well worn knicks as the machine helped them up the last couple of climbs. I am starting to think that Craig either enjoys pain or just likes the feel of lycra? Hats off to you Craig as you are one heck of a fit boy and are a great asset to the group. Stinky Stirna managed to stay upright the whole day on the bike much to the suprise of the group, especially as he has now decided to unclip those hairy legs, standing up!
Everywhere that Stevie went Ian was sure to go............as Steve had been issued for some obscure reason the much coveted 'Yellow Jersey' on the first day, he enjoyed a much protected ride in the middle of the pack. This was mainly by his new domestique import from South Africa Ian 'Hincapie' Frometin. The holder of the Jersey passes on the jersey for those most deserving the following night.
Much to Ians horror of his day of Laundry, door opening and other domestique duties, some dealings had been done between Stevie and the now incumbent Jersey holder Jaws after they had roomed together the night before!? Good work Jaws, and well deserved, although I did lose some money on the Stirna Tab as my money was on "the Machine'.
As we had belted out a pace that saw us stop on side of the road before Cleve, so they had time to gather and close off the main road for us, the first intermediate sprint was handed to me by Todd as we passed the line at a breakneck pace of around 17k's. We had decided to not inform any other riders of this sprint, for an unfair advantage which was duly upheld. Ben, where is the Green Jersey?
Another great turnout by the locals, this time in Cleve, with a street party and a prize to be won by a very cold and wet little lad that had just come from swimming lessons to collect his prize of a brand new bike. The look on his face was priceless, as he first sat on, and then slipped off his sparkling new ride. Chris and family at the Cleve Hotel, then locked up our bikes in the most secure place in Cleve, the Beer shed, and then sat us down for the days debreifing by Ben and a snitzel fest (did anyone try the fish?), and had all our sleeping arrangements in order. If you ever get the chance to stop in and say hello and have a beer with Chris and co, do yourself a favour and do it, what great hospitality from this town and family, thank you heaps guys.
Another little auction and another $3000 to the total from the locals of Cleve, Thank you.
I was then sent on my way to complete some blogging and bring you up to date with the ride. We will have a more than casual roll out tomorrow one thinks with Jaws being protected by Ian 'Hincapie' for his chance of donning on the 'Yellow Jersey' after day two.
What will day two bring with Kat & Jack the quiet achievers, ready to shake things up?
All off to sleep now, and look forward to knocking off another 150k's of the total tomorrow as we creep closer to our destination.
Kaarle and Bronze Medal giving away the bike!
Bank SA starter kits winners
First Team photo at Lincoln Oct 26th