Naracoorte to Robe - following only head or crosswinds!
Total Time 4 hrs 01 mins & 12.0000892 recurring secs approx.
Total distance 108.3 kms (this was actually 114.7 kms, however my Garmin that was hooked to my body monitor decided to shut down as it obviously thought I was dead!)
Maximum Speed 40.00 kph (this was still into a crosswind with the bandicoot on the rivet and the smell of the white line too good an opportunity to resist 10 k's out of Robe!)
Total Gain 816 metres (downhill on the way to Robe?? think my Garmin likes hills as much as I do).
Total calories spent 2139 (lolly intake from the keeper of all things sweet Kristen Hardy, 2140 calories!)
Heart rate of the slightly skinnier fatman maxed at 152 bpm, whilst he maintained a supreme athletic Heart rate for 3 & 1/4 hrs of the astonishing number of 72 BPM as I had possibly, and unknowingly flat lined!
Heart rate of Blads peaked at 101 bpm as he accelerated up and down the line faithfully checking his riders were hydrated and feeling well!!! whilst I thought to myself, what a generous, thoughtful and all round good guy, my thought bubble was burst as before I could answer his question to me, the reply from this great man that I hold in such high esteem was ................. "Don't worry, I don't care how you feel!!! :-( Thanks Blads!!
Average Speed 26.9 kph (weather was not fine with a 22 knot crosswind buffeting the outside riders and the stars in the front six. These guys did an outstanding job today and hats off to you all. throughout the day the following took their turn for the team:Crash Bandicoot (Bade)
Fabio 'The most beautiful man on a bicycle" (Fabian)
Spike (The Afrikaaaaan Ian)
Maverick (Justine) Sorry Mav, that was a typo that it wouldn't let me undo.
Dazza (Darren the Muppet)
Man Child (Andrew)
If your name has been left off this list sorry, and we will rectify upon notification in writing the tour organiser.
Key: Riders with variants on names
Knobbly (Anthony Cotter)
James 'Business class' Irwin
Nails (cause she is hard as. Jules)
Mick Dundee (Geoff)
Baby face (Tony)
Merro (Merridy) or SSB, but im not sure what this acronym means, you will have to speak to Sturmy
Mr Lucas (Mr Lucas)
Ange 'Silhouette' Kane
The Knight (Todd)
Blads (Nugget, or Chris)
Racey Stacey (Paramedic)
Big Jiz (Jace the mechanic)
Chloe (The organiser)
Anna Fear (Anthea the masseuse) Sturmy inadvertently named Anthea with his incorrect elocution of her name!
Pei - yi Giam (Masseuse)
Jono the bread face boy (Lead driver)
Robert Bruce (Mav's Dad and Bus driver)
Grant (Glenn, meticulous truck driver and militant guard)
Kristen Hardy (RMHC and too nice to give a name to other than her own)
Amanda Zimmerframe (Plan Ahead events)
Hope that makes it easier, and special thanks to Knobbly knees and Dipper for their help with me remembering everyone.
When I looked out the window at 6.50am, all thought of the miserable weather and winds were removed as not a single blue gum leaf on the surrounding trees were in motion. A sigh of relief was heard from knobbly as I relayed this glorious information to him, and we lied back in our respective beds imagining the scenic coastal entry to our next destination.
Well to the day, and after an quiet breakfast and Latte's downed, we were ready to roll out of Naracoorte and off on our short relaxing leg to Robe!
Another short briefing and application of actual sunscreen, and the wind had decided it would like to test any sore legs from day one as it quickly became evident, this was not going to be a leisurely ride for anyone!
We were to have a short stop outside the Mayor's house Erika Vickery around 10 k's out of town. As we set off and said goodbye to Bryce and his son along with Jane Scotcher the house manager that was taking a far more sedate method on her home journey. I lamented the Mayor for a moment, as to why she couldn't of built her farm and house a little closer to Naracoorte, as the now fierce South Westerly was in fine form. The 10 k stop and quick photo shoot with the lovely Mayor and her Husband, was a good chance for us to catch our breath and prepare ourselves to what was going to be an arduous day in the saddle, albeit a short ride.
This proved to be true, and with a buffeting coming from our left, drill sergeant Blads stepped into action. As his glistening new S-Works Venge (Disclaimer: This is a paid advertorial by Bike Society and all subsidiaries of the Bike society registered Trademark) and shiny new S-Works road shoes and the now endowed Venge with a Garmin computer,( that incidentally, Blads would never use?) started marshalling his troops into an order that would protect the those on the inside. After taking careful consideration of his methodology in this formation, it became abundantly clear, all he was doing was actually putting the Fat boys on the Outside!!
We soldiered on through the wind, with Big Jiz, doing many more pass by's with the GoPro, and a huge set of white gnashers smiling back at us, as the mechanics van was now a much better proposition than being on the road.
The Muppet ears were of little distraction as the annoying jingle bells had been removed, and now they were performing as a very accurate weather vane for sergeant Blads and the peleton to determine the origin of the now, what seemed to be a gale force cross wind. So windy was it that as the Support crew attempted to set up the mid morning break spot, Farmer Joe, (Just outside of Lucindale), took pity on the struggling crew, and not only did he offer his farm driveway to the support crew to set up in, he then jumped in his car and took off, only to return with a Donation to the Ride!! :-) Thank you Farmer Joe, and it still ceases to amaze me, the generosity of the people that live in this country, and just how much that gesture meant to the entire crew and riders cannot be expressed justly in words.
Thank you once again, we really need that support and protection from the now very cold and windy conditions.
During the break, I had discovered that Chloe could no longer talk to me without bursting into fits of laughter, and after my bruised ego had recovered, the origin of her dilemma had become apparent.
No longer had my attire become bearable to Chloe's eyes, as the combination of CB's choice of white socks and my S-Works Black cycling shoes had made me appear to look like a badly dressed school boy, and a day and half of seeing this had put Chloe over the edge! Not wanting to distract Chloe from her duties any longer or appear like the other schoolboys on tour (Harry, Tony and Man child Coldbeck), I dutifully changed into a more fashionably acceptable pair of road shoes.
With the back of the truck open, chaos ensued and Grant's worse nightmare was upon him. Grant had previously been so proud of his truck organisation and packing skills, that he had in fact been photographed photographing his own exceptional work, and now there was a bunch of marauding magpies at the back of truck not only wanting to embark the truck but also wishing to disturb the carefully ordered bags for later distribution to hotel rooms!!!!!! The debacle continued until all had their warm cycling gear out. This included Elbows attempting to wear his leg warmers on his arms and Tex (I dont like Dazza for Darren), working on his suntan, by only extruding a singular arm warmer!!! In this confusion, poor old Tex managed to mount his steed and roll to front six only to discover that a bandana, as beautiful as they can make a man suffering from mild alopecia look, is not the Australian approved standard for head protection whilst cycling!! As he rolled back, head lowered in shame to collect the approved protection, with the full knowledge that it was going to take a monumental faux pas to prevent him from wearing the coveted Muppet ears for the longest leg of the ride tomorrow!!!!
As we scoffed down what we could of the great spread once again, and Kristen, Anna fear and Pei all ensured we had plenty of high calorie sugars on board, we rolled out knowing it wasn't going to be any easier as we made a way closer to the coastal town of Robe.
With everyone a little tired of continuous buffeting and another 30 k's to go, a joyous voice echoed over the peloton as we finally had some protection from the wind and the pace crept up and smiles were seen for the first time today.
Everythng was looking good until as mentioned above the bandicoot and co decided to sprint from the 10k mark into Robe and quickly looked to disintegrate the well formed pack. Some confusion led as 3 k's past the 5k to Robe sign the next sign was adamant that we had six k's still to go!!!!! heads were down, and the last stretch we were all looking for the end and a nice lunch at the Café Bel Giorno in Robe.
Anna at the Café was great, and a great feast was put on for the troops and we then departed for our respective hotels spread vicariously across Robe. After hearing the news that for the first night I would be away from a Cotter, I was then informed that a switch would be made for young Lippy to be close to Stacey the Paramedic would be for the best, and I was back rooming with Knobbly Cotter once again. This did however create some confusion for Chloe and Co, with bags and computers having now been sent to different corners of the town and requiring being back with their rightful owners before any undesirables could get to my unlocked bag!! Of course this did not happen soon enough and the hapless brothers across town had indeed violated Mr Lucas's bag and begun to send photos of my protein shaker in places that it was not intended!! photo will be displayed for Sam Sturm to ensure the correct perpetrator of these crimes is indeed found. Mr Lucas was only mildly amused.
After a relax back in the glorious Lakeside apartments, of which Maverick, Tex and Grant have the Penthouse apartment with Spa and Spike has his own Spa (also photo to be attached later), and a massage from Anna Fear and it was off to tea for Nonna's home cooked Lasagne.
I will just add that all round nice guy Mav, had completed all the Lakeside apartment guests laundry, from his penthouse suite. This guy continues to exceed my expectations and has quickly been elevated to not only Maverick status from Slider, but also the worthy recipient of the Maillot Jaune.
Not only for his work on and off the bike, but for being a damn good bloke! Well done and well deserved, although there was a little heckling and a protest by the somewhat disgruntled Afrikaaaan, who now is only willing to participate in the Tour next year if the whole kit is yellow, to ensure he actually receives one!
We bid farewell to Angela and her husband Danny who must have thought that one cyclist needed a new car, as they head back to Mt Gambier. Thank you for all your efforts in Mount Gambier with the ride and media etc, and we hope you have enjoyed participating in this wonderful event with a bunch of people that in two days have become friends!
Big Day tomorrow with 190 kms, but hopefully a nice tailwind to ease the pain.
Maillot Jaune : Maverick
Muppet : Tex (Darren Walker)dishonourable mentions
Chloe & Stacey for leading us back to the hotel at 55 kph and finding the only hills in Robe for us as we made our way back to the hotel!!
Chloe for dropping the keys to the hotel room so far down the front of the truck console that a pair of kitchen tongs from Anna at café Bel Giorno had to be used to retrieve them.
Grant for taking a photo of his own good work and basking in excessive adulation.
Baby face for managing to get two Gumby's (Chain grease marks) on each leg.
the list could go on.
Riders on Mr Lucas's radar for flying under the it thus far -
Business Class Branson
Stay tuned for more stories to come on all.
Good night everyone, and to all the families of riders and support crew that allow them to participate in this ride, thank you, as I am sure as I am are all missing their loved ones.
Tom my Wife Katherine and Kids Jackson, Tayla and Spencer, look after each other and I will see you all on Friday. Love Dad (Mr Lucas) xoxox