Meningie to Murray Bridge (easy roll after double century of yesterday)
Total Time 5 hrs 00 mins & 19 secs,
Total distance 128.4 kms (Is that all? said Baby face Mason)
Maximum Speed 46.1 kph
Total Gain 492 metres (another day and another show of climbing supremacy from Mr Lucas again!).
Total calories spent 2292 (no lollies, except after the team time trial that Blads team had set out to conquer)
Heart rate of the now almost less than 30% body fat Rider a massive output today of 178 max with an average elevated to 139 bpm, this will sure to be doubled on day 6!
Heart rate of Pei Pay whilst massaging Fabio 'the most Beautiful man on a bicycle' 210 bpm (Sorry Pei, this is a complete fabrication, but funny all the same!)
Average Speed 25.7 kph (A slight cross/headwind along the highway to Tailem Bend, and plenty of breaks along the way, made for a nice relax on the bikes and a time to chat to fellow riders, although I was unsure how to interpret the rather boisterous Snort from Merro as we were about to board the first Ferry?)
Meningie to Murray Bridge via Raukkan school, the $50 Church, Two Ferries, the Tailem Bend Pub for the running of the 2013 Melbourne Cup, the Tailem Bend Primary School and finally to our resting place at Murray Bridge Motel.
As the morning sun was still along way off from rising, weary heads were lifted from their slumbers, as we were to prepare for the first day of water crossings and school visits.
Careful consideration had been taken to ensure the Peloton arrived safely at the Tailem Bend Pub for the running of the 2013 Melbourne cup, where the smooth charm of Mick Dundee had not been lost on the 63 year old filly's that had had one to many schooners under their fascinators and had somehow remarkably mistaken Mick for Fabio 'the most beautiful man on a bicycle'!
After having been alarmingly woken by young Simba at 1 am in the morning, for reasons I am still unclear of, my attempts at reciprocating the gesture were more than feeble, as I am sure his mother Linda can attest to, that waking a 16 year old semi-alpha male from their nocturnal resting is easier said than done! alas, young Simba and his abhorrent nightwear were the last to packed onto the Truck.
We cruised on down in the wintery conditions to the other motel in Meningie and were delighted to feast on one of the best cooked breakfasts we had encountered on tour. With yellow Jersey firmly entrenched in the truck, I looked across at what only could be described as a solemn and lonely face of the Afrikaaaan, with no one to accommodate.
The eagerly anticipated Time trial was only 13.5 kms away, and with only one team interested in winning it, it was sure to be a close race! As the Afrikaaan, Merro, Mick, Fabio 'the most beautiful man on a bicycle', Diesel, Jack Sparrow (formally referenced as Button) and Blads, discussed team rolls and tactics, Team Cotter discussed the fasted method on and off Robert Redford's bus and Team Bade discussed who had signed the consent form forMan child Doogie to race in a Time trial, it was clearly evident the Afrikaaaan was soon to win something before the tour and his body were over!
The morning crisp air was only broken by the sound of Squeaky and his bike (Tex), as we looked forward to the days entertainment of the 20 km Team Time Trial being contested by one team, and our first school visit to Raukkan Primary school and followed by the Tailem Bend School visit.
Preparations were made and the gun went off for Team Cotter, (The start did however appear to be 2 kms past the designated start point for the sole purpose of ensuring CB's KOM on Strava would not be eclipsed for this segment) and the grouping of the previously crippled group of team Cotter, appeared strongly like they had also raided the rear of Stacey.............................sorry, the rear of Stacey's car, and discovered the secret that had unstuck Willy Voet and the Festina team in 1998.
After some test samples had been returned from Team 'Festina" Cotter and the excessive traces of Erythropoietin (EPO) were found, Team Cotter and their time were disqualified.
As Team Blads and the Afrikaaaan took off like a wild African Safari, with gazelles and giraffes limbs wailing in the wind, team Bade conscientiously talked the importance of teamwork and the goal of getting all across the line as a team as the priority next to safety.
Clearly this was not the case with the wild adventure safari rampaging down the road with the only intention was to blow everyone's legs as quickly as possible.
The training run and photographic shoot of team Bade complete, we meandered over the line, with the knowledge that it had been completed with the ethos that the exercise had intended.
The next 20 kms to the Raukkan primary school was peaceful barring the laboured breathing of team Blads and the incessant noise eminatining from Squeaky's bike.
As the peloton made its way around Lake Albert to the Southern tip, we entered the bussling town of Narrung for our first school visit for the tour at Raukkan. Home of Fabio's 'the beautiful man on a bicycle' cousins, aunty's and nephew's and a few others.
The ritual talk from Mr Safety and Mr Lucas was well received by all, and the children were grateful that we had brought three children along ourselves to add to their class. (Harry, Doogie and Baby face mason).
The Bike Society prize was won by Cameron and some Macca packs handed out as we chatted and had morning tea with staff and kids.
In a brief and complete moment of madness, the yellow jersey holder (obviously trying to avoid scrutiny over a sample), managed to make his way into the schools female toilets, only discovering the errors of his ways upon exiting the toilet! Sorry Glenn, but the Muppet will be hard to top.
The Peloton gave a high five exit to the kids of Raukkan and made their way to the historical Raukkan church (featured on the Australian $50 note), for a team photo and $50 donation to the RMHC by Elbows unwittingly.
A short stroll to the first ferry ride, as some were disappointed that it was only a short trip over the water, and they were not to see the Stifler in any sort of distress.
We rolled onto Tailem Bend, with some more blustery unfavourable conditions were upon us, and the first chink in the iron clad armour of Maverick had been seen, with the meatball in sight, Mav was suffering, and the Tailem Bend turn off was a pleasing sign for Cougar.
The River Murray is many things to many people, but to 20 weary riders and their support crew, it is nothing but an oasis from the now Garmin rated 30 plus degrees, and the BP Roadhouse Rolls of Roast Beef, Ham and Chicken were of great relief as we settled in for an extended lunch before our next school visit.
There was plenty of time for reflection and contemplation as could be seen by the lonely figure of Diesel leaning up against the river bank tree. What he was truly thinking no one will know but I have been told he was pencilling his new venture and fragrance Contador No 5.
Back up the Hill too the Tailem Bend Primary School and into their new Gym as the kids from bookweek filed in and made it extremely difficult to now find all our riders amongst the crowd. We asked all the children to remain seated before we exited to enable us to find Harry, Doogie and the 30 year old with a degree baby face mason from the little people.
Another bike give away to Jessiah, who im not sure was entirely happy with the change over of bikes due to the colour? but was excited nonetheless with going home with a new bike from our friends and Stifler at Bike Society. Lamington or Big Jiz had done a great job of putting these bikes together, and could be seen frantically rummaging through the back of the van this evening, in a vain attempt to locate the discarded training wheels from the school bikes, that he so desperately required on his own road bike to stay upright!!
After a minor detour to the Tailem Bend pub for the Melbourne Cup running and some more fundraising, we caught another ferry to ride into Murray Bridge off the highway. Some undulating and rolling hills for us to make the last 30 kms of the day an easy ride to converse to each other as we revelled in the thought of the refreshing pool dip after massage and another team night.
A quick stop at the Murray Bridge Maccas for the obligatory McFlurry, and a challenge by the young Jedi to the wise old Blads with the cunning ability of Yoda, and not dissimilar in appearance in a McFlurry off................The young Jedi has much to learn me thinks!!
Blissfully unaware of his impending conversation with the hot bitumen outside the motel, Big Jiz was in fine form as he quipped back to CB 'Mate you do your job and ill do mine' upon being questioned on a mechanical issue with CB's bike. After another full day of riding and having just unclipped from our bikes, raucous applause and laughter was had with big Jiz. Sorry about the fall Big Jiz, but those speed humps just 5 metres from the motel driveway can be dangerous to the uninitiated!
We were surprised however upon arrival as a strutting Stifler possibly out did the Afrikaaan on ridiculous swimming attire as he paraded like a rooster that resembled Red Foo around the car park. A sight that cannot possibly be explained.
A reading of the Blog by Jules and a team dinner were had and an outside broadcast of the support crew video were displayed and we peacefully made our way to our rooms for some good rest.
Tomorrow sees us leaving Murray Bridge and travelling down to Victor Harbour, quite possibly via the scenic route, and we look forward to all making it there safely.
Good night till next time.