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Wednesday, 18 November 2015

SA RMHC Ride for Sick Kids Day 4 (Port Augusta to Pirie The long way round)

Wednesday 18th November 2015 Port Augusta to Port Pirie via Quorn, Wilmington, Melrose, Booleroo Centre, Laura and the to Port Pirie.

Even Ewan MgGregor and Charley Boorman would have found today difficult.

And the tour continues............................further into the epicentre of the sun (or so it felt!)

Distance - 209.7 kms Some extra k's have been added for those that believe life revolves around Strava! and as we all know Strava never lies!?

Time in saddle - 7hrs 31 minutes 52 seconds precisely  

Average Speed - 27.9 kmh (with the venge reaching a max of 64.4 kmh with sump power showing that it is only an advantage downhill.)

A very bumpy and lumpy stage with my total climbing metres now completed for the year with  1125 metres gained. Thanks to Sam, Trudi, Mohanbala, Petrina and Stifler for setting a pace through to quern that didn't blow us up for the remainder of the day.

Average Temp was riduclous with the mercury making life on and off a bike hardly bareable. 

It was one of the Hottest days we have ever had on tour, comparable only to the day on the 2nd year as we headed to Victor Harbour.
So Hot was the forecast that the peleton had gathered at 5.10am at the Port Augusta McDonald's for breakfast, with a big thank you to Jeff and the team there that did a great job putting on the spread and had us rolling off for the first challenge of the day at 6.00am.

Knowing it was to be a long day in the saddle, there was some anxiety as we had to climb through to the picturesque town of Quorn via the Quorn pass.
The peleton had been split into 3 groups with the handicap being given to the A graders, Sam, Trudi, Petrina, Mohan, Stifler and Mr Lucas as we headed off last.

As we watched the other two groups disappear over the rolling hills in the distance and the cool morning breeze off the rolling hills of the Southern Flinders Ranges and prepared ourselves for the task ahead, which was going to be a challenge in the least.

The first two groups worked well together we heard, as the the third chasing group was continually encouraging even when Sam and Trudi had a tangle and unfortunately Trudi gently fell to the floor.
Brushing herself off like the trooper she is and being gracious enough to allow a quick breather for our team.

We rolled into Quorn after Stifler punched out the group on the way down to allow the venge to be pedalled.  2 minutes to refill bottles and we were back on the bikes as the first two teams had obviously been idle for a couple of hours or so prior to our arrival?

Wilmingnton was to be the next stop a further 35 k's down the road as Elbows was encouraged to put the peleton on the rivet by joining the specimen at the front of the peleton as the speed steadily rose along with buzzing heart rate monitors to a steady 38kmh.  Elbows has been training with diesel and now was behaving in much the same manner as his friend in crime or was putting a challenge out to the specimen?
Unfortunately for the Whippet, whilst on the front of the peleton and enjoying the fresh aroma of the countryside as the rest of us were, Horse Hodge had obviously had too much chaff for morning feed and consequently after rolling the front six and now taking his position in front of the whippet and Rhino, and feeling relaxed,  enveloped his following riders as if they was following a cattle cart! 

The support crew had put on morning tea at Wilmington along with ice cold towels as the temperature and sun were know beginning to bite, and it was still in the morning.  This was to be long day and mot a lot of fun in the peleton or the support crew vehicles as the temperature was to test all of us.  Mohanbala was quoting "this is a test of ones character" and so it was.

As we made our way closer to Port Pirie for the first time before heading away again, we were on the way to Melrose for a quick drink stop, when the ever aware Nugget during his line inspection of the troops, noticed not all was well with our Rhino.  Very quickly Stacey and then Wayne were called into action and Ryan was soon being taken care of.
We wish Ryan a speedy recovery, and the peleton misses you already.

We had a NNW blowing and for periods of the day had been mostly kind until now.............would have been nice to head to Murraytown, down the gorge and back to Pirie for a swim and a beer by midday, instead we had chosen to turn firstly into a crosswind and then head directly back into a heavy headwind from the North as we made our way to Booleroo centre.
At least there was a little bit of comic relief as we reminisced about our once chubby Jiz from New Zealand with a few happy snaps of some of his family by the town rotunda.  (these were a few statues of Rams and ewes Jiz! hope you liked the photos as we were thinking of you?)

A quick scan over the profile gave some relief as we had most of the climbing completed and were to have an easy roll back to Laura for lunch?!  This was not to be as half of the peleton after Nugget had finished playing chess with them were being belted by a hot crosswind that was putting all under the pump.  Well done to all of the peleton, but especially those that all willingly took their place to protect those in the peleton that were having more than ordinary day on the bike.
If all days were like this on a bike, I'm not sure Stifler and Birkdale would be eating maccas at 1 in the morning with the 5 filet munching monster Dave the Specimen Allen, or serving the specimen, as no one would want a bike!

After being battered and bruised more than i had been the night before by the two Waynes, the peleton ambled into Laura "The home of golden north ice cream", and a very generous cafe owner, for another lunch put on by the support crew.  A stroke of genius by Jan Paxton, as she had expertly cut up the uneaten steak from the previous nights BBQ and steak wraps were the order of the day, along with some cold sausages to keep the salt intake up!  Nice work support crew.

Now we only had to make it back up to the tanks, onto the highway into what was now a block headwind and tick off 200 k's and roll into Maccas to greet Marc and the team for some refreshing McFlurries and cold drinks. Calories spent for the day 4358, so anything was allowed to be eaten.
Although giving free McFlurry's to my paying customers is generally considered a no no!!

Finally to the top of the tanks after tapping out on the hill and 22 k's of a 210 km day was to over.
The day had one final thing to through at us as Wayne after a herculian effort yesterday in trying conditions and then again today and now the holder and wearer of the Maillot Jaune and well deserved, had decided that Stacey hadn't done enough work for the day and started to succumb to some serious cramping.  He is also all square with Stifler on some man betting they have on, much to the delight of Stifler? Wayne is fully recovered and well also.

Muppet award goes to the Whippet for marginally crossing the white line on three occasions, in an attempt to check on those behind her.

Stacey's job done and we rolled down to Maccas to give more free product away to a hugely deserving group of people that have given more than just time and effort for the charity, but over the last two days, actual blood sweat and tears.  Well done to all of you and the Committee is forever grateful for all the work you have done and the time spent away from your families in doing so.

Into the John Pirie Motor inn for the night and down to Francis & Connie Lam's Chinese restaurant for a great dinner that even filled the Filet monster up!

A game of true and false that fooled everyone to believing that Linda was in fact learning to Pole dance and Cotter gave discounts on his bikes!

Early night after a very long day and with any luck a shorter day will also give us a prevailing tailwind, to allow some chat to come over the peleton again after most had gone into their cycling dark hole for most of the day.

Off to the St mark's primary school in the morning and then a leisurely cruise to Port Broughton and then onto rest night at Port Wakefield, before we head into the last two days of the tour.

Enjoy the rest to the Peleton and only a few more days until everyone is able to be reunited with their families.

Good night, and we look forward to some more shenanigans from the group on the road tomorrow if things are a little easier?

Mr Lucas

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