Thursday 19th November 2015 Port Pirie to Port Wakefield via every headwind possible!!
And the tour continues............................Heat Heat go away, and it did and along came the wind!!
Distance - 131.9 kms (but the wind and heat made it feel like 172 at least?)
Time in saddle - 4hrs 59 minutes 48 seconds
Average Speed - 26.4 kmh (Slow going with the day meant to be a relaxed roll?) Max Speed coming down into the very beautiful town of Port Wakefield was 49.7 km.
Elevation gained was a very nice 461 m, the kind of day Mr Lucas would normally appreciate.
Average Temp N/A (not interested in this stat anymore, but it is fair to say that this has been the hottest and most brutal R4sk's on record! As spoken by the man himself, the Hostess with the mostest, King Nugget!
Port Pirie to Port Wakefield was to be a relaxed recovery ride, was what most of us had heard at the team briefing the night before.
A little sleep in at the Port Pirie Motor Inn, as Mohanbala bartered with the current Governor General of SA, Hieu Van Le, for the use of his public vehicle, to which security quickly removed the regal flag from the front of the vehicle for fear of it being stolen by the man sized TimTam.
For the first time in its history, the peleton was going back for a second visit to a school. The St Marks College Primary campus, who had been busy having a wear something red day in honour of the peleton and as a fundraiser, and had been busy colouring Ronald on a bike for the chance to win a McDonald's prize pack and a bike from our very special friends at bike society.
A massive guard of honour as the peleton rode off down the street for an easy day.................
The wind gods were clearly either not listening or were indeed listening and realised that we had the once wanted young man Stifler amongst our peleton as we made our way back to the scene of the crime in Port Wakefield.
Whatever it was they were only kind to us as we rolled 35k's out of Port Pirie and then it began.
The front six of Wayno, Whippet, Barday, Diesel, Specimen, and Legs Lewis, were making there way along the Port Broughton road blissfully unaware that the day was about to turn as ugly as the previous two days.
We had made good time, and as we were still lamenting the bright star that was radiating its oven like temperatures upon us for a third consecutive day, the signs of a cool change were looking ominous.
Although the cool change and wind direction was to be appreciated, not least of all for the rider sitting behind trumpet bum Horsey Hodge, it was to bring another challenging day for the entire Peleton, with either a strong gusting head wind or worse still a cross wind that was soon seeing many riders back in the dark place they had been previously on tour. (The light permeating through was the knowledge that we had reduced the day by 20 k's and took the most direct route to our destination for the first time ever on tour!)
Chug Chug Chug went the little diesel engine on the front of the pack as he punched through to the very appreciated early lunch that had been moved by the very insightful Stifler. He had foreseen that the initial arrival at Port Broughton would not have seen us have the ample shade cover, if we had just used it for a morning break. Who would have known, I thought Stifler was only capable of selling expensive stuff to unsuspecting people that don't know any better, consuming copious amounts of any alcoholic beverage and smashing out k's on a bike like taking candy from a kid! Welcome back Mr Cotter!
At the early lunch break in the very picturesque coastal town of Port Broughton we had a few team photos and a message from Rhino, who was lying in a Hospital bed in Port Augusta (enjoying the effects of a little morphine), wishing he could be back out in the inhospitable conditions with the rest of the peleton. Hope you are better soon Rhino, and we will hopefully catch up with you next year, all going well?
A short little 33k stretch from Port Broughton to Bute, and the hush that fell over the rolling peleton was deafening, as the endurance test continued, with some rolling little hills, (or as I like to refer to them as the Broughton Alps), and a little pain was dished out to some fast fatiguing legs.
Bade to his credit pulled the peleton back to ensure we could get as many of us as possible to todays finish line as the heat and some stomach bugs were taking their toll. Hoping that both Trudi and Petrina are feeling better now?
At Bute the Muppet award was stolen from a small faux pax by mr Lucas at the school presentation, clearly identifying one of 250 kids wearing red to answer a question, by the overheating Wayno as he dutifully bathed articles of clothing and most probably appendages of his body in the lovely iced cold water sitting in the bottom of the drinks esky. This would have been fine, only he wasn't solo camping in the Australian wilderness and had not informed any of his fellow riders before they began filling their bidons with the now not so refreshingly ice cold water for the next leg.
If anyone was to succumb to feeing unwell now, we could put it down to the residual taste of Sweaty Wayno in their bidons, or the fact that we were to endure even stronger winds for the remainder of the 48kms to port Wakefield.
Kulpara awaited and along the way the normally nocturnal and quiet uneffusive creature, the Linda, made an impromptu display to the peleton swinging in an unwieldily provocative display, on its home away from home the street sign post.
Fortunately for the safety of the peleton, the display was G rated and no harm was done physically to the peleton, however the imprinted image burnt onto ones retinas and frontal Lobes was enough damage!
From Kulpara to Port Wakefield was never going to be a pleasant ride with Harvesting trucks a plenty and the odd motorist not being entirely happy being held up by the lycra clad brigade as they desperately had to make their way home to ensure they didn't miss a minute of Home & Away.
Big Demo, and Wayno sat on the outside of Horsy Hodge and Mr Lucas giving some protection from the wind generated naturally, but little from the raucous rumble emanating from the cheeks of Elbows, this time in fact raising himself from the saddle, ensuring that the full impact was not lost on the prevailing rider.
Legs Lewis and Barday bunkered down and road us safely into our fifth stop of the tour in Port Wakefield, which had surprisingly not been blown away, so strong had the wind been.
A safe navigation through the notorious Port Wakefield Highway junction was superbly executed by all, only to be upstaged by a last ditch attempt to steal away the Muppet by the Sturmy the lead car driver, who had managed to stay awake during our break neck speed day, taking a small detour through the local BP for what appeared to be a much needed emergency fuel stop? Realising that his V8 re fuelling race team had deserted him, a rapid pit lane departure exuding the speed limit back onto the highway just in front of the Peleton. A days work in the car had been done by Sturmy, who had also gesticulated to a less than happy motorist, as Sturmy had forgotten intact that he was in a charity stickered Kluger and not his own!
The good Sturmy soon redeemed himself as Mr Lucas's driver for small amenities and a quick tour around the bustling town that is Port Wakefield.
Upon this enlighting tour we were introduced to an individual that we thought had swallowed team bursar Kristen, and a gentleman that had kicked an old man off his gopher and proceeded to do doughnuts in the gopher in the street!
The Port Wakefield caravan park was home for the night and with not many taking up the opportunity to swim in the pool, we relaxed and took over the park as all good folk do. Mohanbala demanding money off anyone who could understand him, the two Wayno's perched on someone else's balcony as they waited for their heated room to be turned to a summer unit, and Sturmy freelancing as a Hired Car driver for anyone that was important!
We then progressed down to the local, the Port Wakefield Pub, not to be confused with the Rising Sun Hotel, as we were warmly greeted by the family run business ready for Christmas to give us a great feed ready for the tumultuous day ahead.
Maillot Juane was awarded to the cavernous stomach of the specimen as he devoured three quarters of a cow in one sitting and had the remaining quarter put in a doggy bag for later as there was not establishment within walking distance that could supply the ravenous hunger for 5 Filet o Fish at midnight for him. the Maillot Jaune was awarded for having the best calves on tour and helping Darren prepare for his ride on the first leg as well as raising a huge amount of money for the charity.
The 100 metre walk from the pub to room 1 was only interrupted by the good driver Sturmy to take me safely home. Thanks Sturmy.
Im sure theres more, but a good day in all and we have an early start to roll out to the Balaclava primary school, who have been busy raising funds by attempting to ride as many kilometres as possible in a week on a stationary bike. Well done guys and girls and we look forward to seeing you in the morning.
Time for a snooze now with my new besty, who somehow has managed to finish the day a few dollars ahead of the Wayno on the fundraising leaderboard.
Goodnight to all.