Sunday, 23 September 2012
BOTTLEMART SHARKY'S OZ 7in7 DAY 10 JOURNAL
Written by Sharky (Lunch onwards, and Baby G from sunrise to Lunchtime)
Stats for the day by Raymond “I Love Telstra” Smith (Stat's man is out of control!)
Course: Port Kenny to Port Lincoln
Distance: 236 km's
Ride Time: 7 hours 36 min
Average speed: 30.8km/h
Metres climbed: 1157 metres
Max elevation: 130 metres
Temperature min: 10 degrees
Temperature max: 28 degrees
Wind direction: Every which way (Easterly, Westerly, Southerly, Northerly, all over the shop, blustery with wind gusts up to 50km/h.)
Max Speed: 72.4 km/h descending into Port Lincoln, also fastest speed of entire trip.
Best 10km splits: After lunch when wind direction changed to a 40km/h tailwind was 44.2 and the next 10km leg was at an average of 44.4km/h with a time of 13min 30sec.
Most 10km splits over 30km/h average was 12
Max Cadence: 205 by Under the Radar Ray.
Average Heart-rate for Tiny Dancer 116 beats per minute (Tiny is not human!)
Average Cadence: for Tiny was 86 rpm
Road Kill Count
As recorded by Mel Speare, with bell rung occasionally by Rust Bucket Conway and spotting provided by the whole bunch.
23x Shingleback Lizards
1x Bearded Dragon
Special Mention to one undead shingleback lizard with attitude that we spotted in the middle of the road. It broke from a slow waddle across the bitumen to quickly turn and attempt to attack Rusty Balls flying past at 52kmh with a wide open mouth, no wonder we are seeing these things squished all over the roads.
A Special Road Kill Count by Connor Speare (Hell Mel's Son, who did this in honour of his Mum on his way to a camping expedition with the family)
From Dalby to St George
67x Kangaroo,1x Snake, 2x Pigs, 1x Bluetongue Lizard, 2x Cows, 5x Rabbits,1x Black UFO, 2x Crows, 7x Bags of Bones
An excellent effort here from Connor. Mum is proud of your effort and enthusiasm and I am sure Andy Schindler would be impressed that his legacy is living on with the next generation.
Hi guys, Sharky asked for my help with this journal, hope you enjoy. Baby G.
This morning I awoke in my swag to a dark starry sky, something the small remote speck on the map of Port Kenny afforded us with in abundance. Now that we are less weary from our arduous headwind biased crossing of the Nullarbor it is a special treat to be camping out in our swags. Rolling them out in the campsite of the evening and rolling them up in the morning is a team effort, with plenty of bonding opportunities as Kevvy prefers the swags rolled up neat and tight – a two person task. The swags are also very luxurious, with a domed canvas cover, flyscreen, and as many of the crew expressed excitedly over dinner tonight some windows and hidden internal pocket spaces. A huge thank you must go to Mel for organising the swags, sleeping bags and ground sheets from OzTrail at a heavily discounted price and also arranging free freight to Esperance, this was a huge saving for the group. The swags are an opportunity for the big long blokes like Rusty to stretch out the legs free from the confines of the short single motel beds. They’re also an opportunity for the lighter delicate sleepers like Tiny Dancer to seek refuge from the snorers and position their swags as far away from big Johnny Leyshon as possible.
After enjoying the stars for a moment it was time for the usual breakfast routine and preparation for the days riding. There was also a stunning sunrise (my favourite part of the day) as the golden orb ascended in the East and cast a warm peachy glow onto the darks clouds in the Northwest.
In the flurry of packing up camp we received a kind donation of $20 from the couple camping in the site next to us. We mustn’t have been such terrible neighbours even though our best most seasoned snorers were camped on their side of the grass and would have sounded like an army of tree loppers working through the night.
The honour of ringing the bell was bestowed on “Under the Weather Radar” Ray Smith for his dedication to laundry, weather forecasting and all things good. We then hit the road and Rusty Balls decided to cancel the neutral zone and get straight into the pace making. There were a few complaints about the speed so early, but it was me who was the first to crack and call the rotation of the groupetto to get the big diesel off the front. It was the first sign my legs were going to be bad today, probably the remnants of my run the previous evening with Sharky and Mel though the small seaside town of Port Kenny. We found it to be a gorgeous little spot with a jetty and some locals that heckled us from the veranda of the pub, but really not much else in the town. This was later explained by our resident Stats Man Ray to be a result of an aids virus plague in the 1930s. His weather stats are from the ever reliable Bureau of Meteorology but his local history is sourced from Wikipedia, maybe not so credible in this instance.
The next person to crack was Mel who called for the yellow room and the bunch rolled to a stop at just 9.5km, a new record. It was then also clearly evident that the tailwinds Ray had been predicting for the past to days were now blowing in a morning thunderstorm. For the next 40kms we were teased with the occasional rumble of thunder and flash of lightning ( a severe concern to someone as tall as Rusty) and sprinkled with some light rain as we were chased by black clouds. Tiny Dancer remarked that some of the clouds resembled “an x-ray of a giant colon and we were about to be dumped upon.”
Slightly further down the road we saw a quaint road side bakery stall. This got the attention of the wet groupetto as we all dreamed of our favourite café with hot coffee and fruit toast. We later found out Jeff and Kevvy didn’t resist their own temptations and dropped in to pick us up some fresh bread rolls for lunch.
Morning tea had us roll into the small picturesque seaside village of Elliston. Unfortunately our faithful road crew, the Two Ronnies, had picked the most uninviting spot for lunch, a windy as hell picnic table on the point, no shelter, stinking of rotting seaweed and an audience of enthusiastic seagulls who trying hard not to be blown away in their attempt in stealing some precious Sao’s with cheese and tomato. Although the scenery was truly spectacular, we quickly relocated to a better location on the suggestion of the bunch.
After rolling out of morning tea to more threatening rain, a new yellow room record call was made by Sharky, at only 5km! This turned out to be a disrobing stop to remove the rain jackets that were now no longer necessary, but we all tried our best to squeeze out the last of morning tea refreshments.
The next 40kms saw blustery cross winds and some gradual climbing of the local rolling hills which JL likened to Dunedin. The going was tough due to the winds blowing strongly across our left shoulder, so much that the road wasn’t wide enough for us to form echelons sufficient to protect the whole bunch. Soon enough on a downhill grade with Tiny Dancer putting in one of his famous “Capitan” session with Rusty at his side I found myself out of position on the back of the bunch with nowhere to hide struggling to keep up in the gusty winds.
Thankfully it wasn’t long before we rolled into lunch at Sheringa, a small corner store/roadhouse/pub in the middle of seemingly nowhere that the Gorilla has scouted out during his trip west to Esperance to meet us before the ride. We were greeted by a bunch of the local sheilas who were all dressed up and gassed up heading off to the local football grand final for the “Roosters”, but not before a truckload of pre-game drinks. We got a donation and also a flash of skin when one of the "ladies" lifted her skirt to show us her garter belt. Clearly they were attracted to Rusty’s good looks (hey it’s not just Tazer who thinks so!). The store owner Kathy was very generous by allowing us to use the beer garden for our lunch stop, and she was repaid with a flurry of cappuccino orders from the riders. Kathy had been kind enough to donate a couple of cartons of soft drinks, juices and sport drinks to Jeff when he visited the first time. We have enjoyed these over the past ten days and were very appreciative when she again donated us some flavoured waters after lunch. A quick photo later and we were heading back out onto the road, and as Ray had promised, the blustering crosswind had tuned to become a howling tailwind. I will now hand you over to Sharky.
A 189km day turns into 236km's!
A huge thank you to Baby Gorilla for helping me with this journal today. Originally I had planned to write it solo as per usual, but when our 189km day to Wangary turned pear shaped due to no available camping accommodation, we decided to extend the ride a further 10km's into Coffin Bay, meaning a 200 km day and a 4:30pm finish. But it did not finish there, (please read below story) as we ended up cycling another 36km's into Port Lincoln. You see when we rolled out of Wangary, Kevvy and Jeff shot ahead of the group to see if there was suitable accommodation in Coffin Bay. The riders were left to make our way to the turn off to Coffin Bay, but once there we realised it meant turning into a 40km/h headwind for 11km's with half of it on dirt. Questions were asked from a passing motorist and we were told there was a tarmac road 10km's further along on the Flinders Highway. With our tailwind we made tracks for that road, got there and the sign said 14km's to Coffin Bay. By this stage we were at 210km's, it was now 4:30pm, very cold, no road crew, 8 very tired riders, and now a 14km stretch into those same headwinds. Coffin Bay was living up to it's name! Kevvy and Jeff were both called with no luck contacting them. Suggestions were flying thick and fast; stay here and camp on the side of the road or wait for road crew? It was Tiny who saved the day with the suggestion that we ride a further 30km's into Port Lincoln with a tailwind, which he said would take the same time as slogging into a headwind for 14km's. So messages were left on both Jeff and Kevvy's phones and off we went. Eventually they phoned us, cancelled accommodation arrangements in Coffin Bay and hightailed it and caught us 15km's from Port Lincoln. A quick stop to put on some warmer clothes from the vehicle and finally, after leaving at 6:45am, arriving at 6pm and 236 very long kilometres behind us, we rolled into the Grand Tasman Hotel, which coincidentally is linked to one of only 3 Bottlemart outlets in South Australia.
We love Bottlemart and manager Michael Griffiths
A huge thanks to Jeff, (Gorilla) who called the manager, Michael Griffiths, explained our situation, and that this event was sponsored by Bottlemart. Michael then kindly turned around and donated 4 rooms for the group to share, as well as throw in a free continental breakfast for everyone. So by the time we unloaded, checked in, stowed the bikes, showered, shopped for snacks, did our 2 days of washing for 10 people, called love one's, answered some emails, ordered and ate dinner at the Restaurant linked to the Hotel and read out Melissa's excellent journal, it was 10pm and time for some tired bodies to get some sleep. That is except for Baby G and I, who agreed to help me write the journal entry from the start today to lunch time, and I would do from lunch to the finish. It is now 11:30pm and I am sharing with Kevvy in a double bed, while poor Melissa is in a single bed right next to us, trying unsuccessfully to sleep while Kevvy coughs up a lung and I tap tap tap away on this apple wireless keyboard I have linked to the iPad.
So that was how that part of the afternoon and night finished, now for the report from lunch onwards. So rolling out of lunch we were gifted with an incredible 40km/h tailwind, with gusts blowing as hard as 50km/h. It was unbelievable changing day of wind, rain, sun, cold, and hot conditions throughout the day, but those 50km/h gusts that hit us at afternoon tea and then when rolling out will always be remembered.
Rather than give a rundown of events from lunchtime onwards I will instead do a few bullet points of events that happened throughout that long 6 hour strewn out afternoon into Port Lincoln.
Rolling out from lunch, full belly of food and instantly sitting on 40 plus kilometres an hour.
Rolling out of lunch and all the team feeling great except for 1 Shark.
Not wanting to ruin the moment so suck up the fact that my guts are full of chocolate milk, wraps, coffee, electrolyte, cashews and water and that it all wants to come back up.
Watching the girls on front clock their fastest ever speed on a flat section, with that kick-arse tailwind at 54km/h!
Covering that first 10km out of lunch at an average of 44.2km/h.
Covering the next 10km's at an average of 44.4km/h!
Suffering like a dog during those segments but sucking it up so as not to ruin the moment.
35km's into crazy lunchtime speeds and hearing someone yell out the words I had waited for since lunch, "EASE IT UP PLEASE." I could not have been happier...
Watching the strong men of the bunch Ray, Rusty, Baby G and Tiny form a 4 man rotation off the front and protect the rest of us from the elements.
Asking Ray to go to the front, stay there and slow it down for the last 25km's into afternoon tea and failing miserably as he was next to the hypo active Tiny Dancer.
Listening to Tiny beg to Ray if he could please go from 44km/h to 46, then to 48, then finally in a pleading voice to 50km/h on a slight downhill section with the wind up our crackers.
Watching Ray shake his head in the futility of controlling an out of control dance man in full swing.
Loving it when Baby G and Rusty charged to the front, took control and finally ended Tiny's energetic dance steps. Thanks boys. Love your work.
Just watching my team throughout a day when I struggled the entire way, and fully appreciating their unbelievable caring friendship and sacrifices to help me achieve my goal of riding around Australia. Utmost respect to all, riders and road crew. Love you guys!
That last 30km's into Port Lincoln and Taser taking time off from tasering her fellow riders to talk to me for an hour.
That same 30km's and watching the lads swap turns on front and protecting Mel, Anna, Johnny and I. Man we have a strong team this year. I am in awe!
That wicked descent into Port Lincoln, losing 120 metres of altitude gain in a
Watching the hard lads go for the umpteenth 60km/h sign this trip, going into Port Lincoln, with Baby G the victor. Being a slightly downhill sprint, with a tailwind speeds of over 70km/h were reached during this sprint. Crazy stuff after nearly 2000 kilometres of riding, but the boys need their fun.
And finally the camaraderie of the group, when we finished in the car park at the Grand Tasman Hotel, reaching an all time high after completing such an epic day that kept getting extended.
So that was our 10th day on the road. It is now 7pm the next night and we are 120km's down the road in the seaside town of Arno Bay. Last night I fell asleep writing the blog and have only just finished it now. Hence the reason you are getting this a day late.
Tiny Dancer is doing today's blog so I will hand you over to him.
Here is the donation address http://www.smiddyfundraising.com.au/event/7-in-7
and thank you for sharing our amazing journey.
Love to all.