Thursday, 27 September 2012


Written by Hell Mel Speare & JL
Stats for the day by Raymond “Georgina” Smith
Course: Whyalla to Port Wakefield
Distance: ​167kms
Ride Time:​ 5 hours 18 min  11sec
Ave speed:​ 31.6km/h
Top Speed:​ 72kph coming down descent into Port Wakefield
Metres climbed: ​566 metres
Elevation Max:​ 194 metres
Temperature min:​ 17 degrees
Temperature max:​ 30 degrees
Wind direction:​ Northwest. Hooting tailwind until lunch, then tail cross wind due to road direction
Tiny Dancer Stats:
Av Cadence:​88 rpm
Av Heartrate: 109
Max Heartate: 178 (with some chick on his wheel)
Ray Av Cadence: 87rpm – Awarded silver, bronze and participation medals by the only Tiny Dancer
Road Kill Count by everyone
3 x Skippys
8 x Shinglebacks
2 x Crows
(numbers beginning to dwindle)
Well here we are, blog for day 14 - Wednesday. 
This morning the alarm went off 5.40am just as I had set it the night before knowing it would give me a good 20 minutes to lay in my swag and enjoy the last quiet minutes before readying myself and packing up for the day.  Pressure was on for me to be up as I knew I had to give Sharky’s swag a shake at 6am so I could make sure he was up and ready for our 7am roll out. You see, this morning’s roll out was one of great importance. We had a 7.05am coffee date at McDonalds, Port Pirie before the scheduled 8am roll out to begin our ride for the day. 167km from Port Pirie to Port Wakefield, which with some careful planning from Ray (I love Telstra) included a little diversion in order to keep us safe and off the highway.
It should be noted that all riders and crew were on time and delivered as scheduled. Well done team!!
After the planned coffees, hot cakes, raisin toast and banana breads were all consumed we again for the second time today, managed to stay true to our schedule and depart Port Pirie McDonalds – on time. Of course only after Kevvy’s traditional 100 year old bell was rung by the delighted 1 millionth Port Pirie McDonalds customer.
The diversion off the highway and on to the “B” roadway was a great choice. The road conditions were great, traffic friendly and scenery on either side of the road spectacular. The green of the fields against the grey skys that didn’t open; the remnants of old stone cottages that scatter the paddocks all surrounded by the hills in the distance.  
Coupled with the view of our garmins ticking over the first 50km at 35kph with the help of the friendly breeze at our back, it was the perfect cycling morning.
By morning tea stop at Port Borough we had 60km under our belt where, while the cheese, vitaweets and tomato make an appearance we hear a shriek (manly of course!) from Rusty who’s fundraising tally is increasing daily. Rusty had just received a very generous donation from fellow bike rider Neil Lucas who also very generously assisted us Smiddy riders with food and accommodation last night. Once again, it humbles us all to see such generosity come from those that we encounter along this fabulous journey. Thanks Neil and good luck with your cycle trip in October.
Today has been another big cycling day for us all. Our bodies and minds are tiring but not wanting this adventure to end.
Take me back 12 days and I’m positive that time was actually standing still. Now it seems that the days, hours, minutes and seconds are flying by at an ever increasing rate of knots and while I can’t wait to get home and see my kids, Pete and my incredibly supportive family and friends, I’m not so sure I’m ready for it all to end.
I’m struggling to think that my nights rooming and swagging under the stars with the Sharkman (my new bestie), Anna and the rest of the 7 in 7 crew are limited to this night here in Port Wakefield.  
You may think that after spending the days cycling side by side we may be sick of each others company, the silly jokes and banter, the stories of life, family and friends, but I’m not.  
I’ve had the joy throwing down the swags in the unused pub bar at Noresman; slept soundly in a special old pub room that may resemble the room from a crime scene of NCIS episode and shared a room with 6 others in Eucla, where as Tiny would put it, was so alive with the metabolic burning of calories that the door need to be jimmied open for fear of setting off of heat detectors.
But it’s the nights under the stars in our swags that I have really loved. The simple joys of throwing down the ground tarp and setting up that oh so comfy looking swag. Listening to the stories from the day with my swag neighbour while hammering in pegs, installing swag poles and rummaging through gear bags getting ready for showers.  
Sharky, my bestie camp neighbour, has made sure I don’t trip over my swag cover or catch my hair in the zipper as I snuggle myself down for a sleep on the condition that I give his swag a shake in the morning to make sure he’s up and ready for breaky. A perfect camp duo I think.
Come the morning pack up I’ve been spoilt with the Rusty and Ray jumping at the bit to perfect the swag roll and what better way to do so by rolling multiple swags, including mine. Love your work, so much so, my fingers are crossed you continue to perfect it tomorrow.  J  
Over to you JL.

So it's JL here now with my view of the afternoon session. 106.87km on the clock.

I'll do from half way through lunch and that finds me in a kebab shop at Wallaroo. I was purchasing a little 600ml slice of magic recovery juice - chocolate milk. I've learnt the healing, fueling, recovering and regenerative powers of chocolate milk from my nutritional brains trust, the Tiny Dancer.

I then went back over to the park where Kevvy and Jeff had set up lunch, grabbed a spot on the grass under an obelisk and had a Powernap. From 12:52pm until 1:27pm.

I never really rated the Powernap. Not until today. I'd heard through Sharky, Mel and The Tiny Dancer that the Powernap was Captain Awesome. Those 3 are Powernap professionals on the Powerade Powernap World Tour. Most lunch breaks Mel or Sharky are putting a few sneaky zed's to bed. Tiny being a more black and white individual around the why's and wherefore's of napping only naps at morning tea. It's not a rule. That just happens.

Refreshed and revitalized I found myself a bundle of alert energy as we rolled out. There was a flurry of activity in the first stage after lunch.

The Taser Anna ran over a 2" stick and her 20kg yellow beast ran rough shod through the stick, shattering its hopes of retaining any sort of integrity.

There's been a rift between Rusty and Baby G. Yesterday at afternoon tea there was one Coke. Baby G wanted it. Rusty drank it. Notch one up in the memory banks.

Then earlier today at morning tea there were five wonderful salt and vinegar rice cakes. Baby G ate them. I admit that I assisted. There was much gnashing of teeth. Rusty came up for his favourite little rice based snack food and alas there was none for him.

One all.

This afternoon there were digs, jibes and fun poking. I've done some root cause analysis and the fundamental reason was under catering. It was not the frustrations of living in close quarters for 2 weeks. It was not over eating. It was under catering.

On the way out of town there were two very smooth pieces of smooth smooth hot mix asphalt. A big shout out to Raymondo for kicking off Frank Sinatra's "I love you Tarmac, and if it's quite alright I love you Tarmac..."

Amongst the smooth asphalt was great swathes of gravelly edges. There was one point where Rusty called gravel left with his fingers and then there was a need to call gravel right. He was channelling spirit fingers. Not jazz hands. Definitely spirit fingers. Big Hi to Katie Warren for inspiring the memory of this.

10km after lunch, coming into Kadina we witnessed some solid sprinting from Sharky. Rusty had gone out early into the 60 sign, saw there was no competition and lifted his foot off the gas. Sharky came from the back of the pack and smashed out an effort for 117m, just pipping Rusty for the Johnny Cash.

For the next 10km or so, every time there was a slight issue in the pack, Sharky blamed the rabble on his spirit breaking win. He finally had one and was basking. Yours truly is yet to capture one so I feel his drive to achieve.

We climbed out of lunch consistently for about an hour. There was a long long long steady climb over 10km to the 145km mark where we ascended around 200m. About 3km from the top of the climb, our resident spotted jersey mountain goat, Rusty, decided to rub our collective noses in his already secured title by making a burst off the front.

Over the next 2.5 km he put about 800m into the group and little did he know that we were looking for a drink stop about 20 from the end, and that's why he was pulling away so fast. With Rusty powering away in the distance we pulled over and had a coke, chips and applied chamois and sun cream.

Rusty had lobbed into a church converted into a Frosty Fruit vendor about 2km up the road then rolled back to us, just as he finished his ice cream.

On the road again we climbed the last kilometre or so before dropping the 200m over about 6km, the first part being at 9%. Baby G, Ray and I had a crack at the top part of the decent, before the York Peninsula opened up in front of us. We sat up when to admire the view when all of a sudden Tiny came past us at about 54km/hr. Mel was tight on his tail and when Tiny turned around he saw her there, thought "I've got a bit left" and cranked it slightly.

He turned it up to 56 and then turned around and Mel was still there. He thought he still had some left in the tank so he cranked it a little more and there was 60 on the Garmin. He turned around and Mel was still there. It now became a pride thing. He pushed as hard as he could with an angry "aaaaaaaargh". His heart rate monitor was beeping, his legs were burning and he finally dropped her at 61. Pride intact he started to soft pedal at around 66. He was so far ahead we didn't regroup for about 7km, such was the furious fury of Tiny's form.

We then rolled the last 10km into Port Wakefield, with the last 3 of it being back on the major Adelaide Highway. Made our way to the local and only caravan park and scored a great grassy camp site, complete with beers, mixed nuts and an assortment of stretches.

Swags up, showers had, Taser and Rusty created a great stir fry with rice for us. We did the nightly journal reading and the newly traditional reading of emails and comments of support from home. Really great last night on the road.

Strange day today on that it was our last big day. Last day over 100 miles. Last night camping in swags. Last night of this journey. Bit sad but a bit excited about Adelaide tomorrow. We've ridden over 2400 in the 13 days.

There's been some stunning cycling days and we've been incredibly lucky in general with the weather. The epic tax we paid in that first week with the head winds have paid off in spades in the second week.

Thanks again to Sharky for inviting me to come along on this month of cycling. It's been an amazing experience, and I genuinely fear the bubble is about to burst as I enter the reality of my life again.



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