Stats for the day by Raymond “ Susanna” Smith (Ray loves his job and I apologise for the stats getting longer and longer each journal entry...
Course: Nullarbor to Nundoo
Distance: 144 kms
Total distance so far: 1258 km's (7km short of halfway on day 7 in the 7in7 and also an average of 7 hours riding time each day for 7 days!)
Ride Time: 4 hours 34 min
Average speed: 31.4km/h
Metres climbed: 589
Temperature min: 15.5 degrees
Temperature max: 33.1 degrees
Wind direction: Northwest to Southwest (Predominately tailwinds) You bloody ripper!
Most impressive treeless section: 17 kilometres without a single solitary tree, maybe a couple of shubberies! (Think Monty Python)
Windmill spotted: First windmill since day one and the group was ecstatic! 1 to Baby G!
White horses spotted: 1, by Mel on day 4.
Road Kill Count by Rusty Balls
1 x Skippy (first roo in 305km's, what's going on there, a roo strike in South Australia maybe?)
1 x Crow
2 x Blue Tongue Lizard
1 x Rabbit
1 x UFO (unidentified flat object!)
Just quickly on the road kill count; Baby G is King, Rusty is the peasant. Rusty will ride past something dead and ring the bell 10 seconds later after another rider called it out. There is no comparison between the G and R. The rust bucket has been sacked, Melissa is now in. Surely she will do better than Kate last year, who was as bad as Rusty...
Other half of the joke finally:
Do you remember back on day 1 I asked if you knew what a shitzu was? No it is not a dog but a zoo with no animals. (please laugh)
That girl Taser
Hi guys, Sharky back again. Thanks to Taser for writing last nights blog and what a beauty it was. Taser has been an absolute pleasure to have on board and today she showed the group the reason I gave her that name. You see it was halfway through the day when she went to the front and did a massive turn with Tiny Dancer. Here they were, two warriors, side by side, duking it out. The Taser, very much the amateur and the underdog with the incredible good looks. Then we have Tiny, a man with 30 years of experience on the bike, with the looks of a street fighter and is a dead ringer for Jason Statham. On today's course, with the flatlands behind us, the tailwinds blowing up our cracker, and hills, real hills that required effort to pedal up and a chance to freewheel down. It was on one particular one where Taser pushed so hard going down that Tiny dropped off the pace and Taser was off the front momentarily by herself. At morning tea Tiny told me that he had been ''Tasered" by 'The Taser'. The name has stuck and all the crew address her by that name.
Thank you supporters for messages
Well last night when we arrived into the roadhouse of Nullarbor, we checked into the caravan park, showered, ate and as Telstra coverage was present we were all able to download our emails and text messages. What a lovely surprise to see so many messages of support come through from you guys out there. I read half out to the group last night and the remainder tonight in Nullarbor. Some beautiful well meaning words in there guys and please forgive me if I don't personally reply to all of them due to tiredness and lack of time. At the end of this blog I have added an email from one of our greatest supporters in Adam Smiddy's father, David Smiddy. Anyway tonight the group are sharing two rooms, 5 to a room and it will be the third night I have had to share a double bed with Kevvy on this trip already, but after 5 years on the road of the 7in7 with Kevvy I am used to his sleeping habits and can actually sleep through him getting up to pee 3 times a night and coughing up his lungs when he is crook, hence we are always paired up. Anyway in one room Mel is sharing photos of the trip with Kevvy, Rusty, Smithers, while Tiny is curled up asleep on his bed, exhausted from running off the bike this afternoon as soon as we finished todays stage. In my room we have JL massaging Taser's legs, after her Taser energy was diminished from the duel with Tiny Dancer. Baby G is on the top bunk shouting out more stats to include in my blog and Father G is getting up me as I just told the group I am off to the restaurant to try and write my blog in peace.
Tailwinds finally restore morale and excitement levels at an all-time high
This morning at 2am Smithers got up to pee on the flat plains of the Nullarbor, hoping that something would grow in that very spot as a reminder to when he returns sometime in the next 100 years. He did also notice that the headwind from the East was still present and went back to bed and sulked for the remainder of the night. Three hours later he was back, at 5am, peeing on the same spot, in the same direction he has always peed over the last 5 days, towards the West. Not until his leg got wet from the splash-back did it dawn on this wise man that the wind was now blowing from the West. Smithers was so excited he could not get back to sleep although the group wake up call was not until 6am. Roll out time of 7am was immediately relaxed and after Kevvy gave Melissa the honour of ringing the cow bell (have I mentioned it has been in the family for over 100 years?) we were on our way for a cruisy 144km day. The excitement was at boiling point as Baby G and Smithers pushed out 40km/h for the first 10km's. The pace was too fast and we knew it, but couldn't help it. Eventually sanity prevailed and the pace was pegged back to a respectable 35km/h with heart-rates still in the low 120's. Life is good!
The Nullarbor Plains is actually very short
For my entire life I always thought the great Nullarbor plains stretched from one side of the country to the other. The reality is that the official Nullarbor plains stretch for just 17km's. In that 17km stretch not a single tree exists. It appears to be as barren as anything you would find on an alien planet that is devoid of anything but red sandy deserts. A sight to behold for sure and one that will not be soon forgotten. I only mention aliens here as Rusty admitted he thought he was adducted last night. The reason he gave is that his bottom from cycling on a skinny arse seat no longer felt sore today. He admitted to having fleeting drug induced memories of have a teflon bottom replacement during his abduction. So today his bum is feeling good, he has been gifted with a 144km tailwind and unlike yesterday his bout of diarrhea was gone with the transplant and he was on cloud nine and riding like Jen's Voight. So within 17km's we said goodbye to our treeless plain and instantly we were surrounded once again by the normal roadside landscape abundant all around Australia. For the first time in 6 days we were able to have a conversation without shouting to be heard. Smithers and Rusty did a turn on front at the 15km mark that lasted 20km's, while the other 6 riders were engaged deep in conversation. It was a magic time for the group...
Tailwinds make for great times
Due to the great 20km/h tailwind we were making such good time that we stretched out the morning tea break to just short of 100km's, which was achieved at an average speed of 33km/h. Lunch we gave a miss due again to motoring along, with the average dropping to 31.4km/h, to arrive into the roadhouse of Nundoo at 2:30pm. Taser was so excited that she offered to shout the group ice-creams, which we happily let her do. I can't tell you how good it was to not only finish a stage early, but to finish it feeling remarkable okay. Such a rare occasion on the trip thus far. We all agreed whole heartedly that we had earned our day of respite and that although we still rode 144km's it kind of felt like a rest day. Life could not be rosier! But trust me, we are not getting ahead of ourselves, tomorrow the wind patterns are once again unsettling and could once again turn back into our face. So one day at a time, and after all the amazing messages from you guys, we will use them for strength and remember the reasons we are out here doing this ride. To remember lost love ones and to raise money for cancer research. As one of the messages said, those conditions are sometimes sent to remind us of the suffering that cancer patients go through. Our bad days pail into insignificance!
Tomorrow Rusty and Smithers are doing the journal, which will surely be an interesting read. Thanks again for all your support. We honestly feel like you are by our side. I know my old mate Adam Smiddy is, and like my good friend Jack Simpson said, Adam would have loved and embraced the pain we are going through, he would have loved this whole experience. I surely do miss my mate, but these rides always -always without a doubt- bring me closer to him. That is worth all the pain in the world!
Take care dear friends.
Email from David Smiddy
Just caught up on the blogs. Jeez – what did you lot do to deserve the pounding you are going through? It must have been real bad. Of course, JL would have something to do with it. I have told you time and again – he is just plain bad news. As for him peeing into the wind on Day 3 – he does that all the time out of sheer pleasure. Say a special g’day to the big fella for me. He knows I think he is a dead set legend!
I am glad to see the group is looking after you and Mel. However, I am sure they will soon wake up to your ‘I’m tired from all the events I’ve done’ to get their sympathy. It took Steely a bit of time to cotton up to you.
But all jokes aside, I said it for the first time in August 2006, I’ve said it a thousand times since, and I will say it again – you know I think you are mad! BUT – Maria and I could not be more proud of you and what you are accomplishing. Who, apart from yourself, could possibly have imagined that your first little jaunt up to Home Hill would lead to 3 million dollars being raised for research and now you and a bunch of fellow masochists riding across the Nullarbor? I often think - how much would Adam have loved it?
Mate – take care of yourself, please pass on our best to the rest of the crew and may the winds of tail blow up your butt.
Thanks Mr Smiddy, never one to mince words. Look out old mate, because a Sharky cuddle is coming your way when next we meet!