Friday, 21 September 2012


Written by Mel Speare
Stats for the day by Raymond “Bruce” Smith
Course:​Ceduna to Port Kenny
Distance: ​173 kms
Ride Time:​ 5 hours  53 min  8 sec
Average speed:​29.4km/h
Metres climbed:​497 metres
Temperature min:​8 degrees
Temperature max:​29 degrees
Wind direction:​Just from the East
Most impressive road stretch: 36.8km early in the day
Average Heartrate:
Average Cadence:​77rpm
Road Kill Count by Hell Mel assisted by, well, everyone!
23 x Shingleback blue tongue lizards – (yes they do exist!)
1 x small cute type green lizard that may have been froglike
1 x Parrot
2 x Rabbits
Special mention goes to the live Shingleback blue tongue that Baby G almost sent to a higher place.
Hey everyone, Mel here.  Well today is day nine which in my current world is the only way I can track what day of the week it is.   Gone is the significance of the words Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.
Day nine saw us all crinkle back the zippers of our swags in the dark of the early morning to begin our packup and preparations for today’s leg from Ceduna to Port Kenny.  A South Eastern journey along the South Australian coast taking in sights along the Flinders Highway.
This leg consists of 171km of cycling, where winds are predicted to be with us.  So we decided last night to continue the pleasure of arriving at our destination reasonably early in the afternoon by making an early start to our day.  
6am roll out quickly became 7am – relaxing to enjoy that one last toilet visit before we hit the road – a delay that has become quite pleasurable when the pressure to beat the predicted winds has been lifted.
7am we roll out with the honour of bell ringing being given to Jeffery, or as we all know and love him, Gorilla.  Gorilla began his 7-in-7 apprentiship with Captain Kevvy this year and has been doing a sterling job.
Gorilla sent us on our way for todays journey where we roll out of the lovely seaside town of Ceduna.  
Now Kevvy and Gorilla have created quite a bond, where, wherever Kevvy goes, Gorilla goes.  The Dynamic Duo, the 2 Ronnies, Minnie and Mickey, Tonto and the Lone Ranger.  So as we athletic types have the staying power of a neut at the pub, Gorilla kindly looked after our Captain Kevvy where they continued to while the night away in the good company of a quiet ale or two.
Now Tonto and the Lone Ranger are two of the most committed supporters any team could possibly wish for.  They’re up early every day making sure we’re out of bed, fed and watered and ready to hit the road at our designated roll out time.  They pack up the trailer, pick up anything JL leaves behind, wash our dishes and take care of any check out formalities required.  And that’s all before we get to our first break stop where for the 2 Ronnies, it must seem that groundhog day begins again.
Today was no different.  As usual breakfast was out and ready for us all, but where were Gorilla and the Captain?  A glance left and a glance right and what do we see but the two of them snuggled tightly under their covers grasping the last moments of possible shut eye.  Time management maximised once again by the Dynamic Duo!  
The support, encouragement and hugs you give all of us, honestly makes our days and I’m not sure I could ever find enough words to express our absolute thanks to both of you.
Preserve, Conserve & Reserve
As Taser and I are grateful for the helpful cycling tips of our more experienced fellow cyclists, we took yesterdays advice from our very own Tiny Dancer with gusto.  Backpedal to yesterday, the call was, while we wanted to make the most of the 2nd day of expected tail winds, we should be mindful to “preserve, conserve and reserve” our energies throughout the day and not smash ourselves given we were only half way through our journey.  So with the tips of the grupetto bestowed upon us, Taser and I made hay of what was a great day of cycling.  Now given that today – day 9 – was of similar conditions as yesterday, Taser & I both made the assumption that preserve, conserve & reserve was the preferred grupetto styling.  
We quickly learned that was yesterday’s tactic.  Today, Tiny Dancers alter ego, “the Captain” made his presence felt when Tiny Dancer and Baby G took to lead the group smashing out a paceline speed until the ‘ease it up boys’ call comes from the rear.
A cheeky grin comes from the Tiny Dancer with wild eyes.  In good spirits and sportsmanship he has proudly regained his pride in the grupetto pushing the team to their limits and declaring “I may have been tazered by the Tazer, but today the Tiny Dancer dances”.
Look up
As many of us early rising cyclist know, when you’re up early in the morning, its freezing cold and you’re climbing that darned hill that never seems to end or your simply spending 5 days battling a headwind, you can sometimes have a momentary lapse and wonder what on earth you are doing out of your warm and cosy bed.  Fast forward 5 seconds and you remember to look up.  Look up and to the left of you and to the right and you see the amazing land we have bestowed upon us.  
From the day our journey began, which was in a minibus driving from Perth to our starting point in Esperance we have been fortunate enough to appreciate the beauty of our amazing country.  The vibrance of the brilliant yellow of the canola fields and the ruddy clay of Noresman.  The Nullarbor from Norseman to Ceduna (that I for one had half expected to be a hot, boring, straight stretch of road) had us all awestruck as we quickly realised that the road was actually a windy, boring straight stretch of road, but was more so one of the most incredibly fascinating landscapes we may ever get to cycle.  The landscape changes from west to east of this amazing limestone basin; the Malle woodlands and grasslands; the dried up salt lakes that sparkled and glistened in the sunlight and the amazement of cycling from one end of the escarpment to the other from Madura to Eucla in one shockingly windy day – simply beautiful!
As we take in todays route from the picturesque Ceduna to Port Kenny where the greens of the wheat fields roll into the crystal clear ocean to the brilliant blues of the skies, we remember to look up and around us, we are reminded of the fabulous world around us and how incredibly lucky we are to being a part of such and inspiring journey.
I know it has been said before and will not likely be the last time you hear it, but to families, friends, supporters and crew – the love and encouragement you send our way, the time you allow us away from our everyday duties to take to the road and join Sharky on this amazing journey – Thankyou!  You guys are the real wind up our tails.
While there is so much more that I could add to this blog, I have Captain Kevvy tapping his toes giving me the countdown making sure I get to bed at a reasonable hour.  Our last day of big ks tomorrow with 189km from here at Port Kenny to Wangary, so I best sign off.
G’nite all.  Sleep well.
PS  Remember the link…

1 comment:

  1. should take up travel writing! Lovely to be transported to a pretty special part of our country....especially seen from the angle of you guys. Enjoying the variety of the blogs and the banter and shannanykins ? of the team. All hail to the dynamic (support) duo. Happy 'LBKD' Day (Last Big Kilometres Day) Safe riding mum/lynne xo