Friday, 28 September 2012


Written by Tiny Dancer and Baby Gorilla.

Stats by Raymondo 'Under the Radar' Smith 
Course:​​Port Wakefield to Glenelg (Adelaide)
Distance: ​​114km
Ride Time:​​3 hours 51 min
Average speed:​29.7km
Metres climbed:​137 metres
Temperature min:​7 degrees
Temperature max:​29 degrees
Wind direction:​Light North Easterly not really there to be recognised in any form of assistance

Tiny Dancer Stats: ​Day 15
Average heart rate: ​​106 BPM
Max heart rate: ​173 BPM
Average cadence: ​88 RPM

Stats for the Tour
Course:​Esperance (Western Australia) – Glenelg (Adelaide South Australia)
Distance: ​2532.32km
Ride Time:​91hours 19min 21secs
Average speed:​27.7km
Metres climbed:​8329 metres
Temperature min:​5 degrees
Temperature max:​36 degrees
Maximum Speed:       72.8km
Maximum Distance:  236km
Wind direction: Every conceivable direction in a 360 ͦ
Total distance heading in a Northerly direction:    548km
Total distance heading in a Southerly direction:    779km
Total distance heading in a Easterly direction:       1205.32km
Total distance heading in a Westerly direction:      A big fat zero
Days into Headwinds: 5
Days with Tailwinds:  5
Days accumulated with Crosswinds:  5
Ray’s Total Calories:  98007 (without a heart monitor connected)

Road Kill Count by Mel, Rusty, Ray & Baby G.
4 x Skippy’s 3 x Snakes 9 x Shingle Back Lizards 2 x Crows

Nothing: A Caravan Park with nothing in a town with nothing with nothing to do there.
Well that was the official word over the phone that Captain Kev received as he phoned ahead for accommodation last night into Port Wakefield. Needless to say his reporting of our planned accommodation that night created a rather sombre mood amongst the troops. There we were, about to embark on the last 60 km riding into the last night prior to our final day of this epic journey with the news we were heading to absolutely nothing. Upon arrival we were pleasantly surprised to find well, everything. A town, houses, pubs, shops and a caravan park with everything.

It seems that Captain Kev’s voice sounded like a ’Bandido’s’ biker, after shouting repeatedly at cyclists during the challenge and 7 in 7 rides, along with the failure to explain we were arriving on push bikes not harley’s, convinced the council staffed caravan park to downright lie to him.

An early Start on this the final day.
Day 15 commenced early as we had a timetable to keep so as to arrive on time at the Sip and Save LMG cellars in North Glenelg on time at 12 midday. So it was up at 5am, out of swags, hot showers for some and a quick breakfast and pack up. It was a cold roll out and after a ring of the cow bell by none other than the ‘Shark’, we were on a way for the final day.

There was a very casual pace set along the A1 rolling towards Adelaide the usual yellow room at around 20km. There were some delightful agricultural themed fragrances in the air enough to stimulate the olfactory senses of this grupetto anyway. So it was a steady roll on to our morning tea at Lower Light at the lovely’s Tracy's  Diner with the giant sun drenched windows warming us up as the counter was manned by the delightful and chipper Tracy.  It was here that a peculiar raft of events were to unfold.
Firstly we met a trucker who was labelled ‘a complete knob head’ by an anonymous member of the crew. It seems that he disliked cyclists because they only travel at 10 km per hour and that holds him up. It was only after his exit that we all realised he was the actual first competitor in ‘Australia’s Trucker Biggest Loser 2012 Series’ as his fellow 7 Truck Driving competitors arrived during the following 30 minutes. There was also a surprise delivery of fresh bread by a retired member of  the ZZZ TOP band.  

Rusty serves a great coffee
The biggest surprise of the morning was however reserved when the lovely Tracy invited our own Rusty Carbo Balls, the travelling lycra clad barista, to assist her with the preparation of not only our coffee orders but also those of a travelling couple who arrived during our stay. With Kevy performing a wonderful job as the waitress our meals and coffees both arrived on time and were of a very high standard.
The traveling couple Barbara, a cancer survivor herself and husband John gave rusty 8/10 for the cappu-latte, too much froth apparently was the reason for the lost 2 points. 
Following morning tea we headed down the A1 at a slightly more enthusiastic pace. There was time for one last dance for Tiny and Raymond 'honey my butt cheeks of steel will be home in 2 days' Smithers. There was also time for a little mental cycling lesson for Anna. Unfortunately for Tazer she endured a hard and tough day in the saddle yesterday so it was suggested she trial one of the Dancer’s strategies. This particular strategy is to spend the entire session on the bike thinking of nothing but a blank blackboard but you are allowed the option of adding a smiling face in the bottom left corner, but this face needs to have diagonal eyes because it is good to keep them guessing.

Guest Rider on the left.
40 km out from our destination there he was. Challenge rider and Gypsy Smiddy rider Brendan Lynch who joined us for our final hour or so and on the fly explained to me that he was born in Brisbane, lives in Melbourne but works in Adelaide. I had some difficulty working that out at 40km/hr along the dual carriage way, so thought better of it and returned to the blackboard to erase the ridiculous amounts of information Anna was attempting to write there. Brendan was of great assistance as he navigated us through to the picturesque coastline east of Adelaide, thanks again Brendan. That's it from Tiny Dancer, I'll hand you over to Baby G now.

The final couple of hours into the finish
We traversed the busy dual carriageways towards Port Adelaide at a rapid pace thanks to excitement and the beautiful hot-mix road surface. Jeff and Kevvy in the support vehicle provided excellent protection from the traffic to our rear as we enjoyed the final stretches of our journey, where we set a pace averaging 35km/h for the last 40kms of highway before hitting the beachside suburban roads.

We soon hit the coastline at Semaphore and found an appropriately yellow coloured amenities block on the beachfront. We regrouped and prepared for the final 15kms south along the coastline to Glenelg where our dedicated fans were awaiting us. Day rider Brendan Lynch navigated us through the streets of his adopted home town and spirits were high for our impending arrival then, after a quick stop for Rusty to transform into his alter-ego Eric the Alien, we bid farewell to our dedicated support drivers as they went on ahead to the finish line. Soon enough, we were snaking our way left and right through the streets before discovering we had taken a wrong turn and were now approaching our destination from the opposite direction.

We soon saw the balloons, streamers and the backs of our loved ones who waited patiently for our arrival from the north. Thanks to a busy road full of traffic, we halted at the turning lane on the opposite side of the street to the North Glenelg Sip and Save bottle shop, our glorious finish line after 2530 km of riding. Our dedicated fans and loved ones were not be outsmarted however by our misguided direction and they ran cheering and waving, towards us full of excitement as we rode into the car park.
We had made it!

More kindness stories
Hugs, cheers, tears and photos were exchanged by all and we were soon into the final Smiddy Huddle for the trip – three cheers for everyone involved! Neil and John Ward from Sip and Save Glenelg North provided us with cold (non-alcoholic) beverages and David Kranenburg from our principal sponsor LMG (Bottlemart and Sip & Save etc) was quick to shout us all lunch at the neighbouring fried chicken shop. We were also visited by journalist Brett Williamson from 891 ABC Adelaide who took Sharky aside for an interview about our journey. You can hear the audio report here

Shark Man's Gumbie Mistake
We were soon back on the road and with Ray (it’s just a jump to the left, and then a step to the right) Smith back at the navigational helm, we were quickly into the bar of the Bay Motel Hotel for some celebratory beers courtesy of manager Greg Viles and again David from LMG. It was here that some sharp eye noticed that Sharky had committed the ultimate cycling faux pas, a ‘gumby’ mark on his right calf, a grease tattoo from rubbing his leg on the front chainring of his bicycle. Today was the one and only time of the whole tour that Sharky revealed his pin white legs, which are normally covered up in long lycra to protect from sun damage. But today he celebrated by revealing legs as bright and as white as a new born's bottom. Anyway this is such a rookie error for such an experienced rider, a mistake learned multiple times by Anna during the 15 day ride, and an exhausted Sharkman was excused due to his epic month of cycling but only after a decent ribbing by all his fellow riders.

Over dinner at the local City Thai Restaurant, eating the special City Banquet, we all shared our favourite moments on the bike. Tailwinds featured heavily in conversation, JL reminded us of his love for his swag, and Tony’s loud and humorous excursions from his lalophobia also made the highlight real.

7in7 riders find out where their raised funds are utilised
It is now Friday afternoon and I have been slow to finalise this journal after a well-deserved sleep-in. I can however tell you about the amazing invitation we accepted today to visit one of our fundraising beneficiaries - the Flinders Medical Centre Foundation right here in Adelaide. We were welcomed by events manager Deb Palmer and introduced to CEO Deborah Heithersay, who explained to us the development of the cancer centre she is obviously so proud of being part of. They provide a holistic approach in their care for cancer patients, which she likened to a ‘hippie hospital’ with lots of space, interaction between doctors, patients and researchers and soon to be provided alternative therapies and treatments for outpatients.  It would be a one-stop-centre for cancer treatment and recovery with yoga classes even planned for the morning. We then listened to Professor Pam Sykes explain her research into radiation treatments for cancer and her focus on preventative rather than curative treatments. During a quick tour of the facility we saw the helipad, some laboratories and a plaster cast hand print of Lance Armstrong from a previous visit to open the building. Tiny dancer noted that his hands perfectly matched the treasured imprints, which made me realise – I’ve never seen Tiny Dancer and Juan Pelota in the same room together… The girls then proceeded to air kiss the image of Lance Armstrong impregnated into the glass door of the research facility,before we were off again on our tour.

PHD student is really 'The Hulk'
For me, the highlight of the tour was meeting Professor Pam’s PHD scholarship student Cameron Dougherty, the recipient of a scholarship directly funded by Smiling for Smiddy! We enjoyed talking with Cameron over coffee, hearing about his inspiration to leave a career in pharmacy to take up the three year scholarship, learning of his role in the ongoing research and in true 7-in-7 style adopting him with the nickname “Bruce Banner” that he certainly seemed proud of. We look forward to hearing about your progress at Flinders Medical Centre Foundation when we see you (or the Hulk) next year to kick off the 2013 leg Sharky’s Oz 7-in-7 ride when it departs Adelaide for Melbourne and a lap of Tasmania. We know you can smash cancer Dr Banner!
For everyone in the groupetto the chance to be exposed to where our fundraising is being utilised was certainly an unforgettable end to an amazing and challenging experience. Our visit really pushed home the importance of our cycling, more so than the 30km/h headwinds, and what an impact we are making in the world. What a sensational conclusion to our long journey with lifelong friends.

Sharky said to tell you that in a couple of days time he will submit a 'Final Wrap' on the 7in7 tour for 2012. Until then, hope you have enjoyed the journey and thanks for all the support over the past 15 days of riding.

Baby Gorilla, also known as Craig Mitchell.

1 comment:

  1. So proud of all of you and glad you were able to see where your fundraising is really helping the world. Congrats to all of you for the incredible memories you have made, the friendships that can never be forgotten, the laughter shared, the hard work you each did, the great blog posts to let all of us reading feel like we are seeing it through your eyes, and all the miles you accomplished in the name of fun and fund-raising. You are each an inspiration. Chapeau!!!