Friday, 20 September 2013


Distance: 160 kilometres
Average speed: 28.1 kmph
Maximum speed: 81.2 kmph
Temperature Minimum - 7 degrees
Temperature Maximum - 20 degrees
Metres climbed: 998
Ride time: 5 hrs 45 min
Wind direction: Tailwind

Road Kill by Door Mat

1 Dirty Rat, 2 Wallabies, 1All Black, 1 Crimson Rosella, (escaped from the Monty Python script) 1 Galah and a small hopping kangaroo type creature (flattened of course)

A change of pace.

It has been 5 months, 6 hours, 32 minutes, and 6 seconds since Sharky and Alyssa have met, but who is counting. The flame still burns brightly, and they are together again tonight after over a week apart. Hence, I am writing this blog. The experience of a roadie.

The road crew consists of Capt. Kevvie, Quarter Master Bec, and Privates Katie and Bob

OK, now for the real stats:

Roll out of bed time: 5.30 am
Breakfast: 6.00 am–15 bowls of cereal, 1 loaf of bread, 2 jars of jam, 1 jar of peanut butter, milk, fruit juice.
Morning break: 35 muesli bars, fruit (bananas, apples, mandarins), saos with cheese and tomatoes, and amazing home-baked fruit cake.
Lunch: the road crew has learned that the best thing is to just throw a lot of things on the table and make the riders make their own—smiles all around.
Afternoon tea. Didn't have today, as the riders rode too fast.
End of ride snacks: A new concept, and all enjoyed junk food and drinks.
Dinner: Chef Bec and Sous Chef Bob prepared a meal of steak, chicken, and salads.
Laundry: Even without a drier, chief laundress Katie managed to wash the kits, and dry them in our amazing backpacker palace. It must be stressed that Katie is the best–after only 3 days of doing the laundry, she knows which knickers belong to whom.
Riders: 10

Highlights of the day:

After a couple of hours of driving, Bec and Katie managed to find a place to get coffee and to buy bonnets for themselves. Unfortunately, the didn't convey the coffee location to Kev and Bob
Kev and Bob drove for hours at speed speeds between 20 and 40 kms per hour following the riders––we can now recognise all of them just by looking at their bums.
The Tea Tree Coffee and Art Gallery at Portland make good coffee, and treated all of us to Melting Moments.
Bec and Katie found the most perfect spots for the morning break and lunch.
Our overnight accommodation in Yambuk proved to be amazing. It is an old school house converted into a backpackers hostel. Even though there are only 3 showers and toilets, there is a huge dining room and a very well-equiped kitchen. But best of all, we had the whole place to ourselves.

In case you haven't figured it out by now, the road crew have to be multi-taskers. We get out of bed earlier than the riders, prepare breakfast for them, pack the vehicles, make certain that they have food at their breaks and lunch, drive with them to ensure they remain safe, do their laundry, and try to do everything possible to make their ride as worry-free as possible. Every day produces new challenges for us, but that is what makes the journey more exciting and worthwhile.

But, perhaps a poem written by Katie's daughter to Kevvie and Bob expresses it better than I can:

Packed into a hot car
food & swags in the back
driving along the burning tar
man I wish I had a snack
the bike riders ride
we follow with glee
at night we sighed
happy the day has been
this is the life
of a road crew member
filled with lots of strife
but we'll always remember

A word about the riders. They are an amazing bunch. As a roadie, people I talk to, when they learn what they are doing, almost always say "they are crazy". I agree, but I also don't agree. I understand why they are doing this journey, I understand why they are prepared to push on regardless of the weather or road conditions. Yet following them in the safety support vehicle, I also somethings think, "they are crazy", but in a great way, if you know what I mean.

The riders on this 7 x 7: What a fantastic bunch of people. They follow all of our orders, they don't complain, they thank us at every opportunity. They even did the dishes tonight, how good is that! You are the most amazing people I have ever worked with. Without you, it would not be possible for me to have this incredible experience. We love you, and we wish all of you the best that life can offer.

Bob on behalf of the "Roadies"

PS: Sharky will be pre-occupied for the next few nights, so others will be writing the blog. It will be difficult for all of us to keep up with Sharky's blogs, but who cares, as right now love reigns supreme.

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