Sunday, 22 September 2013

ONESTEEL SHARKY'S OZ 7in7 - DAY 5 - YAMBUK TO LAVER'S HILL


Distance: 187 kilometres
Average speed: 24.9 kmph
Maximum speed: 72.7 kmph
Temperature Minimum - 5 degrees
Temperature Maximum - 17 degrees
Metres climbed: 1427
Ride time: 6 hrs 41 min
Wind direction: Tailwind

Road Kill by Sreen Door
1 Kangaroo, 1 Brown Bear, 1 Sea Lion, 1 Giraffe (As reported by our road kill contacts in America, Alaska,and Africa as the Aussie kill was so low.

Relaxed beginnings
We started today in the quiet, peaceful town of Yambuk where Mel once again excelled in her brilliant organisation of accommodation. Mel – what you have done behind the scenes is appreciated from the whole team and the memories we have from the locations we have stayed at will be with us forever. Thank you. The old school we stayed in allowed us to have a wonderful evening together where we enjoyed the fabulous poems of encouragement from Katie Cox’s trusty cheer squad from back home. Thanks so much girls (and Katie for your forward thinking and thoughtfulness) – your support is appreciated more than words can say. Which brings me back to the morning – to wake up to the sound of quiet rather than roaring winds, we have quite enjoyed the wonderful tailwinds on the bike but the serenity of the stillness was a luxury and the road crew provided us with our nutritious breakfast to hit the road. One person who really has developed in her relaxation methods is Sarah “Julia Roberts” Crealey who is so well efficiently packed that she endured the true test of stamina and positive thinking when JL and myself disrupted her wonderful routine by providing an obstacle by unpacking her ever so neatly packed belongings to challenge her to repack in time for Kevvy’s whistle. She rose to the occasion and was even heard to be high fiving herself as she repacked her bag.

Kindness – the quality of being friendly, generous and considerate (Google, 2013)
We were very happy to welcome Sharky’s beautiful girl Alyssa to the team (Alyssa is riding with us for three days much to the delight of Sharky but we are well on the way to stealing his girl away from him… Watch this space). However we were all saddened when Russ made the very sensible decision to rest his knees up and join the road crew for the day. His role in the team is irreplaceable and we truly miss him on the bike but in true Russ style he was already thinking of other people before we even rolled out. He selflessly offered me the loan of his wheel as I was having big trouble with my thingy in the cassette thingy and Russ also arranged for the purchase and mechanical services of the Warrnambool cycling shop – Crank House who very kindly helped us and we were also surprised to get a donation of $50 from Damien who works at Crank House who had recent family member diagnosed with cancer. Very many thanks to the Crank House. Russ – you are a valuable member of the team, thanks so much and your wheels are really fast. The road crew loved having you on the team as the tallest angry bird (by wearing very stylish angry bird beanie warmers with wings – our road crew have wings!!!) in the yellow jacket we have seen. Bec and Katie were very cute little angry birds that really were not angry but very cute, happy and as always helpful. Kev and Bob were again solid in keeping us safe for the entire journey and always do so with a hug, encouragement and ready to jump to our every need. The job of the road crew is long, hard and slow. The long days these guys put in are not taken for granted – they are up with the birds (the real ones) to feed us and working all night to get our laundry done and vans and cars packed with our somewhat heavy night packs. Words cannot express how thankful we are for your time, commitment and genuine dedication to how much you care for all of us.

The most speccy scenery yet…
We were always in for a treat today with our ride passing through Warnambool where we had a luxury extended breakfast stop where several of us enjoyed a second breakfast. At Warnambool we were also given a kind donation from a group of footballers $50. We continued onto The Bay of Islands, London Bridge, The 12 Apostles and then onto the spectacular Otway National Park with rolling hills and a fantastic climb that had us dancing on the pedals and enjoying flowing rhythmic descents where Sharky found amazing form and claimed KOM. We finished at the top of Laver’s Hill at the motel – proud to be complete as a team to enjoy the traditional Smiddy huddle. The scenery of our ride today was hugely varied with valleys, mountain ranges, sandstone cliffs, tourists, waves and the ocean, a number of windmills, some patches of very rough roads and lots of bumpy bits but all in all it was a ride that provided us with everything and we thoroughly enjoyed every minute. Smiling for Smiddy offers so much but the amazing sense of adventure and escapism and the pure simply joy of riding your bike in this wonderful country of ours was pure bliss today. We were very fortunate indeed.

Worthy mentions – A few moments today that reflect the antics that occurred on our journey

1. Mick needs snot rocket lessons. He once again snotted all over himself. This has been happening on a daily basis and has made several of us vomit in our throats a little bit.
2. A lady who was out for a casual run had the amazing experience of the Smiddy arch that we created for her as we waited for Paula’s puncture fix.
3. The creation of the Smiddy stack. Once again while waiting for Paula’s puncture we “stacked on” in plank formation for a very unique photo opportunity.
4. Similar to this theme – a worthy mention is also the yogi (Russ) and his apprentice Katie’s headstands at a lookout near the Bay of Islands.
5. The numerous photos that were taken – we have really embraced all forms of social media that we know all our super supporters and loved ones have been following. Special shout out to Robyn Conway from me!!! Thanks Robyn J
6. The road work 60km sprint section taken by Mel, JL, Sarah and Mick. Cheap points guys.
7. Sharky’s good luck charm (not Alyssa) – he was pooed on by a bird at lunch and was very unhappy about it. Poor Sharky. It is good luck.
8. We generally pack, unpack and repack several times every morning due to what we need always being at the bottom of our bags.
9. The simple things in life are the most appreciated.
10. Paula’s socks.
11. The beautiful smell of the unknown wildflowers as we rode through the rolling hills in the Otway Ranges.
12. Bryan’s singing.
13. Pete’s constant perseverance and gratitude.
14. Everyone’s teamwork.
15. Katie Cox and Russ’ continuing evolution of their relationship.
16. Clif bars (choc chip) …. Nice.
17. Russ’ memorable journal reading at Laver’s Hills with some of the locals? Russ was amazing. Entertained the house down. With fantastic embellishment. We loved it and so did they.

Time – The indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present and future regarded as a whole (Google, 2013).

Smiling for Smiddy is a unique event. Throughout the ride we have several moments where we enjoy all the above things mentioned like scenery, the challenge of riding such a long way in amazing locations and sharing stories about why we all are here to help raise funds as well as contemplating in our own heads the support we have had from home from our loved ones who we miss dearly and couldn’t do this without them. Our thoughts are never far from the real reason we ride and for everyone who has been touched by this very cruel disease cancer. One thing that has been a popular topic is one that is difficult to put into words and relates to the whole “concept of time” when you participate in a Smiddy event. I remember talking to Brad Schriven a few years ago about how amazing the event truly is in regard to this and I am once again reminded of how precious time is. Life is short we know this. Sometimes though, when riding in a Smiddy event, time seems to stand still and allow you to form genuine lifelong friendships with the amazing people that you are riding with. Friendships that have no interruption of technology, no chance to be disrupted other than if you need to roll through whereby the conversation is paused and then taken again exactly where you left off on the next roll around. In our busy world, this is often impossible and it is a real aspect of the 7 in 7 ride that is a gift that Sharky has given us all by inviting us along. I know I speak for everyone when I say that we genuinely appreciate this opportunity Sharky and thank you for welcoming along to share this journey with you. Thanks from the bottom of our hearts Sharky.

Togetherness – The state of being close to another person or other people (Google, 2013)

To wrap up todays journal in a nutshell, it was a remarkable ride with a group of amazingly kind, talented individuals that showed grit, teamwork and individual strength and resilience. Our widely varied personalities come together once again to finish an epic day sharing so many unforgettable memories that won’t fade quickly as we come up to the ever fast approaching completion of the Adelaide to Melbourne leg of Sharky’s 7 in 7.
The magic of Smiling for Smiddy is so unique and stretches far and wide… Maybe because it is so magical that is why it is so hard to describe and even contemplate explaining… It just happens…
“Look, and it can’t be seen.
Listen, and it can’t be heard.
Reach, and it can’t be grasped.”
– Lao Tzu
Thank you for reading. Thank you for supporting us. We truly appreciate it and send you all lots of love and big Smiddy hugs!!!
xxx

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