Location: Brisbane, Australia
To all our supponsors, friends and family for their support, we thank you for your support. It was a trip we will not forget and to raise more than $16,500 for a great cause in the Smith Family was a fantastic result.
Thank you again
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Well, the big day arrived and after ordinary weather all week we were greeted to a chilly, but dry and fairy light winds for our big 250Km trek around the bay.
We all made it without too many dramas, must have been that secret training the week before:-) A big mention of Simon (Simmo, Hutto and more) he road like a champion and showed us all how it should be done with some epic turns on the front keeping the pace high, especially coming home. I think he could smell the coffee, or beer, still not sure.
Gai, Tom and Bob, well done team on a great ride, a birdie tells me you were looking for more when you got to the end. Steve, Dave and Louie, great work guys and the train was certainly motoring, it was either join it or be told to get off, politly of course. Anthony, Dave, Richard and Nicci, great work on your ride and getting through it without the pleasure of the secret training.
Luffy, may the force be with you and thanks for a great 9 and a bit hours on the bike. The title is no where near being taken.
Thank you to Peter for the pit stop out on course, it certainly assisted us all to get home.
To all our families, friends, supporters, sponsors and partners, we thank you for your generosity, support, encouragement and donations allowing us to achieve what we did.
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Day six as we leave Benalla for our final leg in to Melbourne, we were woken up at about 4am to the sound of heavy rain. You guessed it, we were greeted with another day of rain and wind. All was good and it cleared, well, stopped raining long enough for us to get on the road. Bob and Steve lead out the final leg, not before Steve had to have a quick tyre change after a slow leak overnight. Last night ove great feed of beer and Pizza, we drew straws as to the order we were going to ride. After the hype of the last 4 years as to the the downhill run, with tailwind apparently experienced into Melbourne, Peter donated $50 to the Smith Family to swap his spot with Dave to do the last leg.
Simmo and Dave took up the second spot and despite the cold punched out a great pace. With the wet comes flats, and two more meant a chance to stretch mid ride. Getting one not 2km's from the change over point was a real disapointment. Louie and Tom jumped on for the next leg and despite the rain had the better of the terrain. The much anticipated last leg then began as Luffy and Gav jumped on the bikes in the rain for the run into Melbourne. Unfortunately after 19km's of climbing Pete soon realised that the only winner out of paying $50 for this ride was the Smith Family. They then continued to battle head winds, and hills finally getting to Broadmedows 52km later. After another hour of very heavy rain, 7 of us then headed into the hotel, battled the traffic, wet tram lines and more red lights than we could poke a stick at.
We made it!!!!!! Approx. 500km each over the 6 days. A great curry and a few beers for dinner and we were all ready for bed. Our resident travel agent / concierge, Simmo, has arranged a massage for us all on Friday so we can get ready for around the bay.
Thank you again to everyone for your support, we made it safe and sound, a few stats, 1,863 kms, average speed of approx. 28-29km/hr, rain on 5 out of the 6 days, 10 punctures, two blown tyres, 200 mini mars bars, 57 Goo's, 130 muesli bars, 150 beers, 60 ham cheese and tomato sandwiches, 18 packets of snakes, too many coffees to count and whole lot of fun.
Location: Cootamundra-Benalla, Australia
"The Day of Reckoning"
The day started in attrocious conditions 5 degrees 20 knott South westerly winds and rain, it was time to seperate the men from the boys, the wheat from the chaff. So Luffy and Hutto maned up and headed into the teeth of the storm.!!! There are no photos of this leg as there was no one willing to man up to get out in the wind and rain to take the shots.
The boys climed over 300m in the first 10km into strong winds and rain. It was then pretty much a constant gradual climb for 50km to Junee. The support crew did an outstanding job today feeding the boys every 15 min or so to make sure they survived the trip. Waterlogged and frozen the boys came in just shy of Wagga to hand over to the Undertaker and the whipping boy.(Gav and Louie).
Again the boys did it tough into serious winds although the rain backed off marginally. Pretty sure if you check in with Louie he will confirm that the undertaker had another victim.
Stevo and Thomo took leg 3 and more of the same heavy winds and rain. The boys on this leg came off the country roads and out to play with the trucks on the Hume Freeway. I think they appreciated some god shoulder and a bit of assistence from the Truck draft as they came past doing 110km/Hour.
The final pair of Bob and Tom set off a little early to make sure to get into Benalla before dark after the head winds had slowed the first 3 groups. These boys got the pick of the weather today and had a cracker to finish off the day.
Beer and Home delivered Pizza a nice way to wash down the day.
Location: Cootamundra, Australia
Day four started on a high with the hint of a northerly wind and greeted by the Sun. Happy days we thought !!!
The two elderly statesmen put the walking frames aside and headed out. (Luffy the terminator and thomas the tank) The boys had a great rolling ride through the country. As the ride went on the winds grew to a full blown North Westerly. Sounds ok but unfortunately the route today was more west than south.
While waiting at the change over, the bovine whisperer Louie called the girls and they came a running. Those cows shure were purdy! Also at this change a local pulled over on the side of the road for a chat and low and behold he was a mad keen cyclist. He directed the boys needing spares to a great bike shop in Orange.
By the time the Wilston crew (Hutto and Bob) Saddled up they were greeted by a howling cross head wind and hills. But the boys put the head down and powered on and had a great leg despite the wind and the swooping magpies! The highlight of this leg was heading through a town named CUDLE. The way Bob and Hutto felt they almost got off and stopped for a cuddle!
The weather continued to deterierate for third leg with the wagon master Thommo and the Undertaker Gav took over. The boys had a tough ride in the wind but worked well as team and got over the line.
At the final change the heavans opened and steve the grinder led the whipping boy Louie out in the wind and rain. The boys managed a tail wind for the first three hundred meters and then had to battle the rest of the way. The boys did very well to get to Cootamundra in the light of day after a day of rain / hills and wind.
We bunked down in a new hotel in cootamundra called the heritage which was great and down to the local bowls club for a slap up $10.00 roast !
Location: Country NSW, Australia
Well, the weather seems to be playing it's hand early with one of the toughesth et days to date with wind and rain. Tom and Peter leftearly and although cold no issues. Bob and Simon then headed off where the wind started to come through. It was tough battering them and Dave / Gav the 3rd pair from the side or headon.
It was very gusty and hard to keep the bike upright. As the change got closer for Gav and Dave, the clouds looked really bad, and we were glad to be off. Ian and Steve bought home the last leg with more wind, and were lucky enough to get wet as well
Very tough day at the office. Remeber check out the pics.
Location: Tamworth, Australia
As we only had a short entry for Sunday, Dave and Gav headed to the hills first up out of Grafton, and after 77km of climbing we handed the mantel to Steve and Luffy. At 12 degrees it was certainly not warm though the sun cam out as Tom and Louie jumped on for what looked like it was going to be a great afternoon.
Louie and his 4 flat tyres later and the Zipp being retired from use, the rain was cold and it was windy. It seem to clear for a minute or two, however as you would have seen in the pictures, as Simon and Bob got ready for their ride into Tamworth, not only did it look like rain it was freezing cold.
After some runing repairs, they decended into Tamworth and all was good. Many thanks must go to Simon's in-laws for arranging to have us for dinner with their friends from Rotary. The hospitality was second to none, and we thank you for feeding 8 hungrey men after riding all day.
After a quick tour by Simoon of the Golden Guitar and MacDonalds so PL could have a coffee, it was off to bed to get that rest for the day ahead.
Location: Wellington, Australia
Day Three started with a chilly 10 degrees, clear skies, Steve and Louie headed out of Tamworth. Gav and Luffy enjoyed the delights of the golden arches restraunt and were the first to join the boys as support. Louie's back wheel after the drama's of the day before in the wet, continued to play havic, and hece you will see in the photo's the only true purpose / use for it now. Thanks again to Fusion Cycles for the spares.
Bob and Tom set out next with some great terrain and a number of trucks carrying water tanks to blow them around. Tom did coment that it was the best day yet with undulating hills and less wind. It didn't last long as Dave and Simmo (as he is now known) got out, the wind had increased to freash. This would not have been so bad if it had stayed as a tail wind like it was for the first 20-30mins. The rolling hills got a little larger and so did the wind as we watched a front moving in.
It came 4:00pm local time when Luffy and Gav began the last leg of the day. The rain started, wet through within a minute and still on a mission to increase the average speed for Luffy. The rain stung and neith could feel their legs for the cold. All was good with a great pace and they made it in very tough conditions to Wellington.
We are staying at the Club House Hotel in Wellington and just had a rib eye steak that would rival the new 1.5kg Tomohawk being raved about in BrizVegas. If you are ever in this part of the woods, come and see Debbie and the gang at the Royal Oak Cafe at the Club House for a steak, you won't be disappointed. They tell me that the Hotel has been serving a cold one since 1863. Great work guys and thanks again.
Thank you all again for your kind messages of support. Everyone is well, no injuries, a few sore _ _ _'s, and having a great time.
Wello, Rib Eye
Location: Grafton - Tamworth, Australia
Hi all, it's been a long day, just a quick note to let you know after a very tough day we are all safe and well in Tamworth. Hills to start, cold and hills for the second pair, down to 10 degrees, rain and freezing for the third, cold and some wind for the fourth.
Great day and will try and expand on the way in the morning.
Location: Grafton, Australia
As we assembeled at the Amcor Mill at 5:30am a cool breeze began, it was a brisk 14 degrees, clear skies and the promise of a fantastic trip. We all set out at 6am and were joined by our good friends and supporters in Andrew and Anthony. After our first near miss of the trip coming through the Valley, we met the camper and both vehicles at the Pineapple Hotel. Thank you to all wives, partners, sons, daughters, freinds and collegues for their warm wishes and joining us for our departure. Luoie and Hutto took the first leg out past Beaudesert racking up 108kms afer a slight miss calculations on disance to be travelled by each on this the first day. Although the wind was interesting, combined with the undulations, it made for a tough ride. The rest of us enjoyed a coffee or two while we fought our way through the traffic to meet them.
Bob and Gav took over at approx. 10:30 and head off along the Lions Road, NO one told us there were 18% and 19% inclines, the later being over a 1km in length. Photo's at the top will follow later. After some very nasty pinches and a long few hours in the saddle we handed the reins to Steve and Luffy. In what now had become a screaming head and cross wind, the boys averaged over 30km/hr for the 75kms, no wonder Luffy deserved a beer at the end. Tom and Dave had the final run into Grafton with some nice rolling hills and the cool night air started to set in. The sun was just dipping behind the hills as we rolled through the gates of the caravan park in Grafton, 7pm local time.
The spirits are high and we have just had a great feed of Lasgne and curry. The boys are almost falling off their perches so bed is calling. Tomorrow will be another hard day with straws just drawn as to the order. From those who have done the ride before, we are told tommorow will be hard for 3 of the legs, plenty of climbs and each team to do approx. 77km's. Aparently the run into Tamworth is all down hill and a fast run home. Until day 2, riding safe, the Moreton Bay Latte Club.
A big thank you on the eve of our departure to Flight Centre and Merida for their very generous support of our cause in providing Kits for the Team. This is greatly apprciated and we thank you for your support. As I have said before, support those who have supported us, if you need to travel, get down to Flight Centre or similarly need a bike, Merida is a very nice option.
Thank you again guys.
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Three more sleeps and a big thank you to Matt and the team at Fusion Cycles for helping us out with spares for the trip. The guys are fantastic and really know their stuff, so pop and see them at Commercial Road, Newstead or visit www.fusioncycles.com.au and support those who have supported us. Thanks again guys!!
For those who wish to see us off, we will be leaving from the Amcor Paper Mill at Petri, 6am sharp this Saturday 10th October. Similary if you wish to join us on the road for this first leg, we will be riding to the Pinapple Hotel, Woollongabba.
Thank you to all who have sponsored us, as of this evening we are 6th in the team's fundraising and have less riders than all the teams above us. Great charity and great to have so many supporters.
It's time to get to know the team a little better as we head off and some of the interesting bits of info you have always wanted to know about who these crazy guys are that want to get up extremely early to train and then ride a few 1000 km's to Melbourne.
No. Years riding: about 10
Best ride to date: Lourdes to the Ski Station on Hautacam in the Pyrenees
How did you start cycling: Eldest son got me started.
Coffee of choice: Flat white, extra hot, 10ml of Caramel, stirred not shaken
No. Years riding: Too long to remember
Best ride to date: 5 days Mountain biking the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
How did you start cycling: Rehabilitation for a knee injury caused from football.
Coffee of choice: Caramel Late, and no I am not gay.
Nickname: Thommo (funny enough), but lately I have obtained Wagon Master!
No. Years riding: First real road bike in 2001.
Best ride to date: EPIC MTB 100km that hurt.
How did you start cycling: Did some MTB and triathlons in 1990s. Was riding to work when first came to Qld prior to company car. Then got lazy and parked the bike. A gent by the name of John Bugden was starting to ride for exercise and that was the beginning of a renewed passion
Coffee of choice: Skin Caramel Latte or a good short black.
No. Years riding: approx. 9
Best ride to date: Around Lake Taupo in NZ +160km's of hills:-)
How did you start cycling: Gave up the smokes and needed an excuse to stay off them and get fit
Coffee of choice: Long Black with a touch of honey on the side
No. Years riding: 6 years
Best ride to date: Bright Boot Camp, 4 day ride in the Victorian high country doing climbs such as Mt Buller, Falls Creek, Toowonga Gap and Mt Buffalo.
How did you start cycling: Triathlon's in school were the go, and after not riding for 12 years got back into riding socially and now enjoy the odd race or two.
Coffee of choice: Skinny Flat White in a mug
Nicknames: Tank or Woodduck
No. Years riding: 9 years
Best ride to date: Have not had one of those yet!
How did I start cycling: To give my other half [Gai] a training partner and not get early morning phone calls to come and fix a flat or put the chain back on.
No. Years riding: 3 or 4 seriously only 6 months
Best ride to date: probably the one I am about to go on
How did you start cycling: Bunch of mates talked me in to getting out for some exercise ... but found out it was just an excuse to have a coffee
Coffee of choice: apparently a gay skinny latte ... Vanilla Skinny Latte (not that there is anything wrong with that)
No. Years Riding: Approx 22yrs give or take.
Best Ride To Date: Round The Bay In A Day 06( 28 degrees, Good tail winds & 33.5kph avg. Ahhh yes does it get any better.)
How Did You Start Cycling: To supplement training for rowing which I competed at state and national level over a period of 8-9 yrs. Love my social rides these days and dabble in a bit of racing when time(and form) permits.
Coffee Of Choice: Dont drink the rubbish! If I must have caffeine then give me a Coca Cola straight up, cold. A glass with ice if its a classy joint!