What an Adventure it was 948kms with an added detour that made the 2009 mutual community ride seem a bit soft. 40 hrs in the saddle or just under, and some scenery to dream of and that i am waking up in the middle of the night reminiscing. This has been a dream, but also a reality, a wake up call if you like. Ive met many great and generous friends who are true friends and do not bring you down. It has been a gigantic ride, in which i loved to bring something back to the community to show myself that i can participate and lend a hand when it is needed, and that everydayheros are just like you and me, the ordinary person who wishes for change for the better. Thankyou to everyone who supported me and gave generously to this cause, you are the real heroes! I wish i knew how to put this in better words, but i am still feeling a bit low after this ride but at the same time am feeling pumped and exhilirated after completing such a journey and having known such honest and caring people. In 7 days of continuous riding with 0 rest days and not a single person getting in a support vehicle at any moment for a rest, it amazed me that we all didnt argue and were not at each others throats, the morale was very good and we kept up our moods for the better of the cause and because we all could relate and we all were going through the same issues at times. 18 riders who before this did not know anyone, nor were they exactly simular in personality but even at times when theyre personalities may have clashed we all got on with the job and understood were all different and thats ok. Support: thats what this ride was all about,supporting the community, supporting those who need it and we also had some great support on this ride not only as in the riders looking out for each other but the support team who daily dedicated themselves to keeping us alive and fit and full of some nice grub! I always would imagine the adversity the support team mustve went through each day to keep us going and to maintain awareness at all times on the road(front and back) so that we would not become a fatality. Amazingly not one incident occured that could be identified as a crash or a fall related to cycling, although id like to say Paul Blood was a true battler who got through this ride with a very sore knee and hand numbness which in my books is a an excellent effort, well done Paul. Not to mention GWs own Mark Reidy who suffers from pain in his knee and back, and who i also worried about alot, but as he said in presentations "he needed this ride" and "its a challenge" and so it was for many others also. We only had 1 puncture that i know of and very little mechanical problems occured. First day was warm and sweaty, 3rd day was a rain fest and windy as all hell. I got to see places ive never seen before, ie. Blue lake and kingston.
The last day was a somber journey home to adelaide from tailem bend and i nearly cried when we got to the freeway, but i knew that this was just the beginning of new chapter. When we rode into the Repat, we saw our families waving us on and cheering many of us nearly jumped out of our saddles to hug our family members and friends.During the last and final presentations to honour those who dedicated their time and efforts to this ride, i went around and got all of those amazing people to sign my jersey...well almost all of them im missing Catherine and a a couple of the support team, which kinda sucks. To sum it up all i can say is you will never know how much fun you can have until you do it and give it a go, and i hope i can do this again or something simular in the future or i may end up becoming lost and besides myself because this is what life is about, challenges, comradreship and passion for the community. Thanks to everyone who rode besides me and who supported us on this ride once again, youre all bloody heroes in my mind and youve earnt yourself a rest. As chewie whould say "Boooyaaaah!!!"
Great story Mathew, and great looking jersey ! Best not put it in the wash, or you may be missing a few more names... :)
Thanks Mathew...was awesome journey with you and the rest of the Ride4Repat team.....you will treasure the experience and now able to laugh that Navman got us all lost and adding 20km onto a long journey.....only those who have done these multiday tours can understand the challenge to get out to ride each day riding 100 plus kilometres for a week with no rest days.
@pete- I used laundry permanent marker, but im still a bit worried about washing it.
@Chewie- Cheers Mate, wouldnt have been the same without you mate! Seeyou on the road, in the not too distant future!
Well done Mathew. Was nice to meet you last night on the SOB. Should have asked for your autograph.LOL You and your mates are champions - champions on your bikes and also for the community. Great report.
Well done Mathew...you guys did a fantastic job!
Fantastic, well done. Good report and a GREAT achievement by all of you. Inspirational.
Well done Mathew great effort. You will of course be even more of a machine on the GW rides and the SOBR.