This morning we set off from Peterborough at 7:30am. It was cool, but calm and dry. There had been a shower or two earlier, but Smudge (Keith Martin) Matthew assured us that our luck with the weather was going to continue. How wrong he was! A km out of Peterborough the heavens opened up and although most of us didn't trust Smudge Martin (why would you!) and had worn light shower jackets, it wasn't long and we were soaked through.
Our plan was to have morning coffee at Warnambool which was 50 odd kms away. It ended up being a tough start to the day. Headwinds and constant rain meant that by the time we got to Warnambool, we were exhausted and wet.
Bike Belle was 'frozen on a stick' and sadly, her ride for the day was finished. There is no way she could continue when she was shaking uncontrollably and cold to the core.
After providing the coffee shop with a complimentary puddle, we all changed into dry jerseys, base layers and put on heavy rain jackets.
Con-valescing on the bus during the break.
Once we left Warnambool, we had a 28 km ride to Pt Fairy. That short journey was some of the most difficult riding most of us have done. Gale force winds around the south coast and constant rain. We averaged 18km/h in that section and got into Pt Fairy ready for a break. We gave the now fur-less Chewbacca the opportunity to test his newly found aerodynamic legs by throwing him out front for a fair part of that section and he responded by firing up his diesel engine and powering through the fierce winds.
After scoffing pies, buns and anything else we could get our hands on we reluctantly ventured out into the continuing high winds. Not possible to post an image which gives an accurate impression of how bad it was, In fact not many photo opportunites at all.
This one from the bus...
and this one from the bike...
Having given our Tool Manager Con and his assistant Tool Chewy a bit of a hard time over the last few days, we've decided 'We love 'em" ! Today we had another 3 punctures and a stuffed wheel bearing. For those of us who fell victim today, we were given a replacement wheel to keep moving and then hand-delivered our repaired bits at the end of the day.....It don't come better than that...Thanks boys from the team, you've been awesome. BTW, that's 5 flats Pat.
Every now and then one of our team needs some personal repairs...
A back crack (A What?!?) for Protein Man.
and later a stretch...we reckon Chewy sayin to himself "There's gotta be some more food in here somewhere"
All in all a tough day. We passed hundreds of wind turbines along the way to Portland (can't work out why they put them here!LOL) They seemed to be spinning as fast as my Grandmas old Mixmaster,
To pay for his earlier misdemeanors Smudge was sent to the front and performed grandly. Special mention to 'the prof' who led us through a tough section late in the day.
Stats: 155 kms, average 21.6km/h, ride time 7Hrs 14mins. Mostly flat ride except for a challenging hill coming into Portland. The low average gives an indication of how strong the wind was.
To date we have ridden 512 kms in 4 days with another 560 to go in the next 4.
Today reaffirmed to each of us, just how tough a challenge we are undertaking. Tomorrow doesn't get any easier with another 150+km day and unfortunatley the winds look like they could be similar to today.
More details to come tomorrow, but we are hoping that some of our friends from Adelaide might be able to join us to ride back into Adelaide on Monday 28th. We want to arrive at Vic Sq at 4:30, so we hope to be at the bollards at 3:45pm. You also have the option of meeting us at Strath or inbetween if you can time it.
Cheers - we need sleep!
The S2S crew