2017 Signature Tour Day Nine and Wrap-up

Final Day - Swansea to Hobart - 145kms


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Today marked my last day on the bike after 8 days. What a feeling to have finished Signature Tour 2017 with some of the greatest people on the planet!


This was always going to be a big day for everyone. With my alarm set for 3am, I knew it was going to be tough waking up. I stayed in the backpackers and I scored a room to myself. The only problem I had with this was when I went to the toilet in the morning and came back to my room, only to find that I had locked myself out… A small amount of panic set in, but after a phone call to management at 3:30am (it wasn’t taken lightly) I was back in my room and kitting up for the day.


I have had some amazing times and met some unreal people over the last 5 years of riding with Tour de Cure. A great mate from home (in Brisbane) has joined me through a lot of my training and fundraising and has been a stage rider on a number of tours and a full tour rider for the State of Origin Country Tour. Deon Garside has been a huge supporter through my time with TdC and ive had a blast sharing my adventures with him. Deon is a great member of the TdC family and I cant wait to ride a full tour with him one day. Another tour done mate! Thanks for all the fun times and many more to come!


The final day on Tour is always full of mixed emotions. The riders butts are happy that it’s the last day of sitting on a bike, the drivers are happy, it’s the last day of driving hundreds of kilometres at 30-40kms per hour, the catering team is happy, it’s the last day they need to feed hundreds of hungry cyclists and there are many others on the same wave length. In saying that, its also very sad to stop doing these things.

Paul Egan - A Local Brisbane Tour Veteran and very Inspirational Guy

Paul Egan - A Local Brisbane Tour Veteran and very Inspirational Guy

We take a lot for granted in life and every year Tour de Cure brings me back down to earth. The satisfaction and inspiration that comes from spending 9-10 days with people such as these, is very overwhelming. Its so hard to convey to people on the outside of the “TdC Bubble” (as we call it) what its like. When you see where the money goes and who the money is helping, you cant help but want to do more.


Once the sun had come up, we were able to see the beauty of the Tasmanian coastline. Raspins beach in Orford is one of the most magnificent stretches of coastline in Australia.

Our lunch break (although being 9:30am) was overlooking the pretty Richmond Village Green. We got to ride across Richmond Bridge - the oldest Bridge in Australia complete with mallard ducks and weeping willows. The local fire brigade treated our pelotons to a very special salute, with hoses blasting water in a giant arc as we passed underneath. These are special moments!


As we approached our final destination, (Parliament House in Hobart) a police escort accompanied us over the Derwent River and made sure we had a clear run through the city traffic. We were warmly greeted by Madame Speaker, the Honourable Elise Archer MP, along with locals and loved ones.

There were plenty of tears at the finish line. We'd travelled 1,300 kilometres across our Country for a great cause.


Day 9 ride Profile

Day 9 ride Profile


A highlight from Tour - This Rocky Road desert from our catering team. Think of the confectionary & nut isle coated in chocolate… Delicious!


Present day...

Ive now been home for a week and I am back into my normal work / family routine. Its not easy getting back into the “daily groove” after being part of something so fantastic and emotionally moving. But you know what? 

I cant think of any place id rather be! I really missed my family.

Harvey at the Park - One of his favourite places.

Harvey at the Park - One of his favourite places.


My mind is still ticking with ideas and thoughts of what I can do next to help Tour de Cure kick their goals and beat this horrible disease. My journey is far from over and Im honoured to work along side such an amazing organisation.

I want to thank you all for your support. You make it all possible. I wouldn't have made it to Hobart without your kind words, your generous donations and your messages of support along the way. Thank you for another successful Tour adventure.

Myself and Angie - Specialized Bike Buddies

Myself and Angie - Specialized Bike Buddies

2017 Signature Tour Day Eight

St. Hellen’s to Swansea – 125kms


Yesterday was a huge day on the bike, and I would be lying if I said that my legs were feeling super fresh. We stepped outside into the chill of the morning and it nearly took our breath away… It was freezing! We didn’t realise how cold it was actually going to get this morning. Zero degrees were the readings from our bike computers. I ride with no gloves due to some problems I have with the nerves in my hands, so as we rolled off the start line from Percy Steele Reserve in St Helens, my fingers felt like they were going to drop off.

As the sun rose over the misty waters, lots of locals came down to give us a roaring send off.


We received a Jens Voigt signed bike number at breakfast that included his favourite hashtag “#shutupcancer” Again another very timely reminder, given our aching limbs, of why we ride.


The route for today took us through vineyards, dairy farms and gentle rolling hills that seemed like a breeze after the brutal climbs of yesterday. After 33km of stunning coastline, we stopped at Four Mile Creek for morning tea, before heading to Bicheno Primary School where the kids gave our peloton a rock star welcome and escorted us into their school.


Our caterers had cooked up a delicious curry for lunch. Our catering team on tour are the most amazing people. They work tirelessly through the day and night to make sure the whole team are fuelled and ready to attack each day with the energy we need. Tour would not be the same without this team of people and we cant thank them enough for keeping us rolling each day.

We finished todays stage in Swansea by the ocean. What a beautiful view! It was awesome to see a familiar area. This is the same finishing spot from 2014.


Tonight was Chapeau Awards Night. As you may or may not know, 'chapeau' is a French term for hat, but in cycling it's a term of respect - a way of saying “I take my hat off to you.” So many people on tour need to be commended for their efforts and contributions to the team an making sure that our trip runs smoothly. It takes a huge amount of hard work to get the juggernaut that is Signature Tour 2017 from one state to another. Every single person on this tour has done an incredible job - transporting all our bags and equipment, driving the trucks, feeding and watering hordes of hungry riders, treating our ailments, repairing our bikes, navigating and driving, hitting up the media and filming and photographing all those special moments..........the list goes on and on. There are so many great people in the Tour de Cure family and Im so happy to be a part of it.

Day Eight - Live Map Tracking: https://www.relive.cc/view/921551047

Todays Profile

Todays Profile


If you remember from last years tour, we had some scarves that travelled around with us. These scarves bear peoples names who could not be with us on tour for whatever reason. As part of fundraising, Donations were made in order to write down a name to travel with us. Its a pleasure to have carried these names across our country with us.


Tomorrow is a big day and its our final day. It is about 130kms long and we are in Tasmania, so its not a nice flat ride, there are some lumps in there. We also need to be in Hobart for our finale lunch, so that means that we are starting at 4am tomorrow morning. Its now 10:30pm, so Im going to close off here.


Thank you so much for following along with me again for another successful tour and I will do a full final blog post once I return home for a wrap-up.

2017 Signature Tour Day Seven

Launceston to St Helens – 165kms – 2500m elevation

Huge day on the bike, but so many memories made in the mountains.


Last night at dinner we heard from a local Dad who described the terrible moment that their family life derailed and changed forever when his youngest daughter was diagnosed with cancer. No one is ever prepared to hear the news that their child has a life-threatening illness. He thanked the team for their support of programs like Camp Quality, which give kids a chance to run, play and laugh away from the darkness that they are going through. Last nights $10,000 cheque was donated to the local Camp Quality centre. A very deserving organisation and the money will be put to great use for families battling this disease.

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James Tobin interviewed 17 times Tour de France rider, Jens Voigt, about his time in the pro peloton. Jens had an amazing career as a professional cyclist and was known for his unique style of racing and his catchphrase, “Shut up legs!” We would be needing that phrase for day seven… Jens is committed to and passionate about what Tour de Cure are doing. He has his reasons, just like all of us and he sees that Tour de Cure are doing a fantastic job in getting closer to finding a cure. I cant wait to see Jens on many more tours to come!

Jens Voigt Climbing In His 30 Million Reasons To Ride Jersey

Jens Voigt Climbing In His 30 Million Reasons To Ride Jersey


The head of the Tour de Cure board also got up to make an announcement. Commemorative Tour jerseys to celebrate the news that Tour de Cure had reached an incredible 30 million dollars raised milestone were handed out for the team to wear on day seven. Its amazing to think that Tour de Cure have only been running for eleven years now. What a massive achievement in that time.

30 Million Reasons To Ride

30 Million Reasons To Ride


Today’s stage started with a VERY steep climb out of Launceston at 29%... For the 165kms we had ahead of us, there was a lot of climbing to be done. The Tassie scenery was sensational and helped to ease the pain in our legs as we climbed more an more hills throughout the day. The team members that formed our peloton today were on fire. We were ahead of schedule at every stop, which is un-heard of on Tour.


Most people know that I have a love / hate relationship with hills. For some reason, the hilly days on Tour turn out to be some of my best days on a bike. The true meaning of “team” comes out on days like this. We don’t leave anyone behind, we make sure everyone is looked after and we make sure everyone is having a good time, even if there is pain involved. The way a group of 30 people on bikes can roll though the terrain as one is a feeling like no other.

My Peloton - Day Seven

My Peloton - Day Seven


All up, the day was tough and our bodies were tired and sore as we finished in St Helens. As we debriefed with the team, it dawned on me that there are only 2 days left. Where has the time gone?! The last seven days are a blur and we are so close to Hobart now.

My Peloton at the lookout of our final climb

My Peloton at the lookout of our final climb

Tomorrow’s stage is a little lighter on the hills than today’s was. Its only 120kms with 1400m of elevation.

Day 7 - Live Track Mapping: https://www.relive.cc/view/920272005

2017 Signature Tour Day Five and Six

There was no reception on the Spirit Of Tasmania (Boat) last night, so im sorry for the lack of blogging. I will combine the last two days into one blog.


Inverloch to Melbourne – 166kms

What a day! It started off with a beautiful sunrise over Victoria's stunning Bass Strait and news of Eric Bana joining tour had spread like wildfire through our team. The Hulk had joined us to ride bikes for the day! You never know who is going to join us at any point. 


We stopped for morning tea at Cape Horn Lookout. Our legs were feeling pretty sore so I was glad the our run into Melbourne from here was going to be reasonably flat.


This was also the last day that we would have the first lot of stage riders with us. These riders seem to come and go so fast on Tour. Mike Jones (who I spoke about previously) seemed to have a great couple of days with us. The riding was tough, but he pushed through. He is a strong man and his reasons for stepping up to the challenge are very real. It was a pleasure to meet him and I hope to see him on tour again.

Me, Olivia Jone, Zac & Michael Jones

Me, Olivia Jone, Zac & Michael Jones

The other person in the photo above wearing a pink inspiration category jersey is Zac’s lead car navigator. Meet Olivia Jones.

Olivia falls down stairs, waves to live stock as they drive through the countryside and has broken her toe, all since arriving on Tour. Mike assures us that she is not clumsy at home, but her track record so far gives a different feeling… Olivia is Mike’s daughter (Nathan’s sister) and is now a very valued member of the Tour de Cure. She fits the mould perfectly, and I think she’s hooked on what we are doing.

To have met and get to know more of the Jones family has been a privilege and very inspirational. What a great family to be around.

We arrived in Melbourne to a lovely park by the water before boarding the Spirit of Tasmania. It was extremely fitting that the local community grant from Tour de Cure went to the Melanoma Project to raise awareness about skin cancer prevention and to honour Nathan Jones' wishes.


We said our goodbyes to the stage riders and rode onto the boat’s cargo hold. Our bikes were packed in tight, just in case we hit some high seas through the night and we then boarded to find our rooms for the night.

Stage rider Renee Ingram and full rider Jamie Ingram

Stage rider Renee Ingram and full rider Jamie Ingram

The Spirit has been renovated since we were last on board and it looks fantastic. Once again, the Spirit of Tasmania is a sponsor for this years Tour and it is awesome to have them on board! (excuse the pun)


We setup a stationary bike challenge on board the ship and anyone on board were able to jump up to the challenge and see how much power they could put out on a bike. It was very entertaining for all who were there. Even the staff joined in on the fun. We hoped for smooth sailing across the Bass Strait but I was a little worried about rolling off the top bunk with the amount of rocking that was going on.

Jens Voigt taking the challenge

Jens Voigt taking the challenge

Day 5 – Live Map Tracking: https://www.relive.cc/view/918963425


Day Six - Davenport to Launceston – 125kms

Once again, we got to ride down the ramp and roll onto Tassie soil. It was overcast and slightly wet, but everyone loved the rolling hills and jaw-droopingly beautiful countryside. It already brings back memories from our Sydney to Hobart Tour.

Jodi Harris - Fellow Brisbane Rider

Jodi Harris - Fellow Brisbane Rider

We visited Port Sorell Primary School and were joined by none other than the local Port Sorell Legends cycling club. They also handed over a cheque for $260 that they had pooled together for us! The school kids were equally awesome. The school handed over a cheque for $430 and the Principal's father turned out to be none other than Tassie cycling legend, Graeme Gilmore, who's grandson is recovering from leukaemia. It was an honour and a privilege to meet him.


The lush green pastures from Devonport to Launceston never disappoint and the 71km to the Beaconsfield Mine and Heritage Centre were awesome. Tassie has really given us some diverse weather over the course of today. We had, sun, rail, wind and cold chills.


Tomorrow is the queen stage of tour and It's going to be tough. This means, lots of hills to climb! Im not known for my fast climbing abilities, but I will get to the top of them all. I have the reasons Im riding to keep my legs turning and ill be using Jens Voigt’s catchphrase, “Shut Up Legs!” on most of the climbs.

It’s a very long day at 165kms with 2,500m of elevation, so im going to try and get some sleep now. Hopefully im awake enough to blog tomorrow… :)

Day 6 - Live Track Mapping: https://www.relive.cc/view/918963633

2017 Signature Tour Day Four

Traralgon to Inverloch – 130kms (90kms)

Gale force winds and Rain! Crazy day on a bike!


It wouldnt be a Tour without some dirt roads!

It wouldnt be a Tour without some dirt roads!

As we rolled down to breakfast this morning in the thick mist, there was some new energy in the air. Oh, that’s right, we have stage riders today! Each Peloton got slightly bigger as we welcomed the stage riders to our teams for the next two days. There were some nervous riders around, as some of them have only ridden a bike for six months, but they had nothing to worry about. They were stepping into a great bunch of people to get them up to speed on Tour riding and to calm their nerves.

Mark Beretta selfie time!

Mark Beretta selfie time!


We also welcomed three times Olympic gold medalist Drew Ginn for his second year on Tour. Another fantastic guy to be around and what a great guy to sit behind on the bike. He’s about six foot four and when I sit on Drew’s wheel, I cant see anything that is ahead of me, but boy do I get a good slip stream from him. This man can definitely ride a bike! It was great to catch up him.


As today was a Monday, we visited lots of schools! These are such a highlight of Tour. When forty cyclists ride into a school its always going to be exciting for the kids. They ask for high fives, what football team you follow, why we have funny handlebars and many more creative questions. These kids play a massive part in what Tour de Cure stand for in the cancer prevention scene and they bring us so much joy every time we visit a school. We present to the kids the “Be Fit, Be Healthy, Be Happy” message, that teaches them how to be smart about skin care, the foods they should eat and staying active, all to help prevent the chances of getting cancer.


I’m going to start mentioning some of our sponsors on here. I think its very important to recognise the amazing support they give the Tour de Cure organisation throughout the year. Tonight’s sponsor is Lexus.

Lexus have been part of TdC since the very start. Every year for eleven years, they have leant us beautiful cars to help keep us safe on the road and to transport our many crew members around the country. These cars a like space ships inside and very, very, very comfortable to sit in after being on a bike all day. And how good do they look in Tour de Cure branding!!!


After our school visit, it was time to make our way to our lunch stop. Little did we know what was in-store for us. As we rolled closer, the winds started to pick up. They got stronger and stronger as the minutes went by and in no time, we were battling 50-60km per hour diagonal cross headwinds. This put the riders in some serious risk. Trees were dropping branches and riders were being pushed all over the road. As a bigger rider, I am used in this situation to help shield our woman riders from the strong winds. This can be quite challenging whilst descending at 40-50kms per hour and every single rider in the group has to have faith in their surrounding team mates. If I can have all my weight leant over into the wind and still be pushed across the road like I weigh nothing, then you know the weather means business.

We made it to our lunch stop and the rest of the days riding was cancelled. It was just too dangerous and would put too many people at risk to continue. We rode 90kms for the day, but after battling the conditions, it felt like we did 150kms.


Home safe and sound and ready for some sleep.

Its now 10:45pm and im going to turn in early. We need to go back to out lunch stop in the morning to pick up our bikes before returning for breakfast at 6am in Inverloch.

Nighty night


Day 4 - live map tracking: https://www.relive.cc/view/916210704

Day 3 – Live map tracking: https://www.relive.cc/view/914665308

2017 Signature Tour Day Three

Sale to Traralgon – 134kms

What an amazing day! The RAAF Base in Sale let us ride on their runway!!!


From our hotel this morning, we rode to breakfast that was setup inside the Sale RAAF Base. We were under strict instructions on where we could go and what we could do.

A once in a lifetime opportunity only got better as the morning rolled on. We needed to do some filming on base for the channel 7 documentary with the bikes and planes together. We also had a Roulette pilot do an acrobatics demonstration for us. As the sun rose in the background, we admired the a plane display with a brand new (un-commissioned) jet in the line-up. What a way to farewell the Tour de Cure group before leaving Sale.

Once we had done all our duties and said our thanks, we were given the all clear by traffic control to roll down the runway as we left the base. The crew on base said that they had never in their life seen pushbikes allowed on the runway before. What a great highlight to the day!

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With perfect temperature and no rain in sight, it was a cracking day on the open road. We had a little bit climbing, but not too much. Just enough to feel a small amount of burning in the muscles. Its starting to feel a bit more like home each day as the temperature rose to 30 degrees. The QLD's were feeling much more comfortable. Our finale destination for today is Traralgon. We finished at a family fun day fair, where we ate a late lunch. These locations are fantastic to pull into. The welcome we receive and people we talk to, really give you a lift for what we are doing with TdC.


Tomorrow is our first ‘stage rider’ day. Stage riders are people who ride with us for two consecutive days to get a taste for what tour is all about. Not that these riders aren't special (because they are a huge part of tour each year) but I'm going to talk about a stage rider who not only means a lot to my tour journey, but he is also very special to a lot of the TdC family.

Mike Jones is the father of Nathan Jones and he will be joining us on the bike for the next two days. I have spoken about Nathan before in both my blogs and at events, so I will be covering some old ground, please bare with me.


I first met Nathan in 2013 on my first Signature Tour. Nathan was a stage rider that year and I had the great privilege of riding beside him during his two days with us. As we rolled along together, Nathan and I chatted about our families, we talked about bikes, the weather, sport and I also heard his story and reason for why he was riding. I was blown away by the cancer battle that Nathan had faced and was still facing.

When I rode beside Nathan that year, he became a turning point in my personal Tour journey. Nathan was a great cyclist, but you could see it in his face that he was hurting in ways that I couldn’t understand. He was on drugs that were keeping him alive and he was still undergoing treatment. If this man was riding on Tour with TdC, then I had absolutely no reason to complain about any of my soreness during that 10 days. I had the pleasure of riding with Nathan again in 2015, when we rode from Adelaide to Melbourne via the Great Ocean Road. I have a great memory of us riding side by side up the front of the peloton as we soaked up kilometers of the picturesque Great Ocean Road. It was one of the best days I’ve had on a bike and I couldn’t have shared that moment with a better guy.


Nathan suffered from melanoma and sadly in September 2016 we lost Nathan to this beast of a disease.


Nathan was the father of three beautiful girls and he was taken way too soon from his family. I just can’t imagine what this family has gone through. As Mike said tonight, its like an earthquake had hit.

I haven’t yet met Mike in person, but I can’t wait ride beside him and make some new memories with another Jones family member. Mike has trained hard, he's picked up Nathan's helmet and will be riding because Nathan can’t.

I know that Mike will do Nathan proud out there tomorrow.

Nathan Jones and his family

Nathan Jones and his family

 

 

 

Signature Tour 2017 - Day 2

Lakes Entrance to Sale – 145kms


5am and its time to get up! In my sleepy state, I had 30mins to get ready and make my way to breakfast. We loaded our luggage into the truck and rode a kilometer down the road to our lovely Canadian Kitchens catering truck for breakfast. (More on them in another blog) A bacon and egg toasted sandwich certainly did the job before we rolled out on our first section of the day. We needed to start early this morning so we could get to James Tobin’s weekend Sunrise live cross that was 40kms away.


COFFEE!!!

An essential part of the Tour! We have the support of Vitoria Coffee (one of TdC’s sponsors) in the form of a coffee van that follows us each day. The coffee boys start with serving coffee at breakfast, then they serve coffee at morning tea, then they serve coffee at lunch, then afternoon tea for another serving and finally they can have a rest before doing it all over again the next day. They do an incredible job. Fuelling 150 people each day is no easy task. Hats off to you boys! See you in the morning for a Piccolo.

The temperature this morning was a world of difference. We didn’t need to wear snow jackets, which is always a nice thing while riding a bike. Coming from QLD and training in 30-40 degree heat just doesn’t prepare us for the real temperatures that we face on Tour. There was also talk that we might get hit with some rain on our travels, but we just missed it with only a few drops here and there, so we were safe for today.


Last night at dinner, I met up with a familiar face. In 2014, I was the lead car driver for the Victorian Country Tour and Daniel was a rider. I got to know Daniel and a few other fantastic people (who are with us this year on Tour). He is a really top guy and I can’t wait to go for a role with him sometime. But, there is no way ill be chasing him up any hills. Great to see you mate!

Daniel Rickhuss - Just before we role out

Daniel Rickhuss - Just before we role out


My legs were feeling pretty good this morning, which was lucky. I sat in the engine room all day to help keep pace and pull the peloton along. It was a great day on the bike, but I’m pretty tired now. We will see how the legs feel in the morning.

Front left: Thats me! :)

Front left: Thats me! :)

Before arriving at our destination today, we had a corporate visit to do. As part of giving back to our sponsors, we make sure that we go and visit them in the towns that we stop in. I’m in team Woolworths (a major sponsor for Tour) and the local Woolies store has been supporting us during the lead-up to our arrival in Sale. Its so nice to be welcomed by strangers in such a way that you really do feel like royalty. I’m not saying that we are anything close to that status, but we really are spoilt in the treatment we receive from the places we visit. It’s amazing!

Woolies workers & Team Woolies Riders

Woolies workers & Team Woolies Riders

Tomorrow is a shorter day with only 120kms to ride. We have a very special breakfast location at the RAAF Base down the road. Also, in the afternoon, we are visiting a family fun day with 3000+ people who we will mingle with and spread the Tour de Cure love.


Along with the Strava data on the right hand side of this page, you can also view a short visual video that I will link in the daily blog from now on. It helps put into perspective the kind of distance that we are covering each day of Tour.

Day One – Hotham to Lakes Entrance: https://www.relive.cc/view/913146480

Day Two – Lakes Entrance to Sale: https://www.relive.cc/view/913146459

$10,000 donated to Bairnsdale Reginal Health

$10,000 donated to Bairnsdale Reginal Health

2017 Signature Tour Day One

Hotham to Lakes Entrance – 185kms


And finally we're rolling! After a great night of laughter, drinks and food at the local Hotham pub, we hit the road for the official start of the 2017 Signature Tour.

Last night Daren Armstrong, spoke about his ongoing battle with cancer and his story gets me every time I hear it. He is a local Brisbane rider, training partner and good friend. To ride beside Darren is an absolute honour to me. He is a true inspiration and a perfect example of why I ride for Tour de Cure. It’s the money (like what Tour de Cure raise) that has kept Darren alive to this day and sadly his battle is not over.

Darren Armstrong

Darren Armstrong


The whole team was up early to start our epic first day. As usual, the queue for Vittoria coffee van was long and the mountain air was chilly, but our spirits were high. The team from Channel 7’s Sunrise filmed live as dawn broke over the stunning alpine scenery.  

We crossed the highest mountain range in Australia to reach Hotham. Now the only way is down. With fresh legs, cycling through the twists and turns of this alpine scenery down to the green grazing fields of Omeo below was just awesome. It was 4 degrees at the top of Hotham and the air was thin from the altitude.


One of the highlights was stopping off at Omeo Public School and Swifts Creek, where one of our riders, Dave Hall is a teacher. The kids are always thrilled to see us roll into their school grounds and present to them the “Be Fit, Be Healthy, Be Happy” message.


Former German professional cyclist, Jens Voigt, proudly wore the Tour de Cure Yellow Jersey, which he received last night for 'attitude' after completing a recent 26-hour Everest challenge to raise money for Tour de Cure. Jensie said it was much harder to win this jersey than the coveted yellow jersey in the Tour de France because he'd only had to ride 200km for that one! Hes one of the nicest guys on the planet and its always a pleasure to ride alongside him, even if he chews your ear off with chit chat whilst climbing a 16% hill…


It was a long 185km haul from Hotham to Lakes Entrance, but it was a memorable opening day on the bike and a good way to spin the legs out. Im pretty tired from a long day and its now 11:15pm and we have a 5:45 start tomorrow. Its sleep time!


Myself and Angie

Myself and Angie

The fight against cancer is deeply personal. We continue to ride and support Tour de Cure because we share the same dream: a world without cancer. Even though we have a long journey ahead of us, we're determined to fund the research, support and prevention projects that will have the biggest impact on this terrible disease.

2017 Tour Dedication

It’s the night before tour starts for 2017 and like normal, its been a massive day of travelling, catching up with tour friends from around the country and making sure everything is ready for us to set-off first thing in the morning with no problems.

I’m excited, I’m nervous, I'm emotional, and I’m already missing home.


I wont lie, this year has been tougher than any other year for me in terms of finding time to fundraise, train, work full time and fit in time for family. The annual juggle of these things does not get any easier.


Harvey is now one and half year old and Stephanie is over halfway through her pregnancy with our second Son. As you can imagine, Harvey can be a handful at times, but it’s hard to think back to a time before he came along. I think it was day 8 on tour last year that I received a photo of Harvey from Stephanie on my phone. They had landed in Sydney the day before we were due to arrive and she was letting me know that they had made it ok and looking forward to seeing us arrive in town. When I checked my phone at our lunch stop and saw the photo of Harvey in his little jumper and beanie, I broke down on the spot. Harvey was about 8 months old and it had been the longest period of time that I had been away from him. I took a moment to gather myself and I on the grass in the sun. lay on the grass in the sun beside the harbor we had stopped at. Although 8 days is not actually a long time to be away, I knew that I had missed so much during this time. I can guarantee it is going to be harder for me this time than last. Every day I can see Harvey growing and changing and I know that I will miss even more this year.


I’m not sure how else to say it, but my wife Stephanie has been unbelievable in the support that she gives me year after year. In 2012 when I floated the idea of riding my bike or 10 days with Tour de Cure, I’m sure she was thinking, “Here we go again, another one of Cory’s crazy ideas”. To be honest, she was probably right, it even sounded crazy to me at the time. Although I had ridden a bike for many years, I had never attempted anything like what Tour de Cure were putting peoples bodies through. Stephanie attended an information night with me to find out more about Tour de Cure before I put my name down. I’m not sure Stephanie was convinced, but after that night I was ready to sign the application form. My decision was locked in and Stephanie had my back through the whole process. Fundraising a huge amount of money and training like never before was a scary thought, all whilst working full time. But, Stephanie was there for me to keep my head on straight. I went through some pretty rough moments of being stressed out of my mind about fundraising and if I could finish what I had started. Stephanie said, “don’t worry, you are doing great and it will all come together by the start of tour”. She was right (like all wives are), it did come together and I went on to complete my first tour. About a week before tour started I distinctly remember her telling me that I needed to take in every moment and enjoy the ride. She said, “you know you will only be able to do this once”.

Cut to the final dinner in Canberra of the 2013 tour. My family (Mum, Dad, Luke, Jacinta & Zac) and Stephanie had all made the trip to see me finish. We ate dinner and listened to the presentations, stories from tour, the latest fundraising tallies, where the money is going and the future for Tour de Cure. The channel 7 film crew showed a glimpse of what we had done over those 10 days through a short film production. At the end of that video, Stephanie turned to me and said, “You can’t stop doing this.”

I went on to sign-up both Stephanie and myself for the QLD Country Tour that same year. Stephanie joined me for 4 days, visiting schools and sharing the tour experience and we both have memories that will last a lifetime.

What can I say? This girl is amazing. I am so lucky to have her by my side every single day.


Prostate cancer has had a major effect on my family over the years and is one of the original reasons I joined the Tour de Cure family. My Grandfather passed away from prostate cancer before I knew him, My Dad is in remission from prostate cancer and Dads four brothers all have prostate cancer in various stages. I am one of three boys in my family and I am now the father of 2 boys myself. Finding a cure for cancer in an extremely important part of my life right now.

My 2017 Tour dedication is for my Family. Their love and support is definitely going to help hold me strong on this year’s tour.

To my little family back home, I love you so much, and I cant wait to see you in 10 days time.

T.V. Special!!!

Its T.V. Special Time!!! 

Be sure not to miss it! Its the best one yet! 


Channel 7 are airing the 2016 Tour de Cure Special Australia-wide. The times are as follows;
SATURDAY 28th January, 10.00am - Adelaide - 12.00noon - Perth - 1.30pm - Darwin - 2.00pm - Brisbane - SUNDAY 29th Januray, 10.00am - Melbourne, Sydney & Hobart.

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Hats off to the Channel 7 film crew. They do an amazing job to showcase what Tour de Cure do over the 10 day period. So sit back enjoy!

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Saturday saw Deon, Jodi and myself at Wynnum West Bunnings, serving a sausage sizzle to the masses. This was a big day, but it was also a very successful day of fundraising.

A total of $2400 raised for Tour de Cure and many very happy customers!

I would like to say a big thank you to;

'Prime Cut Meats' for the donation of the sausages. This was a huge help on the day to our profits and the sausages were amazing! We had lots of compliments.

Also to Pauline and Woolworths for their generous donations to help subsidise our costs. This kind of support is such a massive help to the success of our events and we really do thank you for helping us out.


We had our second assessment ride for 2017 on Sunday. This was specified to be 120kms with 900m of elevation. The weather looked great and temperature had dropped considerably from what we had been used to through the week. I can't say that I felt "on top of the world", but I was very much looking forward to the ride and the route we had planned.

We met at Bulimba for a 5am start and made our way down the coast to Hope Island. We had 6 riders for the morning and considering the headwind on the way down, we were making excellent time. The halfway point was of course a coffee stop! Time for us to refuel the body and hope that we got to ride a tailwind back home. And we did! 

I had ridden to the Bulimba that morning before the ride, so that gave me 25kms before we set off. After leaving the coast and as we got closer to the finish, I had to make the choice of turning for home or sticking with the team all the back to Bulimba. I had completed the required distance for the day, but I decided to keep rolling. The weather was just perfect and I was really looking forward to a delicious meal on Oxford Street. This only meant that I had another 25kms to get home... The sun had finally come out in force and the wind was hitting me straight in the face for 90% of my trip home. Needless to say, I was tired, sore and I just wanted to get home. 

I rolled through the gate, down the driveway and into the garage with 182kms on my Garmin.

That was a massive day!


I know I'm a bit late, but... Happy New Year!!!

Welcome to 2017! The year of more regular blogging! 

Its been a bit of a whirlwind over the last couple of years with my work and changes in my daily routines, but hopefully I can get on top of it in 2017. There has been plenty of exciting things going and ill try get you back up to speed in this blog post.


As some of you will already know, I have been accepted onto the Tour de Cure Signature Tour Team for 2017. This year we ride from Hotham to Hobart over 9 days. 

This is going to be a fantastic trip. Last time we rode through Tasmania, it was some of the best riding TdC has done. I cant wait to be on the road, stopping at schools, seeing kids, spreading the 'Be Fit, Be Healthy, Be Happy' message and catch-up with all my fellow TdC friends. Here is to a very successful 2017 for Tour de Cure!


I have a number of new fundraising ideas, that will hopefully be worthwhile. Stay tuned to see what I am doing in the coming months. I am always open to exploring new things and I welcome any ideas you may have for fundraising. You can contact me at: corystourdecure@gmail.com about anything.

If you are in need of some building materials for a DIY project on the weekend, come down to Manly West Bunnings this Saturday. We will be serving the sausage sizzle with the money going to Tour de Cure!

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Come and say hi, grab a snag and a cold drink. Ill be there with Jodi and Deon who are also riding this year.


Training is now in full swing and I have just come off the back of a 530km week.

You can track my riding in the right hand side of this page or you can follow me on Strava if you are member.

We have our second assessment ride this coming Sunday. 120km with 900m of elevation. I feel as though I am on track for the moment, but there is still a lot of work to do before the 24th March. I am however looking forward to the down-hill start from Hotham.

Brisbane River - Single Speed Bike

Brisbane River - Single Speed Bike


Deon and I competed in the annual Flight Centre Epic Mountain bike race for 2016.

This is a tough 90km off-road race and is one of my favourite events for the year. Its been a few years since I have participated and I was talked into it at the last minute. Although my day didn’t really go to plan, I still had a great day on the bike. I got 2 flat tyres around the 70km mark and had to pull out of the race early. Deon and I proudly wore the Tour de Cure brand for some extra exposure.

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I know some of you are waiting for an update on our little family. Harvey is now one & half and running around getting into all sorts of things. He loves anything with wheels, and a garage full of bikes is one of his favorite rooms in the house. Im sure it won't be long and he will be tearing around on a bike of his own.

We celebrated Harvey's first birthday in August last year and were surrounded by friends and family for such a momentous occasion. He is very well loved!

Stephanie and I announced at Christmas, that come early July, Harvey is going to be a big brother. We are very excited and can’t wait to meet our new addition to the Morris family. Im sure there are some crazy time ahead for us.


Please keep the date of the 18th February free for our annual high tea fundraiser. Details for this event will be available shortly.


As always I want to take the time to thank you all for your continuing support. I really appreciate all the feedback I receive for the work I am doing with Tour de Cure and I can assure you that Tour de Cure are doing some amazing work in the fight for a cure.

Please share this blog and my donation link with your friends and family and help me spread the word about what Tour de Cure are doing in 2017.

Day 10 Wyong to Sydney (97kms) - Tour Finale & Wrap-up

With a tight schedule ahead of us for the final day and a deadline to arrive at Darling Harbour in Sydney for lunch, our start for the day was 4:30am! Even though it was a very early start time, the team was ready to get home. It has been a massive trip to this point and there are many tired and sore bodies that are very much looking forward to seeing their loved ones in Sydney.

A big shout-out to my team, Team Bisley, for the work they put in while on tour!

An amazing group of people and I thoroughly enjoined our ten days together.

Team Bisley Riders

Team Bisley Riders

I got to spend 10 days on the bike with my little brother Zac. We had our ups and downs, but we made it. Im so proud of the hard work Zac had put into his training to get him to were he is today. It definitely wasnt the easiest tour to ride in and he has done an awesome job!

Zac and Me about 5kms from the finish line

Zac and Me about 5kms from the finish line


Todays route was going to be a short one, but not without its challenges. We had to make sure we got to Ettalong in time to catch the ferry. James Tobin was doing his sunrise crosses from the ferry, so there was plenty of on-board entertainment for us to be part of.

Show off the sponsors... Vittoria Coffee! What would Tour be without you!?!? I dont want to know.

Show off the sponsors... Vittoria Coffee! What would Tour be without you!?!? I dont want to know.


As we got closer and closer to the heart of Sydney, the car horns and random cheers were more and more. We were so close now and I know I was running on pure emotion and adrenaline to get through the last of the hills.

So close, I can see it! 

So close, I can see it! 


As we rolled up to the finish line, all the pain had left my body. The last ten days of fatigue and tiredness had all but gone and I couldnt wait to see those familiar faces waiting to greet me. The riverside was filled with people and we rolled into an enormous welcome home!

Stephanie and Harvey waiting at the finish line

Stephanie and Harvey waiting at the finish line

Words cant really explain how I felt when I got to see and hold my family after 10 days away. It was a tough year for me to be away from them and I know it works both ways.

I cant thank Stephanie enough for the support she gives me for the time my Tour de Cure activities take up. She is amazing!!!

So happy to see and hold this little man!

So happy to see and hold this little man!


Tour de Cure had a goal of $2.5 million to be raised for this years signature tour and we smashed it with raising $2.8 million!!! What an awesome effort from all involved! That takes us to over $25 million raised in ten years! The founders have setup something very special and worthwhile and I feel so honored to be a part of it. I know that Tour de Cure are making a difference in finding a cure for cancer and I cant see any reason to stop supporting them in this fight. This year we spoke to over 6,500 children about being fit, healthy and happy. This is a major part of our tours and something that is really making a difference for the future.

Well done Tour de Cure!



Finally to all my supporters from all over. I couldnt ride and raise money without you. I have made some great relationships with businesses and individuals over the years and I am so happy and appreciative of their continuing support. I cant thank you all enough for the energy and drive that you fuel me with to keep pushing and supporting Tour de Cure in their mission to cure cancer.

Thank you from us!

Thank you from us!


I cant believe signature tour is over for another year. It seems like it takes forever to turn up, but then I blink and its over.

I look forward to seeing you all very soon and catching up for a drink or a casual ride!

Day 9 - Hawks Nest to Wyong (152kms)

I have to apologise in advance for last nights blog post... I was literally falling asleep while I was typing and did not proof read before publishing. I have still not read it through, so it will be a good laugh for me in a couple of days time. :)

Me peddling into Wyong alongside the womans Specialized ambassador.

Me peddling into Wyong alongside the womans Specialized ambassador.

its now getting to the back end of the tour and emotions are running high as we get closer to Sydney. We know that family and friends are going to be waiting there to see us arrive and I just cant wait to see my little family now!

Stephanie, Natalie (Stephanie's Sister) and Harvey are all in Sydney waiting for us to arrive tomorrow. They have been out doing some shopping today.

Harvey's first trip to Sydney.

Harvey's first trip to Sydney.


After an amazing sunrise in Hawks Nest, we watched the dolphins playing in the sea. This is a truely beautiful place to visit and I have now added it to my list of places to come back to.

I cant believe how lucky we are to live in such a picturesque part of the world.


My peloton today was taking a slightly different route to the other 4 pelotons. We had been invited to visit the Belmont Sailing Club for lunch and receive a $5,000 cheque for Tour de Cure.

It was such a pretty place to stop and fill our belly's.

Our view from our lunch table

Our view from our lunch table

There was one disappointment with this being an intermediate stop for us. The manager of the sailing club greeted us on our arrival and told us that lunch was ready to go and that there was an open bar available for us. If only this had been our final stop for the day!

We still had 50kms to get to Wyong, so I opted for a cranberry & lemonade... :)


We were planned on having an early arrival today so that we could enjoy some down time and maybe have a swim in the pool where we are staying. The whole group was happy to push the pace a bit harder to get everyone home on-time. A really good social session off the bike is very much appreciated at this stage of the tour. There are lots of hurting bodies around.

I cant really complain about the view from bedroom either.


We now have all the helmets that the kids along the way have designed for us for 2016.

Great job and congratulations to these creative minds! 


We have had an amazing time over the last 9 days on tour. Its certainly had its ups and downs in more ways than one, but non the less, it has been fantastic. There are so many people to thank for all their hard work in making these tours run as smoothly as they do. I have no idea how it happens, but it does. The logistics team are an amazing group of people to be around and to work with. Without these guys, there would be no tour at all. 

Thank you for all your hard work team!!!


Tomorrow is our final day of Signature Tour for 2016. It feels like its taken months to get to this point, but it also feels like it was yesterday that we were rolling out of Brisbane for day one. 

Im going to leave you with a bunch of photos from tour now. I will get around to uploading plenty more when I get home to Brisbane.


Lastly, great news! My fundraising tally has gone up! I am sitting on $14,895.70.

Thank you all for your support. It really is amazing the amount of support I have. The money is going to an exceptionally good cause and will be spent very wisely to help find a cure.

Please share this blog to anyone you think might be interested in supporting me on my journey.

Good night! :)

Day 8 - Forster to Hawks Nest (110kms)

Stage riders have joined us once again...

Thanks to Lexus (a major sponsor of Tour de Cure) for giving us these beautiful cars for 10 days.

Thanks to Lexus (a major sponsor of Tour de Cure) for giving us these beautiful cars for 10 days.

Today we rode with 37 stage riders. These are riders who have joined us for 2 days on tour as a way to get a 'taste' for tour, or due to work commitments, they cant get time off, etc. 

A good mate of mine from Brisbane has joined me on tour this year in the form of a stage rider. Deon has been a great support to me over the years I have been with TdC and I have ridden many kms with him during this time. Deon is a fantastic guy and a perfect fit for the Tour de Cure mould. I am super happy to have him along for these couple of days and maybe next year I can convince him to sign up for a full tour... We will see. :)


I thought todays stage was going to be a bit of a "recovery" ride for us. A 110km ride with 1000m of elevation. Normally to us, this would sound like a pretty easy ride. You can accumulate 1000m of climbing by just riding over rolling roads for the day. As per normal TdC routing, this was not going to be the case. There were 2 pinch climbs and one of which was %16 at the top. The locals all knew what was in-store for us, but the rest of us didnt. The route also took us down a nice gavel track today. There are not normally any planned dirt sections, but apparently this was an ok route to take.

Wow!!! Talk about rough roads.... It had loose gravel on the surface, corrugated sections that threw water bottles out of bottle cages and on top of that, it was an 8km long section.

 


Tour de Cures fund raising tally for tonight is: $4,714,669! and we are still climbing!


Today was a special day to roll into Hawks Nest as our final destination. I had some family live in Maitland (about an hours drive) who were waiting for the team to turn up on our bikes. You may remember my tour dedication from day 1 when I spoke about my Uncle Trevor. He, his wife and his daughter and grand daughter were waiting for us on the finish line with signs in hand and shearing our names. It was such a great feeling seeing familiar faces and showing them what happens on tour.

They also attended the community dinner for tonight at the Hawks Nest Golf Club. What  great way to finish off another big day on the bike!


Tonights dinner was fantastic once again. We have really had such a great reception form the local towns we have been in or at the schools that we have presented to.

My fund raising is sitting on $14,795 and my goal is to raise $15,000 or more. In order for me to achieve this goal, I really need you to please share this blog post with as many people as possible and ask them to kindly make a donation.

www.corystourdecure.com.au (top left hand corner.)


Before I go to bed (and I am very much in need of some great sleep.) I would like to thanks the chiefs that we have on tour with us. Their work is phenomenal and we really cant thank Chris and his team for taking up he challenge once again! 

Cooking breakfast in the back of the truck.

Cooking breakfast in the back of the truck.

Good Night.

Day 7 - Crescent Head to Forster (196kms)

It was hard to have breakfast looking over this view this morning...

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The media team had it all on the go this morning. For our live cross and roll-out, we had live footage from the camera drone that is part of out team this year. Its pilot (Aaron) has been getting some amazing footage for the Channel 7 team to use in the documentary for this years tour. I cant wait to see what they produce!


This morning was extra special. I had the privilege of doing a school presentation before we started riding. This one had a twist! We were live with the Mount Isa School of the Air.

This is a school that is run over the radio waves and is broadcast all over Australia. Lisa (in the photo above) is one of the teachers for this school. We presented the 'Be Fit, Be Healthy, Be Happy' message to kids from all over this morning. They couldnt see us and we couldnt see them, but it was an amazing experience to be part of. The kids were full of energy and had loads of questions for us to answer. 

I was a very special moment indeed.


Today I was in the last peloton to leave. This is the peloton that needs to take Mark Beretta after his final cross to the Sunrise Studio. We had been put together with some pretty strong guys today to try and get Mark into Forster before the sun went down. Its not very nice to leave last every day and come home in the dark.

Did someone say, "ride really fast"...!? 

Todays average speed was 31km/h over the 196km course. I have to say that I cant remember when I last rode for that long, holding such a high pace. It was great fun. 


At the schools and along with the colouring in competitions, we have been presented with a helmet that the students have been decorating / designing to be displayed in a gallery for Tour de Cure. Here is one of the helmets we have received on this tour.


We also picked up our second lot of 'stage riders' for this tour. They will be riding with us for the next 2 days before we arrive in Sydney of Sunday. A good mate of mine (Deon) who you might remember from some country tours I did, is along for the 2 days this tour. I cant wait to ride with him on a Signature Tour!


If there are any people who are underestimated on tour, it would have to be the support crew. They work from the early morning and late into the night. There are so many jobs that need to be done and so many things that just need to happen for everything on tour to work. From making sure we are safe on the road to making sure we are hydrated to managing all our luggage each day, these guys and girls are amazing and without them, there would be no tour. I have taken a support role on a country tour in the past, but I cant begin to imagine the stress and mental draining that happens on a signature tour. 

My hat goes off you lovely people! 


A quick fundraising update. The 2016 signature has raised a massive 2.5 million dollars and its still climbing! That is fantastic! This means that Tour de Cure have so far raised $4,644,715 dollars for 2016.

Its not too late to donate, so please click the "donate" button at the top left of this webpage and follow all the information. That would be most appreciated.


Its been a great day on the bike, but I need some sleep! 

Day 5 and 6 - Armidale to Crescent Head (370kms)

Day 5 - Armidale to Coffs Harbor (203kms)

This was always going to be the toughest day in my book. From looking at the route and the climbing statistics, it really didn’t look like much fun on paper…

Not only have we done some serious distance in the last 4 days, but day 5 is another 200+ kilometer day with over 3000 meters of climbing to add to the challenge.


Although I had a pretty good nights sleep and my energy intake and hydration has been great, my day really started quite average. I felt drained of power and low on energy. I got on the bike with a positive attitude, but I dug myself into a hole reasonably fast. There was not really one big, long climb for the day, just lots of ups and downs, we call these “rollers”. The whole day was full of them. When riding this style of terrain, its sucks a lot of energy out of you. The idea is to try and get a good rolling speed down the hill and carry that momentum up the other side without using too much power and energy. This becomes a hard task in a peloton of 40 riders of varying riding ability. This was not really my major problem, I was just having a bad day. Everyone on tour goes through a ‘flat’ spot during this time and mine just happened to come on one of the biggest days we have had. I was certainly hurting and my head was not in a good place.


Day 5 was also Connors birthday. If you watched the video from my day 1 blog with the speech from Sally, you would know who Connor is.

I urge you to go back and watch this video if you haven’t already.

Connors favorite colour was green and we all green today in different forms in his memory. I (along with the other riders) wore a green armband.

Connor used to love riding his bike. Sally always says that when he would ride around, he had a phrase that he would always shout out. “Go little legs”. While we were on the bike and we found ourselves having to dig that little bit deeper up the climbs, you would hear “go little legs” being repeated through the peloton. It’s the small things like this that really keep the motivation alive through those really tough times on a very hard day. 


Unfortunately, one of the riders in my peloton ran into the back of my bike whilst climbing. Nine times out of ten when two bikes make contact like this, it’s the rider behind who ends up crashing. This was no exception. I felt a bump and then some rubbing on my rear wheel before the rider behind me hit the deck. He was ok. He took a bit of skin off his elbow, but otherwise he got back on the bike and finished the day. What I didn’t know at the time was, that when he had run into me, he had run his front wheel directly into my rear derailleur (gear shift mechanism). This had caused some damage to the derailleur itself and bent the hanger also. I had to stop twice and try and tune the gears enough to make it to the next stop. This also meant that I had to chase back onto the group with the mechanic both times. Not something I wanted to do when having a bad day already. We tried to fix the issues last night but it seems the derailleur has too much damage. One of the mechanics got it to a point that I can finish the tour on, but when I get home, ill have to replace it. Our mechanics work tirelessly to make sure that our bikes are running in top shop for each day. They really don’t get enough credit for the work they do. Thanks Mechanics!


After lunch I had some great help from a multiple time tour rider. He basically positioned me behind him for the trip to Coffs and controlled the way we rolled down and up the hills for these sections. This basically saved my day. Without this help, I may not have finished the stage. Its amazing how small things within such a big group of cyclists can make such a massive difference to what the body can endure. Don’t get me wrong, I was still in the ‘hurt locker’, but my chances of making it to the finish line for the day had been hugely increased. This was my ‘hump day’ for this years tour and I am glad that I got through it.


We did have a first for Tour de Cure as we got within 10kms of our final destination in Coffs. My peloton, along with 3 others were all pulled over by the police. A very long story cut short and without getting into the nitty-gritty, we had a police escort the whole way in from this point. This took a long time to organise and were beginning to get vey hungry! Dinner started at 7pm and we didn’t get to sit down at a table until 8:30pm… This is why I didn’t get to write a blog post last night. A monster of a day and then a very, very late finish to the night after trying to fix my bike at midnight. To add to the good news, my team (Bisley) was on Sunrise duty the next morning. This meant we had to be down with Mark Beretta and the film crew at 5:30am to help out with their live crosses to the studio. So off to bed I went… J


Day 6 - Coffs Harbor to Crescent Head (167kms)

Sunrise duty in the morning was down by the beach. What a magnificent spot and view! These guys really know how to set a scene and backdrop.

After having my time in the limelight and getting my face on the morning Sunrise show, I needed to see one of the masseuses that we have on tour with us. This lady is amazing and has helped so many people with their muscle issues day in, day out. There have been a lot of very, very rough roads on the route this year and I have been having some horrible numbness and tingling in my hands. After todays treatment, I have some very tender skin but my numbness was not as bad. Ill be inline again tomorrow for another dose of forearm deep tissue massaging… Im not looking forward to it very much, but it has to happen.


In short, todays stage was never going to a “cruisy ride”. Yes, it should be considerably less elevation to climb, but there were many sore bodies from the brutal last couple of days. We set off down the road within the first kilometer, we had a very steep/sharp climb to go over. It was at this point I thought my day was going to go the same as the previous. After 5-10kms, our legs had warmed up and we were holding pace quite nicely. The guys on the front were tapping out a great temp to keep us all together. We were making such good time that we had caught the peloton in front of us as we approached our first school stop for the day. It was team Bisley’s turn to do the presentation of the TdC ‘Be Fit, Be Healthy, Be Happy’ message. We rocked!!! J It was one of the loudest schools we have been too. We get the kids, riders and teachers to have a bit of a shouting match to see if the kids are worthy of winning some Flipman packs that we give to all the students as something to take away from their Tour de Cure experience. I know I have said it before, but these school visits are fantastic to be part of.


Along with Jens Voigt, we have had a couple of bike riders with (Matt Formston and his pilot Nick) us for 3 days of the tour. These two riders are amazing! They are riding a tandem road bike within one of the pelotons for the full 3 days. To make this story more interesting, the guy on the back of the bike is blind. They are also in training for the next Paralympics to compete for Australia in the track and road race events. We wish them all the best for this achievement. They are awesome guys, great riders and very inspirational people. GO AUSSIES!!! We will be watching.


So all up, I had a great day on the bike. My legs were feeling strong and I was mentally in a good place. It was a world of difference to the day before. The human body is pretty impressive and it knows when it wants you to have a break. Unfortunately, you just don’t get one on tour… L


Ill leave you with a pick that was taken just before we left Armidale. This is Tim and Raelene who were my billets for the night we spent in Armidale. They were the most lovely people and helped make our Armidale visit even better! Thanks guys.

Day 4 - Glen Innes to Armidale (110km)

Did I hear that a sleep-in was taking place this morning...!? 

After a massive 500kms in 3 days, the whole team was feeling a bit low on energy. Luckily for us, there was a sleep-in planned, so this meant breakfast was served at 7:00am. Outside the the Glen Innes Town Hall, the food truck had prepared the normal breakfast buffet for us to fill up on. Breakfast plays a very important part of our day and makes sure we have plenty of fuel in the tank to take us through to our lunch stop.


We knew today was going to be a bit of an easier ride than the last few days. It was only 110kms and not too much in the way of climbing. We all needed to spin our legs over and give them some recovery for the big days to come. We couldnt believe our luck with the clear blue skies all day. It had rained all through the night and I was sure we would be rolling out in the freezing cold rain this morning. A 4 degree start this would not have been fun if the sky had opened up on us.


Today we were visiting six schools between the teams. My team went to TAS (The Armidale School).

This was a beautiful little school. The kids were great as normal and they had been doing their research on what Tour de Cure are all about. This year Tour de Cure have been running competitions within the schools we are visiting along our journey and all the kids have the chance to win a new bike, thanks our sponsor Specialized. The kids have been colouring in pictures for us and putting their creative minds together to design an image that could be chosen to be printed on all our water bottles next year. How cool is that!!!


Tonight the team have been billeted out to local Armidale residents. These are very special moments on tour for me. Its a chance to really help spread what Tour de Cure are doing and give the supporters a better insight into what happens on tour. Tonight I have been kindly taken in by Tim and Raylene. What a lovely couple. They live up on the hill and as Tim drove me home this afternoon we took a slight detour to where we could see over the whole City. The colour of the trees at this time of year is just amazing and you could see this colour for miles in the distance. It really creates a stunning backdrop with the mountain range finishing off the view.

Tim and Raylene joined us for the Armidale community dinner tonight. It was a full house with 420 people in attendance. It was a fantastic night. The food was top notch, the entertainment and live auctions were professional and the company and conversation was awesome. Its really great to see so much support from Armidale and its community. It makes me want to come back and take part in its Tour de Rocks mountain bike fundraising event some time. Tour de Rocks is a partner and raises money for Tour de Cure.

A huge thanks to Tim and Raylene for the lovely hospitality tonight. It really is very much appreciated and it has been a pleasure to have met you and your family.


A massive congratulations to Zac (my brother) tonight!

Zac was awarded the yellow category jersey for Attitude. He has shown some amazing attitude over the last few days on tour. He is willing to help out where needed and always does so with a smile on his face. He gets in amongst the action at the schools and even though he might be tired and sore, he continues to push himself every day to get to the finish.

I am super proud of how far he has come since riding his first country tour a couple of years ago and im having a great time being able to ride along side him and share some amazing moments of the tour with him on the bike.

Well done Zac! You are going to look smashing in yellow tomorrow!


I still cant believe I get to spend ten days on a  bike with this bloke again.

What an amazing ambassador for Tour de Cure!

Jens announced at tonights dinner that he is putting his name down for the next 10 years! How cool is that! What a Superstar!

And a character... German Flipman?!


Good night everyone.

Day 3 - Grafton to Glen Innes (160km)

Well, after day 3, I am pretty tired and sore... 

Today has been a monster day backing up from yesterday's 218kms. There were plenty of sore legs around and with a 5:30am roll-out, we were all very tired. 

Not only did we have a well known hard climb in the middle of todays ride, but there were plenty of climbs on the way to the base and after lunch to get into Glen Innes. It was a nice easy pace as we set off this morning. As the days go on, our legs begin to get more and more tender. The first 5-10kms of each day are used to "settle in" and find a rhythm.

I have to say, with all the fog and dew that was around this morning, It was such a pretty start to the day. As the sun peaked through the fog, the greenery of the countryside started to show. The bike is truly a great way to see some of our amazing scenery.

At the base of the Gibraltar climb, our peloton re-grouped and refuelled ready for the 18kms of climbing ahead of us. I wont lie, it was a tough climb. It wasnt as steep as I thought it was going to be, it just kept going... It was always going to be tough, but I also didnt think that I was going to push myself as hard as I did. Im pretty happy with the way I climbed today. Im still not quick, but I made it to the top pretty comfortably in my books. 


Jens Voigt gave a helping hand on the climb. Its not every day that you get pushed up a mountain by an ex-pro cyclist of his caliber. Its also pretty amazing to ride away from a rest stop and have Jens Voigt cheering and calling your name as you roll by.

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After lunch, we had 60kms to Glen Innes. Little did we know that the weather was about to turn a bit nasty... We could see the black clouds slowly rolling in towards us as we got closer and closer to town. The wind at this point had also picked up and was blowing a few people around. As the rain came down, the temperature dropped around 8 degrees and we had to pull over to put on some warm gear. From here, it was a slow run into town and our muscles were starting lock-up from the cold temps. These are not fun times on the bike, but we are not here for an easy ride.


I wrote about Sam last night and thought I would put a face to the name.

Mark and Sam with the blue jersey for Guts.

Mark and Sam with the blue jersey for Guts.

He is a cool kid with a fantastic personality. James Tobin interviewed him this morning on Sunrise and he also saw us off from Grafton.

Having to go through 12 months of Chemo at the age of 11 is not right. 

Lets kick cancer in the butt!!!


Please share my blog and lets push Tour de Cure's fundraising total for 2016 through the roof!

People can donate direct to my Tour tally here: Donate here.


Day 2 - Hastings Point to Grafton (218kms)

These are the epic days of the tour. Whenever there is 200 plus kilometres involved, you know its going to be a long day in the saddle.

Apologies in advance, but tonights blog might be a bit shorter than normal. Not only did we have an epic day today, but tomorrow is going to be even more epic... More on that tomorrow.


With a 4:30am start to the morning, everyone was on edge and ready to knock over some kms early before the sun got too high in the sky. We had 40kms to our morning tea stop in Byron Bay, where James Tobin was doing the Sunrise weather reports. 


The peloton I was in today really rolled well together. We averaged 29km/h for the day and we had the wind in our favour. It was a great chance to really get to know some of the new riders on tour and find out why they signed up to be part of Tour de Cure. When you spend over 7 hours next to the same people in one continuous block of time, you really get to know them well. There are some amazing people I get to share this journey with.

Peloton 3 - what a great bunch to roll with!

Peloton 3 - what a great bunch to roll with!

It was a truly great day on the bike today. 2 days down, 8 more to go. :)


The community in Grafton opened their arms to us tonight. Not only did they put on a fantastic feast, but the local support for what Tour de Cure are doing is amazing. 

Tonights highlight and probably the true highlight of the day, was a local boy named Sam. 

Sam is 11. He has a major connection with cancer in the form of a very rare type of cancer. Im not even going to try and spell its name, but its rare enough that he is the only person in Australia to have had it. Sam has undergone some very intense chemotherapy and radiation treatments during his battle. His family and friends have been a huge support base for him during his recovery and the town of Grafton has adopted him as the "towns son". The support that Grafton has given Sam is beyond imagination and he deserves every bit of it.

Sam has been given the all clear, or as Sam puts it, "Its done and dusted".

Children at the age of eleven (or any age for that matter) should not have had an experience like this in their life. Kids need to be kids! A major part of what Tour de Cure do, year round, is look to prevent kids like Sam from going through these horrible times.

More reasons for me to keep coming back? I think so!!! 


ac Harvey and I, at the start point in Brisbane.

ac Harvey and I, at the start point in Brisbane.