Well I can't believe I am so close to the finish now... Only 2 days left of riding and ill be in Canberra.Today was the first of our big climbing days. It was a 165km ride with 2100m elevation.
The scenery changed completely once we hit the mountains and it blew us away! I have never had a more picturesque ride in my life. The colours, the views, the fresh air and the people I rode with. I would probably say it was the best all round ride I have ever done. Even though I'm not a fan of climbing, I had a great day on the bike. The climbs were tough, but I found myself being fuelled by the real reasons I am here. I powered over my climbs (for me that is) with a bit left in the tank to help get the bunch home after lunch. I would never had thought that I would being doing any work in the "engine room" today with the amount of climbing we had to do, but that's where I was from lunch to home. Our peloton today was a really great group. We really worked as a team to make sure we got everyone up over the climbs and home safe. The amount of support the guys gave each other today was amazing. We had some people who really weren't feeling their best and needed that little bit of a boost to get them home.
The day was a pretty long one, but the sights we saw along the way took our minds to a different place.
This was he summit of one of our climbs for the day. I am second from the right.
On the last leg to home, we stopped for afternoon tea where some local pharmacy workers came out to greet us. They brought with them a MASSIVE bag of chemist jelly beans. What a donation! Exactly what we needed to get us home.
We arrived at our accommodations with plenty of time on the schedule to spare. Thanks to this little beast, I made it through a great day of riding.
I showered, and got dressed for dinner and went and helped out with setting up for dinner. The other peloton a were just arriving by this time. I was very happy to arrive in the day light and warmer temperature. Dinner was served and the TdC proceedings went ahead. On Tour, we have a few things that happen at out dinner night. We give away $5000 to a local charity, we have a guest speaker and we hand out category jerseys. These jerseys are much like the "sprinter", "KOM" etc. jerseys they have. TdC have 6 jerseys that show the 6 values TdC.
PINK … Inspiration BLUE … Guts WHITE … Focus YELLOW … Attitude ORANGE … Doer GREEN … Awareness
You can see what they look like here from another tour day.
So at tonight's dinner, I had the great honour of being awarded the Blue jersey. Apparently my efforts, to dig deep and do what needs to be done, by working hard on the front of the group when needed, helping people through some tough winds and weather and riding well for the peloton today, considering how uneasy I was feeling before we rolled out onto the road to start the day. So, I was very shocked, but very honoured and happy to receive this award. I will be wearing blue with pride tomorrow!
It has been another massive day, but I got to have a couple of ciders over dinner, which doesnt really help me stay awake after over 1 thousand of bike riding...
I thought I would leave you with a photo of something that has become a normality for me. Every morning, the white board has been written all over, outlining a full running a for the day. This tells us which peloton we are in, how far before each stop, weather we have a school to visit, etc.