Before I get started, I have say sorry for not getting this post up last night when I should have. I had no internet reception in the hotel I was staying. I wrote the blog in text format in a word document, so here it is.
Sydney to Bundanoon. 162kms with 1870m of climbing. This was a very testing day for everyone. We arrived at Cannel 7 in Martin Place, Sydney at 5:30am for some breakfast before Mark Beretta did the first live cross for the morning.
The weather was looking good at this point, with clear skies and a nice temperature, and was really looking forward to getting on the bike. We played hand ball with some of the kids who had come out to see us on our way and we met some of the local Sydney people before putting on our helmets and lining up ready to get started. The starting gun fired and we were away! Lots of cheering, kids shaking signs and plenty of photos were being taken.
We were on our way! We had about 60kms to ride to our first school. The City traffic was slowly building as we tried to navigate our way out. We stopped a few times for mechanical issues and little did we know that these were not going to be the last ones for the day…
As the sun started to rise, the rain started to pour down on us. It started out drizzly and got heavier as teh day went on. We were now having to deal with wet shoes and socks and low visibility with the streams of water coming off the bike tyre in front of us. I was the first rider to get a flat tyre in my Peloton this morning. The Mechanic at this point for our Peloton was further behind fixing someone else’s mechanical issue… By the time Chris (Our Mechanic) had caught up, I had my wheel ready for a new tube. I had pulled a good sized chunk of glass out of my rear tyre. A brand new tyre that I put on yesterday now has a nice hole in it. We will see how it holds up tomorrow.
We rode into a School for our lunch stop. A delicious spread of 'make your wraps' was on the table for us to devour. As per normal, the food is amazing on tour. Chris from Canadian Kitchens Catering does a fantastic job, and I couldnt imagine tour without him there.
We then got back on our bikes and started out trek to our next school visit for the day. The weather had not given us a break yet and it didnt seem like it was showing any signs of letting up yet... There wasnt very much chatting going on in the group, which isnt always a good thing. We were all concentrating very carefully in the conditions as it can be so easy for an accident to happen right in front of you with a group this size.
The next school we pulled into had some of their own presentations for us. They sung us a song and played us a video that showcased photos of them keeping Fit, staying Healthy and being Happy. All the three aspects of the talk we give to the kids when we visit. They had also gone to a lot of effort to draw all over the concrete int eh area that we rolled into.
We had a bite to eat for morning tea before getting ready to make out final run home to Bundanoon. This section of our day had to be the hardest. The rain was at is heaviest now and the roads were in pretty bad shape. The roads had a lot of dips and holes, so they filled up with water and made it very hard to judge where to ride. More mechanicals were had and we all had to lend a hand where we could. I stopped to sort a gear problem one of the guest riders was having on a climb. Rain and grease just make the whole situation a but more "fun"... But we got there.
We arrived at Bundanoon and Victor (Tour director) ran us through our afternoon briefing. We looked up where we were staying for the night and made our way there for a nice warm shower. The wind had really picked up in the last part of our ride and we were quite cold from being wet the whole day by the time we got in. The shower was awesome!
The community dinner was held just across the train line from where I was staying in a community hall. We were greeted by a lovely lady playing the grand piano up on stage for us while we mingled before the dinner proceedings got underway. Italian style dinner was served up by Canadian Kitchens with some cake for Paul Beretta's Birthday today.
We donated $5,000 to the Quest for Life organisation who were very appreciative of the generous donation. With the bad weather from the day, we were running well behind schedule. There were still chores to be done for the day and we really needed to get some sleep. We wrapped up dinner, made our way back to our accommodation and here I am.
A very tough day on the bike. We were told that that was the worst weather days Tour de Cure has experienced in 8 years of tour riding.
Tomorrow we make our way to Canberra. I get to see Luke (my Brother) and his Wife Kirsty. Cant wait to get there.