WOW!!! What a day!
I think today will go down as one of my toughest days in all six tours I have taken part in. It was a 4:45am start for day one. We had a 12km ride to our breakfast location at Adelaide Oval football ground. It was cold, but not too bad. A couple of general winter riding items were needed but it was reasonably pleasant. Little did I know that the day was only going to get worse from this point on...
We ate breakfast and helped Mark Beretta with his live crosses for the morning Sunrise show. When I say helped, we stood around and looked good in the background of the shot for the film crew. :) As the morning started to get on and the sky became lighter, we started to see what colour the clouds really were. They looked a bit nasty and we were headed straight for them!
As we saddled up to leave the football ground and start our 110km ride to Victor Harbour, the sky decided to open up a little and we started getting pretty wet. We donned our red tour jackets (these come out for the really cold weather) and we set off. The temperature was sitting at about 8 degrees for the entire day without the wind chill taken into account. This meant that fingers, toes, legs, noses and ears were not able to be felt for the entirety of the ride... As we made our way to the coastal road, we battled head winds and cross winds of around 30-35kms per hour. Along with the wind, we still had the rain hammering us from all angles. We only got colder as the day went on and I have never ridden into winds with the strength that I felt today. When it was coming at me from the side, I was actually riding leant over into it so I didn't get blown across the road. Crazy, crazy conditions. Needless to say, I am pretty tired after the ride, but I didn't sign up for an easy trip through the country side. The reasons we are out here are real and those reason make our nine day battle well worth it.
"Many hard days on the bike are a world better than one day of chemotherapy."
Tonight at our dinner presentation we had the pleasure to hear from 3 amazing people who work in the cancer industry and who are also with us on tour as part of the team to Melbourne. They spoke about some of the breakthroughs they have seen and helped be a part of within their specific fields. Some of the ways they are treating cancer is very amazing. To a non scientific mind, the treatments and procedures sound impossible to perform. Its breakthroughs like these that Tour de Cure are helping to fund and they are really making a difference in a lot of different areas! I am not only very pleased to be part of the Tour de Cure family, but I am really honoured to be amongst some of the most amazing and inspiring people I think I will ever meet.
Each night on tour we donate a cheque for $10,000 to a local cancer organisation. Tonight this cheque went to an organisation who provide accommodation for cancer sufferers who live outside of Adelaide so they can travel and receive treatments with as little cost as possible. They supply a phenomenal amount of accommodation with this service and we were told that the $10,000 would roughly cover one months worth of cost for their patients. What an awesome amount of help they provide.
Well, I think I had better call it a night. We have another early start tomorrow with a Dawn service for Anzac Day. The weather forecast is not looking to be in our favour and we will be battling some very strong head winds and cross winds also. Nighty night. :)