After battling with the elements yesterday, we were hoping that the weather was going to play nice for us today. I can say that it was better, but not by much…
Early start with a 5:00am breakfast. We then walked down to the Warland Reserve for the local Anzac Day Dawn Service.
It was a beautiful service with a local orchestra, singers, and the catapult company from the Army. There was a sea of people in the reserve and it was awesome to see so many of the local community attending to pay their respects.
I was in peloton one today and we were first off the ranks. A 7am roll out with 48kms to morning tea. Just as we started riding, it started to rain… Thankfully, we had a slight tail wind for part of it and that helped to ease the pain of the cold rain and wind. Morning tea was at the Soldiers Memorial Gardens in Strathalbyn. A quick freshen up before getting back on the bike for another 48kms to lunch. This section of the ride was not so nice to us. A very strong crosswind was causing some dramas in the group. Wind speeds of up to 45kms/h where hitting us on the right shoulder and blowing us across the road. We had to switch riders from side to side to try and give each other some relief from the wind. The conditions were definitely making things tough, but, we arrived at lunch to find slow cooked ribs in gravy on the menu! It was a perfect cold weather food for hungry & frozen cyclists.
We only had 46kms to our final destination in Meningie. The only problem with this was, we were heading directly into the 45kms/h winds. Keeping lunch short, so we didn’t get too cold standing around, we made our way down to the ferry to cross the river. Once we got to the other side, we turned right and the massive wall of wind hit us straight in the face! it didn’t matter anymore about what side of the peloton you were riding cause it was battering us from both sides now.
For the cyclists reading this, Ill give you an idea of the conditions, our peloton of around 40 riders were pushing to hold a pace of around 22kms/h. To add to this, it started to rain! Not just light rain, it was hurting when it hit your skin. Rest assured, this was going to be a long and tough 46kms to home.
The team were very much looking forward to dinning in Meningie tonight.
In 2013, we stopped here also and the community dinner they put on for us was just incredible. Tonight was no different. Tables were set to seat 300 guests and they were decorated in our category jersey colours. The community had donated raffle and auction prizes for the night, with all proceeds going straight to Tour de Cure. A favourite on the list of auction items was a plate of locally made cream puffs. Our dinner in 2013 also auctioned a plate of cream puffs and we had set the record with a $750 sale price. This year, they had been valued at $750 and that is where the bidding started. End result was $1,000!!! I think that record will stand for a while. :)
Total funds raised for the night was $4,000. A fantastic effort an awesome town to visit!
188km day in the saddle tomorrow. Lets hope the wind gods are on our side and we get a bit a tail wind to Robe!
Talk to you tomorrow.