This mornings alarm went off at 5:00am and I needed to be on the road at 5:30am to arrive under the Story Bridge by 6am. Breakfast was fantastic! The famous Canadian kitchens are back on tour with us and I really cant wait to see that food is produced from that truck. Kris has a lot of team members to feed this year, and I really dont know how he does it. (I will take photos).
There were lots of family and friends around to see us before we left Brisbane on our journey. Even though there was a slight sprinkle of rain, there were plenty of people to see us off. Channel 7 and Mark Beretta took the stage with the mornings sports report and we gathered around in the backdrop for plenty of media opportunities. Welcome to tour! :)
Thank you to everyone who made the effort to come and say hi and see us leave. It really means a lot to all of us when we can see how much support we have behind us from all over. I really cant thank my support enough for the things they do to help. Thank you.
As we were getting ready to roll out, of course the sky decided it was time to let go and it stated raining... What would tour be without some wet weather? :) Winding our way through Kangaroo point and out to Mt Gravatt proved to be a challenge at times. The rain and traffic on the roads is not the best combination to manage groups of 40 riders. After we were through the built up areas and we hit the Gold Coast motorway, we started to open up the legs. Cruising at 40km/h in the sunshine had really lifted everyones spirits for the afternoon.
Today was a big day. We stopped at 3 schools - Greenslopes, MacGregor and Oxenford state schools and spoke to hundreds of kids. I dont think I could ever get sick of visiting these schools along the way. The smiling faces and way they treat us as we roll into their little world, is just amazing. We tell them to eat healthy food instead of junk food and go outside to play with friends instead of playing computer games and they love us for it! They are great fun!
Not only do we have Jens on tour again with us, but today we were also joined by Robbie McEwen! He rode past us on the other side of the road and turned around to join in on the fun. He rolled with us to Oxenford state school where he also joined us for lunch, changed into a TdC cycling kit and then rolled back to the Gold Coast alongside our team.
We rolled into Hastings Point a little later than planned today, but we had enjoyed our first day together. The first day on tour is normally full of teething problems. Riding with new people and settling the nerves can take a day or two to set in. Today had a different feel. The teams rode well and it all fell into place nicely. Im looking forward to chewing up many more kilometres with these fine people over the next 9 days.
Im going to leave you with a video. I urge you to watch and share this with as many people as you can. The lady talking in this video (Sally) is a great friend of the Tour de Cure and I rode with her and her husband (Michael) in the QLD Country Tour in 2013. This is her speach that she made last night at our Brisbane dinner.
Im not sure how many times I have listened to Sally tell her story over the years, but it gets me every time.
These are the reasons I keep coming back!