There was no reception on the Spirit Of Tasmania (Boat) last night, so im sorry for the lack of blogging. I will combine the last two days into one blog.
Inverloch to Melbourne – 166kms
What a day! It started off with a beautiful sunrise over Victoria's stunning Bass Strait and news of Eric Bana joining tour had spread like wildfire through our team. The Hulk had joined us to ride bikes for the day! You never know who is going to join us at any point.
We stopped for morning tea at Cape Horn Lookout. Our legs were feeling pretty sore so I was glad the our run into Melbourne from here was going to be reasonably flat.
This was also the last day that we would have the first lot of stage riders with us. These riders seem to come and go so fast on Tour. Mike Jones (who I spoke about previously) seemed to have a great couple of days with us. The riding was tough, but he pushed through. He is a strong man and his reasons for stepping up to the challenge are very real. It was a pleasure to meet him and I hope to see him on tour again.
The other person in the photo above wearing a pink inspiration category jersey is Zac’s lead car navigator. Meet Olivia Jones.
Olivia falls down stairs, waves to live stock as they drive through the countryside and has broken her toe, all since arriving on Tour. Mike assures us that she is not clumsy at home, but her track record so far gives a different feeling… Olivia is Mike’s daughter (Nathan’s sister) and is now a very valued member of the Tour de Cure. She fits the mould perfectly, and I think she’s hooked on what we are doing.
To have met and get to know more of the Jones family has been a privilege and very inspirational. What a great family to be around.
We arrived in Melbourne to a lovely park by the water before boarding the Spirit of Tasmania. It was extremely fitting that the local community grant from Tour de Cure went to the Melanoma Project to raise awareness about skin cancer prevention and to honour Nathan Jones' wishes.
We said our goodbyes to the stage riders and rode onto the boat’s cargo hold. Our bikes were packed in tight, just in case we hit some high seas through the night and we then boarded to find our rooms for the night.
The Spirit has been renovated since we were last on board and it looks fantastic. Once again, the Spirit of Tasmania is a sponsor for this years Tour and it is awesome to have them on board! (excuse the pun)
We setup a stationary bike challenge on board the ship and anyone on board were able to jump up to the challenge and see how much power they could put out on a bike. It was very entertaining for all who were there. Even the staff joined in on the fun. We hoped for smooth sailing across the Bass Strait but I was a little worried about rolling off the top bunk with the amount of rocking that was going on.
Day 5 – Live Map Tracking: https://www.relive.cc/view/918963425
Day Six - Davenport to Launceston – 125kms
Once again, we got to ride down the ramp and roll onto Tassie soil. It was overcast and slightly wet, but everyone loved the rolling hills and jaw-droopingly beautiful countryside. It already brings back memories from our Sydney to Hobart Tour.
We visited Port Sorell Primary School and were joined by none other than the local Port Sorell Legends cycling club. They also handed over a cheque for $260 that they had pooled together for us! The school kids were equally awesome. The school handed over a cheque for $430 and the Principal's father turned out to be none other than Tassie cycling legend, Graeme Gilmore, who's grandson is recovering from leukaemia. It was an honour and a privilege to meet him.
The lush green pastures from Devonport to Launceston never disappoint and the 71km to the Beaconsfield Mine and Heritage Centre were awesome. Tassie has really given us some diverse weather over the course of today. We had, sun, rail, wind and cold chills.
Tomorrow is the queen stage of tour and It's going to be tough. This means, lots of hills to climb! Im not known for my fast climbing abilities, but I will get to the top of them all. I have the reasons Im riding to keep my legs turning and ill be using Jens Voigt’s catchphrase, “Shut Up Legs!” on most of the climbs.
It’s a very long day at 165kms with 2,500m of elevation, so im going to try and get some sleep now. Hopefully im awake enough to blog tomorrow… :)
Day 6 - Live Track Mapping: https://www.relive.cc/view/918963633