State of Origin Tour - Day 3 – Kilarney to Casino – 146km

Today was an early and cold start. I was up at 4:45 for a 5:30
breakfast, around an open fire, before a 6:15 role out. Our starting
temperature was around 2 degrees. In this temperature the group
started in our nice warm jackets. Wearing a jacket on the bike was a
first for me. Due to being so cold it took a little longer for us to
warm up.

Our first school visit for the day was at Woodenbong Central State
School. Alex Dahdah and I sat down the front with the youngest kids
for the school presentation. The students at the schools are always
very excited to have you there and always want to talk to you about
everything. Alex and I both passed our sunnies around for the kids to
wear. It’s funny how the littlest thing can make the kids so happy.
The school visits are probably the most rewarding part of tour. It is
a huge part of what TdC is all about and it is so important to get the
awareness out to the young kids.


We then rode out heading for our next presentation. With only 18
students this was the smallest school visit this tour. As it was such
a small group we did our presentation a little differently, all
sitting around in a circle amongst the kids. We were all blown away
with some of the great answers we got from the students. They were all
so intelligent and switched on.

We then rode to our final school for tour. At this school my team,
Huawei, joined with team Lexus to do the presentation to the students.
This was my favourite presentation on tour as everyone on both teams
got really involved and worked together to put on the best
presentation we could. The words of encouragement from one of our tour
veterans were great for some of us that weren’t as confident talking
in front of a crowd. “If you get nervous just pretend that you are 1
Direction”.

Just before we left a group of five girls performed a dance that they
had prepared for us. This was very special. We then rolled out from
the school, high-fiving a line of students as we went, to head for
Casino.

I was feeling really strong on the bike today and spent a lot of the
day at the front in the engine room. Just towards the end of the day I
started to get some knee pains. Once we got into Casino and had
stretched I went to visit a local physio. He said that he would try to
settle the inflammation down. The good news was riding wouldn’t do
more damage, might just hurt a bit…

This was the most relaxed I had been all day. Nearly fell asleep.

This was the most relaxed I had been all day. Nearly fell asleep.

Dinner tonight was at the Steak Barn at the Clydesdale Motel. It was a
huge meal and absolutely delicious. We also got to hear from David
Duff who has been in charge of the logistics truck on many tours. I
had the privilege of seeing just how hard he works when I was on
signature tour earlier this year, so it was really nice to hear why he
got involved with TdC.

My dinner

My dinner

I was very proud tonight to see Dad awarded the pink category jersey
for inspiration. He is without a doubt an inspiration to me and the
rest of my family. I think this was clear on tour and he definitely
deserved this jersey. I am sure he will look great in pink. Well
tomorrow is our biggest day and that means another early morning. I’d
better get some rest.