Saturday, May 7, 2011

We made it!

It was a brisk morning on Friday, we packed up the tent and headed over to the bowling club for breakfast. I have snapped my cleat and was unable to remove them from the shoe. It looks like eddie will need to get me a new pair of bike shoes.

Today we headed over and through the border ranges national park from Kyogle heading east towards the coast. We quickly got warmed up as we headed out of town and 5kms up the road started the climbing through the mountains towards Murwillumbah. When the group one came passed Eddie jumped on and made it quickly to the top of the first climb but then came back down again to ride up with some of the others. i just rode steadily to the top enjoying the scenery in between my heavy breathing.

It was a fast descent to the bottom, the road it quite rough and so I had to be careful. Once again we started climbing and this time we just seemed to go up and up and up. It felt like we would never make it to morning tea. On the final descent Eddie and I stopped as one of the YOTS kids had a flat tyre and was waiting for back up vehicle to arrive so he could get going again. However Merv (pack 6 faithful support driver) had a spare front wheel and we soon got going again. Jannari had done really well and has ridden the whole way, he was able to speed down the mountain just behind Eddie.

After a short rest at the Sphinx cafe we rode off again, the road surface had improved and we picked up the pace to Tumbulgum for lunch. Some of the riders in our pack know these roads quite well so they stayed on the front leading the way.

Eddie commented that he doesn't think he will be able to go for a long ride anymore without stopping for morning tea and lunch. After lunch we headed along the river and then the back way towards the Tweed via Banora and Terranora. The views were spectacular. You can see the mountains and the coast and all the way up to the tall highrise buildings of Surfers Paradise, our final destination.

We stopped briefly at Kurrawa for a group photo and then headed to Seaworld at Southport under police escort (thanks to our pack captain Micko, qld cop) and fire brigade escort (thanks to pack member Rossi, qld fire service).

It was quite sight, over 150 riders winding their way along the gold coast streets. I felt very proud to have made it all the way from Sydney to Surfers on my bike under my own steam, and raising $$$ for such a great cause. Judy and dad were there at the finish line to greet us. Check out me and the YOTS kids, awesome acheivement to make all the way on limited training, they demonstrated commitment and determination all of the way.

The post ride dinner was at Greenmount beach resort, it was nice to get out of my riding clothes and be a bit girly. We met father Chris Riley and he spoke about the program and some of the achievements that the kids have made over the last 20 years, and where they are now.

Thanks to everyone for supporting us along the way, we hope you enjoyed the armchair version of our ride. The raffle was drawn, unfortunately it doesn't look like we had a winner with the raffle, but I want to thank everyone for assisting with the selling of the raffle tickets and helping with the fundraising and making others aware of the campaign to help young people achieve their dreams.

We would also like to thank Rotary club of Engadine for organising the ride and allowing us to experience this opportunity. Special mention goes to pack 6, you are all legends, Merv the magic man support car driver we are in debt to you for getting us safely to Surfers!!! Make sure you all keep in touch!

PS, Eddie is already making plans for next year.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Home town advantage! and on towards Kyogle.

Today we made our way through to Coffs Harbour. Eddie was privileged to lead the bunch to the Pet Porpoise Pool. Eddie and I were very proud to be showing off our home town. It was great to see familiar faces at the PPP. Hads, Sinc, Kath, Jeff, Hoss, Mary, Judy, Alison, Lauren and Michael were at morning tea to greet us as we came in.

We stayed a bit longer than usual at morning tea and spoke about our ride so far and how it is all going, and what we have left to do. 2 days left, over 650km covered, about 270 km to go.

Pack 6 all stopped for a great photo in front of the Big Banana, it will be a good photo to put on the wall to remind of us of the ride and the new friends we have made.

Eddie was to be first to the top of Bruxner, just getting there ahead of Crackers (home town advantage played a big factor in the race up the hill and also the fact that I think Crackers keeps Bundy and Cola in business all by himself.)

Few guys did it tough in the bunch today. It isn't an easy ride to Grafton the back way, all rolling hills and no flat sections at all. But we all made it safely into Grafton and had another great feed at dinner time thanks to the staff at Grafton Districts Services Club. Judy and I were the talking point of the night looking spectacular in our Comminsure polo's.

Today we ride to Kyogle, it will unknown territory from now as we have never ridden out this way before.

A nice nights sleep in the Crown Hotel in Grafton, and again leaving at 8am to rolling country side to Whiporie for morning tea. The roads were quiet and we sped along towards Casino for lunch. The roads were nice and flat and our average speed was able to increase slightly due to some of the stronger riders taking big turns on the front breaking the wind and making it easier for the rest of the bunch.

I met Judy at the Kyogle branch and we had some photos out the front with the branch manager Stephanie and financial planner Glenda and Judy.

Nathan the financial planner from Ballina came to visit me at Kyogle which was a very nice surprise.

Only 1 day left to go, very exciting!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Single file, flats, and we need to start a petition!!!!

Our instructions this morning were to ride single file, for the whole day. Officially the police do not wish for any group cycling from Port Macquarie through to the Queensland border. I suspect this is due to the poor condition of the road. So after another superb breakfast, we rolled along Ocean Dr passing through Bonny Hills, looking at the spectacular views and the surf rolling in.

We didn't actually go into Port Macquarie for morning tea so didn't get to catch up with family or friends. Morning tea was under the bridge at Telegraph Point. We had a bit of unnecessary excitement, coming over a particularly narrow section of road, we got 2 flats simultaneously. Michelle's rear tyre exploded with a bang and another group members front tyre. Michelle was very nervous because the flats occurred on a bridge and with nowhere to pull off the road had to keep riding until we could get to a safe section of the road.

The ride to lunch at Clybucca was punctuated by alot of cursing at the condition of the road (our National Highway no less) and the need to write to the local member to complain. The condition of the road combined with the attitude of some motorists was appalling. This reminds me that I should get as many people as possible to have a look at and support the objectives of this awesome foundation. The mood of todays ride was dampened by the news that one of the riders from one of the later groups fell on a bad sectin of road and was badly concussed and will not be able to continue riding to Surfers Paradise.

We finally made it into Nambucca Heads early afternoon and helped friends set up camp and have a swim. After another hilarious dinner Michelle and I have come home to sleep in our own bed and resume the ride in the morning with everyone.

One thing I have neglected to mention is that there is four kids from the Youth Off the Streets program who are particpating in the ride. Very inspiring to hear how much of an effort they are making to complete this event. They have only just commenced riding and have ridden each daily stage or portions of each day. Our group captain made a great speech echoing the sentiment of many of the people on the ride that they are undertaking an event that requires dedication and commitment and by applying these principles they can accomplish many things in their lives.

Over 500kms completed in four days, we just over half way and tomorrow we ride through our home town, stopping at the Pet Porpoise Pool for morning tea. Rumour is that traditionally the climb up Bruxner is a bit of a race and because we live here we have a bit of home town advantage. Just have to wait and see how the legs feel in the morning I guess.

Don't forget to check out the pics on and then click the link on the wallor just click the link on the side of this blog. You might even see someone you know!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

No rain, trucks at night and into North Haven

Day 2 started off nice and sunny from Morriset and we followed the side roads quickly towards Hexham. I have been promoted up a group and have found a group which is tightly run and works really well together. Its just like being in the tour, when we get a flat we dont stop to fix it we just wait on the side of the road and then we change wheels.

At our first stop Michelle asked how it was and I said its good and she could easily ride in this pack. So after Morning tea we had a new member in our team and we ate up the miles to lunch at Karuah. I unfortunately got a flat 50 metres beofre we rolled into town and fixed it quickly whilst we had lunch. It was quite nice sitting beside the river and relaxing. Back out onto the highway we were able to pick up the speed a bit all the way to Buladelah, or as Craig and I have coined it, to make it try and sound a bit more luxurious (cos the campground was a bit dodgy) Bula-da-lar Springs country estate. Seriously it sounded like the trucks going past on the highway were going to run right over our tents.

It was a funny night at dinner, and another great feed (have to keep our energy up for each days ride).

It was good to hear a few stories about Ironman and everyone has done really well. Good job Coffs guys!!!!

Rolled out of town about 8am and because the road was so good we were able to hold a good speed. Our pack works really well together and we can hold a nice tight line and we ended up passing a few of the other packs on the highway. I have quickly gained the rep of mr nice guy cos I have helped a few of the girls up the hills so we can stay together and maintain our speed. (Jenny you know what I'm talking 'bout!)

After lunch and into Kew once we turned off the highway it was basically a free for all and a sprint into North Haven. A couple got a way from me but i was able to catch them back up and we held about 45km/h all the way to the pitstop at end of day.

Great campground, nice and dry and lots of green grass and we have been able to dry our tents out and relax before dinner. We got here just before 2pm. Check out the pics, all good campgrounds should have a trampoline like this one.

375km down and three days of good riding, legs are still feeling unreal!!!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Day One, wet and then some!!

Day one started out around 5am leaving from home at Chippo and going to Hornsby to commence the ride. The whole way it poured with rain. It stopped just long enough for us to unload our gear get checked in and started riding.

After rolling along the old pacific hwy and down to the hawesbury river the whole peleton waited at the bottom of Mount White for a police escort to the top. Apparently the is a popular road for hoons (car and motorbike) to test their vehcile to the limit. It was a great climb from the bottom right to the top where morning tea was waiting. MMMMM yum, the whole peleton got really spread out over the climb by some 30 mins or more. (I was in the first group so first dibs on morning tea.

After refuelling we followed the rolling hills and back roads to Yarawonga and down in the valley behind Wyong. Really beautiful country side and the sound of Bluebirds after the rain was a good sign that the rest of the ride would be dry.

We got to the campground around 3.30pm (after 5 flats and 1 broken spoke in our group, not me luckily) and set up our tents and got ready for a big well deserved dinner. We have our offici8al riding uniform however today we are wearing our Coffstri outfits in support of all our frinds from the Tri club who are competing in Ironman in Port Macquarie today. Go guys you've done the hard part (ie all the training, today is the fun bit, when you get to go out on the oourse and have the cheers from all the crowd.)

Michelle and I will be thinking of you whilst we make our way towards Buladelah today, should be nice and easy and even better if the weather co-operates.

If you'd like to see some more images and read about the day follow the facebook link from the mainpage on the link on the side of this blog.


Friday, April 29, 2011

In Sydney ready to start.

well after a frantic morning getting everything ready we made it to the airport and on our flight to Sydney. Yes it is still raining down here as well!!

So Michelle finally gets to ride her new bike (about time I got organised and replaced the broken one, it broke because it tried to take on the garage door last year and lost!!)

So here it is all ready to go. It is nice and light and should be good for riding up all those hills.

Michelle with Chelsea and Cody at home in Chipping Norton.

Enjoy, keep you posted.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It wouldn't be possible without

Our journey from Sydney to Surfers wouldn't be possible without the generous support of local business' and individuals who have assisted us in our fundraising for Father Chris Riley's Youth off the Streets program.. We would like to thank the following business' and ask that you support them with positive word of mouth advertising and patronage.

Ian and Sue @ Coffs Harbour Olympic Pool.
Tim @ The Palms Centre Chicken Butchery.
Big W, Pages Bookshop, Melissa and the team @ Hairy Rumours hairdressing, Mark and family @ Darrell Lea chocolate shop all at Park Beach Plaza.
Cath @ Healthy Inspirations Toormina.
Pete @ Coffs Ocean Jetski hire.
The Cheesecake Shop @ Park Ave Coffs Harbour.
K'Pane Bakery Jetty Village shopping centre.
Fletchers Fotographics Harbour Drive.
Medi-Optics @ Centro Toormina.
Mothers Nature top fruit market.
Danny and Joe at Split cafe Sawtell.
The Independent newspaper.
Pip @ Chandler Macleod.
All of the above business' made our film night at Sawtell Cinema a great success.

The following business' have supported us financially towards our goal of $3000 to support father Chris Rileys's Youth off The Streets program.

Rod Jozeps Automotive

Deb and John from Guardian Moonee Beach Pharmacy.

Morrisons Electrical megastore.

Dave @ Faircloth and Reynolds air conditioning and refrigeration.

Scott @ Nolan and Partners Real Estate.

Bellbowrie Motors.

The Good Guys Coffs Harbour.

John and the team @ Coffs Harbour Cardiology.

Alex and Sean at Comminsure.

The NSW Far North Coast and Northern Tablelands team @ Commonwealth Financial planning.

Al and the team @ Ventoux Cycles.

Norman @ Beaumonde Kitchen design.

My work colleagues at the call centre.

And of course all of our friends @ Coffs Harbour Triathlon club.