Day 4 – Batemans Bay to Canberra

Route: Batemans Bay – Canberra
Distance: 152km
Climbing: 2000m
Total Tour distance so far: 475km

Today started with a short ride out to the Batemans Bay Primary School where we were greeted by some very excited children who had been working on their really bright and colourful signs in anticipation of 10 minutes of fame on the Channel 7 Sunrise program. They were not to be disappointed as each cross this morning featured all their smiling faces and signs

All the Tour de Cure family were equally excited because it was official that we had passed the 1.5 million dollar mark for our fundraising efforts.

The boys were challenged by the students to a game of hand ball but they were not counting on the competitive nature of both Daniel Chalhoub and Geoff Coombes who seemed to take great pleasure in beating all comers.

As the morning schedule drew to a close you could sense a lot of nervous energy in the air. Most of the riders were a little apprehensive about the day that was looming as we were on our way to one of the biggest challenges on our journey, the climb up the Clyde Range on the Kings Highway.

The Clyde range is the steepest ascent on the tour schedule, this 11 km climb was an average of 8% gradient with pitches of up to 15%. We all knew that we had done the training but had we done enough – We were soon to find out.

There was only 25 or so kilometres to the base of the climb and we took it pretty easy so that we could conserve our legs.

We were soon into the climb and everybody was climbing  at their own pace. The groups soon strung out as the stronger riders powered up while everybody else did what they could to keep going.

About half way up there was a welcome break from the pain when we were stopped for road works. Everybody took the opportunity to have a little rest and recuperate from the climb so far.

After the break we pressed on and found that the steepest parts of the climb were ahead.

I was pretty happy with my climbing today as I reached the top of the climb with a small group of about 5 riders who had broken away from the main group and crested the hill all together.

The jubilation at the top was evidenced by the guys and girls cheering and giving high fives to each other and the mood changed to one of euphoria as we headed down the other side and to a well earned break.

The next 20 km was full of chatter and everybody exaggerating about how great it was and how good they did the climb.

Morning Tea was at Bravewood Public School. As we arrived we were given the rockstar treatment with as many screams and cheering that I have witnessed.

Gary  Bertwistle and Victor De Sousa  gave a great presentation about helping to prevent cancer using the Stickman Rules book that Gary had written and the students were extremely attentive and receptive to the message .

Soon it was off on the rest of the journey to Canberra and to our lunch stop at Bungadore where we rode past a very excited Bungadore primary school.

After a quick lunch it was on the road again.

The guys got a  little surprise when after about 2 km there was a nasty little hill. With a full stomach and cold legs this was less than pleasant but we toughed it out and continued along.

The remainder of the journey to Canberra was very undulating with rolling hills being the order of the afternoon. Whist this presents lovely scenery it means that every few kilometres you are faced with a bit of a climb to do. That seems to make the legs just a little more tired.

After 150km we eventually made it to Canberra were we were greeted with a lovely surprise.  One of our support ladies Cora Zillich had arranged for a group of masseuses to give all the riders a massage.

I have never seen a group of men so appreciative before for a simple pleasure of getting a massage. Tired legs, shoulders and backs will be all the better tomorrow for this.

But the surprises were not over. Cora had also arranged two ICE BATHS! With guarantees of better legs tomorrow some of the boys jumped in to the baths that were set to a icy temperature of 13 deg celcius ! We will have to wait and see how they are feeling in the morning to see if the pained faces, shivering and complaining of the cold was worth it.

Perhaps the highlight of the day was a candid talk Scott Brennan an Olympic Double Skulls Rowing Champion gave at our dinner. Scott recounted three experiences where he had come into contact with people that had cancer and how those people had inspired him to achieve great goals in his own personal life.

Here are the Jersey category winners for today.

Danny Moore – Focus

Paul Ainsworth – Inspiraton

Daniel Chalhoub – Attitude

Marg Baily – Guts

Peter Richie – Doer

Aiden Liegman –Thinker

Tomorrow we are being joined by 15 guest riders as we continue our journey to Cooma.

Here is my video of the day


Here is part 2

Here is my Garmin readout (interesting stuff)

Day 4 Channel 7 Roundup

Leave a message for me:

If you want you can even spread the word and post it on facebook.