Day 8 – Albury to Shepparton


Route: Albury to Shepparton
Distance: 190km
Ascent: 219m
Total Distance So Far: 1114km
Total Ascent so far 11000m

Today’s ride was huge any day of the week but backing up from a 235km ride with a 190km just didn’t seem fair.  The consolation though was that the profile showed that the route was absolutely flat. There were no hills in sight so that was a welcome tonic for some really tired legs.

The day started with Mark Berettas morning crosses but this morning the turnout in Albury was a great one. The crowd seemed especially excited when they appeared on each cross.

Perhaps the highlight of the day today was the schools that we visited. Our first school for the day was the Albury Public School. As we arrived the students were totally pumped up to see us.

They had been really busy making signs and decorating the school but the crowning glory was the bicycles that each class had decorated.

The principle had promised the winning class a special treat so the competition was fierce. There were various design themes all with various combinations of steamers and cutouts but the winning model sported full racing wheels and spoilers with many positive affirmations about how to prevent cancer.

When the team judged the best bike there was a collective roar from the class that was responsible for the decoration of that bike and a collective groan from the classes that had missed out on their treat.

As we left the every student in the school formed a guard of honour and each of the cyclists rode along high fiving the students as they jostled for position in the throng. I am sure that these students will have an enduring memory of the day that the Tour de Cure cyclists visited their school and of the messages we delivered on the three ways to help prevent cancer.

1/ Eat Healthily

2/ Be Sun safe

3/ Be happy

After a few small unscheduled detours courtesy of some very suspect navigation we started rolling towards our destination. The guys on the front were really enjoying letting lose and keep the pace up around 40km/h which was not to the liking of some of the riders who were still hurting a bit from yesterday. Soon there was a call from the rear and on the radios to slow the pace but we still sat on a respectable 35km/h for that session.

Our next school was the Mulwala Public School who was as excited as the Albury students.  As we rode in we saw that they too had been busy decorating bikes and our arrival triggered a spontaneous mount up of all students on their bikes and a frenzied  15 minutes of chicken as all the students raced around a seemingly too small concrete area.

All the students are much switched on to our message and today was no exception. You can tell from the questions that the students are thinking about cancer and how they can prevent it.

Questions like, can you catch cancer, do you die from cancer and how many different types of cancer are there show us that the kids are thinking about the message that we are trying to instil in them.

We were making good progress and it was only slowed slightly with a stop at Rutherglen where another school presentation was delivered and a morning tea was devoured. This session was particularly hot so everybody was keen to fill the water bottles and refuel.

As the day progressed we were blessed with some lovely scenery including views of the beautiful Lake Mulwala.

Our beautiful lunch was sitting beside the Lake at Mulwala.

The second part of the day was a little less inspiring with flat roads and baron fields to look out at. By this time of the Tour everybody is starting to find sitting for long periods can be a bit of a problem and as we looked around the pack we could see everybody shifting in their seats and standing up to give the rear some welcome relief.

My butt was hurting like hell after today. I think I used a big tube of butt cream by myself today to try to get it back into condition for the last couple of days.

At our dinner tonight we were privileged to be joined by Shane Perkins, Australia’s newest world champion in the Kierin bicycle race. Shane won the World Championship only a week and a half ago but because of his family and friends brushes with cancer he has decided to ride in our guest day tomorrow.

Some of the boys are talking themselves up in an attempt to psyche him out but some of Shanes training stories have put them back in their place. Their only chance might be if they sit him out front for 100km and try to smash him with 20km from home!

At tonights dinner we presented a cheque to the National Breast Cancer Foundation for $5000 and this will go to training 6 support volunteers for the local community.

The jersey winners tonight were

Dean Coleman – Focus
Phil Gallant – Inspiraton
Stacey Williams – Attitude
Lisa Healey  – Guts
Grant Evans (EVO) – Doer
Sinclair Black –Thinker

Tomorrow we have the pleasure of sharing our ride with some guest riders. After meeting some of the riders today I can tell you that they are really excited to be riding with us.

Our route tomorrow takes us 120km from Shepparton to Bendigo.

Here is todays video

Here is todays Garmin readout


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