Day one – Sydney to Wollongong
We woke up pretty early this morning as we needed to get a taxi to the meeting point so that we could have breakfast and make it to Martin Place by 7.00am.
That meant that it was a 4.30am rise for most of the guys as we needed to be at breakfast by 5.30am and into Martin Place by 7.00am.
When I got downstairs to the lobby of the accommodation there were already about 10 of the interstate boys getting ready for the journey. Most of them were first timers so there was some nervousness in the air !
When I got to the meeting point there was certainly a buzz in the air as today was Day One of our epic Journey – Tour de Cure 2011.
It was great to see some familiar faces around the breakfast van and we quickly caught up. This really made me feel at home as I knew what was about to come.
All the guys and girls have been working for this moment. The time where we take off on our epic ride from Sydney to Melbourne.
From the organisers and support crew, caterers and corporate supporters to the riders and their families, everybody has been looking forward to this day and working towards getting on the road.
When we arrived at Martin Place there was only a small crowd to greet us but the number of supporters quickly rose until nearly the whole area was crowded. It was a great feeling to have so many people all there to support us on our journey.
As time went on the anticipation grew until it was time to leave and Mark Beretta led us out and onto the road to start our adventure.
The first stop for us was at the SCG where we were greeted by the Sydney Swans who donated a signed Jersey to our cause.
We called in at the Lexus Head Office where we were treated to a wonderful morning tea. Lexus are one of our sponsors who have supported us on all 5 Tour de Cure rides so it was great to meet all the people that were responsible for that fantastic support.
The ride onto our lunch destination was a slow one as there were lots of traffic lights to make it a start and stop journey.
Lunch was at Stanwell Tops which has a beautiful vista of the ocean.
The last part of the journey today was punctuated by the best part of the day for me. We visited Coledale Public School and Austinmer Public School.
The students were so excited to see us and had spent great effort in creating banners for our arrival. My group visited Austinmer Public School where Gary Bertwistle presented the students with an educational talk about Cancer, its causes and what we need to do to help prevent it. The talk was complete with great visual aids to compliment the message. At the school we also gave every student our new book published by Tour de Cure entitled – Stick Man.
The end of the riding day was completed by meeting with a great group of families from Camp Quality who enjoyed a game of footy with all the guys.
At tonight’s dinner we were treated to another highlight of the day when Phoebe McAuliffe made a short but profound speech about her brother Conor that was lost to cancer at the age of 3. Phoebe also said “Tour de Cure should never stop”
So that was our Day one. We are looking forward to welcoming a bunch of guest riders on the stage tomorrow from Wollongong to Huskisson.
Stats for today’s ride
Route: Sydney: Wollongong
Here is my Video of Day one
Here is my Garmin readout for day 1
Here is the Channel 7 coverage of Day 1
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