2021 Sydney Challenge Day 1 - Welcome Back, Chain Reaction

24 Apr 2021

Do you remember your first date? Your first day at high school? Your first day at a new job? The first day of a Chain Reaction has many similarities, and it doesn't matter if it is your first challenge or you are a seasoned Chain Reaction rider there is a bunch of nerves creating a rush of adrenalin as thoughts are swirling; Will I be able to keep up? Have I done enough training? Will my body survive 1,000km?

As we gather for our first briefing from our Ride Director, Tim Chadd, the nervous energy is peaking – evidenced in the noisy chatter, or perhaps the introspective, quiet stare into space.

Rider briefings are an important feature each day; how long is the day again? How many hills? What are the conditions of the roads? Where is the feed stops? These and other questions are all covered, the focus is always on rider welfare.

And then suddenly, the lead car's horn sounds and moves out; shoes click into pedals, gears flick, muscle fibre twitches, and we are rolling. Chain Reaction has two key focuses: safety and raising much-needed funds to help kids in need.

The Day 1 prologue is all about safety. It is a chance for the riders to get the butterflies out, familiarise themselves with the bunch, and the various techniques employed by our support crew that will keep us safe on the road over the coming week to test tyres gears and to stretch the legs.

Today’s ride was a sample of what is to come, a climb straight out of the blocks to open the legs and provide the first scenic team photos for our sponsors, followed by a rolling 70km of the lush Coffs Harbour hinterland, glorious…… Day 1 is in the bag. Tomorrow it all gets a little bit more serious!

There is a uniqueness to the week ahead as the kilometres build in the legs, and riders will experience moments of exhilaration, periods of suffering and everything in between. On the bike and around the dinner table, a special cohesion and camaraderie will develop. A special bond develops as we all work together to change the lives of children who, through no fault of their own, are facing challenges far more significant than what this week will ever offer up to us.

This evening the Founder of Chain Reaction, Berrick Wilson, shared his story tonight, there is no doubt we are all blessed and thankful for the support of our individual and corporate sponsors.

We proudly recognise our riders' hard work each evening by awarding sponsored competition jerseys, like those awarded in grand tours. This evening, the following Competition Jerseys were awarded.

  • Orange 'Leader's jersey', sponsored by Pure Storage, went to Andrew Harvey of the KPMG Team
  • White 'Young/New riders jersey', sponsored by Dynamic Projects went to Bex Meek of the KPMG Team
  • Black, ‘Spirit of Chain Reaction Jersey, sponsored by LSH Auto went to Western Patterson of the BaptistCare HopeStreet Team
  • Green, 'Sprinter's jersey', sponsored by Domain, went to Avi Efron of the KordaMentha Team.

Congratulations to all of our 2021 Sydney Challenge Day 1 Competition Jersey winners. 

Enjoy the pictures and the blogs over the week ahead, and know your dollars will help kids lives be a little bit better tomorrow than they were today as we work together to support kids in need.

Fun Facts Day 1: Coffs Harbour Loop 

  • Distance: 73.2km
  • Ride time:2 hours 59 minutes
  • Metres climbed: 1,190
  • Avg Heart Rate: 145bpm
  • Calories burned:1,847 calories

Blog written by, Charles Moore of the BaptistCare HopeStreet Team