The last day of a Chain Reaction Challenge is different to any other day of the week. Riders and Support Crew have uniquely bonded through the stresses and celebrations of the week and we know day seven is the last of our privileged time together. It’s not just the conclusion of a week’s riding, it’s the conclusion of many months of sacrifices. Riders have sacrificed countless hours to train to be fit enough to take on the challenge. They have had to do this juggling jobs and family. In addition, they have had to put time and effort into fundraising, each rider is challenged to raise at least $5,000. It is not just the riders who have sacrificed it’s all our family and friends who have had to pick up the slack in our absence, to them we say a heartfelt thank you.
Breakfast – an important start to the day but in Chain Reaction land it is vital –cereal, fruit, bacon and eggs, coffee, coffee, coffee. Food is energy, and that is what we need in abundance by day. However, on Day seven another difference is the added apprehension, so close to the finish line yet so far. Today riders knew there was 140 tough kilometres ahead evidenced by the nearly 2,000m of elevation that would need to be climbed and that with over 800 accumulated kilometres already in the legs.
The peloton "clicked in" and rolled down the hill for a few loops around the lighthouse withers scenic lookout to the famous blowhole, to warm up the legs and for our final jersey shoot.The bunch then headed north following the coast line, tired legs groaning over each headland as we whipped through the coastal villages of Austinmer, Coledale, Clifton, Colecliff. We surged over the Sea Cliff Bridge towering over the rock shelf and Pacific Ocean below. Muscle fibre again twitched as riders exerted themselves to climb Bald Hill. Riders paused to enjoy the views and top up water bottles at the gateway to the royal National Park. For many these were now familiar roads a final effort was summoned as the tanks were emptied, have you heard of the saying "horses heading for home", lets just say the riders were headed for home! Then suddenly we were back in Sydeny traffic and lights, we were expertly shepherded once again by our superstar support crew to our final destination, Mrs Macquarie's Chair. All riders back safely, smiles, high fives and the applause and hugs from family and friends what a reception! Great work team.
So why would you participate in a Chain Reaction ride or support a Chain Reaction event? On one level senior executives have come together and demonstrated some great management traits; grit, resilience, collaboration, teamwork, patience and perseverance to name a few over the week, this may tick some great people and culture objectives for you. Yes, it has been an opportunity to create strong new bonds and networks which may present new opportunity over time. However most importantly I think every rider would tell you it has been an amazing opportunity to give back to the community, to have the great privilege and humbling experience of raising funds to help change the lives of kids in need and support the families of those kids as they face their challenges which are way beyond what we face in our fortunate lives. And finally, at least from my perspective a great sense of gratitude to you our supporters, sponsors and donors who without your support this would have just been a ride. So, chapeau, thank you!