Inside the Peloton Day 4

30 Mar 2022
Day 4. The Big One. Challenge Day. 191km and around 2300m of climbing. The elevation was made up mostly by one big climb about 80km into the ride. On its own, not bad, enjoyable even. Definitely my kind of ride. But sandwiched in the middle of 7 days and 1000km, was always going to be tough.
There had been nervous chatter about “Day 4” from the beginning. After Day 3, those nerves got noticeably more intense. Some riders were looking up the Strava accounts of our Sydney counterparts who did this ride just a week or so ago. Others took the coaches aside asking “How long is it? Is it like a Mt Mee? A Nebo? A Hotham?”. Others were asking riders who have done the climb before, or who had studied the strava profile in immense detail (Paul, that’s you).
Consensus was it was going to be tough, but definitely doable. Somewhere in between a Nebo and a Hotham.

Weather was perfect today when we rolled out. But we are getting noticeably tired. The pace was slower and there was a noticeable number of riders quickly getting out of their saddle when the opportunity arose to allow their sit bones that second or two of much needed relief.
We got to the bottom of the climb and to our delight were told that the road we had planned to ride after our lunch stop to our accomodation was not rideable. Which meant that we had to bus it out, reducing our km for the day. Even better was that Tim shouted the beer at the pub at lunch!

The climb was definitely my kind of climb. I loved it. The scenery was absolutely stunning. But what made it even more enjoyable was the group of 6 or 7 of us who rode together. We kept the group together, took turns, reminded each other to drink, shared lolly snakes that were generously handed to us on the side of the road (from our support crew!!), shouted encouragement and motivation when one or two of the group started to struggle. Team work in action and it made the day.
So it was tough, yes, but we are all privileged to be able to do this. We get to ride our bikes for 7 days while people donate money to charities to support children who desperately need support. How good is that!

I’m privileged to have a loving, kind, supportive family who think nothing about helping me train and then take part in an event like this. Families with children on the autism spectrum would find it much more difficult to be given the time and space to do this. So I do it for them. These are the families that AEIOU provide much needed support to. For everything you do, thank you.
I’m also privileged to be able (largely because of my support network) to raise my children with love and support and a decent roof over their heads. The children who come to Traction programs don’t have that love and support. They don’t have a stable home life and people to guide, encourage and help them grow. Traction provide these kids with essential mentoring and guidance that they otherwise would not get. So I do it for them. For everything you do, thank you.
Here’s to Day 5….