Inside the Peloton Sydney 2024 Day 4

05 Mar 2024
Day 4 on the Sydney Ride saw a total contrast from the challenges of the last three days. Up to now we’ve been contending with getting settled as a group, adjusting to the impact on our bodies of continuous daily riding, being confronted with weather challenges, and confronting some savage climbs. Day 4 replaced all of that with the tyranny of distance.
The demands and the challenges of day 4 are always different. We’re now an experienced band of brothers and sisters. Bodies are used to the punishment, and the physical toll is no longer a shock to our systems. Everyone knows how to ride as a group and we do it with discipline and method. Drink and rest stops become no-nonsense affairs. We roll out on time and we quickly move to a flow of riders that take their turns on the front, helping the group as a whole perform to its absolute maximum capability. Lead roles are shared by a large cohort of both strong and experienced riders. Many in this group have four or five tours behind them. Following them in the peloton are the newbies. Taking up the rear, more experienced riders, waiting their turn on the front but playing their role of keeping discipline across the group that lies in front of them. Finally, there’s the crew that will bring mechanically delayed riders back to the peloton which never stops. It rolls on relentlessly.
But Day 4 needed all of that to be in place. It needed us to be on our A Game as a group, and how it came together was just a beautiful thing to be a part of. Because day 4 laid 200km out in front of us. For many of us, this would be the longest ride we will ever do. It started us off in apparent temperatures of about 3 degrees. Fingers were numb, teeth were chattering. Conversation was very quiet. That lasted for probably two hours before we could start stripping down layers. Now the enemy became the sun, the road, and pure time in the saddle. Oh, and it’s the saddle itself that, after seven hours, becomes your enemy. You can probably imagine why.  
We crossed the plains south of Ballarat without towns and amenities within a reasonable distance to act as our normal break points. 45km to a first drink stop. Then an 80km ride to our next break over lunch. Finally, two 40km stretches to get us home. Every one of those segments would be a great ride in itself. But today they just formed a part of a bigger picture. A picture that took us all the way from Ballarat to Warrnambool, 200km, 6hrs 55mins in the saddle.

Being part of a bigger picture really is a metaphor for why we are here and for what we strive to achieve as Chain Reaction. The months of preparation that we’ve been training through, the seven days of increasing exhaustion. It’s a journey we go through with the support of a team, and families and with end goals in mind. But for many that our charity partners support that end goal can be fraught with violence, poverty, famine, homelessness, cultural ritual, and poor education. What little we can do here as a collective is our small contribution to helping break cycles for those who need it the most, and hopefully make their goals real and achievable too.  

If you’re reading this, then you too are already on the Chain Reaction journey. You have a friend or a family member on this ride, or you’re a rider yourself. If you do nothing else, if you could just spread the word of our great causes a little further then that will be a great thing. Here’s links for you to share:  



Thank you again for your care and support.