Hmm, what did I learn?

So, just in case you could not tell, or you might not have ridden with me before, when it comes to cycling, I love this shit, I really do! I love all kinds of riding, but I really think that the longer the journey, and the more challenges that it presents, for some strange reason, I love it even more, and will often be heard to profess this as we are tapping along! The other thing about me, is that I try not to get too wound up about situations, or how people may be acting/reacting at the time, and will also be heard to issue the words of wisdom, “It’s all good!” Life is far too short, and our time in it far too fleeting, to let the little things cause too much worry! Basically, don’t sweat the petty things, and don’t pet the sweaty things.

This was an awesome ride, well organised and run by Brenton, and he is to be much applauded for all of the effort he put in to making sure it all worked. If you have never organised a cycling event that continues for an extended period of time, you really do not understand exactly what is involved to make it happen. The concerns that are constantly racing through your mind, rider safety, the stress that can happen when something slightly out of kilter happens, or attempting to cater for the needs and personalities of the participants. All of this weighs heavily on the organiser, and Brenton handled it all superbly.

Much was learned on this trip, and some of what we had learned from Square2Square was shared with Brenton before he embarked on his journey. They had over catered for their ride, which in a way can be a good thing of course, rather than running out! I think we have both learned that things like protein supplements etc are not really required on this type of journey. If a rider feels that is what they may need to make it through the journey, it may just be a case of self catering for it.

Working as a team helped pull these guys through some pretty tough days of riding, and when the three of us from Adelaide joined in with them, we fell straight in to their patter of riding, as did juz when she joined as for the last 50km. Their basic principle was to ride as a team. To ride at the speed of the rider on point, and if they were going too fast, to wind them back in, and keep the group tight. This also helped reduce the overall size of our vehicle, as we did not have a long line of riders stretching out over a great distance. It also meant that by rotating every three km’s, you had a chance to rest and recover, which meant you were almost “fresh” again, when you were on the front.

When riding two abreast, and preparing to rotate, give a call with 500m to go, so the second wheel/s can take a drink, prepare themselves to take the lead, or advise the rider behind that they were not able to take the lead at this stage, and would instead roll to the rear of the pack. When changing over, we only ever went three abreast, which meant the two leads pulled out to the right, and fell to the back of the pack in single file. This again reduced our overall space we occupied on the road.

Interestingly, Brenton and Brad rode 3,200km’s without a single puncture or mechanical problem, we hadn’t even crossed the road in Melbourne when we got our first flat! The only person to get a puncture on this trip was one of the Pt Pirie riders who joined us, and the only one to get a mechanical was Chewy, who threw a spoke just with the sheer power he puts through his wheels!

Hotels and Motels, especially those in the rural areas, will be much more friendly and interested in what you are doing, than what they are in the City areas! I think next time we look at one of these group rides, we also investigate the alternate accommodation options, we went straight for cabins in caravan parks, as generally these will accommodate more people. But some of the places we stayed in, were equally as large as a cabin, and when the bill is plit four ways for example, it really is a good price.

Brownies are an excellent recovery food! Massive thanks to Sarah for a couple of batches of her home made brownies to tide us over, a ginger cake, and then on the morning of our last day, she managed to also bake another batch of brownies for Brenton to eat on his long drive home in the Kia!! Chapeau Sarah!

Next year, I think it would be great to do a ride from Perth to Sydney maybe, it’s only about 4,000km’s, but I know already that I could not do it at the same time of year, there is just far too much work left back here to finish off for the auditors!

Massive thanks to Brenton, Brad, Terry, Jason, Sarah, Chewy, Juz, Scott, and everyone else who rode along with us, and all of the others who supported us along the way. Big thanks to Brenton’s family, you were all fantastic to us, and thanks for your generosity, hospitality, beer, and fantastic laughs. Peter, we really do need to teach you how to drink the Zambucca’s properly next time mate!

Big shout out to a couple of my favourite sponsors, Ride Easy Sports Products/Chamois Butt’r and Sukkie Hydration, your support at the last minute was much appreciated!

I love this shit!!!

Keep the rubber side down,

Smudge!