A while ago a friend of mine Barbara in Sydney came up with a crazy idea to ride from Penrith to St Kilda to raise money for the Children’s Hospital at West Mead. At the time I agreed to ride the last day.
Last weekend saw the conclusion to this epic ride. Some prep was required, like how to get to Seymour the start of the last day, what to take, what to wear, how to get there, etc.
The Bike Bag, some research had been done with my trip to Noosa, but then in the post came a catalog form Ground Effect. They had a bag that folded away to approx A4 size. Perfect so I ordered it, next the back paper, dragged out my 2xu Transition Bag. Big enough for what I need and the ye-old sleeping bag which I used at Portarlington.
How to get to Seymour, V/line Train to Seymour – done and only just on $10. Perfect.
The week before was time to start getting the bike ready, then packed up, get a train ticket. Oh no, no trains running, but replaced with Buses. OK I can do that, but how to get to Southern Cross station, public transport? Taxi?, other ? Well a friend of mine offered me a lift into the city ok done.
We got into the City and the Southern Cross station just enough time for the a coffee and toilet stop before heading down to the bus’s. When we got there V/line had arranged 4 bus’s to Seymour. 1 Bus had 3 stops, the rest was stopping all stops. Ok quickest one please. Placed the bike under the bus and got on board. The bus pushed back right on time and we headed out. Once the freeway I placed the MP3 on closed my eyes and got some sleep. Some 2hrs later and few stops the bus made it to Seymour. Off the bus, grab the Bike spoke with the station staff to get directions then off to the caravan park to meet up with the crew.
After walking 15mins I made it to the caravan site and found Barbara. Placed my stuff down and Barbara showed me around and introduced me to the crew. Before it got too dark I wanted to unpack the bike put it back together, took me approx 30mins to do this. Once completed I headed back to the camp fire and heard stories of the day, had a little dinner. Then the group did what was the highlight of the day and then the naughty rider of the day. Because the group was bad that day tomorrows penalty was to ride out of town in the lowest gear.
Few of the riders headed off to bed but before then the bike captains Paul and Glen and I sat down to plan out the route through Melbourne.
In short was to head down Hume Hwy to Sydney Rd to Princess Park for Lunch. After lunch track down to Spenser St and City Rd to the Beach Rd then all the way down to Brighton and the finish line. Once we were happy with the route off to bed.
6am Alarms sounded. Time to get up for 7am roll out. Shower, change, pack my crap up. Some breakfast and placed my bag in the back of the trailer and ready to roll at 7am. After one of the riders had issues with their cleats we headed out. Perfect morning clear, with sun rising, a little cool but not too cold. The ride out of town was slow but just before we hit the freeway we were told we could change out of low gear. We headed out on the freeway the amount of crap on the side of the road, tire treads, rocks, furniture and other crap.
The morning was good, approx 11km out we stop to strip down was getting a little warm. We headed off and stop approx 40km at road house for morning tea. We refueled and headed out again after 10km or so I got a flat so we swapped the wheel out and kept on going. As we heading down the highway we got our first sight of Melbourne Skyline. It was perfect sun out, wind on our backs doing 55km down the highway and out of gears. Was not too long before we thought we were not going the right way. Out came my Iphone and the maps and we checked out where we were. Not too bad next exit then a right for 3km and then left back onto Hume and Sydney Rd.
Just before we got into serious traffic we pulled over for a keep regroup. Ride the riders about lights, unclipping, car doors, etc. We headed down Sydney Road both Paul and I leaded. Barbara later commented on the hand signals were great. The group made it to Princess Park. We saw the Support Crew pulled off the road for lunch. I took the time to change my front tire from earlier on. After lunch Paul and I gave the 2nd briefing on the afternoons ride. Down past old Children’s hospital then down to Spenser St and past Crown and into City Rd. Once we saw the bay the riders started to know that 1000km was almost done and what they had archived.
As the support vehicles got stuck in traffic we had to stop. We took the time at St Kilda at the Sea baths home of Ironman Melbourne. We waited some 45mins before heading off again to Brighton. With Barb. and Elisa who’s idea this was in the lead and Paul and myself back one. As we passed Brighton Baths I said to Barb. next car park on the right. We made it, they had done it. We spent some time cooling our legs in the bay and taking some photos. Later that night we headed out to a local restaurant to recap the day and the ride. We went around the tables and recapped day from everyone. My highlights were, 1. Doing the ride and 2. Seeing these gals & guys complete what they started out to do .
Was a epic ride for a great cause.
For more information contact Cycling Cerebellums at http://www.thecyclingcerebellums.com.au/
|Riders heading into Brighton|
|Finished and cooling our legs|
|Mother Duck and her ducklings (and support crew)|