Day 4 – The Day the Wind Would Have Blown The Stink Off a Turd
Proving that the cosmos, God or the weather bureau has a sense of humour, today was hard, hard work. Naracoorte to Horsham, turned out to be 147kms, but it took as the same amount of time to the ride of 160kms on Day 2. It was the day the sprinters got a surprise with Ash and I taking a sprint each. The all important Triple Points Sprints too!
It was a cloudy and blowy day when we set off. We had been heading mainly South East for the best part of the trip, but today we were edging East, with a hint of North. At times though we were blasting directly North, and the wind was in a big hurry to get South.
We hit the road and found out straight away it was going to be a long day. About 10kms up the road, there was a left turn that was worth a photo.
A few of the boys got some photos and off we went again. Lots of different blokes we having turns at the front, but as usual, the main players were Tony and Matt. I can tell you from experience, Matt doesn’t offer the same wind shadow as someone like me or Gary. That said, it is still easier sitting behind him than on the front being blasted by the wind.
About one hour, and 21kms, another photo op. We were crossing state lines, so naturally we had to stop for photos.
Just have another look at those previous two photos and tell me Big Gary doesn’t have a career as a male model! Gut in, legs crossed, hand on hip, latest in sunglass fashions and Macleans smile! Paris, look out, the biggen is going to rock the house.
After that it was more blasting into the wind. Next stop Apsley, for another photo op and the days first Mega Sprint. FlAsh, sensing some tired legs jumped super early and managed to hang on for the win.
Well done Flash, win well taken. Take that sprinters! After that, just a little more wind to contend with before we hit Edenhope. For some reason I was reading that as Endhope all day. The end of my hopes perhaps. It was a great stop at Edenhope. We were warned that the next stop was in the middle of no where, so I stocked up on chocolate milk. We encountered a real boot scooting cowgal, complete with Akubra and cowboy boots. Dave spilled more coffee, made a food mosaic on his face and had a chat to the Armaguard guys. There were some running repairs as well. It was a 50 minute stop, which probably shows just how keen we all were to get out there and battle that damned wind again.
Tony would have none of it though, and once again we were off. A strange thing happened to me on the next leg. I actually felt a lot better. I did some longer turns up front and actually didnt feel too bad at all. I reckon it was the chocolate milk and rest stop. As good as my legs felt, my back started playing up again. I am pretty sure I put it in Day 3′s post, but I think I made an error. I am pretty sure the back snap happened this day. Thanks to Google street view, I can even see the spot we stopped at on the Garmin data in Strava.
This from yesterdays blog post…
I got to a point on this little stage that my back was starting to spasm again. I rolled up to the front and asked Tony if we could have a quick rest to I could do some stretches. All good, so I stopped at a place where there was a bit of room and laid down and did some hip rolls and other stretches. When I stood up, Big Gary sidled up behind me and told me to cross my arms. He then wrapped his arms around my front, leaned back which lifted me clear off the ground. Then he jerked and my back, or his, made a crack and wow, instant relief. I went from panic to joy in moments. Thanks for that Biggen!
So, after that little break, it was back in the saddle and Hi Ho Silver, away! More of the same. Demoralising riding into a stiff breeze. We had been told the lunch break was isolated, and we weren’t disappointed. This was the second Mega Sprint of the day, and I won it doing all of about 16kph!
As you can see, I put those other two into the hurtbox. Ha! Actually, we were all just glad for another break. Oh, and what a break it would be.
It was so windy, but the bus stop provided shelter for four of us and we had a ball. Little Johnny jokes were flying thick and fast. I am pretty sure that Tony, Ashley, Gary and myself will always be able to get a giggle out of each other just by saying the word sponge. I will say no more.
We ate, we drank and mostly we laughed. It is times like these that really make the trip such an enjoyable experience. It wasn’t a good day for riding, and yet we were all giggling like idiots for ages after it. We had or fill and jumped back on the bikes for more of the same.
With roughly 30kms to go, there was another stop. This time for punctures. Matt and Dave both got them. I think from memory, Dave even managed to cut his tyre. Well, some road side repairs were done. The wind had dropped slightly and the sun was starting to shine. Here is a photo of Matt trying to pump up a tyre with his Muppet arms.
We got them sorted and had a short blast into Natimuk so as Dave could change over his tyre. He had black grease from arseholes to breakfast, but oddly, none on his face!
Some more fruit cake and a can of Coke for me. It had been a long day, and we still had another 24kms to go. We ground out the last few kilometres into Horsham. Matt took a wrong turn, so I jumped at the opportunity to grab some cheap sprint points at the end.
As usual, I jumped into the office at the caravan park to get my cabin. “I’m sorry, we don’t have a booking for Norbury” ah sweet baby Jesus. After a few negotiations, I was given the deluxe villa! Score.
It was roomy, had a lounge and massaging shower head. I would like to point out that Gary, Ash and John were shoe horned into a small caravan, and that I did offer for one of them to bunk in with me. The offer was turned down. I think they liked the cramp style of living. Tony had mentioned that there was only two sleeping bags being used, so I thought it best not to ask questions.
There was an ugly incident in the laundry when I walked in right at the moment Gary was bent over taking his knicks off. Oh how Ash laughed. Laundry sorted, it was off to the RSL for dinner.
Gary and I had gotten into a habit of having a pint of Bullmers cider. Ashley and John shared a jug of raspberry lemonade. Again, it was a fun night out for dinner. Rounded of with stick date puddings.
A short taxi ride home to the luxury apartment for me, and the sardine can for the boys. Despite all the riding and energy burnt, I still struggled to get to sleep. I tossed and turned for most of the night. Four days down, two more to go. At this point I was starting to think about the end of the ride and how I would miss this group of people. More about that in Days 5 and 6.