Sydney to Brisbane 2018 1000KM Cycle Challenge for suicide prevention charity RUOK?
Day 5 blog begins where we left off yesterday, as we headed to the Nambucca Bowls Club, for a post-ride feed. As we took our seats in the dining area we were greeted by Tony, the Club President. He welcomed us and asked what had brought us to their town this evening. We explained how one of our mates had sadly taken his own life last year and in his memory, we wanted to complete a cycle challenge to raise funds for a suicide prevention charity - RUOK? To his enormous credit, Tony went straight to his wallet and pulled out 50 bucks. "Good on ya fellers" he said, "good luck with your ride". Top man Tony!
With today being our designated rest day, it's fair to say we indulged ourselves a little more than other nights. The Bowls club also had a great wine list, as well as a top menu - so it would have been rude not to sample a nice meaty red to go with dinner. We stumbled back to our digs just across the road, and had a couple more beers before heading to bed around 10pm.
This guy was hanging around outside our room.
Today was sponsored by NPG Contracting, so we were all kitted out in this splendid blue jersey, expertly modelled here by my younger and much better-looking brother.
We managed a bit of a lie in, despite setting an alarm for 05.45. When it sounded no-one stirred for at least an hour. By the time we'd porridged-up and wandered outside it was almost 08:00 - by far our latest departure time of the week. But with only 90KM planned we fully intended to enjoy our rest day, take our time, and add on a few sight-seeking detours.
Today's route was nothing short of magnificent. Kudos to the Routemaster General Mr Tillin for finding Giinagay Way, a much quieter road running parallel to the main highway that kept us away from traffic.
Idyllic scenes on the first part of our ride on Day 5.
With a gentle breeze nudging us along the route, and the sun on our backs we started to get the feeling today might just become one of those epic days on the bike. By the time we got close to Hungry Head, we were already thinking about second breakfast.
The Hungry Heads need feedin.
We found a nice looking Italian Cafe in Coffs Harbour. As my colleagues ordered their usual servings of dead pig, I asked for the Veggie Breakfast. This was met with a reaction akin to coming out. "Oh, we didn't realise you were....'one of them', are you not having any real food?" I still think they had food envy when my plate arrived - judge for yourselves...
Sweet potato fritters, asparagus, baby spinach and poached egg on toast - in your face - delicious.
Our only significant climb of the day was immediately after our feed stop, as we headed up the Bruxner Park Road and a climb of about 200M. We all took on the incline at our own pace, stopping to take in the sea views and admire the banana plantation.
Banana trees on the climb.
Our descent from the climb was rapid in places, with my Garmin file suggesting a top speed for the day of 75 kmph. Ahead I noticed our driver Ian had pulled the support truck over to the side of the road and was out of the cab with the camera. At that moment a huge kangeroo bounced across the road in front of me. He must have been at least 6ft tall (1.85M or so). I was pretty happy I'd slowed down and was able to stop and let him pass without incident. My first ever sighting of a wild kangaroo (that was not roadkill).
The roads then became a little busier as we made a couple of little detours to take-in the local sights of Moonee and Emerald Beaches.
A tree with eyes and a groovy hair-do.
Sight-seeing at Moonee Beach.
We completed the short hop then to our digs for the night in just a few minutes, and by mid-afternoon, the lads were in the pool and bikes had been cleaned and prepped ready for the morning. The daily charge-fest commenced with phones, garmins, cameras and gopros plugged into every available socket.
The team keeping it together.
Tonight we go in search of pizza to once again carb-load ahead of tomorrow's planned 160KM - the longest remaining stage of our 8-day Tour. Tomorow is make or break day - wish us luck.
For today's route take a look on Strava.
Please help us reach our fundraising target of $10,000 by donating at our Everyday Hero page. Thank you.
In loving memory of our lost friend Ed Skuza.