Today was one very bizarre experience and a lot of people must have thought I was a total fruit cake when getting directions and trying to explain that I had only ever cycled the route. It began as usual with my alarm blaring at 4am, this was followed promptly by a few loud screams in agony as I attempted to pack up my stuff. It would appear that stuffing a sleeping bag with a bad rib is the most efficient alarm to get boys up and out of bed in a flash. I would recommend blood curdling screams to mothers and girlfriends everywhere as unlike the anger produced from cold water or other such wakeup methods this method can produce in a sense of relief once the boys discover you are still alive, I would warn that this is not one which can be used successfully on a regular basis.
Once all packed up Jimmy, Sri and I sat down to breakfast and sorted our plan of attack for the day ahead, then it was shower time. Showers were oh so much easier in the comfort of Bairnsdale Hospital as was dressing with the instructions of the brilliant Carrie. I found myself unable to gain enough room in the shower cubical to get dressed in the uncoordinated fashion required so took up the main thoroughfare of the female bathrooms to hop around and get myself as respectable as possible. There were two things which I found particularly amusing, firstly the fact I was talking out loud to myself instructing whether I should be putting my good or bad side in first and secondly that men all over the glob spend their lives perfecting the one-handed bar removal and I had 24 hours to perfect one-handed bra dressing (no man is ever aloud to complain in my presence again).
Once dressed and ready I saw the boys off and began my role as support driver. A bit of back ground here for those who don't know but Sri was initially meant to support by cycling this ride rather than driving and when no one was able to be support driver he kindly gave up cycling to fill in. As a result Sri, being much more a mountain biker, had never done training fitting to the ride. In fact the longest ride he had been on was one with me earlier in the year which was followed by weeks of cursing. Given todays leg would end up an excess of 130km (double the ride I had taken Sri on) I was both nervous and so very appreciative when he offered to keep Jimmy company on the ride.
Not only did the boys kill the ride, they didn't get lost once, made perfect time, pulled up fantastically and sustained zero “P Words”. As for myself in the car, I spent the day taking wrong turns, holding in loose GPS charging connections, juggling my computer, diary, phone and itinerary (while stationary) all in an aim to support the boys while drumming up as much media support as possible. I'm not convinced my day was nearly as successful as the boys, with incidents such as my brand new helmet being run over by a 4WD occurring (the lovely gentleman was very apologetic and seemed to have just as big a day).
The day did end on a high with Warwick returning for the final leg and an old cycling friend, Mark, paying us a visit. We have just all returned from a massive meal on the water followed way to much dessert and the boys are totting of to bed. Myself on the other hand have a jersey to fix.
Looking forward to seeing you all out there tomorrow (Even those who I will be meeting for the first time).
One more sleep.