Well we made it to sunny Kiama, one day under our belts.
2:30am Pancake cookup, the best way to start a ride
The day could not have begun any better being met by a large number of people at the Opera House, and at such an early hour. Be it friends, family, fellow cyclists and media. I could not believe the number of people who came to show their support and would like to extend a big thank you to every single one of them. It should also be mentioned that we were kitted up with our Parkinson's uniforms, many hugs and a little stowaway (also named Sarah) from the fantastic girls at Parkinson's NSW (classed as friends in the above thanks).
All the happy supporters who came to see us on our way
We left the crowd of supporters at 6am to head on to our first stop; Kareela. To my amazement, we had aquired 8 cyclists for this part of the ride.
Upon arriving at Kareela, we were greeted with the cheeryness and enthusiasm of the St George / Sutherland support group. I must say if they could bottle whatever it is that gives this group their morning zing I think coffee would be well and truly obsolete. After catching up on the year gone by and many a Kodak moment it was time to potter on to stop two, Helensburgh.
Shirt signing at stop 1, big thank you to the St George / Sutherland support group wo always make me smile
By this time the heat had began to pick up and once in Helensburg the boys had raided the town for elevenses (at 10am) and then went back for seconds. We also could not leave without a carriage photo, which much to the boys disgust they still conceited to my excitement and posed with the most enthusiastic expressions they could muster up. In leaving Helensburg our crew shrunk slightly with Chris S having to cycle home to prepare for his own perhaps slightly faster paced cycling adventure.
As much as they won't admit it they loved it!
The next leg involved tackling Bulli pass and after chewing through our break pads and giving our arms a good workout, we arrived at our third stop; Corrimal. Here just as last year we were met by John from Illawara North. The heat had really began to pick up and all cyclists were busy hydrating for the next stretches, which was lunch at Haywards Bay followed by our final destination for the day, Kiama. On these last two legs Jimmy encountered 2 punctures (Go Jimmy!), a few members were experiencing the effects of being cooked by the road on such a hot day.
Resting up in the shade of Corrimal police station
Words can not express how relieved we all were when we reached Kiama, whether it was just the thought of getting off the hot road and perhaps a cold drink we were grateful. Luckly my Aunty Pat had spent her day cooking up a storm to feed the five of us lodging with her tonight.
Here at last, at Kiama Lighthouse
All in all today was a splendid day, even with the heat and the hiccups as the ride would not be the same without them. I cannot tell you how happy I am to be back on the road, to be honest I feel almost at home.
Looking forward to tomorrows 160km into Batemans Bay!
NOTE: See our news article with ABC here and buy tomorrows (20/01/10) Sun Herald as we are some where in it! Yay!