Friday, January 22, 2010
Day 13 - Cont
I must say I am definitely feeling a lot more awake and coherent than I was when I sat down to the computer last night and I want to thank you all for you patience. I am not one to take pain killers unless I am out of options and when I do they have a crazy effect on my body and mind (I have had some crazy dreams the last few nights).
As I said yesterday, we made it! Not only did we make it the whole day went so smoothly. Boys were up in a flash packing up camp, by the time I had gotten up and worked my way to the showers to wash and change everything was clear and breakfast was up. In order to ensure that we met Kary, Ingrid and Brendan (Parkinson's Victoria Cyclists) by the arranged time the boys were out of camp by 530am. Unfortunately due to logistics and timings I was unable to meet them along the way and as such can not give a personal account of the ride. The boys have said it was a really nice ride in regards to conditions, atmosphere as well as having other riders on the road. One thing they seemed to really like was the fact that there was a clear cycling culture and good vibe, especially with respects to the behavior of drivers, none of them were keen on trams in the slightest I am very envious as from last year I remember this last leg to be one of the nicest.
My drive in was no where near as smooth or enjoyable. Both the GPS charges had not been working properly since we started out and while this really did not cause an issue on the way down it caused absolute grief coming in to Melbourne. It seemed every time I came to a complex intersection or needed to make a few close turns the GPS would die resulting in the trip taking twice as long. This got even worse in the CBD when I was required to perfect the art of the hook turn... not fun with my ribs at all.
Gluten Free pie, yum.
Once parked I met two of my friends, Nick and Katie, in Federation Square who were hind enough to grab my bags off me so I could run to the meeting stop. When running it soon became clear the place I had agreed to meet was not just 1km out originally thought but closer to 4km, I still managed to get there with 2 minutes to spare. After a a quick briefing and introductions with the Parkinson's Victoria cyclists and the boys we started to head in. On the run it I managed to phone my dad and keep him posted as well as inform those at Federation Square we were on our way.
On arrival I didn't know how to react, I was definitely filled with mixed emotions as a result of the emotional and physical roller-coaster ride the trip presented but over all I was so very excited to see so many smiley faces as we approached. After a brief photo shoot, greetings and the compulsory signing of the beautifully stitched jersey we all headed to a near by cafe for breakfast.
I consider myself very lucky to be greeted by so many enthusiastic and supporting people but I was particularly lucky to meet an inspirational individual I have admired for the last few years. Nerissa Mapes is 32 and has been diagnosed with Parkinson's, since I began organising these rides I have heard nothing but praise for this fabulous woman and rightly so. Between her genuine character, driven mindset and pure determination the world is definitely lucky that she has chosen to use her powers for good. Nerissa is the founder of Prospectives on Parkinson's (POP) and I would encourage everyone to take the time to read her story. I am definitely looking forward to meeting with Nerissa again soon, who knows I may have even got my wish of having a girl to share next years journey with (may be easier to keep the boys in line...perhaps they may need to keep us in line).
As I mentioned yesterday we ended up heading back to Canberra which was actually quite a nice drive. Upon arriving we mat up with my family at the local Chinese restaurant, eating our fill and catching up over the past few weeks. This was the first time I had got to see my dad for the entire ride so I was quite excited however I'm not sure this showed through to well given my exhaustion.
Today we drove back to Sydney and I think we will all be avoiding long car trips the next few days. It is definitely nice to be home.
Thank you once again to everyone who supported us in any way, it would not have been the same without you. Planning for next years ride begins in a few months (it does take a bit) so if you are interested in helping, joining or even just finding out more please contact me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (0432 713 298). While it may seem early to express interest with respects to planning it really isn't so please let me know.
Thank you all once again, please do keep in contact.