Day 11: Ariah Park to Lockhart. A very long day!

by Stephen

Pedal Cure 4 FightMND – 2020

9th March, 2020

Ariah Park (07:53)
135.09 km
18.4 km/h
Lockhart (16:02)
7 hr 21 min
650.85 km

It was an early start. Last night, one of the other cyclists, Hannah, said that she’d be leaving before the others and asked whether I’d wish to also leave early. Considering it was going to be a long day (ie: 135 km), I jumped at the chance. So, we both set off just before 08:00. The day started with a gentle, but lumpy, climb over 9 km. The morning in itself was going to be a big one. The first break wasn’t until Coolamon, just over 50 km away. So we stopped and started as needed. It didn’t take long for the others to start overtaking – first the slow group, then the fast. We caught up with them at Coolamon at the morning break. The first thing I did was to pick up a couple of cans of Coke – for both the coldness of them and the additional sugar.

We again set off before the rest. The lumpiness of the ride continued, including some pretty sharp ascents and descents. The nice thing was that there was little in the way of traffic. Occasionally, we were followed by one of the support vehicles when the other groups caught up. But, realising we were fine, they they left us to our own devices. We caught up to them at a pub in Collingullie. As well as joining them to cycle for my favourite charity, I enjoyed cycling through places I’d never been to before.

With 40 km left to go, we put our foot down. The rest of the day was relatively flat, with a bump in the middle, so we moved along at a decent pace. There was no need to look at the map, either, as Lockhart is Hannah’s part of the world. It was late afternoon before we made it to Lockhart, making our way to the local football club. A 135 km day. The longest I’ve ever cycled in a day. My personal record broken twice in a few days. It will probably be a while before I break it again!

After a quick shower, it was off to the Lockhart Ex-Servicemen’s Club. Kind of like an RSL club. One of our guests for the evening was Michael Milton OAM, a skiing and cycling Paralympian, who was quite inspirational. One of our other guests was John Hanley, who joined us by video link from Brisbane. John, a friend who I met in Melbourne about a year ago, was diagnosed with MND a few years ago. He talked about his journey since his diagnosis, He also sang a song.

Header photo grabbed from a photo on Pedal Cure's Facebook page.

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