Saturday, February 14, 2009

Day 2 - Wanted: one pedal boat, must have own shelter

I knew today was off to an interesting start when i awoke to a little more then a pitter-patter of rain. In short today was not just wet, it was soaking. At one stage I even got water wrinkles on my fingers and heard the swish-swash of water in my shoe when i pedaled.

As planned I left Kiama at 6am, even with the heavy rain, and headed toward berry with Adam (support) and my parents in toe. To be totally honest this leg happens to be the longest, scariest and wettest 25km I have ever cycled. I can honestly say that I was traveling faster on the uphills then on the down hills as a result of the water gushing down, low visibility due to the heavy rain, bendy roads with gravel or no shoulder and big trucks. I actually think I could have done this leg a lot faster and with a lot more ease if i had a pedal-boat (that way I'd also still be conforming to the ride rules :oD ... sneaky). However in hind sight I made it safe and sound to Berry, to be greeted with the most welcome reception of my parents cheering and waving just ahead of the rest area, followed by Jonathan from the Nowra Parkinson's support group who kindly waited in the icky weather even though I arrived late. In order to ensure I wasn't late to all other stops this rest was kept at a minimum, talking with Jonathan in between gulps of nice warm coffee and friand brought by my magnificent mother.

Jonathan, myself and homemade support sign all dripping in Berry

The next stop was South Nowra, which as a result of the exceptional road quality (ie existence of a cycle-able shoulder) I was able to make on time. Jonathan had also kindly travelled across to here to meet me again which was fantastic.

After Nowra I was blessed with decent road for a while as I headed to the third stop, Sussex Inlet. Here I was greeted by Pat, from the Shoalhaven Shakers, and friend Heather. As I was able to catch time I managed to stay around and have a decent chat with these lovely ladies while sipping a very much needed tea and drying off. As my luck would have it the rain stopped for enough time for me to have a nice dry break, only to start up again as soon as I got back on my bike for the final leg of the day.

Pat, Heather and myself at Sussex Inlet

On arrival to Mollymook beach I was pleasantly surprised to find my mum and sister had decided to take a detour on their way home from Kiama to see me one last time as well as a great turn out of Shoalhaven Shakers ready to welcome me. Unfortunately due to roadworks and those yucky hills heading into Milton I was slightly late and as we have no markings on the support car the Shakers kept waiting until I got there and gave me the most wonderful card. I also experienced a few hours of blue sky and sun, which was definitely needed to de-water log my skin.

The Shoalhaven Shakers welcoming me at Mollymook Beach

Tonight Adam and I are camped at Ulladulla and just about to make chicken burgers for dinner, I honestly can not say just how needed they will be, as will a good night sleep. Tomorrow is to Lake Brou and will be another long day of 110km with both hills and not the best of roads, but that is expected as you get into National Park country. The weather for tomorrow is forecast as a few showers with a max of 20*C, definitely a lot more hopeful then today turned out.

Well dinner calls, but before I go I would like to extend a special thank you to everyone who has been supporting me over the last few days. Be it coming to cheer me on, reading the blog or sending donations to Parkinson's Australia I really can not thank you enough.

Take care and keep warm (and clean)


  1. Glad you made it safely. It was equally torrential when I got to Sydney and I was left standing undercover at Central Station with my clothes bag, sleeping bag, sleeping mat and bike. How to get home without getting soaked?
    Fortunately, the rain slowed then stopped. While that was happening, I managed to get a strap made from a busted inner tube and plastics clips I had bought from Reverse Garbage last year. With careful rearrangement, I was able balance everything on the bike securely. It took a while to gain confidence in my packing skills (with a few death wobbles), but finally, I struck out onto the road and made a slow and careful trek back to the house.
    It's hard dealing with the unfortunate change in plans, disappointment in not spinning it out in the rain on the way to Ulladulla robbed me of my appetite... or maybe it's just coz I haven't burned enough calories today :P
    Remember to add to the tally!
    1 more day to rest + 1 more day closer to victory.

  2. Tally has been added too. I am glad you made it home safe mate. Remember there will be more rides to come. x