2017 Chain Reaction Challenge NSW – Day 6 Blog
30 March 2017 Chain Reaction
Privilege – A special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group. (Oxford dictionary)
To be a rider on a Chain Reaction event is a privilege not a right.
It is a special right to be able to ride through this remarkable geography; the North Island of NZ is truly a unique and special place on this planet.
We can only be here riding because of the support and encouragement we receive from our partners, families, colleagues and friends. Many of whom have made compromises to allow us to train for many hours prior to the event and then picked up the strain while we are away riding.
As was highlighted a night or two ago in the blog, to ride a 1,000km over a week through challenging terrain is only possible with the dedication of many other volunteers who give up their time to support us in so many ways.
And most of all it is a privilege to be able to raise significant dollars to support kids in need, many of whom will never have the privilege or ability to do what we are doing. It is an honour for us to be able to take advantage of our positions to give something back to the community.
Each night we group together over welcomed food and drink and reflect on the day that’s past, anticipate the day we have in front of us and we celebrate our fellow riders for their contribution and commitment to the values of Chain Reaction.
Last night’s esteemed jersey winners were:
- Mercedes Black – Phil Tanner, known amongst the bunch as “The Coach,” he provides and runs a training program for the squad for three months prior to the ride and is never short of giving advice on the road. Phil was one of the founding fathers of CRNSW and is on his 6th ride. Take a bow Coach.
- White – Luke Naish the CEO of BBQ’s Galore and with a second child due within weeks still found a way to be here on the road and raise some big dollars.
- Polka Dot – Daryn Moore whilst a little under prepared for this ride due to a number of competing pressures has not stopped him from throwing down the challenge on every significant climb. He is often heard to be saying “if your going to hurt others then you may as well hurt yourself first.”
- Green – Steve Bayliss– has been tremendous servant of Chain Reaction over the past six years organising massage teams for not just NSW but also the QLD rides. Not only does he massage, this year he has also driven the gear truck, loaded and unloaded our bags and all the paraphernalia for what some describe as a rolling circus.
- Yellow – Iryna Nuzhnaya, our resident Russian. What Iryna gives away in height she makes up with in sheer determination and toughness. It’s fantastic that two women have worn yellow this year, a first for CRNSW. Other than mixing it with the bunch every day on the road, Iryna has raised over $10,000. Kudos is well deserved.
Today of all days it was a privilege to be on the road.
In my first blog I suggested we would experience days where there would be rain, wind and sunshine before lunchtime to compliment the challenging terrain. Well today that prediction was truly fulfilled!
The morning started with a quick 45km loop around Lake Rotorua in misty showers, past the historic bathhouses and geothermic rock pools and was accompanied by the very particular sulphur odours that permeate everything within this town. It is a unique sensory experience.
As the bunch turned south, the skies cleared and spirits immediately lifted. The road weaved for 80km between steep rounded green hills that look like they are inhabited by hobbits or perhaps from the set of Babe. For much of the time we could have been on a roller coaster grinding up steep pinches and then flying down the other side with no time to recover before the legs and hearts had to work again. The efforts were continuously rewarded by spectacular rock formations, tall cliffs and pristine lakes and have I mentioned the breath taking green hills? It was truly a privilege to ride on roads less travelled.
Time and kilometres rolled by, in no time, 120km were quickly in the bank. We broke for lunch at Whackamaru a small township on the Waikato River.
Once refuelled, it was time for today’s challenge a 20km steady climb towards Taupo. With lunch barley digested, riders needed to dig in, find their rhythm and work steadily to the summit. As we crested, a heavy shower closed in on the bunch. We did not care; a fast 20km descent to Lake Taupo and a hot thermal pool awaited us and just as we rolled in, the sun shone again. Our final night is on the waters edge of Lake Taupo……. A privilege!
Time on the bike: 5hrs 55min