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2017 Chain Reaction Challenge Victoria – Day 5 Blog

15 March 2017 Chain Reaction

CR17 Day 5

After our 185 km and 3000 metre day, the Riders might be excused for a very subdued evening – but this group can lift in even the most adverse circumstances. And with the Jellis Craig team in charge of proceedings, our night was as stimulating as ever.

Firstly, we laughed as we discussed and dissected our resident data mans unusual fetishes. He is in love with FTP (FunctionalThresholdPower apparently) and PWR  (PowertoWeightRatio –oh, of course) and his name is Emil Foller. He can recite statistics that would amaze even Bruce McAvaney! And like Bruce, none of us understood most of what he says. But back to the evening. Tim Chadd asked the riders to raise their hands if Tuesday’s ride was the longest they had ever done. Over ½ the peloton raised their hands. So the EPIC description was fair! The other pleasing aspect for this group is that Tim had little to say, except to say he had little to say – because we are such a well-mannered and well-behaved group. We were “proud as punch” to hear this news.

The jerseys were then presented by Sam Grindal the star rider of the Jellis Craig team :

  • White – to the Chris Froome look-alike and newbie – Simon Field who was first to $5k in the Jellis Craig team;
  • Polka Dot – to Fraser East a PWC team member, and all-round nice guy of the peloton;
  • Green – to Tom Davis from team KordaMentha/ABL;
  • Black – to a rider who has “hurt” himself 10 times more than anyone else and shows such great spirit and riding nous to get through a day -Greg McDonald of team Marshall White;
  • Yellow – to a rider who has raised over $20k in his first year on Chain,  – Josh Darling from Porter Davis riding in the KordaMentha/ABL team.

A Jellis Craig presentation would not be complete without contributions from the “two Andrews” (read “The Two Ronnies”) as sanctions and awards were handed out, and a joke or two told.

We went to bed in the “ironclad” knowledge that it will be wet the next day.

Photo: cr_vic_2017_day_5_o-nev-8448

Unfortunately, our luck of the last 2 days finally ran out. It was wet, and going to get worse! After raining most of the night, the clouds were not leaving us. We rose early with another bus ride in store – how wonderful to be able to travel to perfect locations to start and ride “the roads less travelled” and NOT get perpetually abused by motorists unaware of the important work we do!

The plan for the day was to ship us to Casino – (the town not “a Casino”). However, with Casino slowly sinking in the rain, all that we could do was visit Hungry Jacks for coffees, before moving onto Lismore, with a plan to shorten the day. Unfortunately, the rain was slowly sinking Lismore into the mire, and risks of flooded roads even negated a possible start in Eltham. The kaleidoscope of colour on the weather map (lots of red and yellow for those with a fetish for weather maps) was brilliant, but brought us no joy!

Instead we travelled to Byron and our accommodation for tonight, “Elements at Byron” aptly named given the conditions! However, the rain eased sufficiently for us to collectively decide (not without some murmurs of pub,pub,pub) to traverse a pleasant little 80 kms. Our finish for the day was still to be the Byron lighthouse, it’s just that we went about it in a very different way Flexibility and adaptation is the key when the elements are against you. We ended up ducking the flooding interior of Northern NSW, and managed a wet and tough workout down the coast road to Ballina and back through the hinterland surrounding the Pacific Motorway. We may have missed the delights of coffee and cake in Nimbin, but we were able to savour the joys of an undulating Piccadilly Hill Lane, an obscure little narrow road – think “E” road in quality, but majestic scenery of the coast line and meadows out the back of Byron. Whilst some of our bikes were shaken up by the roads and little rolling “bergs” we returned in tact to the main road back into Byron, rode through town and up the Lighthouse road (with just one more torrential downpour to greet us), for photos and some laughs at the weather conditions the gods had delivered us today.

A post-script from yesterday. In only 3 days of riding, the peloton has developed a close bond. We look after each other in adversity. To see one rider, and late draftee, Toby Breheney assisting Anthony Coxson, who was having trouble with mud in his cleats by reaching down, whilst moving, to try and remove the impeding item off Anthony’s shoes was an outstanding display of comradeship! To Toby -Panache! Kudos etc etc.

With more armogeddon weather predicted for the next few days, we have our fingers-crossed that we can battle the conditions to complete the miles.

Distance covered: 81.3 kms

Metres climbed: 745 m

Hrs in the saddle: 3 hrs exactly.