Monday, October 12, 2009


I had a great sleep that night inside the Gunbar Town Hall and being inside certainly made it easy to get out of bed before sunrise and get the day started.There was something about not having to brace myself for the frigid wind first thing that motivated me to get up in the dark and make a coffee so I could watch the sun rise on a new day.My enthusiasm waned a little once I did open the doors at the back of the hall and let the morning chill in,holy cow it was cold!!I decided that I'd wait until the sun was just about up before stepping out again there was lots for me to do in preparation for the days ride to Hay to keep me busy for a while. Once it did start to lighten up I made the effort and was rewarded with the most beautiful of sunrise to welcome in a clear crisp morning.Too bloody crisp for my liking!
There was no delaying it though and just before 7am I rolled my rig out of the hall and rode up on to the highway for the 78k ride to Hay.I was hoping to get to Hay well before lunchtime and then ride out the other side for about an hour or so,first things first though I had to get there and the way my legs felt in that first hour I new that the plan might be a little harder to adhere to than I'd hoped.For some reason my legs were really sore and there was just no power to the pedals at all.I hoped that I would have a repeat of the previous couple of days and once I warmed up the pain would go away but that morning it didn't.I'm guessing the cold didn't help either.
About half an hour into the day the wind started.At first it wasn't really a problem but as it increased it took a lot more energy to maintain my speed and that only made my legs hurt even more.I put on another layer in the hope that if my core was warm then my legs might warm up a bit more but that didn't help so I just resigned myself to a slow old day and geared down to a very slow spin.The problem with riding so slowly with the load I have is that you start to lose control of the front end of the bike more easily and with a wind coming at me from the front left it meant I was constantly being pushed into the center of the road.That sucked.
As the kilometers rolled by the wind picked up and I started to get colder and colder.This was a sign to me that there was something else going on.I figured that I must be really run down to feel the cold like this or perhaps I hadn't eaten enough to deal with the cold and riding into the wind.I found the only bit of shelter that could(behind a fence over a cattleguard)and opened a can of beans.Even though I was behind a shelter the wind cut through my clothes and started to chill the sweat that was soaking the layers of clothing below.I pulled on my windproof gear and paced around for a while just hating the day to death.I must have looked a sight because a kombi van loaded up with a hippie family from South Australia pulled up and asked if I needed help.I told them I was fine but I gotta admit,if that van was empty and the driver had offered me a lift then I would have seriously thought about taking it.Instead I sucked it up and got back out there and crept along at a sad 12kph.Christ,I can run faster than that!!!!On top of all that I had a bloody aggressive magpie chase me down the highway for about 500meters swooping me and pecking at my helmet.I was too tired and cranky to do battle with a flaming bird after the shitty day I'd had but he would not let me go and thankfully there was no traffic around cause I was just weaving all over the place under the magpies attack.
The closer I got to town the worse I felt and I really started to lose it.I was yelling and screaming at everything around which,if you look at the photos is a whole lot of nothing.I perservered though, ten kilometers at a time and as midday rolled around I realised that this must be the slowest 78k that I have ever ridden.God would this town ever show up?One thing though,I knew my legs needed a rest because every time I lost the plot and yelled I felt the blood surge through both legs and they hurt like shit.I've never felt that before and it was really,really odd.I needed a day off.
I finally rolled into the little country town of Hay at about 1pm a full 6 hours after I started the 78k trip that morning.Sooooooo slow on a day which was dead flat!!I meandered through the towns main street until I found a motel that looked nice and pulled ino the driveway of the Bidgee Motor Inn where I found the owner hanging around in the driveway.We had a quick chat and a few minutes later I was under a hot shower hurting like hell until my extremeties warmed up.I was checked in for two nights which would give me one full day off and hopefully time for my legs to recover.

I am by nature a pretty lazy person and when I'm on a trip like this one that last thing I want to do when I reach a designated rest day destination is run around like a nut trying to see stuff.I see enough stuff on the road so generally I stay indoors and work on my blog or just mellow out on the the laptop or,as I did in Hay,watch movies.This motel had cable tv with three movie channels and to me that is heaven on a stick.I did a bit of shopping and did have a walk around town but apart fro excursions to the fish and chip shop and one trip to the laundromat my time was spent spread out on the big bed watching cool movies.Bliss!

The morning I was supposed to leave I made the decision that I really didn't want to get out on the road just yet.I had been really dissappointed that there had been no more interest in my trip from some tri-industry people I'd contacted and that kind of dulled my enthusiasm.I couldn't expect people to want to donate money to the Athletes in Kind cause so I became resigned to the fact that I'm not a good fundraiser at all and that made me wonder what I should do regarding the rest of my trip.I did enjoy being out there but I started feeling that I should just bail on the blog and I mentioned that on my Facebook page.Thankfully I did recieve some encouragement from the small group of people who have been following my trip and I decided to give it another few weeks to see if interest lifted.I not maybe I'll just go sit on a beach somewhere and find some fun people to hang out with.There was also the problem of funds.Was I going to allow myself to go broke promoting a cause that nobody outside Vancouver was interested in?Should I just bail and get a job? I didn't know what to do and I spent a good portion of my rest day feeling very sad.

Early the next morning I started to feel a bit off colour and my stomache turned on me.I had been feeling a bit feverish overnight but now I started feeling light headed and my stomache let go in a big way.I don't know what kind of bug I'd picked up or if it was just part of being run down but I lost my appetite completely and what I did eat went straight through me.I was going nowhere fast again.The up side was that I could stay and watch the Ironman World Triathlon Championships live on my laptop.I thought I was going to miss it but in the end it was great.I'd hoped that I could get away the next morning but there was no way and eve the staff at the motel became concerned about my welfare.I figured though tat whatever I had would run it's course and flush itself out in due course.The worry I had was that I was probrably spending way too much money stalled in a motel in Hay.I was supposed to be raising money and not spending it.I went into the office to pay for my fifth(and hopefully last) nigt in the motel but the owner Julie would have none of it.I guess she felt bad for me and told me that as a donation in kind for my cause she would give me that night free.I was amazed and touched by her generosity.She and her husband Mark are great people and it that little gesture did more to motivated me to continue than anything I'd experienced that week.It was just what I needed to pick me up and ge my head in the right place.I can't thank them enough.
So,next stop should be Ceduna in South Australia some 1400 kilometers away.It's going to take about 16 days to get there as I will be cutting down on my daily bike milage in order to be able to up the bike intensity and at the same time allow an increase in run and swim training.I have lots of time and I refuse to allow myself to feel the pressure to ride long distances or to get to a place just to update this blog.I have promised the friends who are following my blog tat I will keep it going as I'm value their interest and really,if I can share a little bit of what I'm up to with a few people who really are interested then it is my pleasure to keep doing so.Thanks' guys for being interested,I doubt very much that the S.E. Asia leg of my trip will be happening after Ironman in December as I will run out of funds but I live in hope that someone out there in the corporate world will decide to join me now ,while things are tough and uncertain, instead of jumping on the old bandwagon when it's all over.Either way I've got 3,000 kilometers to cover and an Ironman to train for and that 'aint going to get done by sitting here watching movies for the next month.Time to hit the road again.

Early morning in Cardwell,Nth Queensland