Back on the road and back into the countryside. We leave the city of Wodonga behind and are heading to Bright. Once again rolling green hills and pastoral vistas. The wattles are in full bloom and in every creek bed there is a weeping willow. The sky is clear, the sun is shining and days are warmer. We have left the cold weather behind, well almost. The mornings are still very cool and by the end of the day we will be heading into the Victorian snow fields. We are in Victoria which is the land of coffee drinkers. For every coffee drinker there is a good barista. And what do all good cyclists like to do, drink good coffee. There are two coffee stops planned today. The first in the small country town of Yackandandah and twenty-five kilometres later, a roadhouse in Dederang. These two towns have been reconnoitred to ensure the quality of the coffee is good. In both towns, not only good coffee but good service. Yakandandah also provided giant cakes. Both teams are traveling well today. As usual Team Twenty-seven left first soon followed by Team Twenty. You may be wondering how the teams got their names. Team Twenty-seven are more experienced riders. They are disciplined in their riding and average twenty-seven kph. Team Twenty, while also strong riders, average twenty kph. Team Twenty-seven arrived into Yackandandah, ordered their coffee and enjoyed a short break. Just as they finished and were climbing onto their bikes, Team Twenty rolled in. The happy barista had just finished making the first teams order and had to start again. The same happened in Dederang. As Team Twenty-seven were leaving, Team Twenty rolled in. It shows the strength of Team Twenty to match the pace of the Twenty-sevens. It was also a good time for some brief but positive interaction between the two teams.
Next stop is Mt Beauty, a small town at the foot of the mountains. The original plan was to then ride over the Tawonga Gap and into Bright, 120 kms. However, to add some missing kilometres and for the challenge, they detoured and climbed to Falls Creek. A 30km climb and 30km back down again. Team Twenty-seven climbed right to the top and into the snow. An extra 60kms bringing their total today to 180km. Team Twenty decided to only climb for ten kilometres. An extra 20kms bringing their total to 140kms for the day. As a result Team Twenty turned and headed to Bright while Team Twenty-seven were still en-route to Falls Creek. Team Twenty were the first to arrive into Bright and had the honourable privilege to cheer in Team Twenty-seven a short time later. Our digs for tonight is Bright Velo. A pup type accommodation purposely catering for cyclists. Our detour meant that our teams arrived in much later than originally planned. Our hosts, both cyclists, understood and kept the bar open until all the riders had rolled in, showered, and were ready for another, but well earned, cup of coffee. Our hosts will also be opening early tomorrow so that our cyclists can fill up on coffee for the next leg of the Challenge For Change. Thank you goes out to them for their patience and generosity of time.
Our riders are an inspiration as they add extra kilometres for the children of Eagles Wings. Challenging events changing lives. Yes they are changing the lives of the orphans and vulnerable children living in extreme poverty in Zambia. Wesley, the Eagles Wings year 12 teacher who is traveling with us has been describing what it is like to live in extreme poverty. No food. No clothes other than what is on their backs. Education can break poverty. Education means jobs benefiting whole families. Our riders are putting in the extra kilometres so please be generous and donate to Eagles Wings on behalf of these dedicated cyclists. Go to ew.org.au to make your donation, or better still sign up for $15 per month and pay for the education of one child. Please help these children reach their God given potential.