It would be remise not to pay tribute to our support crew. Graham, or Hedgy to his friends, leads the team and is the perfect man for the job. No task is to hard or to small. No request from either rider or cook is insignificant. If something needs to be done, he will find a way to do it. The support crew is divided into two teams. The road crew who drive with the cyclists and the ground crew who look after washing and cooking. Wesley travels with either of the teams, helping and also getting to know the riders, as does Rihanna, our videographer. There are eight road crew, two per vehicle and two vehicles per team. The road crew keep our cyclists safe on the road. They manage the flow of traffic as it passes the cyclists and at each rest stop they are there helping the cyclists with heir gear, keeping them fed and topping up their water bottles. The ground crew are amazing. the prepare all the food, supplying food for the riders to take on the road, a snack when they arrive in the afternoon, breakfast and dinner. The conditions that they sometimes have to cook under can be challenging. However, every meal is nutritious and full of flavour. You hear no complaints, just people asking for seconds. In addition, they wash all the clothes over night, ready for the riders to wear the next day.
Some of the crew have family members riding. Yesterday, Lyndell hitched a ride with the road crew so she can spend the day with her husband, Likewise Today Bec jumped into a support vehicle to spend the day with her father.
Todays ride took us through King Valley, the home of many vineyards and a gourmet food trail. We left Bright to see farms growing hops and then of course, later on, paddocks with grape vines. We left Bright early in the morning and the first planned stop was a let down. It was so early, none of the coffee shops had opened yet. The first coffee stop was in a the town of Oxley at the general store. The shop was recommended and did not disappoint with friendly service and good food and coffee. A long ride today. Nearly 180kms. Long rolling flat roads only to finish the day with a nasty hill. It was a long ride to the top. The reward was the long ride down as they rolled into Mansfield, our overnight stay.
Early to bed. Tomorrow is one last ride. One last day of climbing as we finish this epic Challenge For Change.