Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Day 14 photos

Day 14 HOBART!!!!!

Oatlands to Hobart 80 km

We rode from Oatlands heading home to Hobart. We were in cruise- mode. Getting a bit of a sleep-in after 13 days of getting up at 0430 and being on the road by 0600. We rode in memory of Kerrie Stokes - Jenelle's (Tinka's wife) mum. It was a privilege to ride for her into Hobart, her story is very moving  and inspirational. The ride through the northern suburbs of Hobart was great fun, we were led into the city by Glenorchy 1:1 Fire Appliance and we had goosebumps all the way in.
We stopped by the Glenorchy Bendigo Bank and got a very excited welcome and then headed to the Hobart Bendigo Branch in Murray St. It was AMAZING to arrive  there, Lou, Kerri and Amy and the team welcomed us with a big banner and lots of emotional hugs.  Thank you so much Bendigo - we love you guys.

Then we rode behind the truck with our support crews in vehicles behind us up Argyle street in a big line across the road and into the Hobart Fire Brigade engine bay. There were so many people there to meet us - family, friends, colleagues and sponsors. It was awesome!! Thank you everyone for being there, it was so wonderful!!

We made it!!  We rode 2239 km from Brisbane to Hobart in 14 days!! I'm stuck for words to describe the feeling. I don't think it has sunk in yet. We achieved an incredible thing!

We met some amazing people: Firies, members of the communities we rode through, Bendigo Bank employees. The generosity of everyone was unbelievable and we can't thank you enough. We are all so privileged to have meet you all.

I'm so proud to be a firefighter. Every firie we met was like a brother or sister - firefighters Australia- wide are like one big family. We would all do anything for one another.  We swamped many local fire stations when we rocked into their town and they couldn't do enough for us. They led us in behind their trucks, found somewhere for us to sleep and fed us - amazing hospitality and generosity.

A massive thank you to the firies at: Brisbane Roma Street, Byron Bay, Lismore, Grafton, Coffs Harbour, South West Rocks, Port Macquarie, Forster, Newcastle, Karingal, Sydney City, Picton, Moss Vale, Yass, Wagga-Wagga, Turvey Park, Albury, Wodonga, Glenorchy and Hobart.

The Headin' South team - WOW!! A group of tough, inspirational people - both riders and support crew! We helped each other when the going got tough, we encouraged each other, motivated each other, looked after each other. We worked well as a team. We had our moments, highs and lows, but we got through it together, all in one piece, all as friends. We have shared an experience of a lifetime - one we will never forget. Thank you riders for being on the road with me: Tink,  Jase, Flash, J-Bone, Megs, Polly, Ace, Nads - you guys are seriously amazing!! Thank you support crew for looking after us so well, feeding us, keeping us safe on the road, washing our bike gear, for being there for us whenever we needed anything, we couldn't have done it without you: Andy, Kathy and Ellen, Karen, Elsie and Jai, and Wal and Barry! We can't think you enough.

Thank you to our sponsors - you made our ride possible: Bendigo Bank, Sultan Holdings, McBain Cycles, 4Shaw, Aussie Butt Cream, Adidas Eyewear, Art Poster - Imagetec, Tinelli, Cripps, Tassal, Robbies, Southern Cross Care, 7HOfm, Tony Hill Dental.

We were so happy to be riding to raise money for the Australian Cancer Research Foundation - theyare a brilliant charity. Our final fundraising total is not in yet,  and online donations can still be made on the website for the next couple of weeks. We still have some awesome calendars for sale, you can get them from any of the riders or from any Bendigo Bank. All profits from the calendars go to Headin' South and the ACRF.



Sunday, 13 January 2013

Day 13 photos

Day 13 TASSIE!!

200km today from Devonport to Oatlands!!
We rode today in memory of  Cyril and Doreen Drake, J-Bone's grandparents. And in support of Natasha Hazlewood, Nadsy's sister in law. It was an honor to ride for them, it inspired us to keep going - especially when the going got tough, VERY tough this afternoon.
We knew we were back riding in Tassie, it was cold and hilly.
We honked along to Longford and got the first 100km done pretty quickly, although we had another couple of punctures - unbelievable, we have had soooo many flat tyres.
We had a great lunch in Longford - a big thank you to the Pasta Merchant in
Launceston for some very yummy pasta. So we were well-fueled for the last 100km.
It was crazy - we had just ridden down most of the east coast of Australia and the 50 km from Campbell Town to Oatlands would have to have been one the toughest 50 km.  A strong headwind all the way at the end of a 200km day!
But we made it to Oatlands to an amazing welcome of family and friends who made the trip up from Hobart. Thanks guys for coming up, we loved seeing you!  The Rotary Club of  Oatlands have arranged wonderful accommodation for us all tonight and put on a fantastic BBQ. Thank you so much for your hospitality - Oatlands is our favorite Tassie town.
Southwards to Hobart tomorrow. Only 80 km. We can have a bit of a sleep in, don't have to be on the road early - we are riding into Hobart Fire Brigade at 1600!

See you in Hobart tomorrow everyone!!

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Day 12 photos

Day 12 Euroa to Melbourne

I'm typing this blog on board The Spirit of Tasmania!! It's so cool that we have made it this far and we have only two days to go. Hobart here we come!!  We are all so blown away dealing that we have just ridden our bikes from Brisbane to Melbourne in only 12 days!! And we have raised lots of money for the ACRF along the way!!

Today we rode in memory of Gavin McPherson, Meg's cousin who passed away when he was only eight years old. We rode strongly for him, for the life he didn't get to have.

It was a pretty eventful and frustrating 155km from Euroa to Melbourne. It was a very crisp morning - the temperature dropped more than 20 degrees overnight! On the highway we were cruising along nicely, no tailwind though, a very slight headwind. The shoulder of the highway was littered with so much junk that we got seven punctures and shredded a couple of tyres, slowing us down a fair bit.

It took us a while to get into the city - traffic was mayhem, despite being Saturday and we got every red light possible. We did some fundraising at the Vic markets and in Swanston Street. Then went down to the port. We met up with some family members and Jono from Tineli - our clothing sponsor, they made the best cycling kit ever! It was great to finally put a name to a face, after we had so many phone conversations with him. Thanks again Jono and the crew from Tineli - we love the gear!!

It's great to be on the boat, amazing to be heading to Tassie!!

Thanks again everyone for all your encouragement and your support.

See you in Hobart on Monday arvo.


Friday, 11 January 2013

Day 11 Wodonga to Euroa

Only 1 day to go until we get to Melbourne. AMAZING!! I can't believe it!

Today was 160 km from Wodonga to Euroa. We made great time and got to Euroa just after 1300! We beat the heat, it only got to 43 on the road. We are at Euroa hotel - mixing it with the locals and some passing bikies, filling up our money tins! But the temperature is rising and as the day goes on, it's still getting hotter!

Tomorrow will be another 160km into Melbourne and onto the ferry. So tonight is our last night on the mainland. WOOHOO!! On the home stretch and every one is feeling pretty good. The heat has knocked us around but we are kind of used to it now.

Everyone is in high spirits and no one has lost their sense of humor - you know what Firies are like- always joking around and teasing each other. We are having a lot of fun!

I have forgotten to mention the awards lately, the dummy award went to Flash for telling Tinka to "Stop *##%{£+* singing" when Tinka sang for about an hour on the road - the funny thing is that we were all thinking it but Flash said it. Hahaha
Jase got the ASS award for punching one of the girls at the Bendigo Bank at Albury in the face. It was an accident and he was very embarrassed and apologetic but he got the award anyway!

Stay tuned for report from Spirit of Tasmania!!