Sister Adventure 2013 – Great Vic Bike Ride: Mt Gambier

Welcome to the tales from the Sister Adventure 2013.  What’s the Sister Adventure you ask?  Well instead of buying Christmas presents, my sisters and I now celebrate Christmas with the “Basket of Chance”.  What’s the Basket of Chance you ask?  Well before just before Christmas Janice, Leanne and I get together (usually there is wine involved) and conduct the Basket of Chance.  We pop three pieces of paper in a basket (or bag or bowl).  One has adventure written on it, one has decadent dining written on it, and one has cultural event written on it.  We each draw out a piece a paper, and then we are in charge of choosing and organising whatever option we pull out of the basket.  It’s an awesome idea!  Christmas lasts the whole year, as the activities are usually spread across the whole year and we get to do really cool stuff together.

In 2013 Leanne was in charge of organising the adventure activity.  At Christmas in 2012 she had given Janice and I a little package.  It had a bicycle bell in it.  The adventure for 2013 was doing the Great Vic Bike Ride.  We had spoken about doing this for a while, and the 2013 route was along the Great Ocean Road which we really wanted to do.  It also went reasonably close to home, so we could stop in and see Mum and have a night in a comfy bed.

Leanne and I did the whole 9 days, but Janice couldn’t get off work, so she joined us for the last weekend.  Our friend Emma also joined us for the last 3 days.

Preparations for the ride didn’t go exactly to plan.  I had hoped to go on some training rides, but that didn’t really happen.  I did manage one ride along Melbourne’s bike paths, but was so exhausted I had to stop and have a sleep under a tree. The only thing that got me home was the cold bottle of bubbles waiting for me in the fridge.  Leanne only managed one training ride in Alice Springs as well.  That ended in a disaster with a flat tyre.  So we started the ride fully prepared – NOT!

I had also been unable to buy a bike rain jacket.  I trooped around Melbourne’s bike stores trying to find one, but the women’s one didn’t seem to fit me and the men’s ones looked terrible, so I just decided to take my big hiking rain coat instead.

The night before we left I dug out my old riding tops from when we last did Around the Bay in the Day.  I thought, ohh I better just try these on before I pop them in my bag. OMG – it was a disaster.  Riding tops are not flattering at the best of times, but these were SHOCKING!  I had 8 boobs!  Obviously I was a bit slimmer and toned when we tackled Around the Bay.

Day one involved getting ourselves, our bikes, and all our camping gear to Spencer Street station so we could catch a bus to Mt Gambier.  We got down to the station and the place was full of people and bikes.  We were relieved to see that we seemed to have bought about the right amount of luggage, and that there were people to help us get us our bikes ready for transport.  We loaded our bikes onto the truck for transport.  They were cattle trucks which greatly amused Leanne and me.  We then boarded the bus.

The trip to Mt Gambier was very LONG.  Leanne and I ended up amusing ourselves by playing “I spy”.  She tried to trick me with “windex”, but I win the prize for “number plate”.  I had to give so many clues before Leanne guessed this.

When we got to Mt Gambier we grabbed our luggage and quickly put up the tent.  I needed a few instructions, but you’ll be pleased to know my tent skills improved as the trip went on.  After registering, we then went in search of our bikes.  Finding our bikes proved to be quite difficult.  Message to self – next time remember to pop some tinsel or something on our bikes to make them stand out.  The bikes had been taken off the truck and laid on the ground.  We had to walk around the graveyard of bikes trying to find ours.  After we had the bikes back at our tents we headed for the nearest pub in search of a nice glass of red to warm us up.

Our night at the pub ended up being a hilarious night.  We met Bill, who seemed to love a drink more than us.  He also loved to call us Darl…

We would have woken all our tent neighbours up when we arrived back with our laughing.


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