Sister Adventure 2013 – Great Vic Bike Ride: Mt Gambier to Nelson

I awoke on Day 2 of the Great Vic Bike Ride in a pool of water.  Nope I didn’t have an accident, but Leanne’s tent didn’t cope very well with the overnight rain.

I also woke up feeling the effects of the red wine from the night before.

I blame the red wine for our confusion when trying to work out the time.  We couldn’t work out whether our watches had stopped or our mobile phones had gone funny.  It took me a while to remember that we had crossed the border and we were in a different time-zone.  This explained why our watches were 30 mins different to our mobile phones that had automatically changed times.  Duh!!!

Unfortunately we had to pack the tent up while it was still wet which wasn’t ideal.  The weather wasn’t looking too crash hot, and I was regretting not having found a proper wet weather bike riding jacket.  Doesn’t the universe know I don’t ride in the rain?  Leanne wasn’t fairing much better either.  She had bought a jacket online, but it was a size too small.

After waking up wet we decided that we needed to buy a tarp to put under our tent, particularly if the weather continued to remain wet.  Seriously – where is Spring?  But our first stop was a bakery!!!  Leanne and I had joked about this being our bakery tour of Victoria.  I started the day with a jam donut (can’t remember if I had one or two of these) and a cream jelly cake!  Excellent fuel I believe for a bike ride.

After getting the tarps we commenced our ride.  I lost it and got the giggles as we tackled the little hill out of Mt Gambier.  I barely made it up the hill and thought my God if I can’t cope with that, how am I going to tackle Lavers Hill?

We stopped in at the Blue Lake and then headed out towards the country side.  I think I would have really enjoyed the ride if it wasn’t for the wind and rain.  Leanne kept riding off into the distance and having to stop and wait for me.  It seemed to take forever to get to the first rest stop.  After that the ride got a bit better and I found some energy after the lunch stop.  As I was riding along feeling sick and sorry for myself I promised myself I would not touch wine again on this trip.  Riding in that weather with a hangover was not fun.

I have to admit we didn’t really explore Nelson because of the weather.  It wasn’t the coldest or wettest weather I’ve ridden in, but some reason I found it hard.  It was a bit of a worry that it was the shortest distance of the whole trip (only 42km).  When we arrived I just wanted to put that tent up, climb in and warm up.

It was at Nelson that we first saw the awesome temporary village that is erected each night for the Great Vic Bike Riders.  The organisation of the event is amazing!!!  There are portaloos, portable showers, a massive tent for meals, food vans, ice-cream vans, a bike store with bike mechanics, a camping store (I bought some waterproof pants), bars, a large screen that shows movies at night, and then thousands and thousands of tents.  It is simply incredible!

I thought the showers would be cold, but Leanne returned raving about her shower.  I still set-out though with low expectations.  OMG – the shower was amazing.  It was so hot and I felt like a new person afterwards.

That night at dinner we met a couple from the UK!  Yep people come from everywhere to do this ride.  There is a group of indigenous students from Alice Springs.  Actually there are lots of school groups, there are people our age, retirees and quite a few young families.  This ride shows you that bike riding is a sport that everyone can do.


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