Amberley to Oakey
After many, many months of training and preparation it was finally time for our riders to put it all on the line and start the epic 1237km journey to Longreach.
With a lot of nervous energy in the air, we bid farewell to our family’s and pushed off a little after 7am. We had a lovely smooth run into Forest Hill where we enjoyed a delicious morning tea (thanks to all those that baked for us!). The next run got a little bumpy with a bit of a gravel stretch, testing the riders and unfortunately taking a man down, but after a check over from the nurses, given the all clear to push on.
Next up, the moment we have all been anxiously anticipating… ‘the climb’ up Murphy’s Creek road. The whole team put in an absolutely phenomenal effort – spurred on with support from families and friends that had made the trek out with signs, streamers, cow bells and impassioned voices. And we did it – the whole crew up the top, safely and mostly still smiling! The team then enjoyed the ‘cruise’ into Oakey, mostly downhill with the wind on their backs. We were fed by Great Country Pies on our arrival into Oakey and had a little downtime to stretch and relax. When we thought the day couldn’t get better, we were treated with a guest speaker at dinner. Mary O’Brien of ‘Are you bogged mate?’ spoke to us about the incredible work she is doing to spread the word about men’s mental health and specifically rural male suicide. Mary’s message certainly hit home for all of us in the room and we encourage you to check out her page for more information. www.areyouboggedmate.com.au
A lot of tired bodies tonight, but hearts full of pride after completing a grueling first day.
A few highlights from the team today:
Petrea Sloman – I was blown away by the amount of family and friends that came out on the road and the atmosphere that created for the riders.
Alex Griffiths – Seeing Don make it up Murphy’s Creek and persevering after a tough start to the day. Seeing Angus role back down and do that last little bit with his Dad was awesome.
Ben Matigian – Getting up Murphy’s Creek!
Paul Collins – Murphy’s Creek to Oakey – downhill and with the wind on our backs.
David McNab – Arriving in Forrest Hill – riding off that nervous energy and reminiscing about college days in the ‘Forrey’.