Mitchell to Charleville
Oh, the internal conflict today… normally we celebrate when rain falls in regional areas, but today as we got up to the pitter patter of rain drops on the roof, all we want is for it to stay dry for our poor cyclists.
Gir breakfast we were treated to bacon and egg rolls from the P&C of Mitchell State School. Thank you to the volunteers that were up at silly-hour-o’clock to cook for us!! As we all huddled in the rotunda in the park enjoying our breakfast, we were trying to stay dry and warm for as long as possible. But the inevitable happened and we rolled out just after 6:30am in the drizzly rain. Fortunately for the team the rain started to clear not long after 7am, not before a few road trains passed covering the team in spray from the water on the roads. Every rider deserves the beer, the hot chocolate or maybe even a hot toddy when we finish this evening. This morning we had much lighter traffic to negotiate, however the local wildlife is starting to feature a bit more, with a mob of kangaroos hopping across the road about 100m in front of the peloton.
Our morning tea stop was in Muckadilla where we were treated with Mick O’Keefe’s famous sausage rolls. The team could not have been happier to tuck into Mick’s warm sausage rolls as they were all shivering from wearing damp kits with a cool breeze blowing through. It was a quick stop to refuel, refill and we were back on the road again heading for Morven.
Stop 2 for the day was at the beautiful Sadleir’s Waterhole Hotel. It was a bit drizzly and grey still, so the wonderful hosts at the local, let us set up on the veranda of the pub, warm up by the fire and also gave us a donation from the Trivia night they’d held the week before. We are so grateful for the support of the wonderful communities that welcome us with open arms regardless of whether we turn up hot and sweaty or cold and wet!! A new highlight for the trip was the hot chips with chicken salt that were delivered for lunch today… the hot chip butty was just a little luxury on a cloudy day.
After the all-in group shot on the veranda, it was time to hit the road again and this time with a very exciting first – we turned left to Charleville! Everyone was so excited to finally get to a town that we have, for years, been trying to work out how to add to the RideWest route. Of our 2022 crew there is no one more excited than our two gorgeous nurses Emma and Mel who are so couldn't wait to welcome us to their hometown.
The afternoon got even wetter and muddier and team had to work hard to keep the morale up and push through that last 40km. Captain Rob called out today as the best teamwork he has seen from the cyclists. The comradery and teamwork builds every day as the team bonds grow. When someone is struggling, they all rally around and help push them through to the next stop. And today, more than ever this was a crucial part of getting every rider to the finishing post for the day.
As we approached Charleville the RFDS pilot welcomed us with a little fly over – what a delight to have the plane give us a wave on our arrival. Our plans for a grand entrance in the park at Charleville went a little awry as the rain took over, Charleville experiencing its wettest day in 15 years!! Still we had some beautiful family reunions and some special moments meeting some of the team’s loved ones as we arrived at the Mulgar Country Motor Inn. We have never enjoyed a hot shower and dry socks more!
We have to give a shout out to Cr. Shaun Radnedge, Mayor of the Murweh Shire Council, for hosting us for an incredible dinner at the WWII Secret Base Museum. We are so grateful for the donation that your shire also put together for us. one of the many highlights of the evening, was the dessert buffet to end all dessert buffets, all hand made by the team at the Cosmos Centre.
Charleville has certainly welcomed us with open arms and we are so grateful we finally got visit here (even with the rain!!) and will most certainly be back.
Rob – Finally getting dry and sitting with a cold beer under cover
Kate – The incredible facilities provide in the bathrooms at the
Michael – drying my socks by the fire in Morven and also the urinals!!
Mads – The generosity of the pub owners to let us take over their venue and then as we leave, they presented us with a donation.
Tanya – seeing the RFDS plane do a fly over to welcome us into Charleville.