Adelaide Rest Day 1

There was a sense of calm this morning following yesterday's monumental arrival in Adelaide and the Welcome Reception at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. Today we had the luxury of having time to reflect, explore Adelaide and rest up for another high octane event tonight - the celebration of Kerryn's 50th birthday!

Most of us had a much needed sleep in and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast contemplating how we would fill in the day. Maz went for a much anticipated run along the magnificent River Torrens, while Baz chose the option of a stroll, Cam went for a ride and Rob slipped in a handy 10km power walk around the Adelaide Oval and magnificent churches in North Adelaide before heading out for a short ride. The remainder of the peloton decided to embrace the concept of 'rest day' and instead, incorporate an intense activity known as 'food and beverage spotting'. Essentially, we scattered in various directions across the general Rundle Mall precinct in search of all the culinary delights we have missed during our escapade across the Nullarbor. I understand there have been extraordinary consumption levels of coffee, hot chocolate, sushi, smoothies, dumplings and Haigh's chocolates! And this is only Day 1 of two rest days!

With so many family, partners, friends and new riders (who will be joining the peloton for the ride to Melbourne), you were constantly bumping into people around town. It is quite a change from the small isolated roadhouses and sleepy towns we have become accustomed to and in someways, already miss. I think the core group of riders feel a bit like they've been caught in a time warp!

The brave and broken amongst us took advantage of Richard's magic hands and filed in and out of room 814 for massage treatment on what we graded as the muscle group in most need. Kerryn's quads woke her out of her sleepy state, while I adopted my turtle like technique used when road trains approached and sunk my head deep into the massage table while my shoulder and neck were manipulated. I recall Richard reminding me to breathe periodically, for which I was grateful! There must have been some sound affects emanating from the room, or perhaps it was the sinus clearing deep heat and tiger balm aroma wafting down the corridor, but when Baz's number was up, he approached room 814 with a look of trepidation. I smiled and assured him the room was safe to enter!

Kerryn's 50th fired up at 4pm. Drinks and conversation flowed as those who knew each other caught up and new comers to the group were given a warm welcome. Friends from interstate, the RAH, and new riders joining the peloton were all there to celebrate this milestone. Chris led off the speeches, sharing some funny stories of Kerryn's younger years, but also reflecting on her amazing recovery from necrotising fasciitis and 'our' amputation. I couldn't resist sharing the funniest moments from our ride so far that featured Kerryn, while Renee presented a wonderful profile of Kerryn's life, which was appropriately filled with plenty of stats and demonstrated the special relationship they have. Kerryn wrapped up the formalities by reversing the format and talking about all of her nearest and dearest that form the strong network that is such a critical part of her life. The biggest Black Forest cake ever made appeared and soon refueled the party goers. The music was cranked and the dance floor came alive. Heaven knows what time we'll all get to bed tonight. Thankfully we can all sleep in tomorrow!

Richard Cooke