Horsham to Ararat – 97km

Today we awoke after our rest day in Horsham to a wet morning with a strong westerly wind blowing. The team burst into the Cheeky Fox Cafe at opening time of 7.00am, where we had a great Mothers day breakfast with family, friends, cafe staff, and a friendly and generous group of locals. Best wishes were given to mums and Janette was presented with an array of hip momentos, beautifully contained in a new glow mesh bag to compliment her 1970's glow mesh purse.

New rider Nicole was welcomed to the team before we were escorted by the local police to the outskirts of town - thank you Horsham.

We rode out of Horsham past Green Lake and into beautifully undulating countryside, smelling fresh after overnight rain. The rain started and continued to our next stop 30km down the highway, at the Big Koala in Dadswells Bridge, where we sheltered and had our first BLT. The scenery enroute from Dadswells Bridge to Stawell was spectacular with the majestic Grampians to our right, appearing between the rain clouds. We arrived into the town of Stawell for a special home cooked morning tea of chocolate sponge and strawberries thanks to John and Janette's friends Rob and Judy of Horsham.

Following a quick tyre check, the weather improved and it was off to Ararat over the Great Dividing Range at a height of 342 metres. The tyre check may or may not have been thorough enough as we had 3 punctures after morning tea.

Emma and Paul's daughter Jaimii welcomed us into Ararat as a mothers day surprise. The afternoon advenutres which included bike washing and maintenance, and local coffee, is now a well practised routine.

Hopefully the riding shoes will be dry for the 90km ride to Ballarat tomorrow!

Richard Cooke