Port Pirie to Port Wakefield – 130km
As short-haul interlopers, we were happy to pay the late arrival fine on Wednesday night in Port Augusta and fully expect to pay a similar fine for early departure on Saturday in Adelaide. Sadly we're only here for a short time - so it needs to be a good time. And how good was it today! We reckon today is the reason we all ride our bicycles. Clear blue sky, a light north easterly / north westerly wind (any wind with "north" in the description when you are travelling south has to be good), just enough undulations to take away the monotony of a long flat road, picturesque places to stop for exceptional food along the way - and great company. Can life on the road get any better?
But to start a bit before the beginning.... we enjoyed an excellent overnight stop at the John Pirie Motor Inn. Despite being a bit stingy with pillows, at only 6 per person, everything else was excellent. But just to keep them on their toes we created a few incidents at breakfast. Arriving 15 minutes before the kitchen staff were expecting us gave them a good opportunity to test their "deliver eggs and bacon quickly" systems. John tested the quality and durability of their crockery by setting up a nice cascade of cups and saucers, and then Jan tested out the old "lets see if we can make this piece of toast set off the fire alarm" trick.
So off we set at 7.30am anticipating a longer, but easier ride than yesterday. We did a quick 30km in single file to the first BLT stop and then headed off on the first of three "speed dating" sessions. Having demonstrated her expertise and commitment to the task on earlier speed dating sessions, Jan was the official bell ringer - after every 1km, her bell signalled the time for the rider on the front right to move across to the front left, and so give everyone a new person to talk with for the next 1km. It's amazing just how much you can talk about in the space of 1km, but usually it wasn't quite enough to finish that last important point, so the fractured dialogue turned into segmented conversations as the story was taken up the next time the pair were together again. As the effort required increased up hills, Dyanna had a bit of trouble remembering who she had told what, so apologies to those who heard the same thing three times today. And just in case you missed out completely - yes - she does have three children, all living happily in New Zealand.
Port Broughton was our morning tea stop - a quiet fishing town on the Yorke Peninsula with a lovely expanse of green grass alongside the water. We made use of the extensive range of fitness equipment in the park to do a bit of (not really needed) cross training, and talked to a couple of locals who dived into their cars to produce a donation or two for the Foundation.
Next stop was the quaintly named township of Bute, probably famous for many things, but it was the perfectly straight line of porcelain loos on the side of the road which got our attention. Our final stop was for lunch at the Matthew Flinders Lookout which provided an excellent view over the surrounding countryside. With just 19km to go, it was great to know that everything from this highpoint had to be down. So down we went. A 5% descent with a tail wind meant that some riders saw their speedos get to the 60km/h mark. A bit of local traffic traffic heading into our final destination of Port Wakefield did little to dampen a fantastic day out on the road.
As cameo, once-only blog contributors we don't want to miss this chance to say thanks for the warm welcome into a tight knit group who have obviously bonded closely over the last three weeks from Perth.
And for the remaining time:
"May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face"
We wish we could be with you.