York to Merredin – 165km

Day 2 - York to Merredin was our first day of seriously big kms; 165 of them! To ensure we made it to our destination mid afternoon it was a well orchestrated drill of packing, breakfast, loading vehicles and rolling out at 7:20am. The sky looked clear and the wind was promising to turn to a westerly mid morning; perfect for the nudge we'd need at the end of the day.

The first 84 km of road to Tammin was wonderful. Undulating long stretches of road amidst wide open landscape. The road was smooth and there was very little traffic, which afforded us all time to chat and get to know each other better. It was a very social morning and one we all enjoyed. At morning tea the usual suspects went straight for the jumbo pieces of chockie cake left over from yesterday; while the rest of us ate modest bite size pieces of banana cake and slice!

By the time we rolled into Kellerberrin we were all ready for lunch, especially given it was casserole. Janette was a bit concerned about serving it up cold, but it didn't seem to deter the hungry peloton as it was devoured in minutes. It was a busy lunch as bikes were checked for minor mechanicals, photos taken, bottles refilled, sunscreen applied and a final study of the map so we could break down the last 65 kms into bite size chunks.

Drivers have been terrific; the visibility of our support vehicles and a good size verge makes negotiating the highway and road trains much easier. Many drivers give us a beep or a wave, which is great. To keep our spirits up Manni exercised her vocal chords in the final stint. Purdie used the last 30km as a time trial hit out, which was very, very impressive! Jan and I achieved a PB today by covering the 165 km; for Jan it was a 60 km PB, which is sensational! Everyone rode exceptionally well today and our support team were fantastic!

Looking forward to a good feed, an early night an a shorter day tomorrow as we ride into Southern Cross.

PS: Vale Richie Benaud

Richard Cooke