Day 27 - Pardoo to Sandfire Roadhouse 139km


As we started today with another hearty breakfast of bacon and eggs (for most), I heard a little chatter at the table that people were looking forward to what was going to be a short day on the bike… I know most would not call 139km a short day however when you look at the coming two days (177km and 145km) it seems short!

Today we were faced with head wind for the entire day which meant very little relief was in store for most. Morning tea was at 48km down the road, a fairly similar distance to most days although today I had in my head it was at 46km – well that’s what our daily sheet stated anyway. I know 2kms isn’t a long way, however when you have your heart set on getting you bum off the saddle and having a massive drink (difficult to drink on the tandem into a gusty head wind) and you see your Garmin tick over another 1.94km before this happens it can nearly break you…

Soon after arriving, most cyclists were saddling back on their trusty steads to tackle the next 46km to lunch – and yes this was a correct 46km and still into a head wind. Some cyclists opted for a ride in the bus in order to rest their legs and bodies before tackling the winds again after lunch.

Lunch was another road side stop today, sandwiches and fruit being the order of the day. I can’t say I was entirely hungry at this point as I was just about broken, but knowing what was ahead I managed a couple of rounds of sandwiches, some fruit and I think nearly an entire bottle of electrolytes. I was ready to hit the road again - into the head wind.

I can’t say that I can really make comment on the scenery or the surroundings whilst on the bike today. I spent most of my time focused on the wheel in front, the white line on the shoulder of the road, my garmin and waiting for the rider in front to roll off after their 2km stint out the front - just waiting for the km’s to tick over.

I can however comment on the support crew from our rear Sag Wagon driver / mechanic / jack of all trades JB and his companion for part of today Kylie (who rested up between morning tea and lunch). Bunny hoping ahead of the rear peloton to ensure we were safe on the road and never ran out of water, we were treated to Kylie yelling ‘go, go go, c’mon you guys, you can do it’ out the passenger window as they passed, a brief rendition of Alex’s Lloyds ‘You are Amazing’ whilst standing on the side of the road and continual words of encouragement and support from JB. Just what every cyclist needs on a long day like today.

It was approx. 4pm when the last of the cyclists arrived at the Sandfire Roadhouse, just over an hour after our scheduled arrival time, not too bad considering the relentless head wind! Just enough time to shower, complete the washing, have a massage (for the lucky few - me included fortunately) and be at dinner by 6pm. A very early dinner however I think most (including myself) were planning on taking advantage of an early night to bed, hoping to sleep well before we rise again tomorrow to tackle our second longest day of 177km. 2 days cycling and 320km to go (and no more road houses after tonight, whoo hoo!).

By the way did I mention there was a head wind today.....

Richard Cooke