Welcome to Hump Day.
On our way to Nelson – Day 4 Mercer SuperCycle.
After yesterday’s 197kms, today was a relatively “short” 178kms from Port Fairy to Mt Gambier. Day 4 can be hard work, as the legs burn at every bump in the road (especially after a stop), and the body is just hurting. Today was a slight exception due to the lovely tail wind and reduced hills that faced us.
We set off from Port Fairy in front of our hotels the early morning dim. Nobody’s bags seemed to get lost, and all the riders ended up in the right pelotons. Peloton 1 set off first (surprisingly) with much fanfare. Then it was Peloton 2’s turn, and we managed not to get lost in the first stretch to Tyrrendara. What we did come across was this bunch of cyclists (which may or may not have gone by the name of Peloton 1) blocking the road and holding us due to some poor excuse like a flat tyre. What this meant is that peloton 2 had to ride a bit more slowly to allow a gap to develop (which makes it easier for cars and trucks passing us).The group at the front of peloton 2 slowed things down a bit by playing a game of “Cadence higher than Heart Rate” (for the non-cyclists, cadence is how fast your pedals are rotating. A cadence higher than your heart rate means that your pedals are going around really fast, but you’re not doing much work).
Our first stop (at about 45kms in to the day) was at the Tyrrendara oval. This was catered by volunteers from the Tyrrendara community, with some fabulous home-made cakes (yum). It’s great when we can have some interaction with local communities like this, as we get to know them a little, and we get to spread the word about what we are doing.
Cycling through logging country today!
From Tyrrendara, we headed to Portland by the sea. The wind got a bit fresh as we got to face the Southern Ocean, but still remained mostly at our backs or sides. We had another nice stop overlooking the harbor at Portland, where we saw our first sign pointing to Adelaide (452kms in a direct line).
The next section involved 70kms from Portland to Nelson, which is a section of road that has no towns worthy of the name. This is about an hour in the car, but takes a bit longer on the bike. So we needed a couple of stops in some quiet countryside. The Gorae West Community Hall was opened especially for us, and then a bit of roadside in the middle of a pine forest also did quite nicely.
After all this riding, lunch by the Glenelg River at Nelson was great. Fantastic pies and cheesecake from the Nelson Kiosk with a lovely view over the Glenelg River estuary, and for once we had both pelotons having lunch together.
The last section from Nelson to Mt Gambier was a bit of a grind, but we got here and we’ve just had a few beers, a few wines (it’s great when you have a winemaker in the peloton selecting the wine), and a few laughs. Now time for bed.