Crossy | Box Hill – Tyers | 197 km – 2940 m.
After a night of getting lost in the suburbs of Melbourne and probably riding an extra 5 – 10 km in backtracking and trying to find my way I finally found my hotel and even managed to get a somewhat decent sleep.
Thanks to Jed for coming out and finding me earlier in the afternoon to get me through the detour off route.
Day Eighteen; a new day, new wheel, good sleep (it’s never enough) and mentally okay, I set off for country Victoria. I will admit I did start the day feeling tired. Even though you’ve done big km’s, I haven’t felt like that every day, but it was a carryover from yesterdays solid ride and just mental frustration I think. The legs actually came good for the latter part of the day.
Once out of the suburbs it was a beautiful part of Victoria to ride through, I even got a sweat up and had to ditch some warm weather gear, which was a nice change.
I’d planned on riding to Glengarry, so called ahead and booked accommodation. I’ve deviated from my ride plan over the past few days, mostly due to mechanicals and that was out of my control, so I was wanting to not go overboard but still push on with decent kilometres if I could.
Things were going smooth until around 150 km in I got a call from the accommodation in Glengarry telling me that they’d unfortunately double booked the room and I no longer had a bed. Those that know me have probably guessed my level of patience 4000km into this race and it heightened at this call at 6.45 pm I can assure you. It was frustrating, to say the least. Frustrating that mentally I had set a goal for where I was riding today, and frustrating that everything was planned including a meal on my arrival around 7.30 pm, to which I now had no food and in the middle of nowhere with no set destination.
They did, in their defence, arrange alternate accommodation in Heyfield which I was very appreciative of and was told I could get a meal there. So maybe it wasn’t so bad? I then realised it was 30 km FURTHER along the road, basically 80 km from where I was at the time of the call!
Surely the other person had a car?! I was on a bike!!! It made no difference, I was bedless and looking at having to either push on until 10.30 pm or use the bivvy for the second time on the trip. I graciously accepted the alternate offer but started to formulate a ‘Plan B’ if I could find one.
I remembered from the Dot Watchers page a refuge somewhere out this way, and I was kissed on the…
Brett Roberts from the refuge came into view as I was riding along and guided me home for the night. He had no idea that was Just what I needed right at that moment and fate sent me there or him to me! I was treated to lasagne, beer, a hot shower and the best hospitality East of Melbourne I’m positive.
Staying with people that genuinely have an interest in what you’re doing and who open their home to you is uplifting and I’ve said it before, it doesn’t take long to brighten your spirits and get you mentally back on track for tomorrow. You’ve restored my resilience and faith that good people exist. I’ve been shown endless kindness along this journey, so thank you, Brett & Tracy, for your hospitality! My smile says it all.
STATE OF THE NATION – DAY EIGHTEEN
Does it look like Paul may be pushing on for Sydney Opera House for an early hour tomorrow arrival perhaps? The second of our riders making it to the finish. I saw earlier on Instagram that Ryzza has pulled back and will enjoy the rest of his 2019 Indipac not in race mode, instead, enjoying the beauty that surrounds him on the route ahead to meet his family in Sydney tomorrow. A few are about to tackle the off route detour in the race for fourth place. I can’t say I am looking forward to that climb to Cabramurra. Good luck boys.