Wednesday, December 14, 2016

great vic done and dusted in style

I arrived at sunny Halls Gap on the Saturday afternoon.  The weatherman had promised good weather until the Wednesday... it was fingers crossed.

People were arriving in cars and bus loads... the bikes were transported by cattle trucks!  I was amazed the first time I went on a GVBR at how well the whole thing is run and once again I was in awe of the way the volunteers managed to co ordinate the whole shebang.

 Our first morning was freezing cold so out came the long fingered gloves... As I put them on I realised that I had one of mine and one of my hubby's! lucky for me I had a pair and not 2 left gloves.
 Every morning we would set off under the start banner to the cheers of the volunteers.
Day one was Halls Gap to Dunkeld.  72km with a nice little climb about halfway.
Day two Dunkeld to Mortlake.   89km.
 The CWA ladies had cooked up a feast of biscuits, we bought a bunch of them at sat in the shade and munched our way through them.
Day 3 was the longest day 100km  mortlake to the 12 apostles just outside Port Campbell.  I enjoyed this day as I had driven along these roads many years ago when I used to take the girls on holidays to Port Campbell.
 We arrived in Port to sunshine and a nice little treat at the foreshore of icy poles and snacks before we did our hill challenge up the road to our campsite.
 The campsite although i was really windy had the most amazing view across towards the actual 12 apostles.  We had been really lucky with the weather at this point with warm days but very chilly nights and mornings.
 day 5 12 apostles to Apollo Bay 85km.  this was the most challenging day for the whole event.  We tackled the famed Lavers Hill.  my friends said to me its fine, you have done bigger and longer hills.  So off we went.... The hills went on and on and on!  You would get to the top of one pinch only to find another one.  The climbs were great but by the time I got to Apollo Bay I was really thankful to flop in my tent for a while.
 Day 6 was the rest day!  time to get coffee and recharge the batteries! I can highly recommend the fish and chips at the co op!
 This was the view of part of our campsite.  We camped on both sides of the road and could hear the waves crashing as we fell asleep.  The worst bit about the rest day is the school kids have too much energy and don't go to sleep by 10pm and we also have the 3 day riders join us and they are pretty excited and also don't know the 'routine'.
 day 7 Apollo bay to Bellbrae 80km.  This was my favourite day of the entire event.  We had closed roads along the great ocean road to Lorne. Beautiful views with rolling hills and no cars trying to pass us or zooming towards us on the windy roads.
 We had a rest stop at Kennett River... I rolled in and could see King parrots.... A school boy gave me a handful of seed and within moments I had them all over me.... I was called the bird lady (and for days afterward people would ask me.. are you that bird lady?!).
 We did get some light rain that morning, but the parrots didn't seem to mind and they certainly helped keep my mind off getting damp.
 This cheeky one sat on the wheel of this bike with a piece of my peanut butter and honey sandwich.  Then he decided my head was even better and sat on my helmet and continued to share my snacks.
 From Lorne we had to share the road with on coming traffic, but I didn't hear of any issues with motorists.. we had a huge support crew of Marshall's on motorbikes, police on motorbikes and in cars as well as medical support and the SAG wagon to pick up the cyclists who found they couldn't quite finish the ride that day.
 Day 8 Bellbrae to Queenscliff  53km  the shortest day took us past Bells beach and other surfing meccas.... I think some surfers who came up to their cars were a bit startled to see so many cyclists in the car park.  There was over 4000 of us!
 Day 9 Queenscliffe to Geelong  62km  the last day.  We had been blessed with the best weather and the final day promised to be a scorcher.
The traffic picked up as we got closer to our final destination and the riders all seemed to take their time not wanting their journey to finish.
I can honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed my GV this year, with many factors making it so enjoyable from the people I rode with to the weather and good food. 527kms done and dusted.
Next years ride is starting at Wilsons Promontory  down Gippsland way and finishing in Trafalgar. 517kms