September 2008

Comment Of The Day

by admin on September 29, 2008

Monday, September 29, 2008 – 7.23 pm

9 yo Tim Summers puts his head inside Jack’s tent and sees he’s getting a leg massage.

“Why are you getting a massage?” he asks.

“Because he’s cycled a very long way and a massage helps,” says Jack’s mum.

Tim’s reply: “Oh, harden up!”


Day 19 – Broken Hill Flying

by admin on September 29, 2008

Monday, September 29, 2008 – 6.59 pm

A bit of a sad day today when David and Maree (a great rider!) White left us to return to Melbourne, along with Paul (Big Brothers Big Sisters Melbourne) and Annette (his mum) saying their goodbyes.

The entire team at the West Darling Hotel, Broken Hill

An easy day planned today with a 111 km ride from Broken Hill to Little Topar, with the elevation profile looking very flat.

Dave, Chris, Brendon & Jack leave Broken Hill

The day started very late with a 9.45 am ride out of Broken Hill.  It then became apparent that it wasn’t really 111 kms to Little Topar, but just 78 kms.

Jack tucks in behind Chris and Dave

With Dave Summers driving down from the Gold Coast with his family, we had a fresh pair of legs to take up the pace.  And take it up he did – we flew from Broken Hill to Little Topar in the first session averaging 30 km/hr.

A Cruisy Ride To The Camp Site

A nice lunch in Little Topar was followed by a cruisy 42 km ride to the best camp site in the area.  Dave and Chris dropped off here to set up camp, whilst Jack and I trundled along for another 20 kms.

We went pretty slow as we stopped to photograph some views, emus running beside us on the road and wild goats.

These 2 emus ran beside us for 300 metres

Wild goats beside the road

Jack then got his 1st puncture which slow our pace right down, but we were pretty happy with 140 kms for the day.

The crosswinds weren’t too bad today and it’s been one of the easier days we’ve had.

We’re feeling strong and pretty fresh, so all is going well.




Monday, September 29, 2008

Maree (my wife) and I have been with the crew for a few days now. And what a well oiled machine they are! Led by the highly organised Mel, food is carefully balanced, shade, wind protection and water are all catered for carefully at the stops.

This is important because the riders have had it pretty hard over these few days. Strong head and cross winds mixed with road trains that can drop the speed from 25 to 10 in one passing make for a hard day. Not to mention the heat and the flies!

Highlights A Plenty!

Highlights? Oh plenty!

The open plains, the space, the riders, Jack and Brendon quietly going about their business, friends Jo and Chris and ourselves being the “domestiques” of the peloton have all been fun. But the greatest highlight has been sharing the fun, banter and, well, the love within the Sinclair family.

Bush camping on creek beds (with great sunsets) and sitting around the fire chatting until sleep calls has been a privilege. Chatting with the gang is just a pleasure and with such support and care for each other, I know they will make it and I know that nothing will get in their way.

High winds are nothing when the gang are so focused on riding and riding some more.

Generosity Never Ceases To Amaze

The generosity of people never ceases to amaze.

Not only this amazing band of people riding for Big Brothers Big Sisters but all the little things along the way. Comments on this site have been a source of strength, The West Darling Hotel in Broken Hill putting us up for free, all the kind people that have donated goods, services.

Feel Strengthened By The Spirit

Just as Jack and Brendon and the team feel strengthened by this, so too do we at Big Brothers Big Sisters, from across the country feel inspired and strengthened to reach out to more young people in need.

Thanks everyone. Onward and upward from here on…I mean that literally as the team starts to slowly say goodbye to the long hot plains and start to climb toward the coast.

Go Well my new friends and we shall meet again at Surfers Paradise!

David White (Executive Director, Big Brothers Big Sisters).

David, Chris, Jack & Brendon


Day 18 – Broken Hill Birthday Boy

by admin on September 29, 2008

Sunday, September 28, 2008

With the ride into Broken Hill of just 85 kms, we set off in high spirits hoping for a tailwind as we hit the road.

Once again we had a nasty crosswind to start – that lasted all of 50 metres as the road took a hard left and we had a blessed tailwind for the next 20 kms.

Heading To The NSW Border

We zoomed along towads the South Australian/New South Wales border, where David White and Joanne van Hoof joined us for the last 10 kilometres.

We hit the border town of Cockburn to finsih off 35 kms and get a nice rest.

Bikes take a rest at Cockburn

After being fed with oranges and Fruit Cake (thanks Gwen!), we headed of to finish the last 48 kilometres to Broken Hill.

With lots of ups and downs, we rode mostly with a crosswind as we approached.

Colin Stops For A Chat & Donation

20 kilometres from Broken Hill a friend of Jo and Chris’ pulled up on the side of the road – Colin had a quick chat and handed over a kind donation from his family.

The last 20 kms went fast as we got into Broken Hill and checked in at the West Darling Hotel – our host Mary (and the absent Kevin) donated the rooms for 15 people – a terrific gesture that saved us a ton of money.

Brendon & Jack at the West Darling Hotel

Ride Features in Barrier Daily Truth

The barman at the hotel pulled out last Wednesday’s Broken Hill newspaper (the Barrier Daily Truth) to show us a huge back page article on the ride.

5 minutes later and Jack was off to have his first caramel milkshake since we started riding.

10 minutes after this he was having his second caramel milkshake!

We spent the rest of the afternoon on the balcony of the hotel having some cold drinks and a chat.  After that it was down for dinner and to sing Happy Birthday to the birthday boy.

Even 16 yo boys love birthday cake – Mel, Jack, Tim & Holly

The dinner at the hotel was fantastic, with the West Darling Rump steak bigger than the plate!

Jack acted all embarrassed when we sang Happy Birthday, but not so shy when it came to opening his presents.

We all crashed with the late, late night (of 9.30 pm!), set to start again tomorrow.




Day 17 – Australia Bites Back

by admin on September 29, 2008

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Always seems to be the way – after managing an extra 30 kms yesterday we were looking forward to an easy 111 kms into Olary.  But then Australia bit back!

We set off at 7.30 am into a cloudless day when the wind first reared it’s ugly side.

20 Knot Headwind

We were battling into a very strong headwind of probably 20 knots as we struggled along.  The small town of Yunta was our first aim and we managed to reach there with a not very impressive average speed of 18 km/hr.

Brendon & Jack struggle along

The headwind was okay, it was the heat to come that really started to take it’s toll.

A 35 km stretch into Mannahill was next – we had Chris riding with us, along with Maree (wife of David of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Australia), my other son Harry, Jack and myself.

Temperature Rising To 33 Degrees

It was a very tough couple of hours into the wind, with the temperature getting up to 33 degrees and no shade to speak of.  The endless straight roads went on and on as we tried to battle away.

After what seemed like an eternity we managed to get to Mannahill, where the plan was to have a long rest in the hope the wind might die away or change direction.

An hour or so lunch recharged the batteries and we had a bit of a wind change.

Mannahill to Olary Wind Change

We lost Maree and Harry for this next section to Olary (Maree jumped on about 20 kms down the road) and away we went.

For the first 10 kms we had a nice tailwind/crosswind which was a very welcome relief.  We then settled into a nice rhythm and maintained that once the wind changed over.

The crosswind was strong

We got the Olary at about 3.30 pm with a little light still left.

Olary is a quaint little town that’s closed down.  Every building has been abandonded by the looks, with the old railway station a reminder of past glories.

Jack at Olary Station

AFL Updates From David Through The Car Window!

After a few oranges and apples, along with David giving us a rundown of the first half of the AFL Grand Final, we set off again to see if we could know a few kilometres from tomorrows ride into Broken Hill.

With hotel rooms booked, other friends joining us and Jack’s birthday, it would be nice to have a shorter day into Broken Hill so we could rest up a little.

With the wind changing 3-4 times, we managed to do another 30 kilometres and end up just 85 kilometres short of the Hill.

Looking forward to our biggest town yet tomorrow.




Bright Sunny Day, Flat Roads Ahead Today

by admin on September 27, 2008

Saturday, September 27, 2008 – 7.19 am

Just about to leave for the day’s ride – it’s a cloudless blue sky and already quite warm.

We have an easy 111 kms today after getting 30 kms ahead yesterday.

Jack Turns 16 In Broken Hill

Jack turns sweet 16 tomorrow in Broken Hill.




Day 16 – 190 km – An Incredible Day

by admin on September 26, 2008

Friday, September 26, 200 (8.49 pm….campsite at Oodla Wirra, SA)

What an amazing night and day.

We set up camp at the Shoreline Caravan Park in Port Augusta last night.  A 200 m stroll to the West Augusta Football Club for dinner and we were set.

At dinner, Jo mentioned to the cook that Jack was riding across Australia for charity.

Within minutes the President of the Club was putting a microphone in Brendon’s hand and away he went – speaking to the 60 or so people in the dining area about the ride and the charity.

$213.40 Donated

Mel and Jo then passed the hat around and the wonderful people at dinner donated $213.40.

Plus the food was fantastic and the dnks cold, so we were very happy!

The Day’s Ride

We started off at 7.30 am from the caravan park and had a ovely tailwind behind us for 25 kms.  A left turn as we headed to the base of the Flinders Ranges meant we had a bit of a cross-wind for a while.

Our view of the Flinders Ranges as we approached

Then we hit the Flinders Ranges – our first real climb since Perth was a welcome relief.

The climb lasted about 40 minutes and gave way to a beautiful downhill that went for 6 kms – that got us to the gorgeous town of Wilimgton, where the team passed us icy poles as we passed.

Chris & David Kept The Pace Up

Chris van Hoof of Chisel Fitness (Chris trained us on the Gold Coast) and David White (Executive Director of Big Brother Big Sisters of Australia) joined us for riding today and kept the pace up.

The team attack the flats!

Another 14 kms cycling along the flat with the wind at our back got us to morning tea.  We set up camp on the side of the road for a bite to eat.

The local farmer came along for a chat, with his 3 legged dog hopping along behind him.

The dog wanted to let us know who was in charge and promptly came up to our bag of goodies at our feet and did a wee.

The dog then turned around, hopped over to the ute and jumped back in – job done and message given!

Funnily enough, no one wanted anything else to eat

The farmer was a great old guy (82 years old) and stopped for a chat.  Farming 9,000 acres, he was 82 years old and had seen it all.

Jack and our farmer mate

Lunch At Orroroo

After the break we were joined by Maree (David’s wife) and we headed off into another nice slow climb that led into a 5 kms descent, leading to Orroroo – where we stopped for lunch at a beautiful park.

Another stint by Maree after lunch was slowed a bit with some crank trouble, but she still managed a fast 75 kms for the day.

We passed through the lovely town of Peterborough.

The team at Peterborough

As we passed the Peterborough pub, David mentioned his mum grew up in the hotel 90 years ago when her parents owned it.  So another quick photo opportunity was had!

Jack & David outside the Peterborough Hotel

30 Kms Ahead Of Schedule

The boys cranked the pace up for the afternoon section, hitting 45 km/hr for ong stretches.

Jack & Chris raise the tempo

We got to Oodla Wirra with some time to spare and decided to keep going to reduce the ride for tomorrow.  David and Chris bailed after 15 kms and got a lift back to camp with Laura driving.  Jack and I pushed on to finish 30 kms ahead of schedule after a wonderful 190 km ride.

We finished a wonderful day of riding and incredible scenery with the sun setting behind us over the ranges, with the hills ahead bathed in sunlight.

Jack, 30 Kms east of Oodla Wirra, 6.10 pm

A magical end to a beautiful day of riding.

Feeling good, we headed back to camp.  A quick freshen up and we headed acrss the road from the bush camp to the Ooodla Wirra Hotel – 120 years old and still going.  A brilliant old bush pub where we enjoyed a couple of drinks.

Jack, Laura & Harry ham it up!

We’ve just finished the chocolate around the camp fire and everyone is heading to bed.

Thanks for the comments and keep them coming please – we love them!



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Support Team Member Profile – Emily Grant

by admin on September 25, 2008

Okay, it’s about time we profiled some of the people helping out on this ride.

First up is:

Who: Emily Grant

What: Jack’s Cousin, Brendon’s niece

What Else: School Teacher in Hobart, Tasmania

Claim to fame: Crashed into Brendon doing 20 kms on the Nullarbor, jammed her handlebars through the back wheel – and managed to do all this when a Road Train was coming the other way.

Then she blamed Jack for the crash!  (He was 50 metres back)

Emily also had a habit of throwing Clinkers (lollies) at us as we rode along.

Favourite Expression: Harden up!

Emily rode and rode hard for 3 days.  In her words she was “Without question the best, fastest and best looking rider of the 3 of us.”

Emily’s birthday present to Jack was the scenic flight to see the whales in the Great Australian Bight.

Also, Emily has promised to ask amongst the students at her school and try and find Jack a girlfriend (ooooops!!). Emily left us a few days back at Ceduna and is now safely tucked up in Hobart, recovering from sore legs.

Thanks Em!


Day 15 – 120 km To Port Augusta

by admin on September 25, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Another interesting day – we’d left ourselves 120 kms into Port Augusta so we could get in early and meet up with some friends coming along for a ride.

Off we went at 7 am, looking to do the 120 kms in about 4 hours.

Unfortunately we rode smack bank into a headwind of 20 knots and ended up taking 6 hours, 23 minutes!

The ride was fairly flat but the wind made it feel like it was all uphill!

We were pleased to finally come into Port Augusta, but then managed to miss Mel and rode an extra 5 kms along the road before she found us.

We’re currently at the Shoreline Caravan Park where we’ve had our first showers for a few days and are sitting back relaxing before we head out for dinner.

Looking forward to a nice climb tomorrow of 450 metres (the Flinders Ranges in the photo below).  That will be our first big climb for the ride.



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Day 14 – Minnipa to Kimba

by admin on September 25, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A real bumpy day today and the hills made a change from mostly flat days.

Surprisingly there was very little traffic today.  The weather was lovely with not a cloud in the sky and a fairly gentle breeze.

After a slow start we managed to crank out another 168 kms, ending up 38 kms east of Kimba – making us 38 kms ahead of schedule and set for an easier day tomorrow.

Jack’s feeling great and he’s been dragging me along for the last 100 kms or so at the end of each day.

We’re looking forward to getting into Port Augusta tomorrow and catching up with Chris and Jo (Support team # 2!) and David and Maree White – David is the Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Australia.

They’ll all be riding with us and we’re hoping for some drafting opportunities!