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2008 October (2) — Page 2

October 2008

Come Ride With Jack Into Surfers

by admin on October 8, 2008

On Friday October 10, Jack will be finishing his ride across Australia.

We’d love it if you could join him for the final push into Surfers Paradise.

Where We’ll Be

We’ll be leaving Murwillumbah on Friday morning at about 7.30 am.

We’re then meeting up with some friends to join the ride at the Currumbin Alley car park at 10.30 am.

From there we take a quick detour to Elanora Primary School at 10.45 am.

Then up to Surfers – we’ll be passing by Piccolo Cafe (on the Esplanade at Miami) at about 11.30 am.

If you’d like to ride with Jack please just leave a comment below or give Mel a call on 0404 692 327.

We’ll be going nice and slow so there’s no pressure about keeping up with anyone fast!

Once we finish we’ll be having a drink and a sausage or 2 by the beach.  Hope you can come along.



Day 27 – 120 Kms Of Downhill

by admin on October 8, 2008

Tuesday, October 27, 2008

The day started with a trip to Ebor Falls – a chilly look at 6 am but well worth it.

Jack & Harry by Ebor Falls

Perfect conditions for riding today as we set out into a fairly cool morning, with not a cloud in the sky.

The elevation profile today showed a drop from 1.4 kms above sea level (from Ebor) to sea level.  We had some lovely long downhill sections that seemed to stretch on forever.

Cows, Kangaroos, Horses & Magpies

We rode through some beautiful country, with cows running across the road in front of us, kangaroos hopping by, horses running alongside us and magpies swooping us.

Harry and the horse side by side

Moooooooove over!

The uphills were a bit of a challenge for Jack and I as our legs are pretty much empty and we couldn’t hold the momentum to go up and over much of the time.

Terrific Support From The Lads

David (I got the message Jill!) Summers and Chris van Hoof rode with us again today, along with Harry.  Harry rode the entire day – 124 kms – which was the biggest ride of his life.

A group hug – kind of!

They’re great to have along and provide terrific support…….and they worry about our hydration, insisting we stop in at a local establishment for some liquid refreshment.

David, Chris, Jack & Harry enjoy a break

The “Totally Wild” segment was on yesterday and we’ve heard it was great, so looking forward to seeing that when we reach the Gold Coast.

The Plan From Here

We’re a day ahead at the moment, with 3 days to go.

From here we’ll ride to Kyogle tomorrow (Wednesday), then Thurday ride from Kyogle to Murwillumbah and on Friday ride from Murwillumbah to the Gold Coast to finish in Surfers Paradise at midday.

Thanks to all for your comments and support – they provide a real boost.



Quick Bits – Tuesday 7 October – 7.21 am

by admin on October 7, 2008

  • Check out Totally Wild today at 4 (Channel 10) for a segment on the ride
  • Jack is one of 3 finalists for the Queensland Pride of Australia Medal (winner gets announced on October 24)
  • We’d love to have you along to the Ride Celebration Dinner – call Fiona on 0422 754 340
  • Just popped some more video below


Day 26 – Wet & Wild 101 km

by admin on October 7, 2008

Monday, October 6, 2008

A soaking wet day today as we headed towards Armidale and beyond.

A storm hit about 1/2 hour before we left and didn’t look like going away, so we started riding.

Coming into Armidale the rain became torrential and the rain actually hurt (yep, we have to harden up!).

Visibility was down to about 20 metres, so we took refuge in Armidale for 15 minutes for the rain to ease before setting off again.

The day was a constant of ups and downs, with a decent 40 km climb to finish off at Ebor – NSW’s 4th highest point.

Churned Out The Last Tough 30 km

With climbs like this it’s often best to do them on your own, so I left Jack to battle alone with about 30 kms to go.  He grafted it out over a couple of hours to finish off a tough 101 kms (luckily I managed to beat him in by a couple of minutes!).

Dave and Chris rode the whole day (a long way ahead) and think it was the hardest ride they’re done in the 9 or so days they’ve ridden.

We’re staying in the Ebor Hotel Motel tonight, the 2nd night out of the tents for the whole trip.

We’re a bit ahead of schedule, so have a couple of very easy days coming up before gettin into Surfers Paradise on Friday.



On “Totally Wild” Tuesday 4 pm

by admin on October 6, 2008

Monday, October 6, 2008 – 8.49 am

Just heard that “Totally Wild” (a kids TV show on Channel 10) is featuring a segment they shot on Jack and the ride tomorrow.

Check it out if you’re near a TV.



Day 25 – Dodging Snakes, Kangaroos & More

by admin on October 5, 2008

Sunday, October 5, 2008 – 9.21 pm

Today started with a late (8.30 am) start from the Gunnedah Caravan Park.  We sadly said goodbye to Tina, Tim and Holly (Dave’s family) who had been great support and entertainment for a week.  Thanks guys – look forward to seeing you on Friday.

Jack’s ready to go

We cranked out a solid first couple of hours averaging 25 kms an hour.  Winds were minimal today, with conditions fairly cool and overcast.

David & Jo Racing For Wins

Dave and Jo rode with us this morning for the first 100 kms and enjoyed racing each other up the hills.  Jack and I sometimes sprinted over the top for the win, but mostly the honours were even.

“Now Jo, don’t let Dave beat you up hills!

Tamworth came up 78 kms into the ride – quite a large town with 40,000 people.

Jack in Tamworth

15 kms out of Tamworth and we had a close call.

As Dave and Jo were sprinting for another win up a small hill, I was 20 metres behind.  At the last minute I saw a 2 metre brown snake about 5 metres ahead and a metre to my right.  I didn’t have time to stop and rolled past.

The Snake Reared To Strike

The snake reared up at me to strike but I was past before he hit.  I was then going so fast I beat both Dave and Jo up the hill!

I called a warning out to Jack a few metres back and he rolled past it’s tail as it slid into the long grass.

That spooked us a bit and we made great time to lunch!

Dave and Jo stopped riding at lunch (after 98 kms) at Moonbi and Chris and Harry joined us.

“No-one gets to the top without walking”

According to our mapping we had a big, steep climb coming up.  An old local at the park told Chris that we wouldn’t be able to ride to the top, that it was far too steep – that most cyclists walk.

Chris didn’t tell us this, but it didn’t matter too much.

Elevation profile

The climb hit at about the 100 km mark – the first sign said “1st Moonbi Hill”.  That’s a bit scary – if it says “1st” it means there’s more than 1!

It was a great climb – really steep and hard (took about 35 minutes) but we all got to the top easily enough.  Check out the Moonbi Hill Heroes below!

Harry, Chris, Jack & Brendon

They didn’t always look this fresh – here’s Brendon 5 minutes earlier:

The afternoon riding was a little easier with plenty of downhills, but a bit more climbing too.

We ended the day with Jack out front taking us along at 35-40 km/hr into Uralla.  He didn’t stop for the last hour and it was terrific to see him be able to do this after some massive days.  It was a huge effort.

The Jack Train – Photographed at 40 km/hr

We’re feeling good – Dave’s cooked up some pasta for dinner, we enjoyed that with a red wine.

Now, at 10.06 pm, everyone is crashing and heading for bed.



Saturday, October 4, 2008 – 10.12 pm

Today’s ride was planned to be 201 kms.  This was the day we’ve looked at as the ride to do to ensure we finish.

What idiot planned a 201 km ride towards the end is beyond me (!), but if I find this Brendon Sinclair clown I’ll be having some harsh words!

We set off from the Rotary Caravan Park in Gilgandra at 7.30 am and soon figured out we were in for a tough day.  It was already blowing a big headwind, which never helps, but the dodgy road was a bit more of a problem.

The road shoulder was non-existent or crumbling much of the time which leaves very little room for passing us.  We had a ton of traffic on the road with the trucks getting rather close on more than one occasion.

After 10 Kms The Climbing Started

Jack climbs

At about the 10 km mark the climbing started.  For the next 85 kms we climbed up and down, up and down.  When we were’t climbing we had the headwind.  We finally managed to get into Coonabaraban for a break 95 kms in.

It’s had been a real tough session and Jack was pretty much spent.  It had been our first hard climbing after thousands of kms of relatively flat roads and his legs knew it.

Chris rode with us in the morning and chose lunch to stop and rest his legs.  Dave Summers and Harry (14) then joined us for the next 105 km.

We were exhausted at lunch and really struggled to get back on the bike.  If we had too many more hills to climb we would have struggled.

Taking a break

Laura and Mel had some time to take a couple of pics.

Coonabaran promotes itself as the Astronomy Capital of Australia.

What Goes Up, Must Come Down

But there’s an old saying we love: What goes up, must come down!

For the next 55 kms we relaxed as we had some massive downhills, followed by easy uphills.  Traffic had dropped away to nothing (the trucks must take a different route) and the roads were good.

The wind died away to nothing.  Dave and I were hooting down a downhill at 55 kms an hour when an emu raced across the road in front of us – we missed him by about 10 metres.

That caused us old blokes (!) to slow down a bit and wait for the youngsters who were 50 metres behind.

That last 55 kms was as close to cycling heaven I’ve been – easy riding, no traffic, and great roads.

Fairly Flat Road Ahead

We stopped for a break with 50 kms to go to Gunnedah, knowing we had a fairly flat road ahead and about 2 1/2 hours of light.

Harry was still feeling good so stayed with us – 105 kms would be his biggest bike ride ever.  There was nothing to be done that would get Dave off his bike for the last bit.

Jack and I both felt a lot better now we’d had essentially 55 kms of rest.

Off we set for the final 50 kms.  A nice little tailwind sprung up for a while and we zipped along.

The day’s effort started to tell and Jack and I were soon able to barely reach 18 kms/hr.  We were struggling a bit.

Set Up Camp In Gunnedah

Tina (David’s wonderful wife), Chris and Jo had gone ahead to set up camp in the Gunnedah Caravan Park.  Mel and Laura stayed behind to hand us drinks as we went past.

Then a not so funny thing happened.

It started getting dark.  Real quick.  One minute it was light, then clouds rolled over and the sun seemed to go rather smartly.

We Needed To Finish

We needed to finish and finish quick.

We were still 20 kms shy of Gunnedah at this stage and going slow.  We weighed up our options and the resources we had and decided to press on.

We got the boys together and said, “Okay, we really need to crank it up here.  Stick together, loud calls, stright lines.”

From being shot ducks minutes earlier, we really needed to ride hard.

For the next 20 kms we rarely went below 30 km/hr as we rode for the town.

Then Came The Rain & Lightning

Then the rain started.  And the lightning.

We hammered away and it was a welcome relief to roll into Gunnedah as it hit pitch black.

  • 203.22 kms for the day
  • We’d spent 9 hrs 37 minutes riding that 203 kms

The last 20 kms was as hard on the bike as we’ve had.  Thank goodness we had lights and could be easily seen.

Some Amazing Riding

Jack rode brilliantly for someone who’s done close on 4,000 km already, Harry did a sensational ride for a 14 year old to do 105 kms for the day and the old warhorse (he doesn’t get a chance to read this blog so he doesn’t know what I call him!) Dave Summers did an amazing job driving the ride for the last 50 kms.

And Chris ride through the hills was terrific earlier in the day.

A day to really look back on and cherish as a super tough day that we worked hard to get through.  After doing that 203 km we feel like we’re finally on the way home.



End Day 23 – Stormy Morning, Hot Afternoon

by admin on October 3, 2008

Friday, October 3, 2008 – 6.18 pm

A terrific day on the bike today with another 163 kms done and dusted.

The day started at 7.15 am riding off in stormy conditions: thunder, lighting and rain.

Jack and I stopped at a photo opportunity not to be missed.  You see, my brother is Peter Sinclair.  And it came as no surprise that the Peter Sinclair Bridge spans the Bogan River!  (Howdy Pete!)

The Sinclair boys take the best photo opportunity so far!

The rain soon stopped and moved ahead of us at about the same speed we were cycling at.  The cooler conditions were a welcome change and we did an easy 61 kms into the beautifully named Nevertire.

Of course we had our photo taken by the town sign with Jack insisting (!) I ham it up!

Jack and Brendon at Nevertire

Our rest was under the cover of a beautiful old shop in Nevertire.  One of the many old country town buildings we’ve seen that are slowly decaying.

Old shop in Nevertire

Another 42 kms to lunch as the day heated up to 31 degrees.  We passed through the beautiful little country town of Warren, where Jack had his photo taken under the Gilgandra sign.

Jack in Warren

Dave steamed us ahead and we were flying along at 47 km/hr on the flat with no wind.

Dave and Jack ride along towards Gilgandra

At lunch, Chris joined us for the 60 kms to Gilgandra.  This was soon interrupted when the Collie Hotel called out strongly as we passed and Chris insisted we support the small country community by having a  cool drink.

He’s a big guy so we did what he said!

Donation from Marianne at the Collie Hotel

A beer for the lads and a lemonade for Jack from Marianne was a fantastic relief.  Marianne then very kindly donated $10 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Australia.  Thanks Marianne.

The day heated up and our pace slowed down as we rode to Gilgandra.  A swooping magpie had Chris, a 6 foot 4 inch man mountain, ducking for cover.

Crashed Straight Over The Handle Bars

He kept such a close eye on the magpie that he rode straight off the highway into a farmer’s field and crashed straight over the handle bars!

We checked he was okay, then spent the next 10 minutes laughing till we almost cried!

The last 30 kms into Gilgandra was a bit of a struggle after the heat took its toll.  We’re now safely in the local caravan park about to have Chicken Noodles for dinner.

We’re all tired, but getting excited as we get that much closer to our goal.

Jack at the end of the day



Today’s Ride – 163 km Uphill

by admin on October 3, 2008

Friday, October 3, 2008 – 6.58 am

We’ve just had a look at today’s ride and it looks rather tough.

163 kms of uphill.

It’s 7 am in the Nyngan Caravan Park. – conditions are quite warm, with a strong northerly blowing……and it’s just started pouring rain.

Wish us luck!


Day 22 – Heat, Flies & Exhaustion

by admin on October 2, 2008

Thursday, October 2, 2008 – 7.12 pm

Hi, Mel here.

Jack and Brendon are fast asleep so I thought I’d update the web site.

The guys did a huge day yesterday into a headwind and high temperatures (33 degrees).  Harry (our 14 yo son who has done tons of training with them) rode for a couple of hours.

They ended up doing 170 kms into Cobar, finishing close on 7 pm, where we spent the night in the caravan park.  They were totally exhausted and were in bed 30 minutes later.

The boys set out in the morning for a 132 km ride.  It soon hit 36 degrees and the wind was no help.

They’re riding so hard that Harry wasn’t able to ride again today as he was exhausted from the pace and heat of the day before.

Chris and David, 2 great friends along to ride with the boys, are doing 3 hour stints on and off to keep them company.  Any longer and they’re finding they’re legs aren’t fresh enough.

To see Jack so exhausted at the end of the day is a rather tough thing for a mum but he tells me (constantly!) he’s “Good”.

He’s eating like a horse, so that’s a good sign.

Chris and David (and Bren) are so good with him as they encourage him along the highways.  It’s great to watch how they help him so much.

To then see him get up day after day after day after day really does make me feel so proud.  I simply don’t know how he can push himself on and on – it’s hard enough driving the distances!

The support crew are doing an amazing job – it’s far more work than I ever dreamed of, I’m just so lucky to have had and have such wonderful friends helping.

Comment of the Day

My favourite comment for the day came from Harry.  He pulled up along side Jack and wound down the electric window of the Land Rover he was in.

From his leather seat in the airconditioned car, listening to an Ipod, he stuck his head out the window to see if the guys were okay.  But all he could come up with was “Ooooh, it’s hot out here!”

He then pulled his head back in, wound up the window and went back to his music!

They have 3 long days ahead of them with high temperatures and mountains.  We’re not sure they’ll get through with how exhausted they are but we’ll help them do whatever they can achieve.

I’ll add some photos below from today.  I have some video too from yesterday I’ll try and get online.

Thanks for reading.