The Lairs were again off to places far last weekend. Having the opportunity to participate in this year's Murray to Moyne, we met in Kyneton at 6am on Saturday morning and headed off in the 2 team buses to the start at Echuca.
It's a 520km relay ride which goes from (in our case) Echuca to Port Fairy. Our team had 12 riders which consisted of 3 crews of 4, doing legs of 30-40k's each crew.
We were invited along by the fantastic people of the Kyneton Ambulance Auxiliary, for whom we raised sponsorship.
What a brilliant ride made even more so by a wonderful 5 star support crew, who's years of experience on the event showed organization at it's best. With everything run to precision, not only were we at met at carefully chosen changeover points but on our many meal stops we had a choice of at least 4 hot meals plus anything else a hungry cyclist could crave for.
After each leg we would get on the bus to be greeted by the magic hands of our masseurs Pip and Amelia to give our legs a fair dinkum, get you back on the bike feeling fresh massage. My calculations had them dishing out somewhere near 50 massages.
The ride took us through Kotta, Mitiamo, Durham ox, Charlton, St. Arnaud, Stawell- where lights and vests were fitted and a slightly unnerving chat with bloke who just may have forgotten why he was standing at a urinal but still waxing lyrical about those pesky tourists, locals and any other unsuspecting demographic that found it's way into his clouded scone, Moysten, Willaura and Dunkeld to the 428km rest stop at Hamilton at 11.45ish pm.
Passing through some beautiful countryside and small towns a real hi lite was riding past the Grampians at dusk then scooting along in the little cocoon your lights create for you once it gets dark.
We slept in one of the pavilions at the Hamilton show grounds till 6am and were back on the bikes at 7, where the twelve of us then rode together for the last 93km into Port Fairy, beating the rain by an hour.
Riding turns in a pace line, we were able to average just over 30kph for the ride, which is not a style of riding we usually adopt but relished on the day, especially with the light wind and warm weather.
Our team mostly rode alone but had short stints with other bunches when it worked out, but it seemed to work best when we did things for ourselves.
I think I can speak for all the gang and say we had a ball on this ride. It was brilliant to be able to show up at an event like this and just ride.
A huge thanks to Phillip for asking us along in the first place, but also to the rest of the support crew: Michelle, Michael, Keiran, Shaun, Richie, Jaxon, Vince, Greame, Kath, Pip, Amelia, Les Corinna, Darryl, Kerry, Gail and Leanne who all looked after us cyclists first and foremost with genuine hospitality.
The riders were: Gary, Paul, Matt, Phil, Adrian, Myra, Steve A, Nick, John D, Dave C,Leigh and Steve.