Written by Trish Taylor
A lot of people said I was crazy.
Double, well-padded lycra pants and hundreds of kilometres of road would not deter. The urge to cycle 1000kms 658kms(plus) in six days through outback NSW!
The journey began in Mudgee, out to Dunedoo and Gilgandra; up to Coonamble, then Walgett; across to Brewarrina ; Bourke; before heading back down to Nyngan. The final day saw the peloton cycle through Trangie, Narromine and back to Dubbo.
After Cancer (twice) I have learned to dig deep and take chances, the hell with everything! Be strong, be fearless and be prepared to step out of your comfort zone. Then believe that anything is possible when you have the right people there to support you.
I knew I wouldn't manage the 1000kms or so, I did the best I could with 5 weeks training.
It was a fully supported ride, with three backup vehicles. Lead and Tail safety warning cars also came along, and travelled at snail pace (25-35kms per hour) . All accommodation and meals were covered. Country town hospitality was fabulous with many lunches and home cooked dinners provided, or meals in the local pub.
Despite a few bruises, chaffing and scrapes, I enjoyed the ride beyond measure. I was counting every cm km and my Garmin was always on !
Initially anticipating a pace of 25km per hour, I soon learned it was actually more like 28-32kms per hour and even up to 34.9kms on the flats. The first day had so many hills!! Other riders helped me up hills with a hand on my back. I was one of four women, the only one who needed a push. The perks of being the weakest link.
Then it was 'flat out' till day 6. The roadkill stench was awful at times but the views were stunning.
I won an award (T-shirt) for my OFF ROAD pursuits ...taking a detour down an embankment - and had lots of 'colours' to show for it.
Starting as a very inexperienced rider with little group riding experience - the peloton saved me. When I needed a break - I kept the Leading or Tail vehicles' driver company!
Day six arrived : Nyngan to Dubbo 166km.
I was so glad to arrive HOME - riding 144kms exactly of 166kms.
It was my biggest physical challenge ever.I'm very grateful for the OROC team who gave me so much encouragement and support. They knew my limitations and helped me get across the line. All riders had their own story. The peloton included a doctor, nurse, solicitors, accountants, RFDS pilot, farmer, a former Mayor and bank managers, who were all aged 29yrs to 70+.
The cause was Macquarie Home Stay - $115,000 raised. The cheque presentation is next week.
Macquarie Home Stay is your home away from home when you need to come to Dubbo to seek medical treatment at Dubbo Hospital. Established by a group of community members who saw the need for low cost but not low quality, affordable accommodation to be provided. It ensures the costs involved in attaining comfortable accommodation is not a hindrance to seeking treatment.
Day 6 was my longest ride ever on a bike 144kms. Matthew Keenan, the sports commentator and cyclist, joined us for Day 6 . Matt regularly forms part of the international commentary team at the Tour de France, which is broadcast around the world and on multiple functions. He gave a great motivational speech on the night of day 5. that. Not ! It’s just the beginning.
I am 100% doing it again.
Honestly, it was a privilege to ride with my fellow 16 O’rocers on 3rd epic Tour De Oroc ride.
The way everyone looked after each other (especially me) was fantastic and the support crew did such an amazing job.