Day 6 – Augathella to Blackall:
Another great night was shared by the group at the Augathella Bowls Club where the opportunity for a 10-pin lawn bowling competition run by jovial local, Trevor, created a lot of fun and brought out the competitive spirit. The guys were all gunning to beat lead man Simon Southwell who knocked over a couple of strikes early. However, despite the attempts to knock him off his perch, Simon remained the ”King of the Pins” for 2014.
As the Peloton took off from Augathella on another brisk morning of 8 degrees, the 220km road ahead to Blackall seemed a little daunting. Six days in and lots of sore legs meant the awesome teamwork that developed over the first 5 days had to kick into top gear to carry a few through the first 60km leg. That it did with most of the V8’s leading out front, a few others supporting through the gate and down the back, and the nasty crosswinds easing by the first break.
Today’s ride was broken down into 3 x 60km and 1 x 40km stints, and the mood on the second leg was already a little more upbeat . Legs had warmed up, conditions were perfect with a sunny, warm 23 degrees by 11am and the sweeping plains and open landscapes of this beautiful country made for a truly memorable ride. Kangaroos bounced around and bemused cattle charged to fences to check out these crazy people on strange looking mobiles…known as bikes. Ah, the joy of the Outback.
This mostly downhill second leg proved to be a welcome relief as the bunch rolled into Tambo with 120km and more than 50% of today’s ride done and dusted. Thanks to Liane, those midday rubs made all the difference!
On the 3rd leg, the Queensland boys with family connections in Blackall, namely James Chandler and Greg Hefferan could smell their homecoming and together with the boys from Longreach, namely Dave Neal and Steve Eussen, found the extra bit of motivation and strength needed to get through this long and challenging afternoon. Together with the rest of the western Queensland crew, including John Sloman with family in Roma, Dave Clarke, Chinchilla and PC, Toowoomba (or should we say the whole state!), this crew have all relished re-connecting with their family heartland. Well done guys.
Many did it tough today but with the team spirit that has taken hold of this very special bunch of guys and girls, the final 40km leg into Blackall in very warm 28 degree temperatures at 5pm seemed all too easy. What a team!
With 1 epic day to go, spirits are high.