Day 22 - The Day before Melbourne!
Sarah: Elijah pointed at the light-polluted horizon tonight. We were taking a small break up on top of a long gradual hill. It was night and the rain was still the same consistent misty swirl its been all day. We were nearing the end of our last leg of the ride.
Elijah: Hey Sarah?
Elijah: did you know... thats Melbourne over there?
I tried really hard to stare at him through the dark. Then I turned around. I looked back the way we've come.
Sarah: Hey lij?
Elijah: Yeah man?
I pointed backwards into the dark.
Sarah: That's Perth back there.
Elijah: isnt that like...3500 or so kilometers away?
Sarah: I think so.
Elijah: bit far. Wouldnt want to ride a bike there.
We started laughing
Sarah: what a stupid thing to do.
Elijah: Melbourne tomorrow. Tomorrow. Melbourne. Tomelbourne. Melmorrow. Knock knock who's there? Melbourne. Tomorrow. Holy shit we are going to be in Melbourne tomorrow!!
What a crazy month it has been and tomorrow we have completed one of the funniest most fulfilling challenges of my life! I am so excited to get there but I am started to get quite sad that it is coming to an end. This has been one of the most amazing experiences for me and to be able to complete such a challenge for an amazing cause and with some of the best people I have become so close to know, it has really been an honor.
Today was a crazily amazing day. We had one of the longest days yet riding 201kms! And with only a slight tail wind and a heap of hiccups with tires slashing and tubes popping it was a great achievement. We were all pretty set on having a massive day so we could cruise into Melbourne tomorrow pretty early and celebrate all arvo! And we sure did make today massive.
Ben: Today I got to see mum. It turned out to be a 200km return journey for Mum and her legendary partner Douge. We saw them pass by waiving like crazy... 15 min later they pulled over in front of us. I haven't seen my Mum for 7 months. This totally made my day. They had bought energy drinks and chocolate bars. Mum looked amazing. Douge was in fine form. They dropped off beers and raspberry vodka drinks at our camp on the way back as well!
During the today's ride we passed some rad as boulders covered in graffiti. Oh and before that we passed the big koala. After that we stopped to see if a guy needed help. He was pulled over changing a tire. We all pitched in and sorted him out. He then enquired about our cause and then gave us $20! His name was rod and he was running late to the local kids footy game.
Then we passed a cutting in a cliff that had no shoulder. There was a car coming up that we were well aware of. We were pulling off when he started beeping like a mad man. Sarah and I gave him the finger then he pulled over in front of us. Here we go I thought. He stormed up to us demanding to know who gave him the finger. I claimed it, then copped his ranting. The whole time I was expecting him to punch me in the face. I was still straddling my bike. Not the best defensive pose. So we let him get his views across and feel like a big man. A punch in the face was mentioned but not delivered so we moved on.
Elijah: As we were cruising closer to camp in the night we past a small red car parked on the side of the rode, twice?! The same car. We were so confused. Suddenly we saw the road house we knew we were camping behind and the night had well and truly fallen. We were wet and freezing. We hit 200kms as the camp was in site and our excitement grew strong as we could see the Melbourne lights on the clouds in the distance.
We begin screaming and shouting in excitement. As we get closer to camp we see a couple of guys running on the side of the road. I call out 'trying to keep warm are we?' To try and get a small petty laugh. As they reply I turn around to see my dad and brother, whom I haven't seen I almost a year, running with their hoods on towards our camp! I threw down the bike in excitement and scream. I run and jump on my brother and as I look over at the other riders.. and I could see they were pretty confused as to why I was jumping on some random guys we just rode past.
They see dads face and hop off their bikes a bit less confused. I didn't think the day could get any better until I heard the words 'there are showers in the fuel station' come from Emily. After the hugs and excitement settled we all cheers a very big glass of victory rum and began re-telling our trip and all of its ups and downs. This day truly has been amazing.
Ben: Lij hasn't seen his brother for nine months as he has been traveling around Canada. He and his dad had secretly flown over from WA to meet us, working in cahoots with our support man Gideon. On Top of that our camp is out the back of a servo with showers, and KFC. So we all feasted on chicken had showers and drank beer and rum.
P.s. Last night in a tent!