***Warning. Some scenes may upset small children and animal activists.***

Another incredibly inspiring and exciting day for the M3 team.

The Peacock
As you recall I mentioned last night that we were set for another 6.15am start to ensure that all riders arrived in Bairnsdale before dark. Well that didn't eventuate as Pastor Fred Peacock was quite unwell during the night.  His body appeared to be suffering from yesterday's ride and its lack of nutrition and he was up and down regularly all night long to the bathroom.  I'll leave the rest to your imagination.

Anyway when my alarm went off at 5.15am Fred explained that he simply wasn't up to riding.  I assured him that it was totally fine and that he should just plan to sit in the bus for as long as he wanted, particularly given that we had 60km of significant climbing ahead of us.  Charles, Craig and myself delayed our start and decided to leave with the rest of the boys at 7.30am.  After a bowl of Wheat Bix I returned to my room to find Fred in his Lycra.  I asked him what he was doing and he said he'd decided to ride with us!  Remember an hour before the man was in the bathroom with significant problems down below if you catch my drift.  Incredible.  As I write this Fred has just arrived in Bairnsdale having completed 170km in 11 hours and 35 minutes.  Special mention goes to Mario, Terry and Neil who have ably supported throughout him all day and also to our awesome support crew of Graeme and Sam, who spent the first third of the day with Fred and Phil and Mark who followed along for the rest.  I have to say that Fred is positively glowing.  Janine Kuebler has been a source of great support to us throughout today for several reasons including her special words of encouragement that she sent to Pastor Fred. Janine your words we spot on.  Fred arrived in Bairnsdale looking fitter and stronger that he did when he left this morning. Clearly God has strengthened him as the day went on.  There's not a dry eye among us.  Kenny just remarked that he's truly humbled by the whole thing.  

The Hills.
The first third of today's ride was marked by difficult hills.  It was literally like riding up Razorback three of four times.  It was tough going but really enjoyable nonetheless.  We thought we'd negotiated the worst of it well before Orbost only to find that the steepest climb of the day was waiting to surprise us about 20km before Lakes Entrance.  As we passed this little roadside supermarket and were commenting on the antique bicycle on display out the front this guy emerges from inside the shop and exclaims, "Hey, bloody big hill up ahead!" And he was right about that one.  If I wasn't a pastor I'd probably have described it that way too. LOL

Bear Grylls Award
Today's Bear award goes to Peter Kennedy.  Peter rode the entire day with two bunged up knees!  He started getting yesterday but they really gave him some grief during our first 60kms of climbing this morning.  Just like Freddy the Eagle though our man Pete didn't give up.  At lunch Charles shouted him a box of Voltaren tablets and Voltaren cream.  I think he must have taken the whole packet because after lunch Peter came to life again.  Think we've found a new superhero, VOLTAREN MAN.

I enjoyed today's ride for totally different reasons to yesterday. Yesterday afforded me the opportunity to take in the scenery as I rolled along at a much slower pace.  This was really good for me and I believe that God was reminding me that it's not just the finish line that counts in life, you have to be able to enjoy the journey as well.  As a task driven person that's something that doesn't come all that naturally to me. Today I was focussed on riding as fast and as hard as I could and barely had time to take notice of the scenery. The end was my goal and that was rewarding too, although Kenny did nearly abuse me when we arrived for leading him on a mad 5km sprint to the motel at about 32 km/hr. He didn't insult me too badly though, mainly because he could hardly breathe by the time we arrived. Haha.

Graciousness and Hospitality
You know how God sometimes shows up and proves that he knows just what you need and when you need it.  Well today was certainly one of those days.  We were blessed out of our cleats on three separate occasions throughout the day.
  1. We weren't planning on stopping at Orbost for lunch as the Princes Highway bypasses the town but it so happened that it was lunch time as we passed by there so in we went.  No sooner had we arrived then Colin who owns the local bakery came and introduced himself to Graeme.  He noticed the MACCS logo on the side of the trailer.  Colin explained that he and his wife 'looked after' the local Anglican church and offered to give us a good deal at his bakery.  As it turned out the good deal was everything at half price!  Charles asked Colin's wife if that meant that he could buy the bakery at half price as well!  See below for a photo of Charles getting his chicken sandwich with Colin's wife and staff.
  2. Now the story returns to the Kuebler family again.  Phil received a call from Janine saying that she'd arranged via a series of family connections that the local Baptist pastors at Lakes Entrance, Michael and Leanne wanted to meet us and offer their support.  As it turned out they had arranged to shout us afternoon tea at the local icecreamery.  Man did the boys take advantage of that, devouring an assortment of sundaes, milkshakes, smoothies and coffees. Michael asked me to send a big hello out to John and Sharon Rush so guys, if you're following along Michael and Leanne say hi.  Maybe some of you bloggees could facebook someone from the Rush family let them know in case they're not following along.
  3. Lastly when we arrived in Bairnsdale we were greeted by cheering crowds on the side of the road with placards welcoming us to town.  Well actually it was the Lyle family, Rick Kuebler's sister and family. Not only did we get a Tour de France style finish line but they also presented us with two huge boxes of goodies.  Must be at least $150 worth of stuff in there.  Fruit, snacks etc.  This was a joint effort from the Lyle family and our friends back home in Mount Annan.  So whoever you are a very big thanks from all the boys here.  We are truly blessed and starting to get the feeling we are part of something very significant.
Road Kill
Today's road kill report is somewhat different to our previous day's report.  While we didn't see anywhere near as many dead animals beside the road everything except for one dried up bunch of feathers that appeared to have once been a magpie were fresh kills.  I've decided that Victoria must have little elves that run up and down the Princes highway each night dragging roadkill into the bushes out of sight.  I tell you every dead animal we saw had clearly come to its demise during the early hours of this morning. I've included some awesome photos of Fatso the wombat whose insides were scattered over about 10 metres and a wallaby severed in half (check out his little tongue).  As I came alongside Matt Lees soon after stopping to take a picture of our dead wallaby I felt like pulling out a wobble board and starting a Rolf Harris singalong. Heck, let's all do it together now, "Watch me wallaby splat Matt, watch me wallaby splat. (wobble wobble) Altogether now, (wobble wobble) watch me wallaby splat Matt, watch me wallaby splat. (wobble wobble) One more time. (wobble wobble) Watch me wallaby splat Matt, watch me wallaby splat!"
  • Wallaby (2)
  • Snake (1)
  • Wombat (2)
  • Magpie (1)
We're all really looking forward to tomorrow's ride. It's only 152km and we've only got one categorised hill late in the day that reaches ascends a total of about 40m.  Considering that today we had several hills that with significantly greater net ascents than that it should be a good day.  That's if we can trust Mr. Google of course.  It's become a standard joke among the fellas that every time we see any kind of hill we say, "One more hill."  It seems that Google Maps has neglected to inform us of some hills that we've encountered along our journey.  Even if there's a couple of surprises in there I'm sure it will be a great day's riding.  Everyone's in good spirits tonight and not too sore, in fact I'd say they're more relaxed than at any other stage so far.

Whatever you're doing tomorrow enjoy your day and I'll speak to you from Morwell tomorrow night.


 Oops, Upside down!


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