Friday, May 31, 2013

Day 1 Darwin to Adelaide River 93.9 kms

New group, new dynamics in the group. We have 7 new riders for this leg. There were supposed to be 8 but one rider, Clay, withdrew due to work commitments.
Some of the new ones aren't really new as they have ridden with us before and they have come back to complete the circuit; these being Mark, Roger, Fliss, Debra & Martin. The only brand new riders are John F and Joan. We also have Peter S back on this leg with his wife Jan and her friend Ellen in their campervan joining us on & off during the trip.
Group photo this morning took a little while to organize as Joan 'slept in' on her first day with us and then Theo wanted the photo choreographed and everyone wanted their own copy on their cameras.
We had drinks and a briefing last evening and informed the new riders of the changes to how we run the trips (since the last time they rode with us and the changes we have made even since the last leg); some things were new for the continuing riders also as we try to make ongoing improvements. Our main theme this leg is to build better teamwork and improve the harmony of the group. The group are all experienced riders and some lovely people to boot. I have a good feeling about this leg even though it is going to be tougher conditions. At the briefing I stressed the outback conditions to them all and actually said there should be no reason for whinging (actually not many whinge) as we should expect it to be hard and this is the reason they are doing this leg supported.
Today we were going back the way we came 5 days ago and at that time we had tailwinds so today we are expecting headwinds but we actually got side winds and they were all pleasantly surprised. Morning tea was 50 kms at a rest area and we had Chocolate chia balls (made by my friend Karen) and Chocolate balls (made by me). We passed through tropical ferns and gum trees. There was so much traffic heading to Adelaide River due to the Adelaide River Cup was on today. With the 130 kms/ hour speed limit in NT, it got a bit hairy for the riders at times. There are plenty of police and speed cameras around especially in town. Everyone was into camp by 2.30 pm.
Collis, Mark & Georg headed down to the showgrounds to watch the Adelaide River Cup. Collis & Mark backed the winner of the cup and made a killing. Mark donated half his winnings to TADVIC and finished with very little profit. Georg was surprised that Mark had time to bet as he was busy taking photos of all the young girls at the race track.
Collis had to donate something as he was late for his own briefing. Dinner was had by most of us at the Inn and we had the $18 buffet shared between both of us (Collis & I) AND you could go back for seconds.
Jacquei, Annie, Melanie and myself tried to play snakes & ladders but Jacquei didn't agree with the rules of the game and threw the board over AND lost one of the die. Hhmmmm!
Lots of noise around the campsite tonight with drunken race goers, trucks, bats and a group of guys singing some sort of ball game song half the night. I scratched half the night and applied all sorts of remedies to my mozzie bites for the other half of the night. My legs and arms are in a right old mess; just hope I don't end up with Dengue Fever.