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Tour De Chance 2018

I am riding the Tour De Chance 2018 with 30 other riders, 1000km over 8 days starting this Saturday, February 24 from Sydney to the Gold Coast. I enjoy a ride with my mates, but this is further than I have ridden before in one week, its the middle of summer with forecast rain and headwinds. But its an inspirational cause!

The inspiration for Fighting Chance was Jason, the younger brother of Laura and Jordan O’reilly who, although he had Cerebral Palsey, was encouraged to do anything that any of the rest of the family could do, including even mowing the lawn. Laura and Jordan came home after finishing uni courses to find Jason, post school, was being looked after under expensive government programs that had him totally unengaged and often sleeping in the corner. He was much more capable than that. 

Laura and Jordan started Fighting Chance to offer the approximately 2 million Australians with a disability, who are of working age, an opportunity to find meaningful and engaging employment for them. Through the activities of Social Ventures like Jigsaw, they are looking to scale this working model nationally to a meaningful proportion of people with disabilities, by matching the right person with the right opportunity. See Conor’s story

The final bike ride is an opportunity to accelerate the growth of Fighting Chance so the team can make an impact nationally, which while helping people with disabilities and their families improve their lives, will add to the Australian economy and reduce the cost to tax payers. 

If you would like to support me in raising funds to extend initiatives like this please donate to the Tour de Chance fund-raising initiative.Here is a link to the fundraising account Fighting Chance Australia has Tax Deductible Gift status. 

I look forward to providing an update for the ride as we make our way from Sydney to Burleigh Heads in Queensland. 

Hi All,
2nd Last Update!: Day 7 Tour De Chance- Yamba to Brunswick Heads 160km 

(Feel Free to forward)

A late post to Day 7 as it took a lot longer to upload the days video..

As we pass through the towns that we all know are clearly Northern NSW, like Ballina and Byron, it is clear we are almost there. One more day to go @ 74km to finish in Burleigh Heads tomorrow morning.

Last night was an enjoyable barbecue meal hosted by Matt Muir from Yamba Shores Tavern. He looked after us and generously supported the ride.

This morning we were let off the hook for 58km at the start of the ride as this stretch of the Pacific Highway is one of the most intensive road construction projects in Australia. We were bused by Matt in his Courtesy bus, while the bikes were stacked up in the support vans. As we passed these roads we could see it would have been impossible to ride this section, so conscience is clear.

Todays lower temperatures, overcast skies and more favourable winds, gave us an opportunity to ride two by two in parts and chat with the people we have been riding with during the week. It was great to spend this time before starting to climb the hills between Ballina and Byron. The hill climbs were more challenging and many riders were falling back during the day, which meant lots of regroups on the top of hills.

We dropped into the Byron Bay Coffee Company HQ in the hills outside Byron and were hosted by Annie and Franco for a late breakfast, early lunch. It was served, with coffee on tap, on tables under trees with surrounding lush rolling grass hills. One of the guys suggested it might be a mirage for us sweat soaked riders but I thought maybe closer to a scene from Lord of the Rings, initially thinking Rivendell ( the last homely house) before deciding that maybe Lothlorien was a better comparison!



When it was time to hit the road, we joined as one pod for the last stretch that took us through the hustle and bustle of Byron before sharing a few narrow shoulders on busy highways to get eventually to Brunswick heads. It all felt a little chaotic as some of the riders seemed to get a new lease of life as we get towards the finish line and headed for the front of the pack.

Tour Blog: Caning it

Like horses returning to the barn, the riders have caught the scent of the finish line, hitting the pedals with renewed vigour in the run down to tomorrow’s final day of the Tour de Chance.
Today’s ride from beautiful Yamba to the delights of Brunswick Heads was abbreviated by the need to divert from heavy roadworks, but included some of the best scenery and finest parcour of the tour.
The ride proper began after breakfast at Woodburn, with the peloton caning it through the sugarlands of the mighty Richmond River, criss-crossing the river by bridge and the final ferry ride of the tour into Ballina. If the beauty of the road out of Ballina through the Byron hinterland failed to compensate for the strain of the hilly terrain, the lunch stop at the park-like home of the Byron Bay Coffee Co certainly did.
Most riders were willing to call it quits and stay, such is the beauty of the BBCC location and so warm the welcome from Annie and Franco Invancich – proprietors, supporters of the tour and friends of Tim Powell.
However reluctantly we left their verdant retreat, there was an air of anticipation as the riders cruised into Brunswick for the final last night dinner of the Tour de Chance.
No doubt great and hilarious moments from past tours will be recalled and a few regrets aired about its ending – but all will rest happy in the knowledge that each drop of sweat – and blood – across the five tours has, via donations, translated to better futures for our Fighting Chance interns. That’s what its all about.
Across the five Tours it can be estimated that 90 riders completed the course, making allowance for drop outs, chairman’s riders and that Tim Powell was the sole rider on fund raiser number one. With this premise and an average tour length of 1,100 kms the following can be calculated.
Cumulative distance – 99,000 kms, which is 2.5 laps of planet earth or 25% of the distance to the moon
Energy generated – at an average 175 watts output the tour riders have generated enough energy to power an Australian home for 50 days
Calories consumed – the 6,000 excess calories consumed each day is cumulatively equal to the average intake of an Australian for 40 months or that of eight people over a year in the most calorifically challenged countries
Heart beats – the excess heart rate, assuming an average of 145bpm on the ride, generates an extra 18.5 million team beats, or 179 extra days of beating for an individual.
Pedal strokes – at the assumed gearing of 50/17, the tour has generated 16 million pedal strokes
Cents per – with an expected life-span raising of $1.85m, each pedal stroke has generated 11.25c, each extra heartbeat 10c
Every rider is a hero and each one a champion but special mention should be made of those who have ridden them all.
Five rides – Tim Powell, legend
Four rides – Greg Rector and Graeme Wilson, co-winners of the Maddest and Baddest Award for conspicuous contribution, over and above the call of duty, to all of the tour facts.

A quick update on Day 2 of the Tour De Chance – 1000km and the final ride for Fighting Chance
Day 2 Tour De Chance Ride 153km from Stockton to Red Head (near Diamond Beach, north of Forster)
We had it all again today- 10km of gravel road, a bull stuck in the middle of the road, flats, steep steps hills, a tightly contested KOM and a dump of rain. On the good news front, we did get some southerly breeze to help push us home!
I managed to feature in the KOM, as short odds favourite (Yikes!) but after some early cat and mouse, I managed to miss time my finish and came a close third to 1 and 2 who were almost a photo finish.
The KOM from the Tour blog:
The traditional King of the Mountain was run and won on day two of the Tour de Chance, with the Bulahdelah razorbacks of the Wootton Way challenging the cream of the climbers over a three kilometre course averaging about a 7 per cent gradient.
Punters are still looking for bookmaker “Nifty” Nev Hedge, who was clipped severely when well-backed 10-1 chance Scott Chadwick edged out the 3-1 omen bet, Dave Lemond, and 6/4 favourite Peter Wallace ME 🙁
The race was cat and mouse up the 210 metres of vertical rise on the steeps of the old Pacific Highway and after pitches of 10 per cent to 15 per cent there was barely a wheel in it at the top. Lucky punters Steve Keats and Cam Taylor have pledged their winnings to the Fighting Chance cause, once they catch up with the fleet footed Nifty!
The 153 km ride from Stockton to Red Head near Taree began with a flat and spirited thrash to Nelson Bay, the dawn breaking in a splendour of pink, lilac and gold aver the flats of Williamtown.
The ferry from Nelson Bay to Tea Gardens avoided ugly miles and delivered the peloton to the delights of the Mungo Brush in the Myall Lakes National Park and a low-traffic ride through paperbark and casuarina forests and groves of banksia. The road was pinched between lake and sea at points, the soft susurrous of sea on sand almost drowned by the whirring frenzy of the cicadas in the morning heat.
This idyll was rudely interrupted at the Bombah ferry, where a 200 metre voyage delivered the riders to a 7km stretch of unpaved rock and gravel, with this run into Bulahdelah punctuated by flat tyres and other mechanicals, wounds salved by a pie inhalation at the local bakery.
After slogging up the great rocks, or Bulla Della in local language, there was a cooling shower for the descent, with temperatures dropping from around 34 to 27 degrees, giving some respite. The 45kms into Red Head included some freeway but all arrived safe and happy to the warm embrace of a cold drink and a Dave Creecy barbecue.
Tour fact : Dave Lemond take comfort than namesake Greg ran third and then second before winning the first of his three Tours de France in 1986 – and never won a King of the Mountain either.