Yesterday and today we lose 2 of our group..one was going anyway but the other had to retire injured following a fall resulting in a fractured olecranon...such a shame, but he's planning on returning next year..I wonder if anyone does do this trip twice...must ask.
So..to the composition of the group..there are 35of us..3 non riders and more Aussies than not....we have a Brit, 3 from NZ, 2 Germans, 2 Dutch and 2 from Brazil to add an exotic touch...mostly guys and mostly either as couples or with a friend......a real mix of characters.
For those reading this that might be thinking of doing the ride sometime..the level of bike riding ability varies from racers to those who have only just taken up bike riding. However, despite this variance the amout of training prior to coming on the trip is similar....high to very high.
The daily routine..the previous day we're given a briefing about "the day of tomorrow" which includes a map complete with instructions and distances between navgiational decision points, weather forecast and time for breakfast and start.
A great lunch is provided along the way..usually somewhere from 50-70km, then we ride the rest of the way (more coffee stops are slotted in) and miraculously always get to the camp site at beer o'clock. The cooks do a fine job providing us with an evening meal plus red wine and once the housekeeping jobs are done we're not long out of our beds to rest up for the next day.
= riding Every F"*&^ing Inch of the tour..which is the aim of some but by no means all of the group. There's never any pressure to complete the ride if you chose not to..you can ride half a day, have a day off or bail out if it gets all too much for you....