Day 2 - 29 April 2022
Cape Tribulation to Port Douglas
Written by: Cameron Morris, Richard Meacle & Chris Geeves
Only a relative short ride today, 109 km Cape Tribulation to Port Douglas.
The peloton woke to the sounds of tropical rainfall on the corrugated tin roofs on Ferntree Rainforest Retreat cabins. However, being treated to a fantastic hot breakfast and barista made coffee got the riders ready to tackle the days activities. A big thanks must go to the staff of Ferntrees for looking after us.
The tropical showers did not abate by roll out but both the red and blue pelotons pushed out to face the conditions. Of note today the blue peloton where on time as Rowan "Rowman" Foster had remembered to pump up his tyres this time.
The first session of the day saw us retrace our path back towards Port Douglas via the Daintree Rainforest and despite some showers the riders were treated to magnificent early morning scenery of the Daintree. After 17 kms of undulating roads the pelotons reached their first obstacle of the day - climbing to Mt Alexandria Lookout - a challenging 4 km climb to warm up the legs, rewarded with spectacular views over the rainforest to the coastline. However, today the major concern was not so much getting up the hill but getting down the other side, with the overnight showers making the roads slippery under the rain forest canopy with fallen leaves and rough roads.
The road though the Daintree to Cape Tribulation is sealed although a little rugged which in the wet conditions meant every rider needed to show extra pre-caution as they descended the climb. After a nervous descent with little mis-calculations and all the riders safely down the riders from both pelotons headed for the Daintree River and it's ferry crossing this mighty river, temporarily swollen from the recent flooding rains experienced in the tropics over the past week. The riders disappointed not to catch the sight of a croc or two floating on the surface.
Once we crossed the Daintree River we set course for Mossman via the cane fields back roads, with this years harvest of cane standing high ready for cutting season but more importantly for the riders sometimes providing protection from the ever increasing headwinds as we made our way onto the Mossman Gorge where our legendary, awesome and incredibly talented Road Crew were waiting with a hearty smoko.
Once everyone’s appetites had been satisfied, the riders were treated to a ride up to the Mossman Gorge proper (with road crew able to hitch a ride on the tour bus) to enjoy the sights and surrounds of this amazing landscape. A few tired legs rejoiced in the cool clear waters flowing down the river.
During this extended rest break it appeared a native animal had snuck out of the rainforest and attached itself to Chris Geevesy Geeves' helmet the results being a new look with a long flowing mullet - leaving him with the desire to become DJ Mullet filtering the tunes of ABBA to the peloton for trip back to Port Douglas. Incredibly surreal for all involved.
Mossman to Port Douglas saw the headwinds kick up a gear on the stretch home. The 'reverse tail wind' blowing 24.6 knots for the 6 nautical mile trip and traffic causing us a bit of grief. But the pelotons pulled together to help protect those feeling the pinch and get the team home together. A huge thanks must go out to the lead riders for doing the tough work this afternoon, wrangling the troops and ensuring no rider would be left behind.
The reward for a job well done was a visit to the local Bottlemart Hotel - The Central Hotel - with a huge lunch put on and a refreshing ale to help blow the headwinds away.
But the real reason for pushing our bodies is to raise valueable funds fo cancer research and the fundraising totals continues to grow, with the pictures of our challenge going out on social media and inter company emails. While the riders may rest their bodies the effort to contribute more to support our researchers doesn't stop.
An extra big shout out must go to the road crew, who really do the heavy lifting during the event. Their support allows us riders to focus on the riding, with anything needed to keep us going always available. We can’t thank them enough for what they do in keeping us safe and organised.
Finally, a huge thank you to our family’s who allow us to take the time to do these challenges, our supporters and sponsors back home for your donations and encouraging words of support. It really does inspire us to keep pushing when we each enter our own personal hurt locker.
Thank you - your support makes such a difference to us all.
A final personal note from Cameron Morris - a massive thank you to fellow rider Mick Farragio for a bit of advice about peloton riding.