Well, after months of training and preparation for Team Life Cycle, the 2023 Murray to Moyne cycle relay is done and dusted for another year.
The lead-up was less stressful than last year when Covid still played an active part, sadly knocking two of our members out just before the event. This year a couple of riders had injuries that affected their training but overall, the team was well-prepared and ready to go come the day.
After over 30 years, the Murray to Moyne has become a classic annual cycling event. This year, the event was run on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 April 2023.
Our team chose to take the route option from Echuca to Port Fairy and cycled a distance of 520 kilometres relay style over the two days. Team Life Cycle divided into three separate groups of three riders each, Avengers, Justice League and X-Men.
The Friday saw the team loading the trailer with bikes, cycling and camping gear, food, water and lots of high energy snacks.
Then it was off to Echuca (in Victoria’s north) to set up camp and straight out for a warm-up ride with spirits and excitement high. We were also glad to see Echuca had bounced back well after the floods and looked as pretty as a picture as always. Early to bed Friday night to be up, packed and ready for to start on the stroke of 9.02.
It was a sight to see the 200 riders in their fifteen teams pedalling out from the beautiful historic Port of Echuca sustained with last minute food and caffeine from the rapid relief team to fuel the riders up… Team Life Cycle was the third team away with our Avengers taking the first leg.
Each of our groups would ride 25km legs that day, hoping to keep a minimum of 26kmh average speed which should see us into Hamilton by midnight.
“May the wind be always at your back” goes the song but strong headwinds plagued our teams right throughout that first day, apart from the wind-assisted Pyramid Hill leg which is always a joy to ride.
At some point, an equally fierce tailwind had us shooting along at an exhilarating 49kmh!
The riders battled on with each team doing whatever they could to mitigate the wind. At times we even mimicked geese, riding in the V formation.
As evening drew close and the winds eased, the team arrived in Stawell, faces stinging, tired and hungry, to a wonderful reception from Uniting’s headspace Horsham crew. Liz and Lisa treated us to a feast of savoury and sweet treats, hot drinks and warm towels, very difficult to leave but the ride had to go on! A big ‘thank you’ to our headspace Horsham support crew.
Each of our gallant riders rode two night legs with the night riding being very different from the day riding. Still conditions and cooler temperatures as well as Hi-Vis vests and bright lights.
Some of our riders (me included) were very weary by this point and had to work hard to maintain concentration. The team at last pulled into Hamilton just before midnight. Showers and sleep were our main priority as we had to be up and riding again by 7 o’clock.
Sunday was a completely different ride. Unlike Saturday, this leg saw our team riding together for the whole 96kms. Despite heading for the coast, we had a gentle tail wind and mild conditions saw us all average 29kmh.
Two brief rest stops in Penshurst and Hawkesdale and then the team rallied itself for the last four kilometres into Port Fairy and a cruise to the finish line.
It’s a very rewarding feeling completing the Murray to Moyne and the team crossed the line around 11 o’clock having successfully completed the gruelling 520 kilometres.
The end was joyous, with hugs and high fives all round, many photos and then happily placing the bikes on the trailer for the journey home knowing we had at least a couple of days before we were to jump on our bikes again. Collectively, the team rode 2,229kms, consumed at least 35 litres of water and an enormous amount of calories (we never count those).
We had only one mechanical issue which meant jumping on the spare bike. Lots of misplaced cords, electronic devices (garmins, gloves etc… All of which turned up. As you can imagine it’s a flurry of activity between the bus, the car and the road with stuff flying everywhere.
A big shout-out to our amazing support crew. The dynamic duo of Chris (Batman) Manson and our Boy Wonder Adrian (Robin) Dalzotto. These two guys drove our two support vehicles the entire journey, assisted the riders throughout the ride, loaded and unloaded bikes and kept the whole show on the road. We simply couldn’t have done the event without them. Also, a big thank you to Dale, Chloe, Liz and Lisa from Uniting for all their support before and during the event.
It was a buzz, an achievement, a team-bonding experience, fun, fabulous, fascinating and all in a good cause. We raised $5,627 for Uniting Vic.Tas’s headspace program in Horsham and who could ask for anything more? Our team is already looking forward to M2M 2024!!