|Day||Ride Time||Distance||Average Speed||Elevation||Calories|
|8||3 Hours 25 minutes||83 km||24.2 kmh||1074 m||1738|
The final day of Cycle4Sam IV saw the peloton roll out of Tanunda for the final 83 kilometres of this epic ride. The group had swollen to over 30 riders for the last day with several new faces joining us for the journey to Adelaide. These included Josh Zoanetti, Nick Schinkel and Tom Tregenza from Pembroke School and Ollie Anderson from Henley High School.
Before we could roll out from Tanunda we first had to find Gus, the team doctor and loudest voice in the peloton, who was missing from the start line. After a ten minute wait Dr. Gus finally showed up, dressed in full winter gear despite the warm sunshine, and we could finally hit the road.
The first 20 kilometres saw us riding through the beautiful rolling hills of the Barossa to Williamstown. A long steady climb out of town saw the only competitive action of the day with a sprint to the top of the hill. After regrouping we continued on towards Gumeracha, emotions were running high and Kakk gave the guys at the front of the group a good spray for riding too hard and, unwittingly, leaving some riders a long way behind. A gentler pace followed and we rolled on to Gumeracha for our lunch stop. Several news reporters showed up here to get some interviews and footage for the evening news. I was even asked to do a shot where I had to take my bottle out and drink from it but I didn’t see that footage on the news....too bad!
For the next 20 kilometres out of Gumeracha we had television cameras recording our ride and getting some great footage of us riding through the Adelaide Hills and down Gorge Road. When we hit Athelstone we stopped at St. Ignatius School where we were met by a police escort. All the children involved with the ride joined us here and we all rode the final 14 kilometres into town behind the police escort getting green lights all the way.
A huge crowd was waiting for us at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital and cheered and applauded loudly as Marty, Michelle and the children led the peloton up the path into the park in front of the hospital to the finish line. There were people everywhere, along with television cameras and news reporters, and it was very emotional as we got off our bikes for the final time on this ride. It was at this moment that it hit home what we had achieved and how much it meant to everyone. People were running around hugging and high-fiving each other and several tears were shed. It was a wonderful finish to the ride and it was great to see so many friends and supporters at the finish line. Marty and Michelle spoke beautifully about our trip and Sam’s story and the reasons for doing Cycle4Sam before presenting a cheque for $60 000 to Sara Fleming. It was a wonderful end to the day and to an epic week on Cycle4Sam 2012. I, along with many others, am looking forward to the next ride already.