Pollie Pedal 2014 – Days 8 and 9, Lithgow and Penrith
Saturday, August 16 – Lithgow
This is the toughest day of Pollie Pedal, a 150 kilometre ride from Mudgee to Lithgow. There are a series of climbs, including the 1,100 metre Cherry Tree Hill.
A large cheer greeted the Prime Minister when he joined the rider’s dinner at Robert Oatley Vineyards after his trip to Europe the night before the penultimate leg.
After a few words for the media, the peloton was underway, passing through the village of Lue, before powering onto Rylstone and Kandos. A short stop at Capertee punctuates the long day before eventually arriving at Lithgow. Thankfully, the rain has held off.
A cheering crowd and a band have assembled for our arrival. After a welcome by the Mayor, and some words about the important work of carers, Tony Abbott and I hold a media conference to announce a crackdown on people on welfare going overseas to engage in terrorist activities.
That evening, we have an enjoyable dinner at the Fairmont in Leura to thank all the people involved in Pollie Pedal, especially the sponsors and the many volunteers who have made the week possible.
Sunday, August 17 – Penrith
The rain that has been threatening for the past few days has finally arrived. We are greeted by a steady downpour and mist when we awake in Katoomba.
Today’s leg is a relatively short, downhill run from Echo Point in the Blue Mountains to Penrith.
What should have been a pleasant ride to the finish was a soggy event.
Nonetheless, the peloton covered the distance quickly before arriving at the home of the Penrith Panthers.
More aspirational words from carers, thanks to the sponsors, cheers for the volunteers, group photos, and congratulations all round bring the 17th Pollie Pedal to an end.
The task of packing-up bikes, changing into dry clothes is all there is left to do.
The Prime Minister holds a short media conference with Mitch Fifield, the Carer’s Australia CEO, Ara Cresswell, and myself to announce new Carer’s Awards.
It has been an eventful eight days. We have cycled 1,000 kilometres, met with hundreds of people, conducted dozens of media interviews, and visited a myriad of services in a series of rural and regional communities.
A special thank you to the many people who made it possible, especially all the volunteers.
The 2015 Pollie Pedal will take us to different parts of Australia, many again off the beaten track.