Today was a Pollie Pedal rest day. Apart from the climb over Razorback Ridge, we had a relatively leisurely 65 kilometre ‘coffee shop’ ride from Mittagong to Camden. It was mostly downhill from the edge of the Southern Highlands to the outskirts of Sydney.
Last night, some of our sponsors joined us for dinner in Bowral, including representative of the NAB and Norman Li from Chantelle.
A number of spouses, including Margie Abbott, joined us for the ride. Our journey took us to Thirlmere where we helped celebrate veteran, Fred Denny’s 94th birthday, before a flag raising ceremony. Many of the local RSL and wider community joined us for morning team at the recently renovated RSL club and museum
From there, it was a short journey downhill to Picton, where we visited the impressive Memorial Park, and met the local commemorative committee, headed by Ray Law. Some 12,000 people turnout for the annual ANZAC Day ceremony at the park.
A climb over Razorback Ridge and we are on the descent into Camden. I have the chance to ride with one of the long-time sponsors of Pollie Pedal, Paul Hillbrick. Paul runs a cycling retail and online business, including producing the kit we are wearing for the ride.
Another of our long term sponsors, Alf Moufarrige, the head of Servcorp, is also riding today.
Soon we are racing into the home of Australian agriculture. It was here that John and Elizabeth Macarthur established their Merino farm. Nearby Elizabeth Farm is one of the oldest buildings in the nation. After Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson crossed the Blue Mountains, the vast inland of New South Wales which we have ridden through over the past week was opened up to grazing.
We are welcomed by the representatives of the Camden RSL and the Macarthur Lions Club, who have an enticing BBQ and cold drinks. Amongst the veterans is Gary Rawlinson, who suffered horrific injuries when the Black Hawk in which he was travelling in Afghanistan crashed near Kandahar in 2010. Tragically, three of his fellow Special Forces mates were killed.
It is another occasion to recall the sacrifice of our veterans, and to renew our support for organisations like Soldier On.
Tomorrow is our last day of our eight day odyssey – a 100 kilometre ride to our destination at North Head.