You can’t accuse me of being fast. Never have been. Never will be.
But after two years skimming around the edges and occasionaly fluttering inland I’ve finally managed to cross this country East to West. Yay! This brings my grand total to about 50.000km. Not that I’m counting…
The last 2000km I’ve been cycling with Stuart and despite a few mishaps we (almost) made it back to the west coast…
But let me take you back to Leonora where Stu, after a bout of Swine flu, managed to finally change his backwheel. He’s been cycling with a cracked rim for the last 1500km so it was nice to be able to set off without a wobble in his wheel. There is still a good bit of fun to be had with a useless rim, as some of our campground friends show here;
The enjoyment of problem-free cycling didn’t last long, a day after we set off from our campsite his derailleur snapped…
When a mining vehicle pulled up to check on us we were tempted to give in and chuck the whole lot on board. After being pestered by flies all day the enthusiasm started to falter. (See Video on last update)
But then Stu came to the genius idea to make his a fixed gear bicycle. And a coffee.
After all we were nearly at our goal of Geraldton. (only another 800-odd km’s)
So we kept plodding along.
You might think after about thousands kilometres of dusty red dirt roads things might get boring.
This is not so.
We manage to keep ourselves entertained with deep and meaningful conversation (“so, how was the consistency of your stool this morning?”)
And Stuart is happy running after, and catching, all sorts of wildlife while I rather just get the picture.
But of course just when everything seems beautiful and perfect (except the flies, damn those flies!), something will snap. In this case it was Stuart’s chain.
Because surely, we can not cycle more than 100 km uninterupted..
Lucky we weren’t far off a 5 star campingspot, requirments for 5 stars are:
* A clear spot with no ants or prickles.
* No wind.
* Wood for a fire.
If you get all of the above it is definitely 5 stars
And there is nothing like the screeches of galah’s around a windmill to wake you up in the morning.
After long and slow going for many many miles it seemed rather sudden we turned a corner and hit the bitumen,
I usually don’t like paved road because the traffic and, like every other cyclist would know, the stink of roadkill. Well… every other cyclist except for Stuart. He jumps of his bike at the sight of a carcass to check out how fresh it is and if he gets the chance he cuts of bits and pieces to make a stew… or steak, whatever is available.
Going smoothly down the road a multicoloured windmill marked the entrance of the pretty little town of Sandstone.
Being the first town in 5 days we made a beeline for the pub and were very pleasantly surprised when we found out that they make the best burgers in the whole of Australia! Its true, I’ve tried a few… the worst one was at Warakurna roadhouse… in case you care.
That burger kept us going a good while.
It was strange to turn onto the Geraldton-Mount Magnet road. It felt like being back on home ground as it was here I spent more than 4 months two years ago working on farms and stations. Only thing was the Geraldton-Mount Magnet road is 490km, so we weren’t there quiet yet…
It was about 11.30 and 36degrees celcius when we rolled into the tiny little town of Yalgoo. It was small but had all luxuries you can imagine, rainwater, a little shop, BBQ-area and a waterpark! Ok, it’s probably meant for under 12’s only. But I couldn’t let this opportunity go. So while Stu got himself busy cooking up a feast on the BBQ I ran across the road and got a little to excited running around, which resulted in injury.
I can’t remember the last time I slipped and fell like that. I must’ve been about 8 years old…
But even on this ‘home stretch’ things didn’t run smoothly.
Stu got a flat tyre.
Not a major hassle, you might think. But after going through all spares, and mine, it got slightly frustrating. So with no spare tubes he didn’t really have a choice when a road train pulled up and offered us a ride.
The driver was surprised I didn’t want to jump on, but after all those km’s I really wanted to cover the last stretch on my own power. Stu did too, but sadly his bike did not. You never guess. Another cracked rim!!!
He didn’t find out until getting to Mullewa where he noticed the tiny crack just near the valve.
By the time I made it there, two days later, Stuart was already well settled with his new mates in a house with an unusual pet.
Meet Tony the Roo
From there it was just a short stretch ‘Home‘.
Where I celebrate, today, my 32nd birthday. Oh dear. Time to do something with my life…?
nah. I rather cycle.