Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The show goes on!

G'day people!

Alot has happened since my last post in Adelaide. We didnt end up leaving adelaide until really late that day because we had to get some new things for the bikes, and some other bits and pieces. So we only made it to Port Wakefield, and plus in the arvo we found a ripped little pub in a town called Lower Light. So we only had a shortish day before wanting to head to bed.
The next day we made up for it with a massive 210 km ride to Port Augusta. we survived the ride ok that night, but unfortunately the next day my right knee wasnt too happy.

About 60kms into the trip my leg was really hurting. IT was time to make some sort of change to the schedule because I just couldnt keep pushing it the way I was. So we pulled up in a town called Iron Knob, about 75kms from Pt Augusta. The place is a bit of a Ghost town and being a sunday night not much was going on.

One of the locals told us to go knock on the pub door because the owners live there and they could sort us out with some where to stay, and some drinks etc.

So we went onto the property and walked around for a while till we eventually found a back door to the pub. A lady answered the door and we told her what the local bloke. They ended up letting us stay on the property, and opened up a room with a shower, toilet, kitchen, power etc so that we had everything we needed. Absolute legends! I even got some ice and iced up my knee while some Rice was cookin for dinner

We got a good sleep that night and decided that we should have a rest day, and another good sleep that night. Around lunch time we went and had a look inside the pub. Its a massive place that was an old school converted into a pub. The people who run the place Brian and Michelle were keen as for a chat, and eventually with a few drinks in us all we had a bit of a party going. Not many people came to the pub for the night apart from an old couple, Bill who was good at darts, and I forget his wife's name, but she gave me some sort of cream for my leg, that is actually a cream that gets rubbed into Horse's muscles. But it seemed to work. There was also another character there called Gaz who played guitar, and all he wanted to do was play House of the rising sun. And then there was another bloke called "Caveman." He was an interesting fellow who had lost use of one side of his body. We had a ripped of a night. Harv and I hopped into a couple of big steaks, and an extra two plates of chips, which we know is too much, but at the time seemed like a good idea.

The next day we head off to Kimba. Leaving Iron knob we tried to find something to eat for breakfast, only to find out that it was really a ghost town. Nothing was open, and there was nowhere to get food. So we dropped in at the bowls club that just happened to be open. A bloke there called Graham hooked us up with a tin of spaghetti for the trip, and also gave us an IRon knob bowls club baadge for the memories. Thanks mate!

Off to Kimba. There are more hills around these parts than you would think. It wasnt that long a day but it seemed it because we could only average a speed of around 15kms an hour. When we got to Kimba we headed to a little rest stop called Apex park and spent the night. An awesome rest stop that I highly recomend. An old bloke called Rob looks after the bpark and I reckon he'd be keen for a good yarn if you hed there. As is everyone else in town, we found it hard to finally eat breakfast the next morning beacuse everyone just wants to have a chat.
After an egg and bacon fest we hit the road.

More undulating hills to Wudinna. On the road Brian from Iron Knob past us in his ute. HE was heading to Wudinna but said he wouldnt be there long cause he had to get back home, or hed be in trouble. Through out the day I got my first slow leaking tire so had to change it over, and I also discovered that I now had a broken spoke also. So we sorted out a few things, and got to Wudinna around 7pm. Pulled into the pub, and there was Brian. We were joking all day about how we knew he would be there for ages drinking, and how much trouble hed be in when he got home.

At the Wudinna pub it was $10 roast night, but the girl at the counter offered us a roast for $7 because they were packing up. and let me tell you, it was the most massive roast I have ever seen. I dont think I will ever get better value than that. We slept in the tents again last night, and now we're off for some breaky. We've decided to start riding in the day early so that we dont get the afternoon sun, and then we can do a bit more when we turn up in town.

I'm still feeling the inflamation in my knee but I guess all I can do is ice it, use gels etc, and just not push it to hard.

The show goes on!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

1 week in, feeling the pain...

Hey all
Sorry its been so long in between posts. So far we've made it to adelaide, and today we head off towards Port Augusts before hitting the Nularbor to WA.
In all honesty the schedule that Harv and I put together has proved very intense. The kms we cycle daily to reach
 the next town is highly physicaly demanding, and its an even greater effort with the sleep deprevation we have experienced so far. But we're not broken yet!!
All the gigs so far have been really great, and I thank everyone who came deeply, sorry if I was a bit of a zombie though. 
Besides all of the intensity, cycling around the country is great. We have seen some amazing places, and you really get time to take in the scenery. We've met some amazing people, and eaten a shit load of good food!!
On our way from Millicent to K
ingston in SA, we decided we would take the highway instead of taking the coast road. Only to realise later that there was no way to get water for the next 100kms half way into the trip. So we decided to turn off to Robe. Half way to Robe we were both feeliing realy sick and dehydrated to the point where we were getting really worried. So we found a property, jumped
 a fence and filled our bottles. But the water was discusting. So we kept going and eventually fo
und a CFA and sat for about 40 mins drinking water and snacking on lollies. That sorted us out, but when we reached Robe, we were pulling into town and Harvs leg went on him. He droped off the bike and could hardly move. Eventually he got up a
nd we decided to stay the night and give it a rest. So off to the bottle shop for a few bevo's and a jam on the beach for the arvo. Seemed to be one of the best afternoons so far. Although we lost 75kms that day because we had to stop.
We decided to try and get to Ad
elaide a day earlier so that we could have a rest day and get a good sleep, recover a  bit etc. But what a mission that proved to be.
With a 200km day ahead of
 us we set off from Salt Creek for a long night. 150kms into the trip we were both tired and really over the whole thing, only to realise that we now had to tackle the Adelaide hills. It was 1 am, and now my knee was playing up, I was struggling to cycle with my right leg, and only really putting in any effort with my left. But we had to keep going.
We spent the next 3 hours 
cycling what felt like a 20km climb around the hills, stoping here and there laughing at each other, stating our stupidity, and screaming about how crazy this bike tour idea is, but we were laughing and we kept going. Eventually we reach the top of the hill in Stirling. we had to get from
 Stirling to Adelaide city, but weren't aloud to ride on the freeway. 
Being 3 am, and really tired 
from 11 hours on the bike, I decided I would risk it, and take a fine from the cops if it meant getting to bed earlier.
So we took the highway, and how cool it was. From Stirling to Adelaide city the highway runs downhill the whole way for 
about 12kms. The most amazing downhill Ive eever riden. It did get really cold though, we were totally wet from sweating it out on the hill climb, and now we were rushing downhill in the wind, and felt freezing.
So we rocked up in Adelaide, both tired and in really shit moods. It was now 4 am, and any accomodation we tried to get was either not open, or all booked out because of some car race in Adelaide. for some reason we resorted to McDonalds for a burger, and never again. We felt sick and started talking to a security guard. He was a good bloke and wanted to help us out. He got talking to the local police who were in Drive through Macca's pursuit, and they said we could go and camp on a footy oval just next to the city. 
Off we went extremely excited about sleep. We reached the footy oval and set up our tents. After unpacking things the sprinklers decided to fire up and give us a good old squirt. Really funny now, but not at the time, trust me.
After 3 hours sleep we woke up and searched around for some accom but no luck. So we went to the Grace Emily and ended up crashing there. Which we should have done in the first place, but never mind.
Yesterday we both had a remedial massage to give the legs a bit of recovery, and we also had Physio Consultations to suss out our leg issues. I've worked my legs a bit to hard, and basicaly I have some inflammation from overuse. Harv has some issues with his left ITB, and is also suffering a bit of inflammation. Hrmmm...

Its now time for food, and we still have 150kms to cycle today, so I better get crackin.
We'll let you know how it all goes sometime soon.
Rob and Harv!!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

3 days to go..

So its all happening!

This Wednesday the 13th of Feb we leave to cycle around Australia, a rough distance of 16,000 kms if completed. Since planning and training for the past four months, I guess the trip all seemed like a dream, but today it couldn’t seem any more realistic being only 3 days away.

The idea came together during a drive home to Melbourne from the Caloundra Music Festival in October last year. I was playing the festival and invited Harv to come keep me company on a bit of a road trip. I’d been brainstorming ideas over the past couple of years about doing a musical tour on foot, bicycle, etc for the past couple of years. I wanted something to do something a bit crazy, adventurous, including my passion for music, and on a low cost. What better idea that cycle around the country playing gigs, sleeping in tents, cooking whatever we can carry along the way?

I mentioned the idea to Harv about riding from possibly Melbourne to Brisbane, or maybe Melbourne to Perth. Harv being fit, adventurous, and a serious triathlete, I knew he would be keen, good company, and I also knew he would give me the physical motivation to work hard and train for such a mission.

We got talking and decided that if we did ride as far as Perth, why wouldn’t we go the whole way round? There’s no use going all that way and not finishing the loop ey?
So it was all on, our smiles we’re beaming and we were both bursting with ideas for the trip. We pulled over the van, bought a notepad and pen, got the good old Aussie touring map out, and the planning began.

We will be riding mountain bikes fitted with slick tires for less resistance on the road, both fitted with rear pannier bags to carry gear, as well as towing a bob trailer also full of gear. I’ll be taking my trusty guitar along (in a waterproof bag thanks to Jesper!) stashed in my trailer, as well as a tent, cooking gear, pens and notepads to document the trip, bike tools and spares, and most of all food, and plenty of water for remote destinations. So it’s a pretty heavy load so far! We will be heading Clockwise round Australia, Starting in Melbourne and first heading towards Adelaide.
The tour will hopefully be completed in 4 months (without injuries!), as I’d like to head back overseas to play some more music in the European summer, and Harvey wants to get home to kick back into the next Triathlon Season.

The gear is all packed up and we’re ready to go. I’d just like to take a moment to say how lucky Harv and I are to have the privilege of embarking on such a tour. Not everyone in the world can put themselves in such a situation, and it’s a real honor to be able to follow this dream. I’ve been riding around with my gear loaded up doing a bit of training, and its awesome to see peoples reactions when they see the bike setup, whether it be a smile, or a bit of a huh, what is this guy doing…

Harv and I give massive thanks to our Family’s, Friends, and to those who have supported and encouraged us to give it a go. And to anyone who has show any negativity, thanks for the inspiration!

Catcha somewhere along the way!