Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Day 28, Wednesday 12th March. Salmon gums to Esperance

Day 28

Wednesday 12th March

Salmon Gums – Esperance



The trucks consistently woke me up through the night, so by around 5am it wasn’t to hard to get out of bed. We were both excited to be finally heading to Esperance. We packed everything fast and hit the road.

The morning was really fresh and it was interesting to feel the warmth of the sun breaking through the trees in spurts to the left of me as I rode. We were now counting down the kilometres in 5km sections, and every 5km felt like at least an hour. Our anticipation for Esperance was strong, and it made the ride feel way longer than it should have.

We stopped in a small town called Gibson, for an early morning Ice Cream, Flavoured Milk, and Harv opted for a pie. About 10kms out of Esperance we rode to the top of a hill where we could see all of the lakes and bays. We stopped for a small look around as it was really exciting to see some bodies of water again.

Finally in town, we set up the tents at the Caravan Park. The bikes were well due for a service, so we dropped them into the local bike shop, before heading to the Supermarket to get some snags for a lunchtime barby, and a few celebratory drinks.

The barby was awesome. We spent some more time calling all of our mates to tell them where we were, and after some more drinks headed off to by some pizza for dinner.

After dinner we went back to the campsite where we met a bloke called Mark from England camping next to us. We got chatting over a few beers, and eventually we got the guitar out for a good old sing along. It was so nice to finally spend some time off the bike, relax, and play some music. It was getting late so we put the guitar away, and headed to the barby for some mushroom sangas before bed.

Day 27, Tuesday 11th March. Norseman to Salmon Gums

Day 27

Tuesday 11th March

Norseman – Salmon Gums



Rain. I opened my eyes and for some reason felt at ease to here rain drops pitta patter on the tent outside. We both felt relaxed and laid in the tents until the rain passed. After packing everything up we went to a Supermarket in town and bought some supplies for the road. IT was good to see some supermarket prices again. We ate some brekkie and hit the road.

The day seemed to be taking a long time. The sun was really hot again, but nothing in comparison to some of the heat over the desert. But we both agreed that riding felt like it was taking ages. About 15kms from the town of Salmon Gums I felt somewhat possessed to ride a bit faster and fired up. I had broken a few spokes, but all I could do was bend them around existing spokes to try and give the wheel a bit of extra strength. We had run out of spare spokes, so the only option was to laugh and say “Ahh, she’ll be right.”

We picked up a good pace and then bang! My bike was shaking from side to side. I looked down and the wheel was wobbling, and whacking into the frame of the bike with every rotation. This wasn’t good. I dropped the bike down and we both laughed so hard. I pulled out my spoke tool and made some adjustments to the wheel to stop it from hitting the bike frame, and made the decision to keep going to Salmon Gums. It was only 10kms away. Within 4kms, Snap! Another spoke had gone. A total of eight missing spokes. We both laughed really hard for a while, and then decided that it was now time to take spokes off the front wheel, and put them on the back.

We pulled off the road and into the shade for an hour and a half to repair the rear wheel. It took some swearing, cursing, and sweating in the hot sun, but we managed to achieve an ok result.

Back on the road and into the town of Salmon Gums. The local pub looked inviting so we dropped in for some refreshments. We had seen to beautiful looking wild Horses during the day and a local bloke told us that they are wild Brumbies that still exist in packs of around 20 or so in the area. We had a god yarn, a couple of counter meals, a few cold ones, and then back to the saddle.

After another 15kms of so I got really tired and we set up camp for the night. We wanted to ride as far as we possibly could to make it easier the next day, but we decided it would actually be easier if we just sleep, and don’t push our bodies. We found a pretty rough roadside camp spot, but managed to set up the tents and get some rest.

Day 26, Monday 10th March. Balladonia to Norseman

Day 26

Monday 10th March

Balladonia – Norseman



“Hey Rob, its 5am dude!” Harv said from outside the tent. We had both slept more than we had expected to. I jumped out of bed and we packed everything up. It wasn’t such a bad thing because it meant the roadhouse was now open again, and I could load myself with another $4 bowl of cereal before leaving. Harv was pretty impressed with how much cereal I ate in a short amount of time.

We were well slept, and both felt great. The wind was at our backs and the road was smooth. We smashed about 100kms easily without a break before having lunch. Riding through the Friaser Range, the hills were noticeable, but didn’t seem to be a drama before lunch.

After some noodles and a couple of sangas for lunch we got back on the bikees. The scenery was really beautiful. Now the roadside was thick with smooth golden looking trees that I am yet to discover the name of.  There must have been a bushfire or some burning off done recently. Sectins of the bush were black, with fresh regrowth coming through.

All was going well for the day until about 50kms from Norseman. We both blew up and found it hard to ride at a pace over 10-15kms an hour. Harv had some energy gels in his bag, so we had a couple of those to kep us going, but it was still really hard work. I was once again sloched over the handle bars feeling like I wasn’t getting anywhere at all. The last 30kms was the hardest and longest part of the ride, but we made it to Norseman finally with some time to spare.

Once again we had ice cream, before hitting the bottle shop for a couple of drinks to celebrate. Finally we had made it over he Nullarbor. We set up camp at the Caravan Park and then spent a fair bit off time calling our mates on the phone because we now had some phone reception. It was so good to talk to some mates, and let them know how we are.

Dinner time came and we decided it was definitely time to get a good meal away from a roadhouse. So we went to a place just across from the Caravan Park. But to our disappointment the kitchen was closed and we had to settle for some more Roadhouse food.

Sleepy sleep.

Day 25, Sunday 9th March. Balladonia

Day 25

Sunday 9th March




The alarm rudely awoke us at around 2:30am. I knew we should get up and ride, but it was just so hard to rise from sleep. I knew that Harv didn’t mind hearing me press the snooze button around 4 times before resetting he alarm or another 30 mins of sleep. Unfortunately when we finally rose to start riding again, the moisture in the air had wet alll of the gear we had left out on the picnic table where we were cooking. But we packed it all up anyway and hit the road. We had about 110kms to get to Balladonia, and we were still on the 90 mile straight section of road.

The riding became monotonous. Harv was still falling asleep at the wheel. We were freezing cold. And there wasn’t a lot of motivation apparent, apart from the fact that when we get to Balladonia, it meant we could sleep. Eventually the sun rose to warm us up, as well as help us stay awake. The ride felt like an eternity. It was so nice to turn a corner after the 90 mile straight. The road had been improved and it was a bit smoother for riding on, but the hills started to undulate again closer to Balladonia.

Finally we made it to Balladonia. We hit up the shop at the Roadhouse and hopped into some ice creams first for some reason. I was stoked to see that there was a self-serve breakfast cereal bar with the most massive bowls. I filled a huge bown of cereal for $4 and couldn’t wie the grin off my face. It was hot outside but we set up tents, and had a swim in the pool at the caravan park. Again sleep time had arrived. I woke up fter around 5 hours of sleep but Harv was still going strong.

I realised I had broken 4 spokes during our ride in the night, so decided to fix those as best as I could. I actually did a great job and managed to get the wheel running quite straight considering some of the bending I had to do to the spokes to get them in the rim. I washed some of the bowls we had used the night before and then went back to bed.

At about 11:30pm I woke up and remember that the roadhouse closed at 12, so I wke Harv and told him we should go get some supplies so we can keep riding. We got up and had some food. Once again I had another massive bowl of cereal, because you cant really get better value than that. I was still tired and decided to sleep for another hour or two before hitting the road. So we both went back to bed.

Day 24, Saturday 8th March. Cocklebiddy to Caiguna to Rest Stop

Day 24

Saturday 8th March

Cocklebiddy – Caiguna – Rest Stop

65km + 70km


I woke up to the stars staring through my tent. It was easy to press the snooze button, and lay half asleep for the next 40 minutes. Harv was as sleepy as I was, but eventually we kicked into gear and got out of bed. I was tired, but it was nice to feel healthy again.

We ate a Powerbar for breakfast, and only had to ride 65kms to Caiguna. We were both feeling good and we averaged around 23km/ph. I listened to music the whole way, which is a really beautiful thing when the stars are out in the morning, and then to feel the sun rising at your back to thaw out the day.

We got to Caiguna in no time at all and got stuck into an egg and bacon breakfast. IT was a really spin out to run into a bloke I know from Geelong at the roadhouse there. His name is ‘spud’ and him and his girlfriend had packed everything up and we’re moving to WA for a while. They were totally flipped out when they saw it was Harv and I on the bikes. After brekkie, we booked a little cabin and decided to get some rest. We slept really well but woke up at around 2 or 3 pm and it was hard to get back to sleep. The cabin was great though. It had an air conditioner, a little fridge, and a little bathroom. Harv was still sleepy so I went and hung out some washing that we had put on early. Nowhere ever has pegs for the clothesline, and it was a really windy day. I hung the washing out anyway, but at this stage we were used to picking all of our clothes up of the ground later on anyway.

After some more food from the cranky old crew running the roadhouse, we packed up our things and hit the road around 8pm. The heat had died down, but unfortunately the wind was still present. We battled against it and we’re only managing to ride around 15km/ph. Frustration soon became involved. Unfortunately body clocks can’t be changed at the snap of a finger, and we were both getting really tired. I found it half amusing to watch Harv almost falling asleep while riding his bike. He kept dropping back, or veering off into the gravel until I asked him what he was doing. Harv has been a machine on trip. I’ve had a whole bunch of issues, but Harv has been mostly solid until now. If there’s one thing Harv can’t handle, its sleep deprivation. He just couldn’t keep his eyes open the poor fella.

Harv was getting a sore forehead from trying to keep his eyes open, and we were both getting hungry so we pulled over at a rest stop. To my excitement I found that there was an awesome fire place and decided that it would be a great idea to get a fire going. During the planning of this trip, I imagined us travelling over the Nullarbor with heaps of time or camping out, jamming around a fire, but none of that had existed, so this was my chance. Harv said I looked like a caveman when I came back to the rest area with a huge dead tree slung over my shoulder for the fire. I picked it up and smashed it on the ground to break it up. To my delight, the fire was lit first go and before we knew it we were nice and toasty by a camp fire, cooking dehydrated peas and beans, and then way to much rice. Harv seemed to be really cold and just couldn’t get warm. He pretty much had every layer of clothing he had brought on and still couldn’t get warm. I was quite content hanging by the fire in my bike shorts and short sleeve shirt for some reason.  After eating too much rice, Harv crawled into his sleeping bag and went to sleep. I said we should sleep for 30 mins and then hit the road again. I set my alarm and lay next to the hot coals of the fire. A feeling of contentment came over me laying next to the coals, starring up at the stars through an over hanging gun tree. This was just how I had imagined the trip, and it was something that I would like to experience more during our travels. I was almost tempted to try and stay awake for the 30 minutes and enjoy that moment, but there was no escape from sleep.

Day 23, Friday 7th March. Madura to Cocklebiddy

Day 23

Friday 7th March

Madura – Cocklebiddy



“Rob, wake up mate. It’s 5am.” I heard from outside the tent. I had slept solid. My legs felt like tree stumps and didn’t want to move. I gave a groan and a mumble but eventually got out of bed.

There was no sign of wind at this hour, and the moon and the stars were the only light providers. The temperature was still warm enough to not have to wear a jumper, which made it easy to pack everything up around the camp, and not worry about it later. It took me a little while to pack all of my gear up because I had been fixing my rear wheel before bed. But we got it all done. We were told the water from the toilet block was drinkable so we went and filled our water supplies in the laundry. It has been really important to fill our supplies everyday. Harv carry’s two 6ltr bags of water, and I carry one big 10ltr bag.

We were off to our first good early start. No problems yet, and it felt good. We had a vegemite sandwich each, and a Powerbar, and left the caravan to tackle the first hill for the day.

After 1km of hill climb, it was all cruising from there. We set a good pace and we’re averaging about 23kms an hour. Riding in the dark was nice, because it kind of takes your mind away from looking at the speedo on the bike, or looking at the signs on the road to see how far you have left to get to the next town. I had my headphones in and listened to some music, and enjoyed the stars around me. Feeling good. Our water was cool, and we drank plenty of it. The sky filled with shades of violet and blue, and the sun rose at our backs. With only 20kms to go I started noticing small amounts of flies starting to creep their way into my nostrils, but it was bearable. Breakfast was on the way.

We turned up to Madura roadhouse after about 4 hours of riding. We sat down and hopped into a big breakfast. It was so great to get some riding out of the way early, and have everything run smoothly for once.

Outside the temperature was rising, and the wind and the flies were getting out of control. After breakfast we got changed out of the bike gear and made the decision to stick around at the roadhouse for the day, as it was pointless to try and get any more riding done until it cooled down.

The staff at the roadhouse were cool with us to sit inside at the bar and chill out for the day. I spent some time updating the tour diary, and for most of the day we spent our time sharpening our freshly discovered, not to flash dart-playing skills. And by the end of the day I think we managed to get some sense of accuracy, until we got sick of playing darts all day. My appetite was back, so for most of the day all I wanted to do was eat, and it was hard not to be tempted by the roadhouse menu. I think by the end of the day we both ended up racking up a bill of around $70 each. It was quite entertaining hoping into some good tucker, but proved an expensive exercise.

We had planned to wait for the heat to calm down, and then ride another 65kms to Caiguna. We spent some time studying the map, to see what kind of challenges await. We noticed that after Caiguna the only stop before Norseman was Balladonia. The ride either side of Balladonia was around 180kms. The only way to ride this section comfortably would to ride at night. On such a long ride, its important to stay hydrated, and riding night is the only way to keep the water cool enough to drink. So we decided to stay the night in Cocklebiddy, rise early, ride to Caiguna, and then sleep through the day to try and charge some energy for a long ride in the night to Balladonia.

Eventually the temperature cooled down, and after deciding to stay the night, we actually had a bit of time to sit around and play some music. We sat out the front of the roadhouse and had a bit of a jam on the guitar. The heat had thrown the neck of the guitar all out of wack, so it wasn’t sounding to flash, but it was still fun to play some tunes.

The tents were set up the tents to the side of the roadhouse so that we didn’t have to spend any more money for the day. We had a shower before bed so we didn’t have to waist any time in the morning. I set my tent up so that I could lie down and look at the stars. The night sky was amazing. It was tempting to lie there and look at the milky glow all night, but sleep was even more tempting and eventually I drifted off. 

Day 22, Thursday 6th March. Mundrabilla to Madura

Day 22

Thursday 6th March

Mundrabilla – Madura



We got up nice and early, and everything managed to run smoothly. My stomach was feeling a bit better, so I had some cereal, and some toast from the roadhouse for breakfast. We filled up some water and hit the road. We were up early, but still got off to a bit of a late start.

Just to make a good start turn wrong, about 10kms up the road one of my spokes snapped. I pulled off the ride and changed it over while the sun rose. A beautiful sight, but it meant the heat was coming, and so were the flies.

The bike was back together and we kept riding. The day was getting late and the sun was getting intense. There was a strong cross wind, and my body got really weak. I think after the lack of sleep, de-hydration, diarrhoea, vomiting, heat exhaustion, it had just decided to slow down a bit. I struggled to push 8-9kms on the bike, and in some cases could hardly stay up on the bike when the cross wind blew hard. We kept going and then pulled up for some lunch.

I didn’t have an appetite but threw down a sandwich, and some cooler water I had stashed in my pannier. Harv laid down for a rest, so I lay down and tried to sleep. It was no good. I was so frustrated with the flies and the heat that I couldn’t sleep, and just needed to get to the next town.

So I got back on the bike, and switched my 2way radio on so Harv could contact me, and kept riding. It didn’t take long for Harv to catch up, and we battled on in the heat.

Every day seemed to feel like it was the hardest challenge in the tour so far. I was losing strength in my arms and was riding slouched over the handlebars. I was slow but I was getting there. I managed to drink some hot water, but after a while felt really bloated, and couldn’t drink anymore.

Finally it was 5kms from Madura. We could see the road rose uphill ahead, but up to top of the cliffs, and I was expecting to have to climb the hill before hitting the roadhouse. It was such a relief to turn off to Madura about 500 meters up the hill.

We sat inside for a bit and had some cold drinks. My 1.25ltr water cost me $5.05 but it was so worth it. We found out that the temperature during the day had risen to 47 degrees, so the sun we were riding in mast have been an extra few degrees above that. Insane! Harv was stoked that we rode through such a hot temperature. I thought it was hell, but its quite an achievement to know you can get through those situations.

The caravan park had a pool so we had the best swim, and decided it would be a good idea to rinse the bike clothes. We ate a good meal and headed back to camp. Harv whipped out the guitar and played me some songs while I changed another 2 spokes.

Another intense day, but we got through it, and we were rewarded with a bit of time to do some things before bed. 10:30pm I laid down, and couldn’t wait to get some sleep.

Day 21, Wednesday 5th March. Border Village to Mundrabilla

Day 21

Wednesday 5th March

Border Village – Mundrabilla



I slept but not too well. I had to rise during the night from pains in my stomach, and had to head to the toilet to try and get rid of whatever it was inside me making me feel sick. I had some serious diarrhoea, and wasn’t looking forward to the ride later that day.

For breakfast I had some toast, and bought a Gatorade to try and restore some fluids. We did some washing, had a swim in the pool, and I had to fix 3 spokes on the back wheel of my bike. By this stage in the trip the wheel of my bike was looking a bit ordinary. We still couldn’t get the tools to take the disc or the cassette off he wheel to put the spokes in correctly. So we bent the hell out of them to get them in. They didn’t look to flash, but the wheel was in one piece.

The temperature was so hot. Around 47 degrees. We sat inside the roadhouse for most of the day contemplating what to do. We had a session of killing flies, squashing them and making a pile on the table. A pretty grose game, but it was fun at the time. The roadhouses are really expensive, and we got sick of giving them money.

During the day 3 other lads rolled up on road bikes. They were riding from Perth to Sydney to raise money for some kind of Quadriplegics Association. They had a support vehicle with them, and it was quite envious listening to the way they were riding. The driver would go ahead with an esky full of food, make them lunch before they turn up, and then cleans up for them while they ride ahead. He also fills their drink bottles with cold water every hour. We told them about the way we were doing it and they did gave us a fair bit of credit for what we were doing.

I was feeling good around 3pm. So for some stupid reason I decided to order another burger for some lunch. It went straight through me again, and it was back and forth to the toilet for quite a while. Harv was in top shape, and looking forward to hitting the road.

We packed up everything that we had laying around the campsite. I threw my bike back together, pumped up my tires, loaded the gear on the trailer and then headed to the shop one more time. I bought a couple of Gatorades and lemonade to get some hydration and energy for the ride. 

At about 6:30pm we let the roadhouse. We got a couple of photos with the welcome to WA sign, and a lady at the border entrance asked us some questions about what we were carrying as we crossed the border.

We stopped in Eucla for some dinner. Harv got a full feed and I had a couple of chips. I hit the toilet there a couple of times, and then we left for the open road of WA.

Just out of Eucla we went down a massive hill, which led to into a flat straight section of road. The wind was well behind us, it was cooling down, and the flies started to let up a bit. I knew the drinks I had wouldn’t last long in the system, and within 20 mins of riding I hit up Harv for the toilet paper, and ran off into the bushes for some business. Having a stomach bug and diarrhoea is no good anywhere you are, but its not the time or place to have it in the middle of the desert, with 80kms of riding to get through. I will say though, I think it’s the best and only sunset I will get to watch while going to the toilet in the desert.

The sunset was amazing again, and soon faded into the night sky. We made really good speed, and were sitting between 25-30kms for most of the ride.

I stopped for a few country toilet calls along the way, but we did make good time, and turned up at Mundrabilla about just before 10pm. The tents we up in a flash and we went to bed.

Day 20, Tuesday 4th March. Nullarbor Roadhouse to Border Village

Day 20

Tuesday 4th March

Nullarbor Roadhouse – Border Village



6am start. Jump in for a quick shower, pack everything up. I still had a bag of dry biscuits in my bag so we ate those, and a piece of bread with peanut butter for brekkie. Not really the nutrition we need for a 180km ride, but that’s all we had.

We rode in the dark until the sun came up behind us, and slowly convinced us that it was time to pull over and throw on some sunscreen. The second the sun kicks into gear the flies decided to get really friendly, and don’t want to leave you alone. Especially around the facial area, up the nose, and around the eyeballs.

The road was now quite flat, and we were riding along the Great Southern Bight. A cliff face that drops to the ocean and runs for kilometres along the southern coast. It was so refreshing to see the water. We pulled up at a lookout and sat for a while mesmerised at the coastline. It was hard to build the motivation to ride again, but we kept going until we got hungry around midday.

We found a shelter with a picnic table under it, and turned off to cook some pasta for lunch. The wind was so strong, and the flies were intense. I struggled to light the stove in the wind but managed to get it burning to cook some food. We ate a bit, and then laid down for a snooze. The flies were so crazy. If you stay still your face just ends up covered in them, until you’re so irritated that you shake and shiver and make funny noises until you get them off.

Harv had a small mesh bag that he kept some bike things in, so he pulled it over his head to seek shelter from the flies. My tent fly is made of mesh, so I laid down on the stones, and crawled into the tent to get away from them. It was hard to sleep, but we got a little bit.

We had 100kms to go to get to the Western Australia border. We had the option of camping somewhere the night half way, or we keep moving to get to the border, where there would hopefully be a roadhouse open, and we could get some food.

The water was boiled again, and I was throwing up the remains of a tuna can in my mouth mixed with hot water. Not a good feeling. Soon the most amazing sunset happened, and the stars slowly showed up in the night sky. There are so many stars out in the desert. Its truly inspirational to be out amongst those stars. Such a beautiful sight, but hard to look at while your trying to ride a bike.

Harv and I joked about the things we wanted to eat, hoping that the roadhouse would be 24 hours. It was a long ride, and the help of a couple of Powerbars got us through.

5kms from town the Border Village sign got us all excited when we noticed that the servo is 24hours. We turned up and could hardly decide what to buy. Harv ate a few fried goods, and bought a bag of jellybeans, and then joined me for a burger with the lot, followed by an ice cream.

While setting up camp for the night my stomach began to feel really bloated, and all of a sudden I was off to the toilet. The food I just ate seemed to go straight through me. We made the decision to sleep well that night, and hang around the next day to wash the bike clothes, have a swim in the pool, and relax a bit.

After a couple more toilet missions, it was into the tent for some sleep.

Day 19, Monday 3rd March. Nundroo to Nullarbor Roadhouse

Day 19

Monday 3rd March

Nundroo – Nullarbor Roadhouse



I woke up at 4am in the morning with a lot on my mind from some conversation I’d had with a friend the night before. I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep after waking, but I didn’t want to wake Harv just yet. I went and had a shower, and tried to go back to sleep but no good. I woke Harv at 6am and told him its time to ride.

Everything got packed up reasonably quick, and we were ready to go within another hour. Then we remembered that Harv had to change a spoke on his rear wheel. We thought it was all cool and we would just bend it in, but it wasn’t as easy as the one Tim had put in. It had to come in from a different side. So Harv made a phone call to find out if there is any way we could get the cassette off the wheel without the right tools, but no good. We decided to leave the spoke out, and pack everything up to leave. During this time I made a phone call to a friend, which for certain reasons really dropped my spirits and I didn’t feel like riding.

By about 8:30am we hit the road. We got away to a fairly early start but it was a bit disappointing considering the time we woke up. The ride was really hilly and we were feeling their presence. The water we were carrying was boiling hot, and it was hard to drink anything. I was still vomiting in my mouth after any drink of water, and wasn’t really feeling hydrated.

Around lunch time we met another bloke who was riding east over the Nullarbor. His name is also Rob and he is from England. We stayed for a chat while he ate his lunch and exchanged stories. He mentioned that he had quite an extensive toolkit with him, so we borrowed the right tools to pull Harv’s wheel apart. The wheel was easily fixed and Harv was quite excited. We also ate some food, said our goodbyes and hit the road with 80kms to go.

The main problem with cycling during the heat is that we had to carry any water we want to drink on board, and there is no way to cool it down. So the water just boils, and it’s very hard to drink. With about 40kms to go we ran out of water. We had 2 hours of cycling left till the roadhouse, which felt like an eternity.

I rode past a couple of Germans who’s car kept stalling and they filled my water bottle from the tank in their van. It was no different, boiling, and hard to drink, but better than nothing. Their vans kept over heating so they would pull over to cool it down and get it started again, then drive past and wave, and then another 5kms up the road we would ride past them again, and visa versa.

With the last 15kms to go I lost sight of Harv. He was really de-hydrated too, and when he’s close to town he usually takes off to get to food and water early. So he took off, and when I turned up to the roadhouse he came out the front with a big bottle of Lemonade, and gave me a drink.

I bought some water and a few more drinks and then we set up the tents while the sun went down. We bought 30ltrs of water, and a loaf of bread for the next day, and then made some phone calls back home. I took a bit longer on the phone than Harv, and he came back to the phone booth to tell me that some sort of animal had eaten the loaf of bread we just bought. The roadhouse was now shut, and we had to get an early start in the morning, so we couldn’t get any more supplies for the next day. We found some left over bread, and had some tuna sangas for dinner, then laid down for some sleep.

Day 18, Sunday 2nd March. Penong to Nundroo

Day 18

Sunday 2nd March

Penong – Nundroo



I woke up a number of times in the night, feeling a bit sick, knowing that the day ahead was going to be hard when I had to finally rise.

At about 10:30am it was time to get out of bed, and get sorted for the ride ahead. The sickness I felt during the night had grown, and I felt absolutely terrible. I don’t usually get that bad a hangover after a few beers, so It had to be something more than that. I had a shower and packed everything up, then we headed over to the roadhouse for some breakfast. I had some Wheat-bix and some Eggs on Toast. It didn’t go down to well but I needed some energy for the ride. Much to my discomfort, we threw on some sunscreen and hit the road.

I was hunched over the bike, and started throwing up in my mouth. Things weren’t looking good. About 40 minutes into the ride I pulled over to throw up. Out came the eggs I had for brekkie, but for some reason my body hung onto the wheat-bix. There was no other option but to get back on the bike and keep going. The sun didn’t let up. I tried to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, but my body didn’t want to hold it down. My head felt dizzy, and the kilometres felt slower and slower.

During the ride we ran into a Japanese guy who we had heard about. He was heading east, and had spent the last 9 months riding from Sydney, anti-clockwise around Australia. He was fully loaded up, and told me he even had a didgeridoo packed away in the back of his bike.

Finally the Nundroo Roadhouse showed up. I had been craving an icy pole all day so that was the first thing I bought. I laid on the concrete out the front of the Road house for a while, eating icy pole, and drinking some soft drink and water, and then we set up the tents. I hadn’t eaten much all day, so we decided to get a feed in the bistro at the roadhouse. I ordered chicken and vegies, and got through half of it.

After some phone calls to the crew back at home, sleep was on the cards. Off to the tent to retire for the night.

Day 17 Saturday 1st March. Ceduna to Penong

Day 17

Saturday 1st March

Ceduna to Penong



Finally a bit of a sleep in. We stayed up late to update the journal the night before, so didn’t get moving to early in the morning. I had to change my rear tyre, and Harv had to replace a bolt that holds his bike rack on.

We were raving about how easy the day would be, only having to do around 80kms. After some Egg and Bacon action, we hopped on the bikes to realise, that the wind was strong, and the ride wouldn’t be as easy as we thought. We could only average about 15kms an hour in the wind, and the sun was getting really hot.

Finally we turned up to Penong to be greeted by a display of old rusty windmills, and dodgy looking cars at the towns entrance. We pulled up at the Penong Hotel for the nights accommodation, and I noticed I had broken another spoke.

We started with a beer in the bar, and then I tended to my broken wheel. I’ve never changed a spoke before, and to be honest we didn’t think we would break any during the trip. But stupidly we didn’t put any research into the technique of changing a spoke. I pulled the wheel off and after some bashing and bending I discovered that we didn’t have the right tools for the job. I told the lady at the bar what I was trying to do after handing back some tools I borrowed, and she suggested we give one of the local guys name Tim a call. She said that Tim is in a wheel chair, and he has tools to die for in his shed, so he should be able to sort us out. We called Tim and he was more than happy to help us out.

We rocked up to Tim’s house to find a yard full of 4wd’s, Utes, Tin Sheds, Boats, Motorbikes and dogs. It looked like Tim’s house gets more interest than the local pub. We found Tim and a big table full of blokes inside a big shed. They were sitting around drinking beers, and tying up some fishing trace’s for the next day. There was a huge fridge full of beers, and a heap of awesome looking old tools kicking around.

We said g’day to everyone, and Tim hopped straight into fixing the wheel. I’ve never seen anyone rip off a bike tyre so fast. After a short time I explained to him that I didn’t have the tools to take off the cassette on the wheel, so that I could get the spoke through the right hole properly. Tim decided that its all good and bent the spoke around some different bits and pieces until it went through the hole. I had no idea you could bend spokes, and I don’t know if you’re supposed to, but it was the only option, and it seemed to work. We got the tyre back on the wheel and pumped her up, good as new!

Tim is a happy looking bloke who gets around in a wheelchair these days. He looks like a hard worker, and you can tell he thrives off people’s company. He asked us to stick around, and offered beers, so who could refuse? We went back to the pub and got some more beers, and the guitar to play some songs. More people started to show up, and eventually some food was thrown on the barby. Fresh snapper and some grilled potato chips. Harv and I hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast, so we were so excited. The fish was so delicious, and there just happened to be enough so that we could absolutely stuff our faces to the point where we felt on the verge of exploding.

We had a good yarn with everyone, learnt a few things about the local fishing, we were introduced to Fru-chocs, and had a few to many beers of coarse. At one stage the whole room joined in to sing “I love to have a beer with …” using the names of everyone in the room, and making up reasons why they enjoy a beer with them in the verse. An absolute ripper night, but we had to ride the next day, so at some stage we left for bed.

After a Milo, it was sleep time.

Day 16, Friday 29th Feb. Wirrulla to Ceduna

Day 16

Friday 29th Feb

Wirrulla to Ceduna



Up at 6:30am. We got off to a good start but Harv had some troubles with his breaks early in the morning. This was our fasted average speed for the trip so far, sitting at around 22.7km/ph for the day. It was great to get off early. We didn’t have as many issues with the sun being so hot, the flies weren’t as intense, and it meant we got to Ceduna by around 1pm.

We hit the local Sports Power to get the bikes looked at, and get the rear spokes fixed, as I had now broken 4 rear spokes. Our rear tyres are wearing quite fast because of all the weight we have on the back so we purchased some more tyres to change over if we need them. We also grabbed some spare spokes just incase we need them over the Nullarbor. We did some shopping for the next few days, and then washed some clothes finally.

Being a busy fishing town, I couldn’t go past some Whiting for dinner. Off over the Nullarbor next. Only 500kms from the WA border. Woohoo!

Day 15, Thursday 28th Feb. Wudinna to Wirulla

Day 15

Thursday 28th Feb

Wudinna to Wirulla



We decided to get up a bit earlier, and start altering our body clocks to get our ride done early in the day, and then we have more time in the day to get other things done. We hit the bakery for some breaky, and off on the road.

A fairly fast day on the bike, with a good easterly wind behind us. It feels good to make some fast kms on the bike. You wouldn’t think it, but the hills were quite full on, and I felt quite tired turning up to Wirrulla. My knee was felling good, but I started noticing it in certain parts of the trip. During the ride we had our first flat tyre for the trip. By back tyre had a slow leak, so I had to change it over, and at the same time I noticed that I had a broken spoke also on the rear wheel.

It felt like its beginning to become the On Ya Bike Aussie Pub Crawl. We rocked up t Wirrulla, and headed to the pub. There’s not much else around really, apart from a pier in the middle of no where, and a golf course. Unfortunately that day there was funeral in town, so the pub was due to be quite busy.

The lady at the bar gave me some ice for my knee and I iced it up to keep the inflammation controlled. A good shower, a feed, and some phone calls to loved ones, and off to bed for another early start the next morning. The Wirrulla pub started to fire up in the middle of the night. The music was cranked and I woke up wondering what was going on. But all good, back to sleep.

Day 14, Wednesday 27th Feb. Kimba to Wudinna

Day 14

Wednesday 27th Feb

Kimba to Wudinna



In the morning an old bloke called Rob greeted us. He was a 70year old man who now looked after the park, and was really proud of his efforts. He told us all about his upbringing, his health issues, his mates, his cousins, his world. Rob and most people were really keen for a chat in Kimba, and it was hard to find time to finally get some food, and actually leave the town with out having a chat with a local.

We left the town and began our ride for the day. We were about 40kms into the trip when we caught up with Brian from Iron Knob who was also driving to Wudinna to check out a motor for a freezer. He said he wouldn’t be there long, so we said we’ll catch up with him on his way home.

During the ride we joked about Brian spending all day in the pub, and how much trouble he would be in wit Michelle when he got back to Iron Knob. Sure enough, we turned up in town, and the only way we could find the pub, was by finding Brian’s ute out the front. He said he hung round for us, which he probably did, but I reckon the beer for the better of him.

We turned up just in time for dinner, and had 10mins to order something. It was $10 roast night, and the girl at the counter was ken to pack up, so she said we could have a roast for $7. So how could we refuse. We helped ourselves to some vegies, and gave the plates back to get some roast lamb. They came back mountainous. At home mum makes a pretty massive roast, but I think this is the most roast lamb I have eaten in one sitting. And for $7 I reckon it’s the best value roast I will ever have. Score!

That night we set up our tents at the Caravan Park over the road. Reception was closed, so we thought it would be cool to set up, and just pay in the morning. Sleepy Sleepy.

Day 13, Tuesday 26th Feb. Iron Knob to Kimba

Day 13

Tuesday 26th Feb

Iron Knob to Kimba



In the morning we made sure everything was ready and charged to hit the road. There wasn’t much in the way of towns, and we were going to camp most of the way to Ceduna, so we did some preparation before leaving. Before we left Brian and Michelle headed off in the car to Whyalla to buy some things so we said goodbye.

We didn’t really have any food with us so went looking around Iron Knob to buy something for breaky. Turns out it really is a ghost town and there is no where you can buy any food. Some blokes from the local bowls club called out to us so we went and said g’day. A town with no where to eat, but still a Bowls club with 20 members, and these blokes just happened to be there trimming the lawn before the big day on Saturday. A guy called Graham explained that theres nothing to eat, so he kindly went home and picked up some tins of spaghetti for us to eat. We hung out there for a little bit and had a chat, and some spaghetti and then hit the road.

There’s not much between Kimba and Iron Knob apart from bush, and a big freeway. So we stopped for some sangas on the side of the road for lunch, and cycled straight through to Kimba.

Graham from the bowls club told us we had to check out the local pub in Kimba, so we went there for a beer, and then headed to a rest stop to set up camp. Some more rice for dinner, a good look at the map to plan our next few days and then some more sleep to attend to.

Day 12, Monday 25th Feb. Iron Knob Hotel

Day 12

Monday 25th Feb

Iron Knob Pub

Rest Day


So good to sleep. The sun woke us up in a mad sweat, but we felt better for getting some sleep. I sat down on the computer and finally started catching up on the tour diary. The bloke named Brian who ran the pub gave us a knock at the door for a bit of a chat, and let us know he was going to have a bit of a heart starter soon, so we said we’d come and check out the pub. It was early, but we headed off into the seduction of the bar.

The Iron knob pub is massive. A turn out the property is an old school that Brian and his wife Michelle converted into a pub about 5 years ago. The town used to be the richest grade steel mine in Australia, until that ended a few years ago, due to a bit of a story.

We ordered a couple of drinks at the bar, and started having a good chat with Brian. Early afternoon soon rushed upon us, and with quite a few drinks under our belt, we let the bar to check out the town for a little bit. There was no-one around. The towns looks completely empty, with old rusty, run down properties, each with a yard full of old cars and bits and pieces. We found a public phone and made a few phone calls before returning to the bar.

Now in the bar there were a few more characters. We met a couple called Bill and Shirley who were travelling round Australia in a caravan, and it just so happened that Brian was an old mate of their sons. Small world ey?  We spoke to them for a while about what we were doing, and Shirley asked me about my leg. I told her what had happened, and shit started to tell me about a gel that she uses for her sore shoulder from playing darts, and Bill uses it for his sore back. Shirley headed out to the van and grabbed the gel, so I decided to give it a go. I’m not sure how well it worked but Im sure it did something. The gel was some kind of anti-inflammatory gel that is to be used on Horses, and other animals, but Shirley swore by it. So I gave it a crack.

Later on we met some of the locals. We met Gaz who has a ripper of a moustache, and he was also a guitar player, so he went home and grabber his guitar, and an amp and we had a bit of a jam. Althought for some reason all Gaz wanted to do was play house of the rising sun.

We also me a character called “Caveman.” Apparently he got the nickname because he told all the girls he was fooling around with, that he lived up on the mountain, in the caves, so that they didn’t know where he lived. He looked quite old, but was only 50years old, and had lost half the use of his body due to a car accident. He sat mostly in the corner of the bar, and just smiled and giggled.

For dinner Harv and I hopped into a steak each, followed by two extra plates of hot chips for some reason. Its obvious that its not good to eat that much food, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

After Bill and Brian taught us the ins and out’s of playing darts, Harv and I played a match against each other. We spent at least 15 minutes trying to end the game on double 1. Bed time called for everyone, so off we went.

We headed out to the tents to go to sleep, but Brian came out, and insisted that we both sleep in some beds that he showed us to. I didn’t mind the tent, but the beds looked better, and Brian would have been offended it we turned it down. So what a great sleep it was. Massive thanks to Brian and Michelle for everything!

Day 11, Sunday 24th Feb. Port Augusta to Iron Knob

Day 11

Sunday 24th Feb

Port Augusta to Iron Knob



Neither of us felt all that good getting up in the morning. Lack of sleep was still showing. We had a shower, packed everything up, and then hit the Woolworth’s in town to buy some supplies for the day to come.

The day was quite warm, and the head wind was strong so we really struggled. I was stopping roughly every 10kms because my knee was really sore and it was evident I was going to struggle to keep going.

The wind turned a little and we made some ok kms. But my leg got worse. It was starting to feel like it was burning every time it went though a pedal rotation. Most of my pedalling was done with my left le, and my right leg going through the rotations, but it still hurt to much.

I had a chat with Harv about it and the only thing to do was have a good rest for a couple of nights and cut down the kilometres. Otherwise I would just be making my injury worse, and there would eventually be an end to the bike tour all together.

We decided to get to the town of Iron Knob, and find a place to crash for the night. We bought some 2 way radios in Adelaide in case something went wrong in the desert, and at least we could try and radio someone for some help. So we got the radios going, and Harv rode up ahead to try and sort out something in Iron Knob.

Iron Knob looked like a ghost town. Harv spoke to one of the locals who was on the street corner, and he said to go talk to the people who ran the pub. The pub looked deserted, and was definitely closed, but the local guy said to go and knock on the door.

We parked the bikes and slowly inspected the property. There was a couple of sheds and houses, a massive looking pub, an old school bus that looked to be done up as a camper, an old ute and a few extra cars lying around, and not much sign of life, apart from a light that was on in the shed. We called out for some attention, and made some laps around the pub, but nothing. Soon a small black staffy dog came running up to us. A friendly looking dog. Quite happy, and more interested in running for a stick than anything else in life. We heard a whistle for the dog from the other side of the pub so headed over to suss it out.

Through a back wire door we made a knock and met the people who run the pub. First we bought a couple of drinks to once again celebrate an injury, and also asked the lady for some ice, to ice up my knee. She asked where we were camping and we told her at the camp ground down the road. Her husband came out and showed us to an area we could camp, just outside a small self contained kitchen and bathroom that they were more than happy for us to use.

We cooked some rice and discussed our options for the trip. It was arranged to be in Esperance by the 7th of March for a gig, but the state my knee was in there was no way. So we came to the decision to add an extra week into the trip, have a day off the next day, and get another good nights sleep. This way we could cut the daily km average to around 100kms a day, and turn up in Esperance on the 14th of March.

It was a bit of a downer to have another injury, but once again it was nice to stop riding, and actually chill out for a bit, and know that we would get some good rest for a couple of days.

Day 10, Saturday 23rd Feb. Port Wakefield to Port Augusta

Day 10

Saturday 23rd Feb

Port Wakefield to Port Augusta


A long day of cycling. Not much time for mucking around, we spent most of the day on the bike in the hot sun. Some how we managed to cycle a massive 211.3km day, stopping only a couple of times. Once for a couple of pies at a little servo somewhere, and then once at the turn off for Port Pirie for some dinner. We pulled into a little roadhouse, and the guy who ran it was a legend. They hooked us up some extra mash potato and chips with dinner to keep us fuelled. It was tempting to sit inside and watch tv and do nothing after dinner, but we kept moving.

All day my throat was really sore and I found it hard to swallow food. My knee was still sore, and progressively getting worse. In short spurts I found inspiration to up the pace a little and make some good kilometres.

We rocked up to Port Augusta late around 1am to stay at the Big 4 Caravan Park. The tents were set up in a flash, and bed proved to be high priority after such a massive day.

Day 9, Friday 22nd Feb. Adelaide to Port Wakefield

Day 9

Friday 22nd Feb

Adelaide – Port Wakefield



We decided we should at least sleep 8 hours. So we woke up around 10am in the morning. After a shower, packing up all of our stuff we had spread across the room. Collecting our freshly charged electrical goods we hit the streets of Adelaide. This was the first chance we had to update the tour blog for everyone out there following the trip to read about our travels so far. We had a list of things we wanted to get while in Adelaide and thought it would be pretty important to get all of these things before heading off over the desert.

After the internet café we headed to the bike shop. We each bought an extra rear bike light. A lot of riding had been done late a night so far, and we thought it would be a good idea to have a rear light on both the bike, and the back of the trailer. We also bought some new drink bottles, handle bar ends, rear view mirror, and we both bought some  bags that slide onto the top of our rear bike racks. We had found that so far, we’ve been spending a lot of time, getting in and out of the pannier bags, struggling to find whatever we needed. So we bought these bags that will act as little day hatches, with all of the bits and pieces we can use for the day, and make them easily accessible. Then we headed to the outdoor shop to buy an extra bowl, and some spare tent pegs. Harv has a habit of bending them, so it was a great purchase.

After our first bite to eat for the day at around 2:30pm, we finally got away. It was a bit intense getting out of the city because we were right on peak hour traffic, and there were lots of cars and trucks etc. And also we were struggling against a strong crosswind.

The first opportunity we got to stop, we took it. It turned out to be 50kms out of Adelaide at a little place called Lower Light. First we went to the servo to get some snacks for later, and then to the pub to have some dinner. It was going to be a late night so it was better to eat now rather than stop and muck around eating late in the night.

The pub turned out to be awesome, and once again we spent a bit longer there than we probably should have. The lady on the bar named Cheryl was looking after us, and introduced us to the bar owner. He bought us out a couple of Coopers hats, and West End stubby holders, and shouted us a couple of drinks. All of the locals were interested in what we were doing, and really keen for a chat, so it took a while to get out of there. I left them with a tour poster, and also a CD because they were all so great.

We were back on the road for about 3 hours until we felt really tired. We hadn’t made our daily average, but considering the sleep we needed, decided to stop at a town called Port Wakefield. There was a motel there, and it started to rain a bit, so we booked into the motel. We were greeted by a strange fellow in a playboy dressing gown, who booked us in after we had to wake him up.

Day 8, Thursday 21st Feb. Adelaide City

Day 8

Thursday 21st Feb

Adelaide City



8:30am, rise and shine!! An unhappy awakening. But we had to get up. We wanted to find accommodation, wash our clothes, find some Internet access, we had massage and physio booked, and some extra sleep wouldn’t go astray.

We packed up the tents, repacked the bikes and headed off to find some accom. Of course everything was booked out because off the car races. I think in a stupid sleepy state I forgot to really I should actually call the Grace Emily Hotel, and see if we could crash there. The Grace Emily is the venue I had booked to play in Adelaide. So I called the Grace and they hooked us up. We went there and put some washing on, jumped in a taxi and made it just in time for our massage booking.

A guy named Rick sorted us out with a remedial massage or some leg muscle recovery. Rick plays a bit of music to, so we had something in common to talk about. Harv went in for massage first, and next think I know I was woken up on the couch, and it was my turn. Harv did the same as I did and fell straight asleep on the couch while I waited.

Next we both had physio consultations for our leg problems. The physician told me that I had an inflamed tendon. She gave me a pressure bandage to use when I ride the bike, and also gave me some laser treatment for pain relief, and some sort of electrical current thing to help settle the inflammation. She pretty much stated the obvious that if I keep riding, I will keep having troubles. But I wasn’t ready to stop yet.

Harv had pretty much assessed his own injury earlier on, and he had troubles with his ITB. But wasn’t feeling all that bad now. The physician gave him some ultrasound treatment, and a pressure bandage, and we were on our way.

It was a day off, but for some reason it seemed like one of the hardest days of the tour. We were absolute zombies, and walking through the city was hard work. We hung out the washing and went for some dinner.

The gig started in Adelaide with local band Alias and the Jams who did a mighty fine job of opening up the show. Cheers to all the crew who showed up, and thanks to Harv for sorting out the door on the night.

I have never been so tired on stage, and the numbness of my left was really freaking me out. Its becoming hard to play some chords on the guitar, and I’m going to have to sort out the issue, or make some decisions whether or not this all this biking is really worth it. After a few Dr. Tims, and a bit of a yarn with the locals hit the deck. Sleep is the ultimate, and we now realised that we definitely should have considered more of it in the schedule.

Day 7, Wednesday 20th Feb. Policemans Point - Adelaide

Day 7

Wednesday 20th Feb

Policemans Point – Adelaide



We really really wanted a day off in Adelaide. Harv had already had an injury, my right knee was quite painful now, and also my through felt infected. Harv’s mum helped us out and booked a physio and massage appointment in Adelaide for 1pm on Thursday, so we had to get there.

We woke earlyish, to a bit of a chill, and some wide. Meningie was about 40kms away so we aimed to head there first stop. The landscape of the Coorong was now in full effect. Sand flats and Pelicans we plentiful. We stopped for a bite to eat at some sort of look out and decided to get a photo of us both, with the landscape in the background. Harv sat his camera on a picnic bench, set the timer, and ran back to make the photo in time. His jaw dropped, and he paused with anger to see his camera blow off the table, lens first into the concrete. Not a happy Harv. I said “nah it’ll be all right mate.” But no good. He lens was jammed an the camera had to e sent back to the company to be fixed. Poor ol’ Harv wasn’t happy.

We kept on riding and made it to Meningie for Lunch. Harv opted for chicken and chips, and I hit the bakery. On we went with the wind.

After crossing the Murray River on a ferry by surprise, we thought it might be an idea to have an arvo beer at the Wellington Hotel. And what a hotel it turned out to be. The beer garden is awesome there. Right over the water, with some ripper locals to talk to, and happy hour between 5 – 6pm. Just in time!

We had a coupla beers and chatted to a couple who were driving round Aus. They had sold their house, bought a caravan, and we’re living’ the dream. Good on em. In Meningie we bought some food for dinner, but the menu at the Wellington looked so good we just had to have a pub meal each before hitting the road. It was set to be another long night!

Back on the road by around 7:30pm we saw the most amazing sunset leaving Wellington. By this stage in the trip Harv and I had become quite good at communicating with Cattle and Sheep as they were the only other species to talk to most of the time. Harv let off a ripper moo, and had the cattle in a stir, running along with us as we cruised down an empty road, into the sunset.

Someone had told us that you cant ride on the freeway via Bordertown to Adelaide so we had to turn west about 10kms before Tailem Bend. Sleep deprivation was well set in now, and most of the ride to Strathalbyn seemed quite a long one. I really needed to go to the toilet so we had to stop in Strathalbyn to use a toilet.

We were both almost keen to stay the night in Strathalbyn but there were no options really. So we kept cycling towards Adelaide, knowing little of the effort to come. My knee was really, really sore at this stage.

Eventually we realised that we were riding through the Adelaide Hills in order to get to the city. It was 1am, and we’d already ridden 150kms off little sleep. Motivation was lacking terribly. Once the hills started, they didn’t let up for at least 20kms of climbing.

I think my anger at the time with the situation, helped to motivate me through each hill as they came one after another. We stopped here and there, cursing, and laughing at our stupidity, but also quite proud of what we were doing. The temperature was really cold, we were both fully clothed, and every time another hill climb came it would get so hot  and sweaty inside our jackets. Then when a downhill came, the chill of the wind, combined with the sweatiness of our clothing created freezing body temperatures. It was a long hall but eventually we hit a town called Sterling. About 12kms from Adelaide.

From Stirling we discovered there were two options, turn back towards the hills and find another route into the city, possibly via more hills, or take the freeway into town. On the freeway entrance it was clearly stated they bicycles are not allowed on the freeway, but there was no way I was going to turn back into the hills. We took the rist and headed onto the freeway.

And what a road it turned out to be. From Sterling to Adelaide city, the Freeway is pretty much a 12km downhill the whole way into the city. It was a bad idea to take the road but we took the risk, and what an adventure it turned out to be. I don’t think I’ve sat on 50 – 60kms/ph on a bike for so long.

The downhill into the city was awesome, but the chill from the wind on the way down made us freezing cold. Even though I didn’t have to pedal, the ride down seemed to drag on, as I wanted to sleep so bad.

We got to town and started searching for some accommodation. There was nothing. It was now 4am, and anywhere that was actually open, was all booked out because of the Clipsal V8 races in Adelaide.

Our moods really dropped. All we wanted was sleep. And once again, to compromise sleep, we decided to eat some food. And what could be a worse way to end a hard night than eat McDonalds. It made us both feel sick. Bad move. But dropping into Maccas was a good idea because the security guard there was a legend. It was 6am and we told him all about our mission. The local police went through the drive thru, and the security guard told them we’re looking for somewhere to sleep. They said we could go camp behind the local footy oval hall. So off we went, so excited to get some sleep. We found the spot, pulled out all the gear, started setting up tents, and then splash. The sprinklers went on. Very funny now, but not funny at the time. I reckon the local coppers we’re off giggling to themselves about it somewhere.

We moved over away from the sprinklers and 6:30am went to bed. 

Day 6, Tuesday 19th Feb. Robe to Policemans Point

Day 6

Tuesday 19th Feb

Robe to Policemans Point.


Once again we hardly had enough sleep. I crawled out of the tent to find Harv not looking to flash. He wasn’t feeling 100% and almost jumped on a bus to Adelaide. We thought it would be a better idea to get to Adelaide and try sort out his injury rather than keep going and possibly make it worse. The bus was 5 mins away and he didn’t make it. So the tents and all the gear got loaded back on the bikes and off to the bakery for some breakfast.

It was a late start riding to the the day, but we actually had the wind in our favour. The terrain was changing quite a bit to some sand flats and salt lakes, heading into the Coorong Region.

We stopped in Kingston for a little while near the pier, and had some lunch, and a bit of a nap on the park bench there. It was set to be a long ride into the night.

It 1am and the temperature had dropped. We were both freezing cold and tired, so we stoped at a telephone booth in Salt Creek to put some Thermals, Arm Warmers, Leg Warmers, and Jackets on, as well as hop into a few sangas. There was no where to stay in Salt Creek so we kept riding.

After about another hour and half, the struggle was intense to keep our eyes open. It was so cold, windy and it was time for bed. A sandy spot on the side of the road looked like the perfect place to set up the tents. Soon we realised the the ground wasn’t so sandy. It was rock hard and none of the tent pegs would go in the ground. We had to used the bikes as weight, and ocky straps to tie the weight to the tent to stop them from blowing away in the wind. Not really the sort of thing you want to be thinking about in this state of sleepyness.

Day 5, Monday 18th Feb. Millicent to Robe

Day 5

Monday 18th Feb

Millicent to Robe

88.2 kms


Quite a productive day

I woke up to heat of the sun crackin through my tent. Harv and I complained about the sweatiness of our sleeping bags. I was still feeling really sleep deprived, and was now noticing some pain in my right knee. After a short ride into town, we stopped at the Bakery for some breaky, and also went to the chemist to buy some anti-inflammatory tablets for my leg.

Leaving town, we decided that we would head straight to Kingston via the main road, rather than take the coastal route via Beachport and Robe. The wind was strong and we were only making slow kilometres. We pulled over on the road side for some lunch, and some rest from the heat. Harv had a bit of a snooze in the grass, and then we kept going. About 50kms into the ride, we realised that we didn’t have enough water. We were both feeling sick nd dehydrated. The sun was strong, and was really taking it out of us. There was a turn off to Robe about 15kms up the road, and we decided it would faster to head there for some water, rather than stick it out to Kingston.

It was getting pretty bad. We had finished all of our water and were getting worried. We ended up jumping the fence of a property to get some water. We knocked on the door but no answer. Harv found a garden hose, so we filled our bottles and started guzzling, only to discover that the water was disgusting. I even tried to mix in Gatorade to make it taste better, but no luck. We cooled our body temperatures down though, and kept on down the road.  A bloke who was doing a bit of road work gave us a 600ml bottle of water to share and we were stoked. Further on down the road, still feeling dry and really tired we found a CFA. A small shed in the middle of nowhere, but the had a tap. We gave the water a taste, and bingo! The best water we have drank the whole trip. Harv and I laid around for a while re-hydrating our bodies, and scoffing a few lollies.

Finally we felt refreshed and good again so headed on down the road to Robe. I was actually quite happy we had to turn off to Robe because I had heard it’s a great spot, and I wanted to check it out. It seemed like a really long ride to get to Robe, but in comparison to what we were doing most days it wasn’t much.

We were nearly in Robe town centre when I noticed Harv in front of me holding his leg in pain, and shouting something. He jumped off the bike and laid down on the ground. He was in pain. His left ITB was inflamed and for some reason it had just gone on him, and he could hardly walk. Harv found the strength to get up after a little while and we both decided that it would be a smart idea to stay the night in Robe, and have a rest.

We reached town centre and hit the bottle shop for a few celebratory drinks down on the beach. The water was icy cold and felt really refreshing on our muscles. I got the guitar out and we sang a few songs on the beach. It was nice to finally sit down and relax for a little while.

That night we stayed at a Caravan Park looking over the water, and ate the biggest pizza each you could possibly imagine!

Day 4, Sunday 17th Feb. Portland to Millicent

Day 4

Sun 17th Feb

Portland to Millicent



It ended up being a late start leaving Portland. There were a few things we wanted to buy in town, like a little portable stereo that now exists as “Stez,” our new mate that gives us news updates, and some musical entertainment here and there.. The sun was still really hot and I think we left Portland around 11am or midday.

A friend of ours Clare had arranged for us to head to the Nelson hotel, about 80kms out of Portland for some lunch. After all of the riding in the heat we jumped into the Glenelg for a bit of a swim to cool down and refresh the legs a bit.  It was a great time but unfortunately we ended up hangin out at the pub for a bit to long. The owners of the Nelson hooked us up with a couple of free dinners, once again another brilliant steak, and the most massive salad bar, which we had several helpings to. Thanks for that guys!!

The locals there were really interested in what we were doing so it was hard to escape conversation, and Harv found it hard to escape a couple of Jager-Bombs that some bloke hooked him up with.

So finally we hit the road, it must have been around 7pm now, and we still have another 80kms to go before setting up camp for the night. So it was set to be a late one. Riding away from the hotel we were both stoked, the sun was sinking and we had Stez crankin some really dodgy pop tunes from the only radio station we could tune into.

A bloke at the pub had arranged for Clare to ride with us about 30kms to Mt Gambier. So they took off earlier form the pub to go and get a bike he could lend her, and then dropped her back out to the freeway to meet us.

Clare did well and road into the night with us to Mt Gambier. When we got there we stopped at a servo for some late night snacks. A full on healthy diet of ice cream, chocolate, and a couple of Red Bulls to keep Harv and I going for the night.

With another 40kms to cycle for the night we left Clare in Mt Gambier and headed for the Millicent Rest Stop. It wasn’t a hard ride, but we were both really tired and it felt like a sleepy ride.

There was some kind of mill about 15kms out of Millicent that seemed a bit weird at that time of night. It was all lit up and seemed like some kind of alien space ship or base or something. Of course it wasn’t, but we were joking about it at the time.

We got to the rest area and set up the tents. Our first night camping for the trip. It was 3 am and we were pretty excited about sleep. A couple of peanut butter sangas and off to bed.

Day 3, Saturday 16th Feb . Warrnambool to Portland

Day 3

Sat 16th Feb

Warrnambool to Portland



Bring on the sunscreen

A 9 am start to the day with a quick Bakery breakfast. The sun was firing once again but the day seemed shorter. We soaked ourselves in sunscreen, drank plenty of water and Gatorade, and headed for the Mac’s Hotel in Portland. We met my mate Simo along the way who kindly offered beers once again. Into Portland we started to notice a couple of hills and cheers to the lady who stopped her car to tell me that $20 had blown out of my pocket!

We had a ripper steak for dinner at the Mac’s, the bar was packed and playing was awesome fun. I whipped out a few extra jams and things that I hadn’t played before I was enjoying it so much.

Now the lack of sleep was catching up. We had been riding 8 hour days on the bike with 5 hours sleep under our belts. This could only work for so long. Sleep was so good that night but I didn’t get enough of it once again.

Cheers to the Hunt family for letting us stay. And thanks to Simo for lending us the PA system.

Day 2, Friday 15th Feb. Winchelsea to Warrnambool

Day 2

Friday 15th Feb

Winchelsea to Warrnambool



“Time to get up, the time is 7:30am”

The alarm rudely interrupted sleep at about 7:30am. A couple of quick showers, and off for some brekkie. For some reason Harv’s omelette took 30mins more than mine, so we didn’t get on the road until about 9 or 9:30.

The sun was hot, our bums we’re sore, and sleep deprivation was growing. IT proved to be a long day as expected, and we made it to Warrnambool after 8 and a half hours on the bike. We were both buggered and this was my first experience for the trip playing a show, whilst feeling like I’m asleep. I was now noticing some numbness in my left hand from long hours on the bike and it was starting to worry me. My hand was feeling week, and it was getting harder to play certain things on the guitar.

The gig went down surprisingly good, and once again thanks to Tom Milekovic, and Laura and Tim Smock for playing some tunes also. Cheers also to the Loft for having me.

Sleep came easy.

Day 1, Thursday 14th Feb. Richmond to Geelong to Winchelsea

Day 1

Thursday 14th Feb

Richmond to Geelong to Winchelsea

100.48kms + 37.2kms


Ziggin and a’ Zaggin

Up at 7am and straight into peak hour city traffic. It took us a while to navigate our way out of Melbourne city and finally get on track towards Geelong. We were both a bit tired from the night before, but both pumped to be off and away on the tour.

Its not as easy as you think to find your way on a bicycle from Melbourne to Geelong. We probably didn’t put enough time into researching the easiest route, but we eventually got there. For a while we were zig zagging around in the Western Suburbs trying to get to Werribee for a feed. From Werribee we could jump onto the Geelong Fwy and pedal straight into town.

We rocked up in Geelong at about 5pm pretty tired from the night before. So we chilled out on the couches before a couple of beers and some dinner.

The gig was small but a good crowd, and great to hear Tom Milekovic play before my set. I was tired but really enjoyed playing, and some how my mate Simo convinced me into having a couple more beers before the night ended. You only live once ey?

It was a late pack up after the show and Harvey and I had to cycle to Winchelsea to get to bed. We dropped into Kardinia Café for a late night pasta and off we went into the night. I was a bit nervous about cycling at night, but we found that it was actually more relaxing, and we both felt a lot safer. Our bike lights are really bright, the roads are more quiet, and its easier to see traffic coming because they are well lit up. Some way into the trip Harv started to feel a bit of pain in his left leg, and was cycling with one leg for a little bit. But he got through it and we continued on.

You should have seen how awesome the stars were. The sky was well lit up and re assured us that this trip would be something we’ll never forget.

We got to Winchelsea around 3am and dived straight into bed. We decided to head to Winchelsea after the gig because otherwise we would have to cycle a 190km day to Warrnambool the next day. And at this stage we were unsure if we could handle that many kms in a day before a gig.

Day 0, Wed 13th Feb. Hampton to East Brunswick

Day 0

Wednesday 13th Feb

Hampton to east Brunswick

30.97 Kms


And We’re Away!

This tour is actually kicking off! First things first, Harv and I unpacked everything we had previously packed and repacked it all just to be sure we had everything we intended to take on the trip. Clothes, cooking gear, camping gear, food, bike repair, maps, diaries, you name it. And of course I packed my guitar.

This was the first day of the tour, but we call it day 0 because we don’t actually leave Melbourne yet. With everything packed up, and a few last minute adjustments to the bikes we headed off to the East Brunswick Club, Lygon St in East Brunswick to play the first show of the tour, and have a bit of a going away get together.

It was strange to finally sit on the bike with everything packed and ride into Melbourne city. It didn’t feel realistic at al that we were actually on our way to attempting a cyclng trip around Aus.

Heaps of our Family, Friends, and lots of other crew showed up to the show and it was a great send off. Good to see everyone one more time before taking off.

A huge thanks to Bez for letting us crash at her house that night, and to Luke Foran and Jeroen for playing at the gig also.

After some late night snacks, it was off to bed at 2am.