Cycle Oz day 2 – a mixed bag  

Bulli to Kiama 
Day: 50.5km / 31.4mi
Total: 136.6km / 84.9mi
Average speed: 14.5km/hr 

Trish invited me to go on a bike ride with her this morning, but that involved getting up at 6:30am which was a physical impossibility. I struggled to get to sleep as my thighs were pulsing, and with a shorter day planned today I didn’t get up until 9am. I had a great breakfast of weetabix and fruit and toast. I hung about chatting to Trish and Dave and their friends and I didn’t want to leave. 

I could just live here now. 


But eventually I had to go. Trish sent me off with a packed lunch, a hi-vis vest and some 3B cream – for the breasts, buttocks and between the legs. I was dreading sitting on the saddle, and it was sore but to be honest I think the thought of the pain is worse than the actual pain, and after a few minutes I settled back in. 

I was feeling pretty confident this morning. I have mastered the kick stand. Stop. Flick the stand out with my left foot. Get off the bike on the right hand side. The problem of the kick stand being on the wrong side solved. Also managed to remove my phone from the quad lock and click it back in with one hand. Hopefully now I can take a few more photos. 

On the downside my phone battery is buggered and my Anker charger only has one USB port working. Why does everything break down at the same time?! So frustrating. 

I was able to follow a wonderful cycle superhighway all the way to Wollongong where I stopped at Simple Cycles to buy a cycle computer. I want to know my speed and distance. David was wonderful and carried my very heavy bike up the steps. Fitted the computer for me at no extra cost and gave me some cable ties, because they are the ‘most important thing in your repair kit’. He also gave me his phone number in case I had any problems with my hosts tonight, he said I could stay with his daughter who lives in Kiama. People have surpassed my expectations in the kindness area so far. 

I set off again and found myself on the highway instead of the nice cycle path which I wasn’t happy about. I thought if I just head off to the left and get to the coast I would pick up the cycle path again. I saw signs to the ‘nsw coast cycle way’. Great I’ll follow that. Or so I thought. The path disappeared and the signs disappeared and I found myself in yet another industrial estate. There were huge trucks driving around, so I cycled on the pavement, regardless of whether I was allowed to or not. It was safer for everyone involved. 

After my little detour around the industrial park I picked up the cycle way again, it turns out the coast path doesn’t necessarily follow the coast. I was back on track again but I was really hungry. Realising it was now about 2pm I needed to stop for lunch, I found a little patch of grass and tucked into my great packed lunch. Getting off the saddle is great. Getting back on the saddle isn’t great. I continued along the coast for a while until I found myself back on the A1 / princess highway. There appeared to be nowhere else to go so I rolled with it. My little cycle computer is great, but I now know that I cycle uphill at between 5-7km/hr which is so slow! But I did manage to get up to 35km/hr on the downhills on the highway. 

If cycling on the highway wasn’t bad enough, it then started to rain. It got dark and stormy looking. I stopped, put my lights on, put my hi-vis on, made sure everything was waterproofed and did the only thing I could do – keep on peddling. 

I saw my first kangaroo, unfortunately it was a dead one squashed on the side of the road. It took me a bit by surprise and I wobbled around a bit. Thankfully the cycle lane along the highway is nice and wide and there are signs everywhere for motorists to watch for cyclists. It’s a bit hairy when you have to cross an exit road but you just have to be super careful. 

There were a few long but gradual hills which I was determined to conquer. After one particularly long one, where I was honked at a few times by passing traffic, I got to the top and I roared out into the distance, feeling like a champion for having pedalled my way to the top without stopping or pushing. The adrenaline and euphoria was buzzing through me. I’ve missed that feeling. The highs and lows are much greater than hiking. Everything seems so much more intense. The highway isn’t fun, but it is quick. 

The rain was light and coming in waves. I was starting to watch the kilometres tick down on my speedometer, just 2.5kms to go. I was now feeling so much better than when I had 25kms left! I made my way through town and I found my destination for the day. I had been invited (well, I kind of invited myself) to stay with friends of my aunt. I turned up and knocked on the door to find an empty house. I poked around the back of the house, feeling really bad about being on a strangers property, but I thought they may not have heard me knock! 

2 minutes later Anita arrived home and welcomed me in. People are so nice and so hospitable. My second night and I got a delicious home cooked meal, a hot shower and a warm bed. I am so lucky! Anita’s husband Simon came home and we had loads to chat about. They had travelled overland – mostly by buses and trains – from England to Australia, and it was great to hear about all the countries they have been to. 

We saw on the news that a storm was rolling in and the next day was going to be pretty awful, with the area being hit by an ‘east coast low’. The rain was already hammering down and I was so so grateful to be inside and dry. I lay in bed and listened to the thunder and watched the lightning light up the room and thanked my lucky stars. 

It was sensible to do a shorter day, although it still felt like it took me a lot longer than it should of to get anywhere. 

Bum not too bad. Chafe ok. Fanjita a bit sore. 

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

I continue to raise money for Just A Drop – they bring sustainable clean water, sanitation and hygiene projects to communities around the world. 

663 million people across the globe are living without access to clean, safe water. That’s 1 in 10 people. A child dies every 90 seconds from a water related disease. One third of the worlds population – 2.4 billion people – don’t have access to adequate sanitation. 

If you have enjoyed this blog, please consider donating a few…pounds / dollars / euros / yen… and together we can change lives.

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4 thoughts on “Cycle Oz day 2 – a mixed bag  

  1. Hi Alex!

    Very cool to see you transitioning to bike touring from hiking. As someone who has done both, a few ideas…

    Your fanjita (hehe) shouldn’t hurt! You might need to adjust your saddle. You can move it forward and backward as well as tilting the angle up and down. To start, I would put in rails in the middle, and level the saddle so it’s flat. Then make very, very small adjustments from there. You should never have a huge tilt in your saddle — it should be generally level, possible up or down a degree depending on how it feels. Too far downward tilt might help with fanjita pressure, but you’ll transfer a lot of weight to your hands and they’ll start hurting then.

    Don’t be afraid to get a bike fit and/or new saddle if you can’t make things work! I’ve been through a lot of biking = lots of pain moments and it’s not fun. A bike fitting can be invaluable.

    Good luck, can’t wait to keep following along!

    Like

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