Cycle Oz day 9 –  living to tell the tale

  • Start: Brogo
  • End: Eden
  • Day distance: 71.4km 
  • Total distance: 501.6km 
  • Average speed: 13.3km/hr
  • Pedalling time: 05:17
  • Total time: 06:35

It was absolutely freezing in the morning. Although I was warm in bed, shipping containers are basically like being outside! There was a low hanging fog making everything look beautiful. Paul made me brekkie, and I bundled up in all my layers – my Buff on head covering my ears and my thick gloves on. Ears cold. Fingers cold. 

I warmed up quickly on the first hill but it was still freezing on the downhill, the wind cut right through me. Layers on. Layers off. All morning. 

I spent the entire day on the A1 / Princes highway. It was pretty uneventful except for the large vehicles who didn’t give any room. Actually it was a really stressful day and I spent a lot of time shouting at drivers as they went by knowing they couldn’t hear me. One particular lorry came exceptionally close and I felt like I was going to get sucked under. The change in the air they cause as they pass made me wobble a lot, I only needed to wobble an inch or two more and I would have come off. A caravan did the same thing and came way too close for comfort. And the annoying thing is that it was a 4 lane road with no other traffic so the caravan had more than enough room to move over, but it chose not too. Several other lorries didn’t give any room, and sometimes there isn’t any room to give, but in those situations I wish they would just slow down a bit. The back draft as they pass is scary. I spent a lot of the day being very tense. 

There must be a shortage of ropes in Oz because they are all in the side of the highway. Every time I see one I think it’s a snake. I’m unlikely to see a snake at this time of year because it’s cold. 

The wildlife highlights were one dead wombat and a couple of squashed kangaroos. 

Getting closer to Melbourne!

The road went up and down a lot as usual and there was very little shoulder in parts. Some hills I had to stop mid way to let the lactic acid disperse, but there was no pushing. Downhills were scary and I was gripping really tight. I lost control at one point and I thought it was going to be disastrous, but I skidded through the dirt and managed to save myself. 
I passed through lots of farm land with lots of cows today. The views were nice. 

I stopped off at Pambula for a sandwich, turns out I stumbled across a bit of a local place for local people. Everywhere I’ve been people chat to me, but here there was a lot of staring. It cooled off quickly in the afternoon as it’s been doing every day. 

Finally off the highway!

I arrived at Peter and Pams house (warm showers hosts) and Melanie and Markus from Germany arrived shortly after. They have some serious bikes. I thought mine was heavy but I tried to lift Markus’s bike and couldn’t move it a centimetre off the ground. They are carrying so much stuff! They have come from the direction I’m going in and gave me some great tips, plus they gave me their travel card for Melbourne and their maps. People are so nice! 

Markus is a reasonably sized bloke, but his bike is huge! His saddle is higher than my elbow!! 

After looking at their set up, I want to get a little mirror and different grips. I really don’t want to get front panniers if I can get away with it. We spent a while talking all things cycling and I got reassured that some things I’m doing are normal! 

After a shower and lots of tea to get warm we had dinner with the whole family which was brilliant. Their daughter and her husband and three children were there peppering us with questions. We had a hearty vegetable soup and apple crumble for pudding. With everyone sat around the table it felt like Christmas! I had a really nice evening and didn’t go to bed until 11pm!! Very late.

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

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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