- Start: Sale
- End: Foster
- Day distance: 124.1km
- Total distance: 1010.51km
- Average speed: 18.1km/hr
- Pedalling time: 06:49
- Total time: 07:50
This will be short because every single muscle in my body hurts and thinking is difficult.
I woke up this morning feeling like giving myself a bit of a challenge so I decided to break to 100k barrier. I also wasn’t keen on pitching my tent (I’ve been too spoilt by all my wonderful hosts), so I wanted to try and get somewhere I could stay inside. I’ve been hearing that this section is pretty flat so what better place to do it.
I didn’t begin until 9:30am because it was foggy and grey and cold looking outside. I was sent off with a good breakfast and a packed lunch by Gerard and Jenny.
I managed to avoid the busy highway by taking a cycle path for the first little bit. After crossing the swing bridge I stopped to delayer and a nice lady started talking to me, she was telling me all about the little towns I would stop at along the way, that delayed me quite a bit.
I joined the main road and I cycled and I cycled and I cycled. It was the usual mix of ok shoulder and no shoulder, people giving me room and people passing to close, squashed kangaroos and roadside memorials. It was pretty flat and I was able to keep a decent pace, but the only problem with flat is that you have to pedal constantly, there is absolutely no let up.
I stopped at a petrol station because I really needed a wee, very few services along this road. I walked in and the man handed me the key for the toilet without me even saying anything! I got to the Yarram area around 1:30pm which was going to be my original stop for the day. 73km done, I was feeling good so I carried on. I didn’t stop much today, I didn’t have that desperate need to get off the saddle every 5k and could just keep going. I just stopped for snacks and random 2 minute breaks to faff around with one thing or another.
I have been mostly worried about cars and deadly animals, but I underestimated the fly. There were lots of them about today, and a lot of them ended up in my eyes, and one also tried to kill me as if flew straight down my throat. I pulled over and I was coughing and retching on the side of the road. It was unpleasant. But I survived and after that tried to keep my mouth shut, which was difficult when you have a nose like a tap. My body produced an unbelievable amount of snot today, which meant I got to practice the snot rocket several times. Good job I’m wearing a waterproof coat because I got more snot on me than on the ground. I will master it one day.
After Yarram I came off the highway and took some back country roads, so nice to be off the main road. It was a great ride with very few cars and nice farm scenery. Google was directing me to the Great Southern Rail Trail but when I reached the turn off it was just a field. So I continued on and rejoined the highway and just followed that all the way to Foster. I had done about 85km when I really started to feel it. My legs were getting really tired, my shoulders were starting to hunch (more), I could feel more tension in my jaw and I was beginning to think I wouldn’t make it. But I still had loads of time and I could cycle a bit in the dark if I had to.
So I just kept pedalling. I stopped briefly to have a small celebration for one when my speedo clocked 100k, the celebration was short lived when I thought about how far I still as to go and how much my legs were shaking.
I watched the kilometres ticking down and all I could think about was how much I wanted to lie down and provide some relief for my shoulders. I had been lucky with the weather today, it was an exact repeat of yesterday, a tiny drizzle shower early on and cloudy with small patches of blue sky throughout the day. Only when I got to under 10k left was when I thought I might just be able to make it. With 8k left I hit a big wall mentally. I had to dig really deep and fight the desire to stop moving my legs around. There were a few hills, although I don’t think they were hills, just small lumps in the road, but with my body near total exhaustion it felt like I was attempting to scale Everest each and every time.
I put my lights on and prepared to cycle in the dark for about half an hour. I think I’m actually more visible and night, the reflective spots on the back of the panniers are super bright. There were some lovely views over the bay with the sun set, but if I had stoped to take a picture it would have been very unlikely I would have got going again.
I arrived in Foster at 5:15pm, just before it got really dark. I got a soda from the gas station as a reward for my achievements today and found the hostel. Looking in the mirror I saw that my face was covered in white salt and I had fly remains in the corners of my eyes. I jumped in the shower and made myself some noodles. There were three other people at the hostel and I chatted to them a bit, but I escaped to the solace of my room where I could lay down and let my body throb and my eyes shut.
I broke through the 1000km milestone today too. That seemed unlikely on day one! Big day. Exhaustion levels high. Fulfilment levels really high.
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.
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