Cycle Oz day 23 – Made it to Melbourne! 

  • Start: Cranbourne
  • End: Melbourne 
  • Day distance: 61.2km 
  • Total distance: 1210.91km 
  • Average speed: 15.6km/hr
  • Pedalling time: 03:54
  • Total time: 08:00

I set off at 9am, it was a bit chilly and I didn’t get a great start because Google took me around some back roads, and a couple of them just lead to dead ends which was frustrating. The morning was pretty uneventful, I was just heading towards the bay in the hope of finding a cycle path off the road. I had to make a detour to a large Westfield shopping centre to go to an Apple Store, which was about 30km into my day. 

The roads were busy as I was getting closer to the city but there was a bit of a shoulder for the most part, and eventually I reached the bay and joined a nice cycle path next to the beach. As I went down some of the back roads there was a cycle path on the road, which would have been great, but it was the car parking area as well so really the cycle lane was completely useless! 

I found the Apple Store and left Priscilla locked up outside, constantly fearing that someone was going to steal my panniers. My phone battery had, as I thought, ‘reached the end of its life’. They took the phone to be fixed and said to come back at 2pm. It was then I realised how much I rely on my phone – but how do I tell the time?! Maybe you could text me when it’s ready I said – yeah, not my finest moment, they had my phone of course. I felt like I’d had my right arm chopped off. But sad really. 

I ended up being in the Apple Store for 3 hours! I left with a new battery in my iPhone, a new iPad and a lot less money than I had gone in there with! I have had someone make a very generous donation to me to help with my electronic problems (which I am beyond grateful for), so the money wasn’t really mine, but it still made me feel a bit queasy spending so much money all at once! Hopefully this will make my life a bit easier and it will let me get more stuff done. 

I carried on back to the bay and rode along a great cycle path, riding through familiar place names like Kingston, Chelsea and Sandringham. As I got closer to the city there were more and more cyclists, a lot of tourists on the Melbourne equivalent of Boris Bikes. I stopped at St Kilda pier to see the penguin colony, sadly there were no penguins, but there were a lot of people looking for them!

Cycling through the city was sketchy. There were loads of road closures and detours and it was so confusing as to where I was allowed to be and where I wasn’t. I muddled my way through, but I felt more likely to get hit or knocked off here than I have ever done. As I got further into the city my first thought was that it was just like London, maybe a bit smaller. I even found myself on the Southbank, which is exactly the same as London. A pedestrianised area next to the river with sky scrapers on one side and overpriced eateries on the other. 

As I went further I found myself in the middle of all the skyscrapers on really big busy roads, it didn’t get any better when I finally made my way into Fitzroy which is exactly like Shoreditch in East London. There were lots of people riding fixie bikes in woollen jumpers with their trouser legs rolled up to show their jazzy socks. 

It was all a bit overwhelming, there were so many things to look out for. People. Cars. Trams. People getting off the trams. Buses. Lights. All sorts of different lights. People opening car doors. Tram lines. Bikes. I needed 5 pairs of eyes to keep on top of everything. It was utterly exhausting. 

My PCT 2015 friend Cardboard invited me to stay. He is living right in the heart of hipsterville. We went out for Vietnamese food, which was delicious but using chopsticks was an embarrassment! Claw hand and chopsticks are not compatible. In his mid-twenties, he lives with 3 other twenty somethings and I was reminded of what it was like to share a house. I set up my sleeping mat and sleeping bag in the kitchen / living area and listened to all the gossip about work and life and relationships. I was too tired to write. Sometimes its not a physically difficult day but it can be really draining mentally. 

It feels weird to be in Melbourne finally. That was the first goal. It’s a bit like reaching the Sierra on the PCT, it’s a big milestone, but there is still a long way to go!

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

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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