I wasn’t sure what I was going to do when I got to Melbourne. I had already taken a bunch of rest days and didn’t necessarily feel like I needed more rest, but I was in Melbourne and I thought I should see a bit of it while I was here. I also didn’t feel wonderful when I woke up, I had a headache and my stomach had been running fast and loose for a couple of days so I was probably really dehydrated. I didn’t want to do any of the things I had to do. So after my first day of organising and admin I decided to stay another day to have a wander about and escape the possible rain, which ended up being another day of bike maintenance, organising and admin. And it rained heavily all afternoon so it was a good decision!
Priscilla got another makeover, I decided to get an Ortlieb bag to go on the top of my rack because with the weather and the spray and stuff it felt like my rucksack was getting ruined. Plus it’s bright yellow so hopefully that will increase my visibility a bit more. I bought a rear view mirror so I can see when the big trucks are coming, but I tried it out and it was terrible. It vibrated so much when I was riding that it made me feel sick when I looked in it. It wasn’t cheap either at $30 so I took it back and got a refund. I know the one I want – the one the Germans had – so I’ll have to keep looking for that.
I also splashed out on a Brooks saddle (well my parents got it for me as an early birthday present, thank you parents!). A B17s. The king of the saddles according to most people who own them. It wasn’t an easy task. The first shop I went to – Abbotsford Cycles – were pretty unhelpful. They didn’t seem to know much about the saddles and they had really limited stock. They did let me test a couple out but they didn’t have the one I wanted. Another shop I went into didn’t stock them but there were much more helpful and offered to order one. But, after considering ordering one online, I decided to go to Commuter Cycles, which I was reluctant to go to because it was 5 kilometres away, but I should have just gone there in the first place!
They were super helpful and had a full selection, and they were actually knowledgable about Brooks saddles. Finally. They fitted the saddle, applied the Proofide (it softens the leather and helps the breaking in process), adjusted my handlebars for me and gave the bike the once over without any extra cost. I also purchased a cover for the saddle. If you’re going to spend $180 on a saddle you need to look after it! You could use a shower cap or a plastic bag to save money, but this one fits so well!
The cost of the bike has risen a bit with all the new additions.
- Saddle $180
- Saddle cover $17
- Lube $16
- Ortlieb Rack Pack $100
- Handlebars and tape $72
- Cycle computer $59
Bringing the total cost of bike to AU$2,101.75 (£1,264)
Priscilla also got a wash! She was filthy, covered in sand from the wet roads, and she had developed a really annoying squeak which I assumed was something to do with the chain. I gave the chain a thorough clean and cleaned the gear-crank-things as best I could. I re-oiled the chain and it now works like a dream and the squeak has gone. Feeling quite pleased with myself! The bike maintenance course is paying off! The man in Abbotsford Cycles checked my chain (pre-cleaning it) and said it was half way through its life. Already? Does that sound right or was he just trying to sell me a new chain? The man in Commuter Cycles said it looked good (post-cleaning it)…
I managed to cycle over 30km on my rest days. With Priscilla being so high maintenance and taking a substantial amount of my time on both days, it didn’t leave me with a huge amount of time to explore Melbourne. But as with any big city, everything is designed to make you spend money, and I had already spent all of mine! I didn’t go into the city centre, I just stayed in the local area. As I wondered around I realised just how hipster the suburb of Fitzroy is. It’s all smashed avocados. Record stores. Charity shops rebranded as ‘vintage’ shops. Fixie bikes. Smooth round helmets. Rolled up trousers and jazzy socks. Graffiti. So much graffiti. Coffee served in science beakers. Everyone thinking they are unique but all looking the same…in their converse hi-tops and knitted jumpers.
I’m making fun of it, but I really liked the small bit of Melbourne that I saw. It has a much nicer feel than Sydney, less touristy, a bit more chilled out, more character. If I hadn’t spent all my money on bicycle related paraphernalia, I would have enjoyed sampling some of the many nice looking places to eat and drink. It’s definitely a place I would like to come back to. There is a great street full of outlet stores, including the best Patagonia store I’ve ever seen, full of things I don’t really need but really want. I wasted a whole bunch of time in there but didn’t buy anything.
I picked up a couple of parcels my amazing friends in America, Glendee and Jackie, had sent me. My wind shirt, a new trowel to replace the one I lost in New Zealand on that terrible day, money for a nice meal and enough Aleve to last me a whole year!
I was very happy when my phone lasted the whole day on one charge rather than one hour, and I had a great time playing with my new iPad – it’s making things a lot easier, typing on a real keyboard is a delight. I spent $1.60 on a high-tech case for it…
I also found a new snack – dried peaches. I hate dried apricots, actually I hate most dried fruit. But I really like peaches and peach flavoured things and my PCT friend Crusher loved dried peaches so I thought I would give them a go. They are delicious! And of course they are the most expensive of all the dried fruit! Another addition to my life is a multivitamin. It’s one of those effervescent ones that flavours my water so it has double benefits.
The forecast for the next 4 days is clear and sunny, maybe a little windy, but it looks like I will have a good start to the Great Ocean Road. I’m still feeling a little ropey in the stomach area so we’ll see how that pans out.
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.