Day 39

  • Start: Panorama, South Adelaide
  • End: Para Hills, North Adelaide
  • Day distance: 25.86km
  • Total distance: 2281.71km
  • Average speed: 15.1km/hr
  • Pedalling time: 01:42
  • Total time: 03:10

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On the first day I didn’t have too far to go so I was able to sleep in and Mark & Damiana were super kind, cooked me breakfast and let me hang out there all morning until I was ready to leave. I was grateful for the short day and the later start after my biggest day so far yesterday. It was nice and sunny for a couple of days so my helmet tan is looking pretty ridiculous!

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Treadly Bike Shop

I put out a request for help in a Facebook group: looking for recommendations for a bike shop in Adelaide. The response was great and there was overwhelming support for Treadly bike shop. With so many great recommendations I had to go and check it out. Sam was super friendly and helpful, and so were the other customers! I went through a few options of how to carry more water as I head off into the middle of nowhere, we discussed cages on the front forks and extra bottle cages on the the frame, but none of those thing were going to work.

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I left Priscilla in Sam’s capable hands for a day and he went the extra mile to make sure I was ready for the long road ahead. When I asked him for a couple of spare inner tubes because I haven’t been carrying any up to now, his response was a kind of a despairing laugh. He has now made sure I am carrying spare tubes, cables and something to do with fixing my chain should it break. Let’s hope it doesn’t! 

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Thanks Sam!

Priscilla

So Priscilla has been fine tuned! With a new chain and new break pads we are ready to hit the outback. I don’t think my break pads were that worn, but I’ve been told a few times that Shimano break pads are really aggressive and will wear out your rims quickly. The brand of choice for most people is Kool Stop / Swiss Stop which is what I have now. When I left the shop and I used my breaks for the first time I thought I was going to go over the handlebars! What a difference! Sam also trimmed down all the cables at the front of the bike, and fixed my gear problem – the derailleur was hitting the bottle cage which was stopping me being able to change down to the ‘easy’ gear (very important). And he gave her a bit of a clean!

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Priscilla road!
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Not enough gears
The bottle cage and derailleur are very close


David

One of the people to respond to my Facebook request about bike shops was David, and when I many my first visit (of many) to Treadly, David was in there. “You’re Alex Mason” he said. I love being greeted by name by randoms in random places! (And it happens more often than you think it would).

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Thank you David!
David has been pretty awesome to me. Not only did he donate to my charity, he took me out for lunch and packed me off with some sugary treats to keep me going. It was really great to chat to him. He is a keen cyclist himself having cycle toured through Europe, and he is on track to complete 20,000km this year (go for it David!). He makes me look very amateur in comparison!


Nicolle

I travelled around Africa with Nicolle 10 years ago! She has been amazing. She has been a long term supporter of my adventures and when she found out I was heading her way she offered to host me. When she said I could stay ‘as long as I like’ I’m sure she didn’t expect me to hang around for 5 days! She has fed me and run me around in the car and treated me to a massage. Oh the massage was good! I had to stop myself at times from leaping up from the bed and punching the guy in the face, especially when he was working on my calves and my glutes. But I stuck with it and my legs felt great by the end. My arms didn’t make me flinch at all, not one little bit. I have turned into two sticks of muscle with a blob on top. 

Thank you Nicolle!

We had a day out and I saw a bit of the north of Adelaide and some of the wine growing regions. We passed through Jacobs Creek winery which was quite cool as it was usually the wine of choice in the 00s. And I tried this very very sweet South Australian classic: the frog cake. 

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New things

My mum sent me a care package from home which included a new puffy! I’m a bit sad to say goodbye to my old namesake. It has done me well, but with a broken zip (it it really smells kinda gross) it was time for it to be replaced with – a new blue Berghaus puffy! I’ve hardly taken it off since I got it, it’s so cosy. I also have new knickers, which is nice to have ones without holes in after wearing the same two pairs for a whole year! 

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I also bought a few new things. I must stop spending money! In anticipation of some nicer weather I bought a string to keep my sunglasses on my face which was cheaper than buying new sunglasses. The arms are being held on by tenacious tape, but I’m not ready to part with my Instagram filters just yet. I bought a new Sea to Summit dry bag which will be used as a makeshift handlebar bag to allow me to carry more water. A front rack and panniers would have been $300-400, and would have added a lot of weight. An ‘official’ handlebar bag would have been around $280. So my $45 dry bag solution was a lot more pleasing to my pocket. This dry bag is 20l capacity and it has 4 anchor points to make it really secure. I’ve also made use of the carrying straps that came with the panniers which I wasn’t using. 

On a bit of an impulse I also bought a bum bag / fanny pack. There are two reasons for this, ok 3 reasons. 1. I can strap it on to the front of the handlebars, on top of the dry bag, to store more accessible snacks in, so maybe I will eat more during the day. 2. When it’s hot it’s a pain in the arse not having any pockets, so now when I have to get off the bike and go into a shop, I can unclip it from Priscilla and clip it to me, leaving me to have a hands free shopping experience instead of hugging my wallet, phone and that bloomin key. 3. I will look really cool (it’s Patagonia darling).

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I thought about sending some stuff back to the UK. My rucksack, my river shoes and a couple of other bits. The post office wanted AU$60! That was a bit steep. They said if my package was over 2kg (it was only 1.2kg) they could send it by sea for AU$40. Heavier is cheaper?! The world has gone mad. I’ve made it this far carrying those things so I’ll just carry on.


The weather

So I am in the driest inhabited state in Australia and the weather has been terrible! It has rained every day, which is one of the reasons I have hung out in Adelaide for so long! I’m really bored of the rain now. 


Love Her Wild

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Another reason I have been here for a while is because I needed to put some work into my other project, Love Her Wild. My friend Bex has basically been running the show singlehandedly and I haven’t put in my fair share of work. So, I worked on updating our website, and to do that I needed a full computer – annoyingly there was a lot of stuff that I couldn’t do on my iPad, and one of the reasons I got the iPad was so I could do more to the website, maybe I should have gone with a laptop after all, so frustrating – so I hung out in the Apple Store for about 10 hours over a few days.

They were so good in there, they said I could come in whenever I liked and for however long I liked and use whatever I needed to. One of the guys even helped me when I was struggling to insert some code. Word started to get around while I was in there and I had a few people come up and ask me if I was ‘the girl cycling across Australia’ and asked me a few questions. By day 3 I was being welcomed by name!


Adelaide

I really like Adelaide. Out of the big 3 it has probably been my favourite so far. It just has a nice chilled out vibe. Adelaide was mostly settled by Brits which is reflected in all the suburb names: Salisbury (does that mean I’ve reached my goal?!), Croydon, Keswick, Dulwich, Goodwood, Richmond, Kensington…I could go on!

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Me

I’m feeling ok. It’s been nice to take a few days off, although I’ve felt a bit stressed out while I’ve been here, all self induced. Ive stressed about the weather, about the work I’ve had to do, about taking so many days off (it’s a weird feeling you get, like time off is cheating). I’ve stressed about my kit, both not having enough and having too much. I tried, but keeping my stuff contained was impossible…

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I’ve stressed out about a bunch of other things too. I was first thinking about getting to Melbourne, then to Adelaide, now I’m thinking about getting to Darwin which feels like the last leg, even though it’s longer than the other 2 combined! Now my brain is starting to think about what’s after Darwin. And the short answer is I don’t know, which is stressful. 

I don’t now why I am letting all these things worry me so much. I have got here from Sydney with no problems. I have also walked across 2 countries and been away from home for a year and all the stuff I have has worked fine. I seem to find myself constantly thinking I need something different or something new / better. Maybe that’s a side effect of being in a town, there are so many things available to buy, so many shops all making you think you need those things. Maybe it will be better when I have left the big city.

Tomorrow we ride again! 

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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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