I’m on my second day of rest and loving it. I did absolutely nothing yesterday. Total distance: 0km. Barely looked at my bike. Did some updates to the site, trying to fix a problem with uploading pictures but haven’t quite figured it out.
Day 17 (178.57km)
I made a big mistake yesterday. With all the running around getting the bike sorted out and figuring out where I would stay (and paying too much for it) I let the Foodland close before restocking on supplies. I still have food for cooking dinner but my lunch and snack food are pretty much depleted. Despite winds I had a pretty good roll today. I rolled into Poochera in the afternoon pretty hungry. At least I was thinking about food before rolling in. I turned into town thinking I would find food. The pub wasn’t serving food yet but I stopped for a beer. Chatted with the lady for a while and had a couple more beers totally forgetting how hungry I’d been. Unfiltered Pale on a hot day can easily feel like a meal. Once I started rolling again I saw the roadhouse just after the turnout I’d taken. Grabbed a couple toasties and kept rolling. Really hit me now how hungry I was. Inhaled them but it was too late. About 20 minutes later I had my first total bonk. Seeing spots, legs shaking and chugging water. I had restocked snacks at an earlier stop and ate about half of them right here. Cookies, cheese on crackers, couple of tomatoes and I was rolling again in 15 minutes feeling a bit better. Lesson? Stopping at the pub is okay, just make sure to eat first.
Day 18 (144km)
Started off really well this morning. Winds where not too bad and the legs felt good. I have been noticing that I tend up slow down about an hour to hour and a half into a day but usually I pick up speed again an hour later. Today I didn’t seem to come back. The legs felt sluggish and I had trouble pushing on the small hills. Wind never got that bad but was coming from all directions. There are a lot more flies again, tiny little fuckers that love landing on my face. Even up to 20km/h they’ll be flying around me. Taking breaks is getting hard because when I stop I seem to accumulate 4-5 flies per minute until there is a swarm around me.
I arrived in Kimba fairly early and decided to stop. My legs where not cooperating so I figured I’d give them a rest as I’d already had a pretty good day. Grabbed some food and headed to the pub to ask about parks to stay. I knew there where 2 or 3 free camping spots. I was going to do the first one I saw right near the road but several people recommended I go 2 blocks to the north and camp there. “It will be quieter” they said. Checked it out and it was quite nice, even had a grass area I would camp on. There was a small lighted area where I cooked a nice dinner, taking my time and reading. Went to bed around 830. About 30 minutes later I heard a couple of people outside my tent then heard an all too familiar sound. Breaking up bags of ice on the ground and the clang of bottles. Fuck. More and louder voices amassed by the minute. Within 20 minutes there where a dozen or so people for a sausage sizzle. Normally I would have joined them and mooched as much beer as possible but I was so tired I didn’t want to move. Put my headphones in and did my best to get back to sleep. An occasional yell would wake me but I managed to sleep. As far as I can tell they packed it in around midnight. Quieter my foot. I’ll take the road trains next time.
Day 19 (170.45km)
Pretty warm day rolling today. Stopped in Iron Knob for lunch and took a couple hours off in the hopes in would cool down a bit. It did but wind picked up a bit too. Got into Pt. Augusta around 6. Couldn’t find any decent food. I really wanted a giant plate of cheesy pasta but just couldn’t find anything. Settled on what should have been extremely cheap noodles. Good but not what I was hankering for. They also messed my order up once and took longer than it should have. While looking for a park to camp in I checked the rates of a couple small motels, one was really cheap so decided to grab a room so I could shower and wash some of my cloths.
Day 20 (117.59km)
I simply could not get my head on straight this morning. I was done with breakfast at 730 and had next to no packing to do. But for some reason I just kept lagging. Putting something in the wrong bag, or looking for something else, closing all the bags are realizing I hadn’t put something in. Over and over again. Didn’t end up leaving until 830.
Leaving town things where not looking good already. Crossing the windy Nullarbor I kept telling myself the wind would not be as bad once headed south. I’d seen the weather reports for weeks. High pressure zone over Melbourne with counter clockwise winds pushing south out of Pt Augusta. At least that was the case until last night. When the wind changed direction and was head N-NW. 16th day of headwinds. On top of that this was the worst traffic I’d had since day 1 leaving Perth. A lot of fast traffic, not will or able to give me room forcing me to riding entirely on the very bumpy should all day. I’d bought another roll of bar tape back in Ceduna and around 930 decided to stop and add another layer to the tops of my bars. My should was killing me already, just an hour into the day. It was more comfortable after this but I was still in a rotten mood, traffic sucked, roads sucked. Generally not having fun. I stopped in Pt. Germein for lunch. Got a nice lasagne again and briefly chatted with the guy next to me. I then overheard him say on the phone “…. no I’m with my friend skateboarding to Adelaide ….” I FOUND THEM! For weeks not I kept hearing about and seeing old wheels from ‘The guy skating the Nullarbor.’ He was leaving a legend in his wake. Just about everyone had seen or heard about him. I’d already seen one news paper article on him back in Ceduna. This dramatically changed my mood. It was very unexpected at that moment and took my mind of the road conditions. They where all super nice, we swapped complaints about the road conditions and they shoved off. I figured I’d see them again as we where pretty much on the same schedules into Adelaide. Saw them again at a roadside shop a bit later.
Pulled into Crystal Brook to get groceries and rested for a bit. Decided as I wasn’t going to make Adelaide the next day as it was I’d finish for the day. Went back to the caravan park I’d seen back on the road and stay there. Setup camped, cooked dinner had some beers and wine with the Skate The Nullarbor crew.
Day 21 (128.07km)
The winds started howling around 4am. This wasn’t going to be a good day. I thought I was going to be totally in for it. Luckily it was due to the little valley we where in. Once back on the main road I had… wait for it… A TAILWIND! I’m about 200km for Adelaide and was shooting for 150 today to have an easy roll in tomorrow. My knee started to hurt a bit today so I backed off a bit. Finished with 70km to go. Could casually do that in roll in early after noon.
Day 22 (91.49km)
This distance is actually about 73km into Adelaide and the rest rolling around in town. Basically arrived at the Exeter Hotel pub at 230 and stayed there until 900 or so. Weeeee. Ate a bunch of food too.
Day 23 (0km)
Restiest of rest days. Didn’t even go outside until after dark.
Going to stay in Adelaide until Saturday morning at least. I could push until Sunday and still make Melbourne by Friday but I’d be under pressure to do 150km a day without a lot of room to spare. Will decide in the next days what I’ll do. Off for some downhilling now.