Friday, August 12th, Eucla W.A. Rest day.
It seems like an eternity since my last post, but it’s only been 6 days since we had a day off in Norseman W.A. As I last said, Norseman was a well needed day off for me to get a handle on the Aussie cold virus
The internet access as I have said is very limited. The area we are riding through has very small population. I’m not sure what’s out here, big ranches I suspect, mostly just huge wide expanses of varying landscape. Occasionally there is a Roadhouse, which is mostly a fuel stop, an eating establishment, an RV park, and most of the time some accommodations that are quite basic. A small room, multiple beds for us, a small shower and toilet room. The room usually has a hot water kettle for quick boiling water, not something most Americans know anything about. There might be a frig and a toaster. Plenty to put together a hearty breakfast in the room before with ride. Porridge, rice flakes, quinoa, muesli, bread, peanut butter, jell. All good healthy food substantial enough to get us through the first hour to two hours of riding.
Sunday, August 7th, Norseman to camp site, 105 kilometers
Norseman to a camp site, a day we split up , originally almost a 200 K day, now today about 100 K. There are no road houses where we plan to stop. The van is set up so we can camp out in an emergency. The set up hasn’t been tested so…. We stopped at a good roadside 80 K out but we are planning Frasier Ridge about 100 K out. We get there and it is closed for construction. Bushy goes east and finds another spot 10 K further, yes. The camping experience was interesting, meaning not all that successful. Dinner went well, a bit early for Bushy but the cozy sleeping arrangements made for a sleepless night, mostly for Bushy.
Monday, August 8th, camp site to Balladonia, 82 kilometers
One of the shortest days but physically for me a hard effort. Doubts crept in about how I would survive the next couple of 150 plus days. I made a personal decision to free up my expectations and try to do at least 100 K every day, ride in the van as needed if I couldn’t hold up my end of the ride plan. Mentally, a hard but freeing decision.
Tuesday, August 9th, Balladonia to Caiguna, 182 Kilometers ride.
Time to push my limits. I’m not sure I understand the change, the weather helped, more strong tailwind, warmer, no rain, good supportive companions, mental change that allowed me to adjust my expectations and make this more a fun adventure than a must do competitive effort. Scotty and I were cruising, 30 plus KPH. The other motivating factor today, I get to ride the longest, straight road in Australia, one of my goal efforts. For those who are adventure cyclists, this is a must do ride. 146 Kilometers section of the 182 K day. This ride turned into an amazing, eye opening experience. I made the entire distance and felt good, relaxed, and still energized when we arrived mid-day in Caiguna, welcomed of course by rain in the last 10 K.
Wednesday, August 10th, Caiguna to Madura, 157 Kilometers
Buoyed by yesterday and seeing similar weather conditions, I was guardedly optimistic for today. Madura is another landmark where the road drops significantly, at least for this part of the world, down to an ancient seabed. Still flat, open expanse, fewer trees, a large ridgeline to the north as we ride along. The ride played out well, not quite as fast as yesterday but still over 30 kph. We even had some energy at 50 K to go to do some all out sprint challenges, a bit foolish but they put some smiles on our faces and mentally woke us up. A big fast downhill into the Madura Roadhouse. A good dinner, decent sleep. The dinner host mentioned she saw us on the road and honked at us, fun stuff.
Thursday, August 11th, Madura to Eucla, 184 kilometers
Eucla, a rest day. Proposed 190 K day. Ended at 184 K. We stopped at a small Roadhouse with 50 K to go. I was struggling when we got to Mundrabrilla so I made everyone stop for a proper lunch. A beef burger with the lot, burger, fried egg, lettuce, tomato, the works. Really hit the spot and gave me energy for the last 50. Soon, a long climb out of the seabed up to Eucla full service cafe, fuel, lodging, RV park, scenic view. We are now less than 20 K from riding all the way across Western Australia, a goal I didn’t think I would accomplish during my 80 K ride day. We need to get to of course, Border Village, located at the border tomorrow bright and early and hopefully dry.
Friday, August 12th, Eucla, rest day.
No bike time for Scotty or me but Bushy gets a chance to relax on his bike riding to and from, guess, Border Village. We drove there this morning to have a better breakfast than here at Eucla, and it was very good, massive egg, hash browns, bacon, sausages, toast, bake tomato and a long black, yum. Back to Eucla for tourist pictures of the amazing overlook to o the west and south, Southern Ocean. Back to the room for bike and personal care. Analysing tomorrow’s weather, blog activities, and then back to the Village for another big dinner prepping for 200 K tomorrow. Here’s hoping the weather treats us well, predicted less tail wind help. Another challenge to o Nullarbor Roadhouse.
Tomorrow the adventure starts into South Australia. A few more long days on the calendar and then the days will be closer to the 100 K or so lengths. We will be getting closer to more populated areas in about a week so the scenery will change some as will the elevations. Here’s to happy days ahead