Adelaide to London on a vespa :)

June 5th, 2011

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.150455935017228.33374.150163441713144

Took me a while to find the link. I met the guy just south of Daly Waters… look at the amount of equipment he has :) The man holding the flag has walked from europe… 7 or 8 years on the road i think…..

May 17th, 2011

So I am waiting for medical results to come back. I have a million and one emails to write so if I have not been in touch do not take it personally. Rode a ride down in phillip island last weekend with jane and jules. I took it a bit too seriously and came second. Although it was not a race and we where on the shortest course. ahem.  All I can say is that I want a carbon framed bike. The surly is a bit of a tank. Photo below is me, jane and jules. Its raining. In australia…. again…

34

Oh yeah forgot to mention this guy….

http://wellnever-dream.blogspot.com/

P1030877 (Medium)

The fly net is needed, believe me :) A bad translation for anybody who is interested is as follows:

Andy Reynolds
It was the only rider with whom I crossed path in the first part of the Outback and not brought good face. Seeing the photo is easy to draw two conclusions. Andy, destroyed by the wind, came from Darwin (north). Network because it had not in the province of Northern Territory there is little flies. I, led by the south wind, carrying the network because the South is impossible to cycle without it. Exchange practical information, maps, and we parted. I always feel bad when you see a similar away in the opposite direction in one year came from London and ended in Melbourne

So other than that, I just have to sit and wait, everything is up in the air at the moment and things could go very good or very very bad… However there are worse places in the world to have to sit and endure this. My friends here in Melbourne have been incredible.

Random/travel/bicycle links for you:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1084411/Around-world-11mph–Adventurer-takes-wheely-long-ride-penny-farthing.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1352614/OAP-cross-Atlantic-raft-water-gas-pipes.html

Thats two from the daily mail… jesus…

May 8th, 2011

So after 14 and a half months and 14,502 miles (23,203km) I am back in the real world. No more putting up the tent, no more taking down the tent, no more riding day after day after day after… well you get the idea.

Back here amongst friends and it feels wonderful to stop but the next hill lies ahead…. hmmmm. Will write more when I can summon the energy.

3 days to melbourne…

May 5th, 2011

I have got to the point now where I have had to wrap duct tape around the front tire to make a nice little bandage as the tires I have on the bike are shot and i threw my one and only spare away (that granted also had holes in it) to save weight…  Somebody is trying to tell me something I think.

So I write this in the nice tourist information centre of Lake Bolac – Adam you never told me this place had free internet :) – with 230km left to ride before I finish Australia. The last couple of weeks have been great. I left Adelaide only to find out that cycling up the motorway was not feasible. I ended up taking the cycle path which detoured off in the opposite direction. Slightly worried I asked a passing cyclist for his advice and I ended up going for coffee at the top of mt lofty with nick, charlie and his girlfriend who’s name I have forgotten – sorry… Really nice people. For me the funniest moment was finding out that nicks super lightweight carbon fibre roadbike weighs 7.5kg… I carry more than that weight in water alone :) On the way out we also came across a guy who had cycled (name to be added)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris%E2%80%93Brest%E2%80%93Paris

I am not even going to comment on that as it is just too nuts for words…  So Nick and Charlie great to meet you both and thanks for the coffee.  The way back down was not quite as easy as I ended up getting lost and riding the 10 miles i had just cycled up the hill back into the CBD… hence a nice detour round Mclaren Vale. I then met a couple from Canada cycling from Melbourne to Adelaide and an English Couple cycling from Sydney to Adelaide. Everybody and I mean everybody is going the other way….  its the wind.

Then starting to get back onto familar ground, through into SA and approaching Victoria. A really great stay in Mt Gambier thanks to scotties dad and faye. Fantastic hospitatility that really was most appreciated. then  a sighting of a brown snake on the way out… a meeting with a man from the melbourne bicycle touring club who wants me to give a lecture(?! – hey martin looks like you have started doing them!) and i nearly forgot a meeting with these guys… http://andiamoper.jimdo.com/

see that line across russia… one month. beat that :)

So… last 3 days…

Adelaide

April 20th, 2011

Another computer that does not work… does any computer in this country have a functioning usb port or internet connection?! anyway the good news is that I have managed to cross the continent and I am in Adelaide. A massive thanks again to the people I have met on the way down here. Particular highlights being the spanish cyclist going north, the couple who got me so drunk on port that i went to my tent to sleep with a hangover before my head even hit the pillow, the other couple who after seeing me cycle 120km at 10km/h against a headwind and drop my bike in the rest area called over ‘you want a beer mate?!’ bless you and the chicken and rice. Who else? The lady behind the bar in pimba who gave me a very big bag of food for less than cost, and phil the australian snooker and billiard champion who took me for a drive up to woomera and an afternoon of hitting golf balls out of the car park over the road into the desert with all the other grey nomads… (i dont want to boast but this guy once played jimmy white AND alex higgins… and i beat him 3-0 at pool :) , probably only because he was teaching me how to play the game correctly…. :)

Who else? the guy in the car who slowed down and gave me a can of pop as i was riding along, the german backpackers camping in front of the no camping sign who could not believe i have ridden this far and took a photo of the world map i have (i was discreet enough to go and camp in a bird shelter but these guys… what sign?!), 90% of the cars going north up the stuart highway for waving, raising a finger or honking. The melbourne detective on his second day out of adelaide going up to alice on one of the nicest bikes I have seen on the road for a very long time. (yeti full sus)

 All the f*ggot hell’s angels wannabes who crusie up and down the stuart highway on gleaming symbols of arrested development. thanks for making me smile by looking uncomfortable every time i wave at you.

So aside from the cost of the road houses ($4.50 for a sprite?) it was a lot lot easier than expected. The head wind lasted from alice to here which slowed things down a lot but it has been worth it more than anything else just to see the wildlife. Snakes, spiders, scorpions, mice, beetles, little furry catterpillars that hook together and walk in metre long lines down the road, dozens and dozens of different types of birds, foxes, rabbits, dingos, emus, kangaroo’s, lama’s, bush pigs, bush horses.. you name it and it has tried to eat me on the way here :)

So the clock sits at 13,903 miles, taking a little detour in SA before dipping back onto the coast road I have about 600 miles to go… last 1000km :) (If you could see my smile now……)

Coober Pedy

April 7th, 2011

The computer that i am on is junk so i have to be very quick, i still have not had the chance to thank everybody who has helped me out on the way down, especially in alice. i will try and do this the next time i am on a computer that is not a piece of xxxx. In the meantime, i have less than a thousand miles to go to tbe finsih line if i take the short cut… hmmm other than that everything is trying to eat me. the mossies are just insane, but the flies… my god thick clouds of the things trying to crawl up your nose, into your ear and an unexpected new favourite… mice..you ever slept in a tent than woken up to find a mouse chewing away on your toe? no? they have eaten there way into the tent twice and once into the ortliebs… the tent can be fixed but the pannier has had it…

oh and south australian road planners? are they retarded? in the nt you get told how far to the next rest area which normally always means water? here in sa you get told 1km before you hit it. what xxxxing use is 1km?and the distances instead of being in 10, 15 even 50 to go, no 87km or3km… sorry but when you are cycling against a very strong head wind for 12 hours a day the little things start to get on your nerves… :)

right moan over, other than that, still meeting some really incredible people. i am getting a bit worried as there is a conspicous lack of mouth breathers about? maybe the bogans will be found further down south?

March 28th, 2011

In alice springs. Still tired from getting in and that was the other day. Cycled in with Adam from Ti Tree and we did a nice 200km day through the dark then into a bar, then a casino. Will write more soon because I have explain sitting and eating mcdonalds in the back of an ambulance in the middle of nowhere.

March 16th, 2011

http://www.travelblog.org/Photos/3457109

I did a search on the jesus loves nachos and somebody else took a photo, obviously there camera had not been soaked through and broken (the second one…) Saw it on a water tank in the middle of nowhere, but anyway have a look through her set as its a good idea of what I am riding through at the moment.

 The backpackers I meet think i’m mad as ‘there is nothing out there??!’, that is where they are wrong, snakes, kangaroos, bush pigs, more birds than I can even begin to describe, lizards and dingo’s that track you as you cycle down the road.. A car comes past once every ten to fifteen minutes and with my mp3 player now completely dead it is slowly becoming a relaxing ride. Bit hot at times and the head wind can be a killer but its worth it just to meet some of the people up here.

 I stopped in at the Daly Waters pub (6 pounds a pint…) http://www.dalywaterspub.com/main/page_side_folder_gallery.html and was treated to free food and coffee by mark who is working there. Mark is an aussie that has cycled from the uk to istanbul and is set to go back and do istanbul to daly waters. Do it mate :) Nice to meet you and the rest of the staff, thanks again for the food it was very much appreciated.

 Should be in tennant creek in 3 days, adam if you are reading this I will be at the back packers mate.

 

March 12th, 2011

“Jesus loves nachos” seen on the railway bridge coming into Katherine. Next to the Lord will ********* what was scribbled out I have no idea… (Plenty of the lord is returning signs nailed to tress up round here? Australias bible belt?)

“Hey mr, do you get paid to do that?” Little aborigional girl of about 7 watching me try and pedal up a hill into town…

So Katherine, I have to be very quick as it is very expensive here. So expensive that it makes you want to weep, but after 3 days I am in Katherine with the fun of; 1 crash lying in the road waiting for a road train to finish me, 1 punctured thermarest mattress that involved having to sleep on my clothes as the chinese superglue i had did not work.. thats a surprise isnt it?! 1 evening spent listening to the dogs on the radio in my tent “wheres me bundy takes the lead…” :) 1 encouter with a snake that was very much alive and very much bigger than I had ever seen. 1 morning thinking about crocs after seeing one squashed on the road, near to where I had camped… what else? 2 meat pies and then a painful afternoon as the calories tried to defeat my urge to pedal.. 100km’s between water. Its like the desert in China just without an affable uruguayan and the bad food.

Oh and water, lots and lots of water. The storms come in fast so you end up cycling in a thunderstorm in a shirt and shorts trying to ignore the looks the people in the cars are giving you as they go the overway. There is talk that the next stretch from here is flooded out but I will give it a go… Never thought you could be dehydrated in a thunderstorm but its possible… :)

Oh and crime, all the backpackers are scared to death of the locals. Apparently Tennant Creek is a war zone and Alice Springs has more police than France… I am guessing all this is nonsense but we shall see…

Oh and heres a game for all you at home, see the map above, see the little dot that is Darwin, follow the line and that dot  is Katherine… ok, that is 200 miles…. :)

March 8th, 2011

Taking planes sure makes the line move a long a lot quicker…

So back in OZ with the hippo bins, neon work shirts, op shops and people who speak english. No more drawing pictures, no more playing charades at last you can hold a conversation with a stranger for longer than a minute without getting tired. Happy to be here.

I landed after spending a small fortune on excess baggage charges. Considering that I met Keith  http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=RrzKj&doc_id=3951&v=5IP at singapore airport who had just lost his passport and then caused a pile up on the motorway coming in, all things considered I got away lightly…

Despite less than a week in sterile singapore I was a bit sad to leave. After Wit showed me the best library I have ever been in it was the perfect antidote to the million and one shopping malls which offer air conditioning if nothing else. A massive thanks to both Tim for shouting me some hideously expensive drinks and Wit (who I originally met in Rotterdam when I was walking like a crab because the cleats of my bike had been set up incorrectly) who took me round Singapore over more than a couple of days. Wit who works for http://www.dpa.com.sg/ (how good is that website?) gave me a nice tour of their offices, a guided tour of the architectural highlights of Singapore and the Thai concept of uncle. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etiquette_in_Asia  Good luck making your first million on the old import/export scheme, hope to see you again soon pal.

I arrive in Darwin only to have a camel hunter called Peter help me fix up the bike outside the arrivals lounge. I then cycle into town as the sun comes up, get a bed in a shiny hostel with a swimming pool and the best breakfast I have ever seen in an hostel and then ride round the block to the local bike shop.

A mini explosion or organized chaos? Keith the guy that runs is a legend. I had lost one of the spacers that adjust the handlebars on the headset, as he fitted a new one it was tightened a bit too much meaning the whole thing stuck fast then started spinning. Cue some bush mechanic style ingenuity with a cold chisel, monkey wrench, screw driver and finally an angle grinder. Hitting the remnants of the star nut down into the steerer tube with an old pedal axle the new set up was finished with a new marathon xr back tyre, two new inner tubes and another bottle cage which takes me up to 5 bottle cages on the bike now… all this was carried out whilst he is telling joke after joke..

This is why I wanted to come back to oz, to meet the characters :)  

Tomorrow I stock up on food and water and whilst the sudden increase in price makes you want to cry, everything and I mean everything you need is available in a single shop. Then I start cycling south the day after.