Day 40: Bigger than Le Tour De France

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This wind was blowing strongly this morning. Our thoughts turned to those to the North East of us who were expecting a devastating day with the bush fires. We are glad it didn’t get as bad as they feared.

Before leaving Hay we visited the local primary school. Thanks to Hay public for hosting us. The kids had a lot of good questions for us before we left.

As we headed East across the Hay plains we cruised at 30kph without too much trouble. We now were following the Murrumbidgee River more closely. We were looking forward to visiting the area a friend grew up in and staying with her parents at Darlington Point.

As we look at how far we’ve traveled across the country we are amazed. Daniel has ridden so far now. He’s ridden further than the 2013 Le Tour De France which was 3404km. Admittedly they did it a little quicker than us!

We are off to bed early as we are hoping to make it to Wagga Wagga tomorrow, 160km away.

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Day 39: Across the Hay Plains to a warm welcome

20131022-224346.jpgIt was time to put on some distance again. We had a big task in front of us – 400km in 3 days. Partly motivated by the desire to get closer to home with some time up our sleeve and partly because of the spacing of towns here.

Balranald – Hay: 133km
Hay – Darlington Point: 115km
Darlington Point – Wagga Wagga: 159km

We headed East into the wind. It wasn’t strong in the morning, but it was enough to keep our average below 20kph. We slogged a couple of hours into the wind before it showed any signs of weakening. The countryside changed to the Hay Plains. Wide open plains with few trees on it. It felt very different to the Nullarbor, the land around us was farming land, wool, beef and corn and most recently cotton.

Stopping at lunch I check for coverage and found a comment from a Hay local. Apparently her husband and son were hoping to meet us at the gate to a farm about 40ks West of Hay. We looked at the time and each other and thought of a cold drink. We rode and watched the K’s pass until we finally met these mysterious trail angels. Tom and his son Will offered us a cold can of drink and some water. They offered to show us around town later in the day. Refreshed and having replaced some energy we used the now tail winds to ride into town at over 30kph, making up for our slow start this morning.

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We ended up getting the insider tour of Hay along with some insights into its history before having our first home cooked meal in over 5 weeks. We both enjoyed the company, food and a chance to feel normal.

Thanks to these strangers who made themselves known to us and welcomed us.

Day 36: Into New South Wales

We are now in our home state! It feels like the trip is drawing to a close but we’ve still got a few Km and lots of hills to get over. The Great Dividing Range in fact.

Today was hot so we made out way to the next town only 80km away. It was a short and easy ride. I think how we look at distances has changed since the beginning of the trip.

We have a finish date!
After planning and working through our itinerary will be finishing at Terrigal on the NSW Central Coast around 12 noon on Saturday the 2nd November. Will hope you will be able to come and cheer Daniel in as he completes this epic journey. A ride in will be available for road cyclists and a victory lap of the Haven with kids. More details to come in the following week.

T-Shirts available
We are going to get danmallo T-Shirts printed. Cost is $30 + postage. Contact us using the contact form if you would like one. This is a limited print. We need to know orders by COB Monday 21st October.

Day 35: Day off in Mildura

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We’ve spent the day restocking, refreshing and servicing the bikes. First up was a good breakfast before we found a local bike shop. I got a new mirror to replace the ones that had broken earlier on our trip along with a new pair of cycling glasses for Dan.

The owner let us use his workshop so we could give our drive chains an overdue clean and service. They should see us home now.

Day 34: Into Victoria on a very Windy day

Strong winds pummeled us as we struggled to leave Renmark. It seemed South Australia didn’t want to let us go. We rode about 20kms with strong side winds and head winds doing less than 10kph at times. But the road turned East and we enjoyed being pushed by the wind over the border.

We crossed over the border into our 3rd state and 4th time zone. We are now in the same time zone as home.

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We cycled 142km and feel pretty good. We must be getting stronger. About 3/4
of the trip has been completed. We have sampled many different varieties of flavoured milk.

Mildura will serve as a resupply and rest point for us before we embark on the last leg of our journey across the continent.

We currently think we will finish at Terrigal haven on Sat 2nd of November. All are welcome to cheer Daniel in and finish the ride with him. More details will come when we are closer.

Today we saw our first road sign for Sydney, won’t be long now.

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Day 33: Last night in South Australia

It can be hard to motivate yourself (and each other) to ride when it’s hot and you’ve ridden over 80ks and you’ve found a quiet little pub with a cold drink and ice cream on the Murray River.

We didn’t know the pub was there until we saw the signs a couple of K’s from it. But it was a welcome relief from the over 30C temperatures we had been riding in. Our goal was Renmark, the last town before the Eastern border of South Australia and Victoria.

We had been watching out water as we were starting to get low. Now we sat in a little oasis, Daniel drinking a local ginger beer and me a local brewed beer. We could stay the night here you know? But it was time to move on.

We have found many small hidden spots just like this one. I guess we’ll just have to come back with the rest of the family.

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Day 32: Down to the Murray River

We were yelping for joy as we cruised down the Flinders Ranger reaching 56.6kph without too much trouble. It was a good day to be out riding.

Today was another milestone, we reached one of Australia’s most important rivers, the Murray river. We were going to be following it for a couple of days now.

At Morgan we arrived early hoping to go looking for fossils. It didn’t take long and we saw whale vertebrae and then lots of shells and coral.

One more day until the border to Victoria.

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Day 31: Time for the hills

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Today we celebrated a number of changes in our journey.

  1. We left the main national Highway 1 for some back roads
  2. We left the arid lands we’ve been traveling through for so long
  3. We left the flat roads and stared crossing the Southern Flinders Range

We’re now heading Easterly again. Today was a fun day riding, and really surmised the adventure we are on. New places, time riding together and an adventure all while working to achieve an epic goal.

We had hills all day long as we rode 92km through some very small country towns. The scenery was beautiful. Perhaps we hadn’t realised just how much we’d missed farms and green.
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Our distances are more determine by where the towns are now. We saw lots of wheat fields covering all the hills. We also had our first flat tire of the trip. Pretty good after 2,588km.

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Midnight Oil fans – we saw the old ruined house that the band has made famous.

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Day 29: lazy day to a little gem of a place

Today was a lazy morning. After a sleep in we went to a cafe for breakfast. A big breakie with eggs, mushrooms, bacon, tomato…

Then we headed to the first bike shop in a couple of thousand kilometers. Geoff’s bar tape was showing signs of wear and so it was replaced. Dan’s bike gained a bike computer so he too can track our speeds and distance.

It wasn’t until 1pm we headed out of town with the wind to our backs. The temperature was now about 32C, but this didn’t seem too bad compared to some of our previous days.

Dan put a sprint on along the flat and broke his record riding at 48.50kph!

We only rode 71km to a little town on the Gulf of Spencer called Port Germein.

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Port Germein has the longest wooden pier in Australia. We measured it (thanks to a GPS) at 1,420m. We are staying in a cabin at the waterfront caravan park thanks to Joy from the park graciously upgrading us from an unpowered site!

Sunset was delightful.

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Day 25: it’s heating up

We are at Minnipa for the night after a leisurely 81km for today. It was getting up to 38C today in the sun according to the bikes GPS. More heat is forecast for tomorrow of over 41C. We were planning on a section that’s has been described as long, hilly and arid with no places to get water. So instead of going with that original plan we will ride 37K’s (which we didn’t do today) and hide from the flies and heat for the day. We hope to make some of the time up in the next couple of cooler days and get to Port Augusta.

https://maps.google.com/?q=Eyre+Hwy,+Minnipa+SA+5654&hl=en&gl=au

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