Day 47: Hello Sydney

20131030-185916.jpg
Last night was my turn to be sick. Dan was getting better slowly. By the time the morning came we were tired and dehydrated but able to hold water and a little food down. So we decided to head out.

We had two options, we could stay at Bargo or we’d have to make up the whole distance we dropped yesterday and make it to Campbelltown. There is no where to stay in between a 56km and 93km day here. I was doubtful we’d be in good enough shape to make Campbelltown, so I had alternate plans for the next few days.

We set out of Bundanoon after getting some hydrolite. It was nice riding through the Southern Highlands with small towns so close together. It was such a contrast to the long distances between towns we’d often had. Plus this was green and hilly. But not too hilly for a cyclist.

By the time we were in Bowral we felt ok. We’d been riding slowly. There were no attempts to break a speed record today. We stopped and had a good long lunch. We both agreed Campbelltown it was. We had the time to just sit and spin our way there slowly.

We pasted areas that were in the recent bush fires. I had another flat from unavoidable glass spread across the whole shoulder. We also rode our 4,000th KM. What an effort. We cycled past the “Welcome to Sydney” sign. I’ll admit there must have been some dust from a truck in the air as my eyes got watery as we congratulated each other and begun to realise the enormity of what we have been through.

Day 46: Sickness Slows Progress

We have cut today short after Daniel started vomiting at lunch time. He managed to ride another 17km to the nearest town with accommodation, Bundanoon. We are resting here at The Ravensworth (thanks to Jenny who donated tonight’s accommodation) but the vomiting continues. We are unsure at the moment how this will affect the trip. We are hoping and praying that this will be short lived and we can keep moving tomorrow. We have some room in our schedule to absorb a delay.

Today wasn’t all bad though. We had a good breakfast and cleaned our bikes this morning thanks to Peter at The Green Grocer Cycling Cafe in Goulburn. We also saw an echidna up close.

20131029-163937.jpg

Day 45: Cruising in Capital Country

How would today go? The riding would be easy, but we had to say goodbye to our family today. They would drive with us to Gunning where we would leave the Hume after having a nice lunch with them. They stayed with us a little further up the hill before returning home.

We were now in a really nice groove with our riding. Just cruising along. We didn’t have any big days left. We can do shorter days and really enjoy the ride. We can take in the scene and choose routes that are not the fastest, but a quality bike ride.

20131028-204510.jpg

We also met Tim in Gunning, a friend who lives in Canberra who was going to ride with us today. He drove to Goulburn and was going to ride towards as we made our way along back roads. This added a few K’s to our journey, but the countryside was beautiful and enjoyable to ride through.

We met Tim and rode into Goulburn for a milkshake at The Green Grocer, a well known bike shop here. We ended up riding 96km and climbing 1,216m, a little longer than the direct route, but very enjoyable.

Below our route for tomorrow.

20131028-203400.jpg

We are getting close. Daniel is excited to be so close to finishing this epic ride across Australia. We are looking forward to the ride together for the finish with club members and friends.

How to Change a Bike Tube

[wpvideo b3zhGKfJ]
Today was a day off with our family so we’ve uploaded this video we made in balranald on our last day off.

In this video Daniel shows you how to change a bike tube when you have a flat. Getting you back on the road again

Script and all editing by Dan.

Day 43: Family Reunion

Today we saw the rest of our family for the first time in 6 weeks. We thank them for their support, love and encouragement. Without this there is no way we could attempt a ride like this. Thanks to my beautiful wife Carrie for keeping the home fires burning (no pun intended) and to Linnhe, Sam and Will. We’ve missed you so much.

Today was a nice cafe hopping ride of 102km. We found a lovely cafe at Jugiong the “Long Track Pantry”. We’ll be taking the family there tomorrow.

20131026-195545.jpgNote our improvised bike stand. You just need two bikes.

We climbed today more than any other day, 1,293m. We are spending the next couple of nights in Yass before our final push to finish our bicycle across Australia. It’s looking good for Daniel to become the youngest to ride from Perth to Sydney (and then Terrigal).

Day 42: We are in the hills

We had a nice long sleep in today and a slow morning. With only 90K’s to ride to Gundagai we could afford a bit of rest before we left.

Once we had re supplied for lunch we headed out of Wagga Wagga and it didn’t take long to get to some hills. After the flat of the Nullarbor and the Hay plains it was nice to work our way up a hill, then zoom down the other side.

We are now heading North on the Hume highway. Our route will take the old road a few times before we get to Sydney.

We’ve now ridden 3,679Km but more importantly we have less than 500Km to go.

We’ve been away from home for 6 weeks now, but we both are super excited to see the rest of the family tomorrow at Yass.

Day 41: Wearily made it to Wagga Wagga

Today was one of our hardest days so far. We knew the 160km to Wagga Wagga would be long, but the wind decided to make it even harder than we’d hoped.

We had a plan and stuck to it. Today the urge to stop steadily increased throughout the day. The incoming trucks and their shockwave didn’t help the motivation as we stopped dead each time one passed.

Kudos to Dan today. It was our longest ride time. We had hills and lots of wind for a imperial century and he did it like a champion. Every time I looked in my mirror he was there riding hard. He has earned any respect he gets today. Good work Dan.

20131024-215128.jpg

Tonight we are resting at a friends place in Wagga Wagga. We look forward to the Hume tomorrow.

Day 40: Bigger than Le Tour De France

[wpvideo 8folVHV6]
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.

20131023-203528.jpg

Radio interview today 11:25-11:40

You can listen to us on Hope1032 with Katrina Roe today between 11:25 and 11:40. You can listen online so if you aren’t in Sydney listen online.

http://www.hope1032.com.au/shows/listen-to-hope-1032/

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.

20131022-224315.jpg

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.