Sunday, April 25, 2010

Rest, Recover and Repair.

Well I arrived at my parents place at 10am on Friday 23rd.  So now for a big update.

Dululu to Yaamba - the riding in the night was awesome!! It was a no moon night, and out of the streetlights there is so much of the night sky to see. I annoyed my neck with twisting around so much while riding to look at the milky way.

Yaamba to St Lawrence;  Marlborough. I meet another cyclist outside of Bowen -> Colin. Talking with him about camping at Marlborough Hotel - he had a much better experience than me.  He also got water off them. 

St Lawrence - Thanks to the couple that gave me the tin of baked beans and some bread. That was dinner when I arrived.  Another couple gave me some fruit and veges from a food hamper that they had won earlier up the coast. They didn't have a fridge and couldn't eat all the food. It was much appreciated. Food prices at St Lawrence shops where much more reasonable - so I bought other food there. Actually, when I left the I had much too much food in my pannier. But this was soon fixed.

St Lawrence to Sarina; Well the day was to have stopped at Ilbilbi.  But when I arrived it was blowing a wind - a  wonderful tailwind.. What can you do - you keep going.  It was showering by this time also, with heavy rain just outside of Sarina.  The ladies at the Sarina Information Center were very helpful - and found a caravan park 10km further North that only wanted $10 for an unpowered site.  It also had the advantage of being opposite a fruit and vege shop and was out of town.  It was a good spot. I ate  a bag of mandarins and bananas for dinner :) 

Sarina to Proserpine:  Well actually I camped about 30km from Proserpine. More tail winds and showers. 
Proserpine to Guthalungra: More tail winds. This was when I caught up with Colin. We rode from Bowen to Guthalungra.  Colin had started in Melbourne and was doing the round Australia trip. But was travelling to fast for his plan. So we parted company the next morning.  I got to check out his tent and gear.  His tent was only 1.5Kg - was so envious!!  Mine weighed in at just over 3kg.  

This was the day that one set of clothes died. The shirt and shorts had rotted too much, and had too many holes in them by this time. With it damp, and no chance to dry them it wasn't going to be safe to wear them another day.  Now they were both worn when I started, so it was to be expected. Still it was a bit sad. 

Guthalungra to Alligator Creek:  Stopped in Home Hill for a bit, but had the "want to keep pedaling" urge. So kept going. It was still showering on and off.  I was in a mood that I just wanted to get North.  Was wondering about this cycle touring business. And probably more importantly was tired.

 Alligator Creek to Kennedy. This was my biggest day. 197km. A definite "keep pedaling". Though the travelling after Ingham was not energetic. I had planned to wild camp outside of Cardwell - but it was low lying land and very very wet. Yes it was still showering, but there had been recent heavy rains I was told, and all the water was still lying about the land.  I thought about cycling up and down the road to get 200km for the day - but was too tired to be bothered to do this. I also thought that I could have finished the trip to my parents that day by continuing to cycle as it was only 70km to go - but arriving after 9pm would have been a problem for my folks.  

It rained during the night and I was clear that my tent was leaking again!!! Hard to miss the large drops hitting you in the head. Doh!!! Moved over and then put a container for the drops to splat in. 

Kennedy to Parents Place :)  Managed to get a leech on me riding along the road. How was that possible - did it drop from the sky - or is it a gliding variety?  Met a Scottish couple just outside of Silkwood. The first that I've meet travelling south.  They had wet gear on. I didn't. It was cooler riding in the rain.

The Future.
Okay so now that I'm here, now what?  Title of this post says it all. Just stopping pedaling for a couple of days now has improved my thinking. I was travelling fast. Too fast in hindsight.  A bit obsessive compulsive of me. In future need to have more rest stops and not go so far each day.  

Parts of me a sore and hurt. Legs felt a bit tired. But with the 197km day that was to be expected. Bum wasn't as  bad as you might think  - I was used to the saddle. Been on that one for years now. Bit tender, but nothing that painful.  My left shoulder hurts. Pinched or twisted something and it hurt for most of the ride. Colin when trying my bike commented that the position was a lot of weight on the arms. This might be right - will have to look at this and change the riding position. I notice that my new grips - the right hand one has a worn spot, the left one not-> me leaning more on my right side to take the weight of the left arm.

I need to send my tent back for another warranty claim. My Thermarest is also in problems - so it goes also.  

I was thinking about vans and travelling with petrol/diesel for stretches of the ride. But now that I'm rested, sanity has returned. I'm looking at how to lower the weight of the gear I have, and perhaps increase the luggage carrying to have more luxuries with me. 

Things that I found important on the ride - being able to dry my clothes. This would have been helped if I'd stopped and rested more days.  

Being able to sit out of the rain and away from all the ants. Some places lying on the ground out of the tent wasn't comfortable for all the ants that wanted to check me out for food. 

Books - I missed reading.
Charging the mobile - I had ebooks, but the phone needed charging at times. This is part of the reason for the missed posts. Stopping and resting would have helped this also. But will sort out some charging off the dynamo for next section.

Need to chuck out the stuff that sat in the bottom of my panniers - or at least examine it closely. If it didn't see use in a month of the east coast - what was I carrying it for still!!!

Water purification - will look at some filters to see how to get water from all the ground sources. 

So, at the moment sitting about, eating, looking at new bike frames like Surly Big Dummy and Xtracycles. Looking at two wheeled trailers. There are bicycle mobile homes. Thinking of options.