Elliston to Calica 87km
After such an enjoyable evening, lovely food, great company and a warm bed, I was reluctant to leave Siv and John's this morning......ever. However, Albany and Juliet beckon.......
The weather forcaste for today, from my new sailing, surfing buddies, was strong winds with frequent showers. They got that right. The second front almost knocked me off my bike, and the showers were HEAVY. It was all lights on, and search for the end of the road in the gloom.
I meet Matt, a cyclist from Melbourne, heading from Perth to home. He was enthusiastic about his ride across the Nullabor, especially a couple of 180km days with a tail wind. Had some good advice re food, water and a helmet mirror.
An hour or so later I meet Peter, from Northern Ireland. He's cycled from Istanbul, and heading to NZ to drink beer, watch rugby, snow board, and maybe do some cycle touring. Once again some great advice, and a list of where you can get water across the Nullabor. Great meeting you both. Friends in NZ. If you meet Peter, please look after him.
Some verrry looong straights today. As I turn on to one, with the wind and rain in my face, I often think how they compare to someone dealing with cancer. The road ahead is going to be tough. You never know whether or when you're going to reach the end. The forces of nature seem to be battling you. You feel alone and exposed. The pressure to get to the end seems never ending, unrelenting. The bend ahead always seems so far distant.
Other times I just look at them, giggle, swear at all Aussie road builders, put my head down and grind it out.
Hey NZO. My new cycling undies are really comfortable to wear, except after riding in the wet for a couple if hours. Then the chamois lining bunches up like a Proctologists finger, and makes riding decidedly uncomfortable. I know I'm promoting Prostate Cancer Awareness, but I've already had my tests.
A couple of interesting subjects we spoke about last night: the fly in fly out practice in mining. These guys work 12 hour days, seven days in a row, work, eat, drink, sleep, then fly home. There's no involvement in the community at all. Many of the towns they come to work in have lots of empty houses, filled by single mums on the benefit. A real unbalance. And if a young local fellah wants to join the work force, he has to give up all his footy and other community stuff, because the hours don't suit games and practices. It's creating a whole new pattern in society.
The other discussion topic was who Waves? The team reckoned that over the years, the areas that drivers wave to you as you pass, has crept further and further from the city. It used to be all the way from Port Augusta. Now, it's not till the Cleve Road. That's still 200km from Elliston. So Hanmer Folk? How far from home do you continue to wave at passing motorists. I know Miss Diggle is enjoying all the waves, now she's driving a car that looks remarkably like my old one.
Hey Mr Fletcher. I've ridden three days straight, 84km plus. That's two marathons a day. How's your training going for the HHH Marathon in December?