Dave Byrnes' Adventures

Round Oz Bike Record Attempt - 2007
Overview     Schedule     Map     Diary     Pictures     Messages     Conclusion
Day: 001
Date: Friday, 20 July 2007
Accommodation Cheap motel in Taree, NSW
Summary Riding from Gosford to Taree
Start Time: 5:00am
Finish Time: 3:20pm
Daily Map Kms: 228
Total Map Kms: 228
Map Kms To Go: 14,183
Daily Odometer Kms: 244 (It’s not that inaccurate, so my map kms must have been miscalculated. The NRMA’s website says the distance is 240.3km).
Daily Average Speed: 27.2kph
Weather: Mostly heavily overcast and cool with occasional light showers and a nice tailwind for most of the day.
Nutrition: Muesli for breakfast, second breakfast at McDonalds, lunch of two pies and a lime milkshake, and dinner of noodles and a rice dessert.
Encounters: It was very interesting to meet Eugen Schilter, the current holder of the record for riding around Australia.  What can you say about a guy who left Sydney at 2am, carrying a farewell banner, to ride 80kms, some of it along a very dark and winding mountain road, to see me off.  And then rode back again after riding the first 12km with me!
Highlights: Being farewelled at 5am on a very cold, windy and pitch dark morning by my friends on the Central Coast.
Lowlights: Getting very tired very quickly when I hit some hills after lunch at Bulahdelah.
Daily Pictures: Here
Daily Podcasts: Here
Journal: All of the preparation meant that, for the second night in a row, I didn’t get much sleep, so I was already feeling tired when I left the apartment to cycle the two kilometres to Adcock Park in Gosford, my “official” departure point.  I had immediate problems when I couldn’t get my twin generator-fed headlights to work then, for no apparent reason, they began working.  I think maybe they need the power to run for a while before they light up.  

At Adcock Park it was gratifying to see so many of my friends had made the effort to get up so early to see me off (I hope they have reason to come back in 53 days!).  Eugen Schilter joined me for the first 12km before he returned to Sydney and I turned northwards on the F3 Freeway.  It was dark, cool and there was a lot of commuter traffic.  I rode along in the freeway breakdown lane (you’re allowed to do that in NSW and some other States) wondering what on earth I had committed myself to.  One positive was that there was a nice following wind, so I was making good time despite a reasonably heavily-laden bike.  

I reached Hexham (87km), north of Newcastle, the furthest north I had ventured on my day training rides from home at 8:30am, and crossed the Hunter River and entered new cycling territory.  I find it much more stimulating riding in places I haven’t been before.  Shortly after I stopped for a second breakfast at McDonalds at Raymond Terrace.  

From there, it was a very easy run to Bulahdelah (171km) with a tailwind along mostly freeway that was relatively flat.  There was less traffic and more scenery – mainly forests, nearby hills and the occasional large river.  No obvious drought around here.  I reached Bulahdelah at noon and stopped at a café for lunch.  I sat outside and soon realised how cold the day was when you are not pedalling.  Given that I was making good time, I began thinking about going further today than originally planned, but soon was reconsidering when I hit the first long hill of the trip and the quads suddenly felt very heavy.  A few more similar hills and I decided that Taree, my scheduled destination would be just fine.  I expect it will take me four or five days to build some of the strength I need if I’m to stick to schedule, but was a bit disappointed at how quickly I tired. I suspect tomorrow could be tough.  

I reached Taree at 3:20pm and found a cheap ($50) Fawlty Towers-like motel (really a hotel) in the centre of town (I prefer the centre so I can walk to wherever I need for shopping).  After a quick shower I walked into town wearing my cycling long pants and fluoro top, attracting more than a few stares in the main street, but it was too cold to wear the shorts I have.  I had an early dinner in the hope of getting at least 7 hours sleep and an early start, after finishing my diary and other chores.  I experimented with my digital voice recorder, talking while cycling, but haven’t had a chance to check the quality for podcasts, etc., yet.



Round Ireland

Hume & Hovell Walking Track

Via Alpina

Australian Alps Walking Track

Land's End to John O'Groats

Round Oz Bike Record Attempt

Round Oz Bike Record Attempt

Round Oz Bike Record Attempt

Australia Tip to Top MTB

Adelaide to Darwin MTB

Sydney to Melbourne MTB

Three Peaks Race

Appalachian Trail

Alpine Track


(Next Page)

You can email Dave directly at dave@davebyrnes.com.au or subscribe to his Adventure Blogs here.

You can see Dave's Running Blog here.