Dave Byrnes' Adventures

Round Oz Bike Record Attempt - 2007
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Day: 002
Date: Saturday, 21 July 2007
Accommodation Motel in Woolgoolga
Summary Riding from Taree to Woolgoolga
Start Time: 4:15am
Finish Time: 4:00pm
Daily Map Kms: 268
Total Map Kms: 496
Map Kms To Go: 13,915
Map Kms ahead (+)/
behind (-) schedule:
+25
Daily Odometer Kms: 257.4
Daily Average Speed: 26.3kph
Weather: Mostly overcast with occasional sun.  Maximum temperature around 15C.  Mostly tailwind with some crosswinds.
Nutrition: McDonalds for breakfast (again!), salad roll and lime milkshake (a beauty) for lunch and a hamburger with the lot plus chips for dinner.
Encounters: None really.
Highlights: Would probably have to be the tailwind.  My guess is that itís worth 2 to 3 kph over neutral conditions.
Lowlights: Problems with my front chain ring which meant it was difficult to get my top gears a lot of the time.  However, I did some minor tinkering at lunchtime (Iím no mechanic) and it seemed to work the rest of the day.
Daily Pictures:  
Daily Podcasts:  
Journal: I got up at 3:30am and was away by 4:15am, riding out through a very quiet and dark Taree.  The roads were wet but there was no rain.  I had an alternating tail- and cross-wind and made good time.  My twin headlights working well and giving me plenty of light.  Traffic was light and I could see occasional stars.  

I had planned to stop for a cooked breakfast at Kew (51km)  but there was no cafť open as I passed through around 6:00am.  I decided to continue on as day gradually dawned and I thought of my Terrigal Trotters friends heading out for their regular 6:00am Saturday run.

Around 7:30am I reached the Port Macquarie turn-off where there is a large service centre and decided to get breakfast at the McDonalds rather than ride another two hours to Kempsey.  The traffic was building but the roads were good and I enjoyed riding through the forested low hills.  

Every so often all day the road crossed very big rivers flowing from the nearby Great Divide to the ocean through large flat floodplains predominantly grazed by dairy cattle.  Most rivers had a town where the road crossed.  Between the river valleys were low mountain ranges so I frequently had some climbing to do.  

I stopped for a quick break at Kempsey (127km), then continued on Macksville (181km) where I had an early lunch outside a cafť overlooking the Nambucca River.  Very pleasant with the sun shining.  The day was going well and I was making good time with only 58km to go to Coffs Harbour, my target for the day.  

From Macksville to Coffs Harbour I travelled along one of Australiaís most notorious stretches of road where there is two-way traffic and the road winds through a small mountain range.  There are many accidents along this stretch and little room for cyclists on the edges.  It was busy and the hills were occasionally tough, though mercifully short and I passed through without incident except for being hit by an empty plastic drink bottle thrown from a passing car.  No damage done.  

Approaching Coffs I passed the forests and mountains where Sharon and I had ridden in the MTB Marathon events just three weeks ago.  I was pleased not to be as tired as I was at the end of that 100km race! In Coffs I stopped for a caramel slice (another of my many culinary weaknesses) and drink at a bakery around 2:30pm.  I was still feeling quite good and could probably have made it to Grafton, 81km further on, by nightfall, but decided to aim for Woolgoolga 25km away.  That would enable me to have dinner watching the NZ vs Australia rugby game scheduled for 5:30pm, and still put me a little ahead of schedule.  

En route to Woolgoolga I encountered a police roadblock and diversion because of an accident further up the highway.  One of the cheery policemen couldnít tell me how much extra the detour would add, but said he expected the road to be open in 10-15 minutes so I chose to wait.  He was right and I continued on.  The road must have been blocked for awhile because the oncoming traffic was banked up for many kilometres.  

I reached Woolgoolga at 4:00pm, found another cheap motel ($49), showered and got a burger from the adjacent service station and watched the rugby while doing my chores.  

It has been a good day and Iím not nearly as tired or sore as I expected to be on Day 2, and pleased that Iím a little ahead of schedule.  However, I know that Iím enjoying the best of cycling conditions with a tailwind most of the time, good road surfaces and not too many big hills.  Also, Iím still doing less than the required average of 270km per day.  Tomorrow will be a bigger test as I want to get close to the south of Brisbane, meaning about 320km of riding, so that I can get through Brisbane before peak hour on Monday morning.  

I also have another challenge looming in that I want to get to Townsville next Friday morning rather than the currently-scheduled Saturday morning, so that I can get my bike serviced and put new tyres on (mailed ahead) at the last real bike shop on my route for 5,000km.  To get there, I may have to put in a ďsuper dayĒ some time next week.

ADVENTURE LIST

 

Round Ireland
(2016)

Hume & Hovell Walking Track
(2013)

Via Alpina
(2012)

Australian Alps Walking Track
(2011)

Land's End to John O'Groats
(2010)

Round Oz Bike Record Attempt
(2009)

Round Oz Bike Record Attempt
(2008)

Round Oz Bike Record Attempt
(2007)

Australia Tip to Top MTB
(2006)

Adelaide to Darwin MTB
(2005)

Sydney to Melbourne MTB
(2004)

Three Peaks Race
(2004)

Appalachian Trail
(1986)

Alpine Track
(1983)

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

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