Dave Byrnes' Adventures

Round Oz Bike Record Attempt - 2007
Overview     Schedule     Map     Diary     Pictures     Messages     Conclusion
Day: 003
Date: 22 July 2007
Accommodation Motel in Burleigh Heads
Summary Riding from Woolgoolga to Burleigh Heads
Start Time: 4:20am
Finish Time: 6:20pm
Daily Map Kms: 299
Total Map Kms: 795
Map Kms To Go: 13,616
Map Kms ahead (+)/
behind (-) schedule:
Daily Odometer Kms: 301
Daily Average Speed: 26.25kph
Weather: Very cold early, but mild later.  Partly cloudy all day.  Moderate SE wind.
Nutrition: Big brekky for breakfast.  Salad sandwiches and a lime thickshake for lunch.  Pizza and yoghurt for dinner.
Encounters: Saw a kangaroo and a family of emus near the road during the morning.  Met a car coming the wrong way up a freeway exit as I crossed it.  I waved furiously at the driver and he realised his mistake.
Highlights: Pleasant riding through sugar cane fields along the banks of the mighty Clarence River in the morning sunshine.
Lowlights: Some more gear and light problems in the pre-dawn and freezing darkness at the start of the day’s ride.  Very low motivation around lunchtime in a bleak windswept Ballina with plenty of hilly riding ahead.
Daily Pictures: Here
Daily Podcasts: Here & Here
Journal: Today was a day of big mood swings.  After getting away as planned by 4:20am in mild conditions my optimism for the day soon fell foul of more front chainring problems as I climbed a mountain range heading for Grafton.  I found myself fiddling around trying to work out what was happening in the dark, and then couldn’t get my headlights going again for some time when I resumed riding.  To top it off, as I descended the northern side of the mountain range, the temperature dropped precipitously and I went from being hot from the climb to shivering with frozen toes in 10 kilometres.  The delays and hills meant I reached Grafton (56km) 30 minutes later than expected and I decided to have breakfast there and warm up rather than waiting to Maclean (98km) as planned.  I found a roadhouse, ordered the big brekky, and sat there shivering and reading in the local paper about the 75th Anniversary celebrations for the bridge across the Clarence River that were being held this weekend (I saw no evidence).  After the big brekky, I had another look at the front chain-ring and found that there was some lateral free play in the crankshaft, something that has happened several times before on this bike.  I tightened things up and didn’t have any more problems for the day.  

I left Grafton and followed the large and lazy Clarence River downstream through grazing and sugar cane country, passing many dilapidated old farmhouses and sheds.  The sun came out and my mood improved looking at the pleasant scenery.  After crossing the Clarence after Maclean the route stayed mostly flat and continued through forest country to Ballina.  As I neared Ballina, the winds grew stronger and were occasionally against me.  It also got cooler and I began to regret taking off my rain jacket.  I reached Ballina (191km) about 12:30pm and wasted time riding around the town looking for a sandwich place where I could sit inside.

After lunch I headed north out of town and immediately began encountering some significant hills.  To make it more difficult, the traffic was heavy, and I was feeling very tired.  I began questioning what I was doing and began to doubt my ability to finish.  A “silver lining” was the great views obtained from the higher elevations and I could see the ocean, which didn’t look very inviting, in the distance off to the right.  I finally reached a look-out and the end of the big hills and after a rapid descent got onto a freeway which took me, together with a nice following wind, all the way to the Tweed Heads and the Queensland border (284km) in good time, arriving around 5:00pm.  My mood lifted and I began to ponder whether to try for central Brisbane, 100km away, if I was allowed to ride on the freeways in Queensland.  I found the freeway and began riding along it but soon encountered a “No Bicycles” sign and had to exit.  I then wound my way down to the beach and enjoyed a fabulous sunset with views all the way north along the beach to the towers of Surfers Paradise, 20km away.  

I decided to look for a motel with food nearby and after several failed attempts and some wasted time, found a place at Burleigh Heads at 6:20pm.  

It was a tough day as I expected to have more frequently in the first five days.  Hopefully it will help build my strength to more comfortably cope with such long days down the track.  Apparently it is not easy to find your way north to Brisbane from here on a bike, so I could be in for some fun and games tomorrow morning as I try to beat the peak hour traffic.



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

(Previous Page)

(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.