Dave Byrnes' Adventures

Round Oz Bike Record Attempt - 2007
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Day: 008

Friday, 27 July 2007


Motel in Ayr


Riding from Mackay to Ayr

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Mild at first but warm later.  Partly cloudy with ESE winds


Big Brekky for breakfast.  Toasted ham, cheese and tomato sandwiches for lunch.  McDonalds Chicken Caeser Roll and Milkshake for dinner.


None really.




The last 50km was quite a grind.

Daily Pictures: Here
Daily Podcasts: Here & Here

I set out determinedly, knowing it was going to be a long day even if I didnít waste time.  Even at 4:30am there was a fair bit of traffic on the road and I saw one cane field being harvested using lights, as I left town. Itís hard to tell in the dark, but the road definitely seemed to be gradually climbing as I headed north.  Being dark, I couldnít check my speed to confirm the slow pace.  However, the temperature fell and I could start to make out the dark shapes of surrounding mountains.  It was cloudy so there were no stars visible.
As dawn broke I was riding through a high valley used for cattle and cane fields and surrounded by forested craggy peaks with wisps of fog cladding some of their slopes.  The road had levelled out a bit and I was now making good time with an occasional following breeze.
After about 90km I found a roadhouse and had a quick breakfast before resuming the ride.  The road was now back near sea level and was crossing a vast plain mostly cultivated in sugar cane with high mountains visible to the left and right.  Those to the right were quite possibly some of the islands in the Whitsunday group as I was now close to Proserpine where the turnoff to Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays was to the right.
I continued on, trying to maintain a good pace, as the countryside became more arid, with the plan of finding some lunch in Bowen (191km).  As I approached Bowen the ocean came into view again in the distance, although the whole area was not particularly attractive, with arid plains covered with bushes and occasional scraggy trees.  The highway bypassed the town of Bowen and I decided to do likewise.  I also decided to give the roadhouse near the junction a miss as it didnít look too promising for a lunch selection and kept pedalling.  Of course, I didnít find anything else for another 35km by which time I was tired and hungry.
I was still making good time, but didnít relish the 70km I still had to go when I finished lunch.  The road comprised long straight stretches through arid plains with occasional grazing Brahmin cattle.  My speed was still OK but I had had enough and was getting very sleepy.  I found another roadhouse with 25km to go and stopped an ice-cream and coffee milk to revive me.
I reached Ayr as it was getting dark and easily found the motel where I had booked a room on the road into town.
The bike has started developing some minor clicks in the front chainring/crank, which may or may not be a problem.  I have arranged to collect the tyres I had mailed ahead from a bike shop in Townsville first thing tomorrow morning, but they donít have a mechanic on Saturdays.  Iíll do a web search to see if there are other bike shops I can try.  If I canít do anything tomorrow, then Iíll keep riding and make a judgment about whether I need to detour into Cairns in the hope of getting someone to look at it first thing on Monday.  This would put me a day behind schedule.



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

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