Dave Byrnes' Adventures

Round Oz Bike Record Attempt - 2007
Overview     Schedule     Map     Diary     Pictures     Messages     Conclusion
Day: 013 & 014
Date:

Wednesday & Thursday, 1 & 2 August 2007

Accommodation

Slept rough on Wednesday night and motel in Mount Isa for Thursday night.

Summary

Riding from Normanton to Mount Isa

Start Time:

1:20am Wednesday

Finish Time:

11:30am Thursday

Daily Map Kms:

494

Total Map Kms:

3,652

Map Kms To Go:

10,759

Map Kms ahead (+)/
behind (-) schedule:

189

Daily Odometer Kms:

514.8

Daily Average Speed:

23.45

Weather:

Cool to cold nights.  Warm sunny days.

Nutrition:

Big Brekky for lunch.  Corn chips and Mars bar to dinner. McDonalds for breakfast.  Salad sandwiches for lunch.

Encounters:

Saw a pair of brolgas close to the road.

Highlights:

Almost getting back on the 53-day schedule.

Lowlights:

Not quite making it.

Daily Pictures: Here
Daily Podcasts: Here & Here
Journal:

I set out from Normanton at 1:20am in the hope of making it as far as Cloncurry (380km) during the day.  I had only had about six hours sleep after similar amounts the previous few nights, and it caught up with me around 5:00am.  I could not keep my eyes open and was struggling into a cool southerly headwind.  After catching myself twice riding off the road while dozing I walked for a while and even then couldnít stop from stumbling.  In the end I accepted the inevitable, found a quiet spot about 20 metres off the road, spread out my groundsheet, put on my long cycling pants, and immediately went to sleep.
 
I woke up two hours later bathed in warm early morning sunshine feeling much refreshed.  Even the wind had switched to a north-easterly, and I began riding again making good time across the scrubby flat landscape to the famous Burke & Wills Roadhouse where I arrived at noon and ordered my usual breakfast.  I decided to continue onto Cloncurry and bought some snacks and drinks to sustain me during the 180km trip.  Even though the road began climbing gradually through low hills to a kind of tableland, I continued to make good progress and began toying with the idea of riding through the night and into tomorrow in the hop of getting to Camooweal, my originally scheduled stop for Thursday night.
 
I reached Cloncurry at about 9:30pm and began looking for a roadhouse that I was sure would be open to service the all night truck traffic passing through the town to and from Mount Isa.  I was wrong and the only place I could find open was a hotel bottle shop where I bought a packet of corn chips, some chocolate bars and some Coke for dinner.  I then sat on a bench in the main street which was very quiet apart from very loud Bee Gees music emanating from some hall somewhere and echoing all over town.  The local Justice Department patrol car called by to see whether I was OK and offered to find me somewhere to camp, but I said I was shortly leaving for Mount Isa.
 
I headed out of town at about 11:00pm and immediately began climbing into a range of hills silhouetted by the moonlight.  I began to feel very tired and decided it was time for a nap.  I found a not-very-good spot off the road in the dark and settled down for two hours of fitful sleep lying on rock hard ground in an increasingly cold breeze.  At about 1:00am, I decided I should get moving again with the aim of getting to Mount Isa for an early breakfast.  However, at one of my short breaks, with about 50km to go, at a small roadside picnic area I sat down on a bench, put my head on the table, and decided it was time for another nap.  It got colder and colder (7C in Mount Isa, colder in the hills) and I decided I would stay where I was until the sun rose sufficiently to warm me enough to start riding again.
 
About 7:00am I hit the road again and reached Mount Isa around 9:30am.  I couldnít find a cafť, but did find the McDonalds, so had breakfast there and contemplated the remaining 190km to Camooweal.  It was already getting quite hot and north-west (head)winds were forecast.  My best guess was that I would get to Camooweal around 8:30pm (where I had booked a hotel room), all things going well.  As I rode out of Mount Isa, the headwinds grew stronger and, as I passed the last motel on the edge of town, I decided discretion was the better part of valour and changed my plans.
 
I checked into the motel, showered, washed and bought some lunch with the intention of leaving again around midnight and perhaps sleeping rough again tomorrow night rather than stopping short at Camooweal or trying to get to Barkley Roadhouse (another 265km further on).  Iím disappointed that I didnít get back on the 53-day schedule, but feel that next week there may be other opportunities to catch up, all things going well.

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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