Dave Byrnes' Adventures

Round Oz Bike Record Attempt - 2008
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Day: 006

22 May 2008





Daily Distance:


Daily Speed:


Relative to Schedule:

On schedule

Daily Podcasts: n.a.
GPS Track Here

I got up at the usual time, but seemed to take longer to get ready to leave.  The brain wasn’t working properly!  I planned to ride the 105km to Marlborough for breakfast but decided I needed a snack first and pulled into an all night roadhouse in Rockhampton as I passed through and bought myself a pie and some Coke to keep me going.  I then headed out through the sleeping town and was riding through grazing country by moonlight.  It wasn’t as cold as yesterday and I shortly had to stop and strip off some of the extra clothing I was wearing.  There was still a fair bit of truck traffic, but less than yesterday.  After an hour I was exceptionally sleepy and nodded off a few times just catching myself  before taking a dive…..not good procedure with trucks whizzing past every minute or so.  I was contemplating stopping for a quick nap but, as the sun rose, I felt better.
At Marlborough I went to the BP Roadhouse and introduced myself to the proprietors, parents of Kath who is a regular with my Thursday morning track group.  I had a delicious big brekky and lime milkshake which they refused to accept payment for.
From Marlborough I continued north into more sparsely settled country, crossing the occasional low mountain range, with higher mountains visible in the distance to the east and west.  It got warmer and warmer as I neared my next objective, Clairview, where I planned to have some lunch/dinner.  However, about 10km before getting there, my rear derailleur cable snapped and I was left with just two gears.  I carried onto Clairview where there was nowhere obvious to eat without venturing off the road, and I didn’t want to do that.  I called Dan from the bike shop back home and got a quick lesson on how to replace the cable (I have a spare) but, since there was nowhere good to do bike maintenance, I decided to continue onto Sarina, another 90km, my target for the night, from where I would call Dan again and make the repair.  At Cl;airview, I could see the ocean again, briefly, the first time since leaving the Gold Coast.
About 20km later, I found a roadhouse and had fish and chips for dinner as the sun gradually set, and then set out for the last 70km to Sarina in looming darkness.  After about 5km, I got a strange feeling about my rear tyre and, sure enough, I had a puncture.  The first I have ever had with a Schwalbe tyre in about 15,000km of riding.  I just couldn’t believe it.  It was a bad place to make a repair, with little grass verge and, as I soon found out, a population of voracious mosquitoes, with trucks whizzing past a few metres away.  In darkness, with the help of my helmet lamp, I changed the tube after spending time trying to detect what had caused the puncture.  I found nothing.  Im pumped up the tyre and set out, only to get that sickening feeling again after 5km and sure enough the tyre was flat again.  I contemplated suicide and would certainly have hopped on any bus to Brisbane that might come past.  I couldn‘t believe my luck.  The trip so far had been dogged by minor problems, each conspiring to make the journey harder.  I lost my iPod on the first day, I dropped my phone the second day, and it only now works effectively when I have it plugged into a large antenna I brought for my wireless modem.  Also during the first days I had constant time-expensive problems with my laptop and, to top it off, have a persistent cough hanging over from a recent cold and a sore right Achilles tendon that you can practically hear squelch as I walk.  Of course, forecast tailwinds have turned out to be headwinds instead.
Anyway, after feeling sorry for myself for a few minutes, I set about changing the tube again and, when I still couldn’t find the puncture cause, decided I needed to change the tyre as well, using my spare which is foldable and not as durable or protected as my primary tyres.  To my great relief, it stayed up as I continued riding until I reached another roadhouse (where some truckie made some comment about idiots riding bikes on the highway at night….I smiled and said nothing) where there was a telephone box.  Did I mention my mobile phone battery had died!  I called the motel in Sarina to tell them I was still coming and continued on, getting there at 10pm (grunting up the hills in my two gear bike).  The motel was connected to a pub and there was one girl left working there who was settling the tills for the day.  She couldn’t do enough for me, and insisted on giving me a large bottle of Fanta for nothing when I asked whether I could buy something to drink.
Mackay, 37km away, has several bike shops, so I will leave here about 7:30am and ride to a bike shop where I will get them to look at the suspect tyre and change the gear cable.  It will potentially cost me half a day riding, which is very frustrating after working so hard to keep to schedule.  I’ll just have to make it up later.  My mood has improved, but I’m still very tired.



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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