Dave Byrnes' Adventures

Round Oz Bike Record Attempt - 2008
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Day: 015
Date:

31 May 2008

Start

Mount Isa

Finish

Camooweal

Daily Distance:

192km

Daily Speed:

25kph

Relative to Schedule:

-592km

Daily Podcasts: Here
GPS Track Here
Journal:

I got up at 3am and was on the road by 3:45am.  Despite the slack day yesterday and eight hours sleep my motivation was still low and I almost dreaded wheeling the bike out of the motel door to begin riding.  I guess itís a combination of fatigue, missed objectives and the immensity of the task ahead.  Iím not daunted by the distances I have to ride, but dislike doing it when Iím not getting enough sleep.  On some nights, particularly when roadside camping, I feel like I have barely stopped riding from the day before when I have to start riding again.  One of my running heroes in the 1970s was Dave Bedford, the great and ground-breaking English distance runner.  He experimented with running vast distances in training and also, at one point, with running as many as five times a day.  When asked what this was like, he said that sometimes, as he completed one training run, he met himself leaving for the next one.  Thatís how I feel some days.  Anyway, I feel the need to regroup and reassess and have decided to switch to the mode I used in last yearís attempt where I endeavoured not to camp and was prepared to have some very long days, and some quite short days, depending on where the towns are.  When camping, I tend to ride late and donít sleep as well.  At present, I am two days behind a 50 day schedule.  Iím not going to bother trying to make up any time in the short-term.  Instead, Iíll stick to the daily targets as best I can and hope no bad days (headwinds or bike or body trouble) intervene to put me further behind schedule.  Thatís the plan, anywayÖ.weíll see what happens.
 
Once I got riding today, it wasnít too bad.  The first three hours were in darkness, beneath a brilliantly starlit sky along a mostly flat road with barely any traffic.  I listened to the Test Cricket on my radio and around 6am thought of my friends back at Terrigal setting out on the monthly 10km running time trial.  It was cold in the shallow valleys but I resisted the temptation to put on more clothes.  There was a slight following breeze which gradually strengthened as the sun rose.  The countryside was most savannah lightly-timbered with scraggly trees and mostly covered with long brown grass.  Cattle could be seen here and there and I disturbed a number of eagles feeding on kangaroo road kill as I whizzed along making good time.
 
After about 100km I stopped in a half-completed rest area and enjoyed some sandwiches for breakfast while warming myself in the emerging sunlight.  I guy driving in the other direction stopped and came over for a chat.  He was on his way from Darwin to Brisbane but was hoping to pick up some work in Mount Isa.  He told me that there was a Camp Draft (like a rodeo) on in Camooweal, my target for the day, and that the small town was very busy, making it unlikely I would find any accommodation.  Oh well, maybe I would be roadside camping after all, since the next habitation was 272km further on.
 
I continued on to Camooweal, arriving at 12:30pm and tried the first place advertising cabins, but they were booked out.  However, at the second roadhouse, they had one basic cabin left and I took it.  First I had a big brekky and then had a shower and did my chores.  The little town is certainly busy with the Camp Draft.  On the way in I could see a large gathering of trucks, horse trailers and caravans off to the left, along with penned cattle and some horsemen, and the wafting sounds of a loudspeaker system.  In town, which is just a main street with two roadhouses, a butcherís and a pub, there was quite a lot of noise emanating from the pub and various stockmen, many of them aboriginal, lounging around town in the required dress of boots, jeans, big buckles and beaten up hats.  There were also a number of young kids, some similarly dressed, patronizing the roadhouses, presumably on a rare trip into town.  I imagine it will be quite noisy here tonight.
 
I plan to go to bed very early tonight and leave before 2am for the 272km ride to Barkly Homestead roadhouse, and then make a similarly early start the next day for the very long and challenging haul (374km) to Cape Crawford across the Barkly Tablelands along a minor road with no facilities whatsoever.

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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