Dave Byrnes' Adventures

Round Oz Bike Record Attempt - 2008
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Day: 016

1 June 2008




Barkly Homestead Roadhouse

Daily Distance:


Daily Speed:


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Daily Podcasts: Here
GPS Track Here

The party music from the Camooweal Pub echoed over the small settlement until midnight, along with lots of shouting and laughter.  The Camp Draft was obviously a great success, but Iím sure there were going to be some sore heads for Sundayís events.  The noise woke me a few times, but not enough to prevent me getting needed sleep and when I woke at 1am to begin my day, the town was deadly quiet.  I quietly packed and was on the road by about 1:50am.  It was cool and cloudless with a slight headwind that forced me to pedal a bit harder than I would like.  The quarter moon had not yet risen, so the stars were particularly bright.
I passed into the Northern Territory after 15km and continued on without stopping until I reached the remote Avon Downs Police Station.  Itís opposite a wayside rest area and I remembered from my last trip that they offered free self-serve coffee for travelers.  Even at 5:00am the water urn was hot and the picnic table lit and I helped myself to a reviving cup of coffee in the quiet of the night.  Unfortunately, I managed to get sprayed by a sprinkler that came on to water their grass as I was leaving, but didnít get too wet.
I had another minor mishap as I was riding out of town.  I reached into my coat pocket to retrieve my radio and accidentally flicked out the little plastic bag containing a spare button and material that sometimes comes with new clothes.  It disappeared into the darkness behind me and I did an emergency U-turn to retrieve it, almost falling off in the process and having to step particularly hard on the pedals to maintain momentum.  Anyway, I couldnít find the little bag on the road and resumed riding.  When I changed into my highest gears a little later the chain began slipping and I guessed that my little U-turn stunt had misaligned the rear derailleur.  I toyed with the idea of returning to avon Downs to try and adjust it, but decided to continue riding using the gears I had in the hope that it would sort itself out or, when daylight came, I could try and make the necessary adjustments.  An hour later there was enough light to see and I discovered my little missing plastic bag tightly wrapped around the rear sprocket.  It took a few minutes to remove completely, but that solved the problem.
I stopped around 8:30am after 135km at a rest stop and ate some sandwiches for breakfast that I had bought the previous day in the warmth of the early sunshine and spent some time chatting to a young backpacker who was touring in a minivan with a mountain bike on a rack.
As the sun rose, the wind swung round to come from the south-east and I made good time for the balance of the journey to Barkly Homestead Roadhouse despite some long gradual climbs which yielded good views across the dry scrubby savannah.  In some places it was more dry grass prairie with almost no trees in sight.
I reached the Roadhouse at 2pm and checked into a motel room where I spent the first 45 minutes changing my rear tyre, tube and internal wheel taping, using the new tyre Sharon had mailed to me in Mount Isa.  It may have been my imagination, but the rear tyre seems to have had a very slow leak since the punctures back during the first week.  The old tyre had done plenty of kilometers anyway, so I felt I had got my moneyís worth and I wanted to stop worrying about the rear tyre pressure all of the time.  I have a very big day tomorrow (374km) to Cape Crawford, although Iíll camp beforehand if I need to, so plan to leave before 1:00am.



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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