Dave Byrnes' Adventures

Round Oz Bike Record Attempt - 2008
Overview     Planning     Schedule     Map     Diary     Pictures     Messages     Conclusion
Day: 027
Date:

12 June 2008

Start

Port Hedland

Finish

Fortescue River Roadhouse

Daily Distance:

336km

Daily Speed: n.a.
Relative to Schedule:

-636km

Daily Podcasts: Here
GPS Track Here
Journal:

As testament to my stupefied state the previous evening, I didnít set my alarm correctly and overslept, not waking until midnight.  However, it felt good to get about 7.5 hours sleep.  I rode quietly out of Port Hedland, counting my good fortune at having just got through a level crossing before one of the interminable iron ore trains began crossing.  The road seemed to climb gradually out of town and the wind was a slight head/crosswind, making the cycling a bit laborious under a cloud covered sky.  Away from the town lights it was very dark.  After a couple of hours it began to spit with rain, occasionally getting a bit heavier, but it wasnít cold.
 
Dawn revealed a fairly barren landscape of tussock grass, red soil and rocks, and some low hills which the road occasionally crossed.  The wind began to swing round to a cross/tailwind and the mainly level road allowed me to make good speed.  The scene looked bleak and not unlike some of the bleaker moorland in the UK, but the temperature was around 16C and it probably doesnít get much colder this close to the coast.  There was plenty of mining-related traffic on the road and for the whole day signs of mining activity could be seen here and there, such as remote collections of portacabins, drilling rigs, new roads, graders, gas facilities and so on.
 
I reached Roebourne around 10:30am and it turned out to be quite a picturesque old small settlement with some very solid looking old stone houses and other buildings which contrasted with some very modern and large community buildings and sporting facilities.  I found the Post Office and mailed back home some items I had decided I could do without to save weight, including a few clothes, my sleeping mat and tent poles and my space blanket.  From there I rode to a roadhouse at the turn-off to Karratha, a major mining town, hoping to get a late big brekky, but they didnít have a restaurant and I made do with a couple of pies.  I decided at that time that I would make the Fortescue River Roadhouse, 100km further on, my goal for the day and called them to book a room.  The remainder of the ride was through increasingly hilly country though the wind was still favourable.  At lunch, I also called the Minilya Roadhouse and booked a room for there for tomorrow night, making it a big 380km day.  If the terrain or wind is adverse, I probably wonít make it, but there are no accommodation alternatives within a reasonable distance and I do want to make up time.  They close at 8:00pm and I have promised to call them from the Nanutarra Roadhouse (159km) at breakfast if I donít think I can make it, although they offered to leave a key in the room door for me if I provide credit card details when I call in the morning.
 
There are a lot of mining-related workers staying at the remote Fortescue River Roadhouse where I arrived around 5:40pm and I was able to get the set evening meal of shepherds pie for dinner which was tasty.  I wonít get much sleep tonight because I need to be on the road before 1:00am to have any hope of making Minilya tomorrow night.

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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You can email Dave directly at dave@davebyrnes.com.au or subscribe to his Adventure Blogs here.

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