Dave Byrnes' Adventures

Round Oz Bike Record Attempt - 2008
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Day: 027

12 June 2008


Port Hedland


Fortescue River Roadhouse

Daily Distance:


Daily Speed: n.a.
Relative to Schedule:


Daily Podcasts: Here
GPS Track Here

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.



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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