Dave Byrnes' Adventures

Round Oz Bike Record Attempt - 2008

Overview     Planning     Schedule     Map     Diary     Pictures     Messages     Conclusion

An attempt to ride 14,950 Kilometres in around 50 days, solo and unsupported, and break the record for riding around Australia (second AND FINAL attempt).


I have decided to make another attempt on Eugen Schilterís outstanding record for riding around Australia solo and unsupported.  His time for the trip was 55 days, 17 hours and 8 minutes.  You can read about Eugenís record ride here.

My scheduled departure time is now 6:00am on  Saturday, 17 May 2008, from the Terrigal Surf Lifesaving Club Car Park on the NSW Central Coast.

A Danish cyclist, Erik Straarup, is currently mid-way through an attempt on the record, and is going very well and looks likely to be successful.  You can read about Erikís attempt here.  Not only is Erik likely to break the record, but he is cycling a longer route, making the total distance about 14,700 kilometres.  He has decided not to include two additional extensions in Queensland and the Northern Territory, which would have made the route arguably the true Round Australia sealed roads route.  My planning for this attempt is based on cycling this longer route, now making the trip a little over 14,900km, but still aiming to beat Erik's time which seems likely to be around 50 days.

I failed in my 2007 attempt when I tore my left thigh muscle after 25 days while on schedule to break the record by two days.  You can read about that attempt here.  Although it may seem unlucky to have been stopped by the sudden onset of an injury after 25 days averaging 270km per day, I am very conscious that I had good fortune up to that point with no significant mechanical or physical problems.  To be successful in this venture you need a lot of luck to go along with hard work and minimal sleep.

Generally, I was happy with my preparation and the equipment I used for my last attempt and have only made a few changes for this time.  You can read about my gear and approach here.

Itís hard to say what caused my thigh muscle to tear so badly after 25 days when everything seemed to be going very well during the last attempt.  The best theory I can come up with can be traced back to saddle discomfort.  A few days earlier, when I was behind schedule and riding in very warm weather, I experienced bad chafing.  So as not to lose time, I rode right through the following night standing on the pedals the whole way.  There was no significant evidence of muscle problems following that night, but Iím guessing there were some small micro-tears.  The chafing cleared up but, a few days later, some badly placed pimples on my posterior were causing enough discomfort to encourage me to experiment with different seating positions on the saddle.  Itís possible this exacerbated strain on the leg muscles and caused a minor tear to become more serious.

Of course, I donít think anybody can ride a bike 270km per day for 25 days without having a few saddle sores and I really did quite well, considering.  However, in the hope of doing better this time around I will be rotating my cycling shorts at least daily, always seeking to wear a dry pair, and, at the suggestion of an old friend and long-time cyclist, Bill Mitchell, be trying a layer of lanolin under the layer of Vaseline I apply each day to my nether regions.  Enough information!!

Like last time, and with Sharonís help again, I am planning to maintain an on-line diary on this website accompanied by podcasts, pictures and a daily GPS track that can be viewed through Google Earth.



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

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

You can see Dave's Running Blog here.