Crossing the border includes travelling through the fabric of the space, time and cultural continuum.
A Low-res Adventure
A fortnight prior to my depart I got this in my INBOX and it planted a seed in my head.
It's Jesse here... We've met a couple of times over the last year (including on the recent night gravel grind... wasn't that a cracker!).
Alex Denham mentioned he'd told you about my Melbourne to Adelaide ride before Xmas. I have to admit, your ride last year was a source of inspiration for my spin. The way you tackled the ride really appealed to me... backpack and a few bottles, fill up along the way, sleep in pubs, etc. I like to "go long", love cruising around on a single speed and needed to be back in Adelaide for Xmas... so I thought I'd combine these three things.
Given that your spin was partly the inspiration for my ride, I thought you might like to see a few photos I took along the way. I'm not the photographer that you are mate! These are just a few shots from my phone along the way, but given you're be familiar with the territory it could bring back some memories.
You'll find the photos in the attached zip file. I've included some captions for the photos below...
Hope you're well mate... keep up the good work on your site!
Some photos notes. / Whoops… slept in. All ready to go./ The obligatory “fcuk , that’s a long way to go… but I’m going an even longer way” photo/ Picnic on the Western Highway/ Just doing what I’m told/ You really get a sense of the scale of the Grampians from the south. It felt like I was riding past them for 10 hours (this is not an exaggeration)/ Long shadows… somewhere near Cavendish? / Edenhope refill after some high-speed Kangaroo dodging nose wheelies!/ 8 and 8a: Not a great shot… but it was at the border/ Day 1 starts after riding around for an hour ringing night bells at Naracoorte motels with no success/ The Naracoorte Hilton/ Sunrise in Naracoorte after a couple of quality park bench hours/Iced coffee #6 (perhaps more?) at a Keith bakery/ Good news and bad news/ There’s not much happening in Yumali any more/ Despite the tailwind it was a struggle to hold 25km/hr on the coarse bitumen near Tailem Bend/ Sunset on day 2, somewhere near Nairne just after the climbing began/ Loaded single speed (46:16) with 700km in the legs… Not pretty/ Day 2 stats: The altimeter only started working 200km in… should be close though – it’s flat out there/ All done!
JC had planted a few ideas in my head after digesting his effort. It had been some time since I'd done an epic on a singlespeed so I figured I'd emulate it by sticking to the same gear inch - which is more or less the gear I would have picked save the hills and descents.
Could I ride through the night? I packed lights just in case I was in the mood. I enjoy the visuals from riding so losing that would not be an incentive, getting to Adelaide earlier would also serve no purpose but in order to share the 'experience' I couldn't dismiss it entirely - but in 38 hours total? Who am I kidding. The man is a machine.
In a similar vein I'd read a piece by an equally insane cyclist I know talking about finding their limit - and if they found it would it bring relief, or disappointment?
Day 3 was the day to RIDE THROUGH THE NIGHT - or not. It's as flat as a sh1t carters hat in the Coorung and just as pleasant. The temperatures soar there so it seemed like a likely place as any to do it. Depending on my mood in Kingston I'd consider it then, not over breakfast.
Breakfast was served hot at the Golden Arches cafe. I read the paper, stretched my legs and basically put off riding for another 30 mins. I was in no hurry.
The morning was about as close to perfect as it gets. No wind, blue cloudless skies.
This is the view from the top of Coleraine as you descend into the township.
Morning tea in Casterton at Say Grace. Best food around for hours.
Wedgetail Eagle. Amazing to see in the wild.
It's well established that clean bikes go faster. It was also 40 degrees in the shade at this point so when I saw the car wash I 'splashed' out and gave the old girl a bath.
It's hot and dry out here.
As I discovered, not as dry as I thought. I was already tired, hot and dry at this point. If it wasn't for the water tanks at Biscuit Flat things would have panned out very differently for me. The next viaduct along was teeming with water and I waded in to launder my SIDIs and socks before the clay turned to cement.
This was the view from the saddle for a good chunk of the afternoon. You can't feel the heat, or hear the wind which was fortunately a cross-tail but you can see how flat and straight it is.
I rolled into Kingston SE around 8pm. At some point in the day my Llewellyn became a time machine and transported me back in time because all the clocks said it was 7pm and good thing they did. I managed to squeeze in and out of the supermarket before it shut and took similiar recomendations for pub accomodation.
The barman, gregarious chap that he was said it was $50 for the night and asked if I wanted to see the room first. I told him it couldn't be any worse than the first night - but how wrong I was. The room was the same size as the bed more or less, thankfully the shower was hot and had an eerie resemblance to the Roubaix showers. I laundered my kit under the rose, hung them from the balcony and hoped that the food was on par with the shower and not the room.
The meals included a buffet of roasted, toasted and cheesy delights which I proceeded to demolish and wash down with a pair of Radler pints.
I strolled to the foreshore to work off my meal as the sun was dipping below the horizon, and with it any thought of riding through the night. What a great day.