That’s a town just north of Eden on the New South Wales south coast and where I’m camped today. Just realized this afternoon that in January 2020 I did Sydney to past Eden and back in about the time this ride has taken so far. Really slow going, these past few days I’ve been walking a lot of hills whereas three years ago I can only think of one I had to walk and that was the cliff face in Tathra. Certainly, the Berley ‘Nomad’ trailer has something to do with that, the trailer I used on the 2020 ride was a single wheeled which is more like pulling a wheelbarrow than pulling a cart like this ‘Nomad’. Trailer-drag aside, it’s not an easy ride, at a guess I’ve spent about 80 percent of time on the bike going uphill which wears you out and puts you in a seriously cranky mood. The weather is weird, a few days ago it went from hot to pull-on-a-jumper in a matter of minutes, the wind having swung from north to south. Had I internet connection where and when that happened, I would have checked out what the southern jet stream was doing as often such sudden changes are caused by the screwed-up jet stream. Reduction in temperature difference between the equatorial regions and the poles resulting in a slowed down and unstable jet stream, and yes, it’s climate change once again.
Also, was reading in a local newspaper about a ‘virtual fence’ system that is designed to reduce the number of animals killed on our roads. The system is posts positioned alongside the road which emit sound and light when their sensors are triggered by headlights. The claim is that a trial conducted in a high-incident area resulted in a 90 percent reduction in animals killed. The article also mentioned that Australia is a ‘world leader’ in loss of biodiversity and that the counted number of animals killed on our roads is 10 million a year. I think that number would in fact be much higher because when riding, I often see dead animals that because of their small size or the carcass been in a roadside ditch would not be counted.
Tomorrow I’ll be in Eden, just a few kilometers down the road, and I might hang around in the area for a few days ahead of continuing south to the Victorian border.
I was hoping to be well passed Batemans Bay by this afternoon, but between myself and the planet, it’s a tossup as to who is feeling the most unwell. We’re a few weeks into spring and the mercury is hitting 30 Celsius, and as for myself, it’s no energy and plain feeling sick. Anyways, checked into a caravan park for a rest and a much needed shower, and hopefully tomorrow I’ll be feeling better. Nothing much to say about the past few days; the Princess Highway is a crap and in places, dangerous for cyclists. Everytime I ride it I swear I’ll never do it again, but this has to be the third time. About twenty kilometres north of Batemans Bay I ran into a gathering of bikers at a cafe/petrol station, one leather clad boomer with a Harley, commenting on my rig as he walked passed said, “Nice bike – just a bit underpowered though.”
That’s a town on the New South Wales south coast, about 200 kilometres from Sydney. Nothing much worth mentioning, the highlight of the past few days was a puppy that at 2AM attempted a break-and-enter into the tent. He was actually whimpering, begging to be let in, and so he spent the rest of the night sleeping next to me, but only after having tried chomping on everything in the tent, including my forearms which I counted, have twenty puncture holes courtesy of the pup’s razor-sharp teeth. I found his owner in the morning, sadly, as he would have made a great travel companion.
Been on the road for a few days. I started out heading south down the Hume Highway but hit bad weather when I reached the Southern Highlands. That, by the way, is not all that far. So, made a decision ‘in seven breaths’, and headed for the coast where the weather conditions appeared more favourable. More hills but also a mad downhill at the bottom of which I thought I’d need to replace the breakpads. Discs turned a copper color. Otherwise, it’s been an uneventful ride thus far, slow and painful on long uphill grinds, one flat tyre, and a few kilometres riding and chatting with a guy on a race bike. I told him to keep going without me, because gramps dragging a trailer just couldn’t keep up with a fit young man riding a carbon fibre race machine. I reached the coast at Kiama, had a cuppa and then started out south again down the Princess Highway. I couldn’t find anywhere decent to sleep and so pitched the tent by the side of the highway, and today arriving in the township of Berry, I decided to treat myself to a caravan park where I can have a shower, rest, charge devices, and hopefully also recharge in enthusiasm. Tomorrow I’ll be in Nowra where I’ll do some shopping, eat calorie-dense food, and from there seriously start the ride down the south coast to Eden and the Victorian border. The plan is to follow the coastal road to Melbourne.
Things sorted out, bike and trailer packed, tomorrow morning I’ll be back on the highway. Given the predicted summer temperatures, I’ll again be heading south down to Victoria, maybe spend a few days in Melbourne and do some street photography, then west to Geelong where I’ll either catch the ferry and give Tasmania a second chance, or if not, continue west along the coast to South Australia. Once there, I’ll see how things are looking, continuing on and crossing the Nullarbor into Western Australia would be great, but not if temperatures are in the high forties. OK, getting ahead of myself, first up a relatively easy ride down south, just hope I don’t have fifteen flats like last time.
Issues? The big one is the predicted heat, and another of concern to me is that on my previous two rides performance was noticeably below what I would normally expect. With an equal load the two-wheeled trailer drags significantly more than the single-wheel I used before, but beyond that I find physical and mental endurance is a problem. Physically the leg power is there but ability to sustain effort has dropped, which could be a diet issue, lack of deep sleep, and all things combining, a less than optimum mental state. The mental is hugely important, a shift in state of mind can translate into kilometres per hour.