Today’s ride was by far the toughest, most gruelling bicycle ride I’d ever undertaken, and pushed my body to limits I hadn’t exceeded for more than ten years… I rode along the city streets down Glen Osmond Road and then Pulteney Street like a conquering Roman caesar as I beamed with pride, appreciation and satisfaction, stopping at Rundle Mall and achieving what I’d set out to do six months earlier, with nothing more than a rough sketch of a plan and a crazy idea to ride to Adelaide in a school dress.
I woke up this morning with a bit of a hangover, but nothing too bad, and got my laundry done pretty early. I wandered around town for a while, checking out the Bordertown train station, a stop for the Overland Train I’ll be taking back to Melbourne this coming Friday, and was saddened at how run-down and in need of maintenance the neglected but beautiful heritage station was.
I set out from Dimboola and before long reached Loch Iel, more commonly known as the Pink Lake. This salt pan is home to a type of algae that reacts to the sun by showing a pink hue, making the entire lake varying shades of pink depending on time of year, sun position, etc. It was very beautiful…
I started this morning in the worst possible way — disaster struck my rear axle. I snapped the ‘Burley Balls’ rear axle bolt, which was made out of cheap Chinesium, as I went to depart the Darlot Motor Inn! I was devastated — this could easily have been the end of the adventure right there. I was completely immobilised. Without a rear axle I couldn’t even walk the bike to the local bike shop. I rang my partner Danielle in despair.
Slept in slightly, then as I was leaving from home and not coming back, needed to double-check that everything was packed into the trailer and the gear was all ready to go.
When sitting down to plan out the Ride in September, one of the first requirements to come to mind was carriage space on the bike — how would I allow enough storage for food, water, shelter, changes of clothes, etc? Being a newcomer to the world of bike touring, I quickly found a number of different options and styles of travel, that when compared to the gear I already had, left me with three main choices to make: A setup involving lots of panniers and frame bags; a support vehicle to accompany me and carry all my gear; or attaching a cargo trailer to the rear.