Wintery Weather, Bus Rides East and – finally – a Great Riding Day: Uralla to Bellingen (Days 7 & 8: Sunday 26 April and Monday 27 April)

When I awoke on Sunday the weather was bleak. A heavy wet grey blanket of cloud had descended on Uralla. It was just about 10*C and the Bureau of Meteorology was telling me that the high in Armidale (my intended destination for the day) was set to be 14*C with wind gusts of up to 44 kph. Um, no. Just no. If I hadn’t been so tested already, maybe, but – why? This is meant to be fun not sadistic. New England Coaches run from Tamworth to Coffs Harbour and having texted the managers on the Sunday after ANZAC Day …

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An Unexpected Day of Rest and an Unexpected Day of Climbing

(Days 4 & 5 – Wednesday 22 April & Thursday 23 April: Nundle to Tamworth) I woke in Nundle to the sound of car tyres on wet pavement. I was grateful for the excuse to accept Scott’s offer of a lift to Tamworth. It was only light mist but it felt like we were in a cloud and it could start raining in earnest at any moment. I couldn’t ride another day in the rain just now. Scotty suggested a midday departure so I filled the morning with nothing much including a quick look around all that is Nundle. Scott …

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Holy Feck – That was hard (Day 3 – Tuesday 21 April)

The number of kilometres I’m meant to be covering keeps going up and yet I’m not completing them. That said I feel like the kilometres I’ve been doing are so much harder than one might expect that they are equal to double or triple the number of easy kilometres. It rained heavily in the night and I woke several times to re-inflate my mattress. It was raining heavily when I first woke around 6:30 am – I rolled over and hoped for the best. When I rose an hour later it had lessened but it was still falling. All around …

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Riding in the rain 100 metres at a time – Day 2 (Monday 20 April)

Last night I feared I maybe really couldn’t do this. Well, couldn’t do the wild camping – that particularly worried me. But here I am. Not wild camping as in set up in some shrubbery on the side of the road but behind the Timor Community Centre with no one knowing I am here. And I feel fine, safe. There is a little mouse scurrying around out there and the usual moths beating their wings against the wall of my tent as it is the only light source for some distance around. The crickets are loud; the air outside the …

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Alone – On the Road to Gundy (Day 1 – Sunday 19 April)

Here I am – sitting cross-legged in my tent, the darkness filled with the glow of the computer screen. I am camped in an open-sided shed at the Gundy Showground – a small bug crawls across my writing, outside something is moving on the tent. I’m sharing the shed with a couple who are riding the Bicentential National Trail. They’ve been taking a break here in Gundy this week and spent the afternoon re-shoeing two of their five horses. They began at the northern end of the trail up in Far North Queensland a year ago and hope to finish …

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A Timely Reminder from Unclipped

I’ve been following Tegan Philips’ adventure on Unclipped since the begin … such a great and simple blog. Today, this reminder – I’ve been feeling a little stressed about my To Do list and the disappearance of days as I move toward a mid-April departure. I have the bike. I’ll get the most important stuff I’ll need. Adventure will happen. Thanks Tegan.

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Flight Changes are Giving Me Grief

Qatar Airways has changed my flights leaving me with the option of either taking a later flight from Sydney to Hong Kong on Cathay keeping short layovers there and in Doha but losing 10 kg from my baggage allowance (as Cathay offers 20 kg to economy passengers on that route compared to Qantas’ 30 kg). Or I can stay with Qantas but have nine hour layover in Doha without the provision of a hotel room. I’ve told my travel agent neither of these options are acceptable as they both materially change the product I bought. I wouldn’t have bought a ticket …

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I Think I Need a Backcountry Bed

Yesterday I looked at a recommended sleeping bag – recommended by the authors of the Bike Touring Survival Guide. It’s called a Backcountry Bed by Sierra Designs and is amazing looking. I want – very much. And I’m inclinded to get it. It’s less than US$300 and is like someone started from scratch: a zipless foot baffle, a sleeping mat pocket, an opening with an attached doona covering, pockets for arms out belly sleeping. Something which increases my tent-sleeping comfort as much as this promises to = must have.

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