20:20 Hindsight: On reflection - Crocodile Dreaming - CycleBlaze

July 23, 2013

20:20 Hindsight: On reflection

This tour was very different to all tours I have done in recent years because of how far it was from home, and it being along a route with no services for hundreds of kilometres of rough, unsealed road with unpredictable water supply. Despite this, it is not an overly risky, difficult or adventurous ride. It is certainly not an epic, and it is well within the capability of moderately fit and reasonably experienced cycle-tourers.

Overall I think our planning, preparation and equipment was close to ideal for the conditions.

The bikes were especially good as they sustained and handled an absolute hammering. I am still incredulous that between the three bikes, the only mechanical glitches were two flat tyres and a lost rack bolt. All were easily repaired.

The only surprise was how cold the nights were mid-tour. We hadn't expected temperatures lower than 15 degrees C but they dropped to as low as 5 degrees or lower on a couple of occasions.

The other slight surprise were the long daily distances we managed to cover on the second half of the ride. It would have been easy to spend and extra two or three days staying over in an area such as the Leopold Range, or doing side-trips.

I carried a tarp which was unnecessary. There was plenty of shade, and with hindsight it would have been better to just take my tent outer rather than the larger batwing tarp.

We estimated food needs pretty close to the mark, although because we finished a few days earlier than planned, we still had a few days rations remaining at the end.

The two stores en-route, Mt Barnett and Imintje, had better supplies than we'd been told to expect. Mt Barnett particularly had a good selection of basic staples. We could have also saved carrying a bit of food by planning to eat an evening meal and breakfast at Home Valley Station, and lunches at Mt Barnett and Imintje.

Overall, the region is outstanding for its scenery, birdlife and remarkable billabongs, rivers and gorges. Being able to see it slowly, hear the wildlife and soak up the environment at the pace of cycling is an ideal way to travel the Gibb River Road.

With a modicum of planning and preparation it is a safe, straightforward cycle-tour. The essentials are a robust, good quality bike, plenty of water containers and food carrying capacity.

Thank you to John for sparking the idea for the tour. Depending on the difficulty of each day's ride, we'd either say "Great idea John" or "It's all John's fault".

And thanks also to Will for once again being great company on tour and sharing the work of a very long drive home. Well ridden and well driven.

Rate this entry's writing Heart 0
Comment on this entry Comment 0