The Final Days - A treadling Hyohakusha - CycleBlaze

November 27, 2017

The Final Days

Northam to Perth

To Chidlow: The Penultimate day

27/11/2017, Monday
68 km

I started off from Rellie #4 fairly early in the morning, but met an interesting local about 1 km into the ride and stopped for a good long chat, so getting out of Northam took a bit longer than planned.

I like to ride in and out of Perth on the rail trail and Kep Track, avoiding the busy commute roads and main highway. But instead of taking the Kep Track straight out of town and pushing my bike through the bit where the unrepaired track follows the Kalgoorlie pipeline, I thought I'd try following Spencer Brook Road and meet up with the Kep Track at Clackline. It was a bit of a detour, heading south at the start instead of straight west for Perth, but it was a great choice - much better than pushing the bike for kms along the pipeline. Spencer Brook Road has a gentle incline (about 3-4 %) all the way to Clackline and very little traffic. There is a cute little pub at Spencer Brook and just beyond the town a couple of km there are many spots where you can pull your bike off the road and free camp in the bush.

The Kep Track around Clackline was a bit cut up from horse and motorbike riders, but just when I was tiring of the hard work, I arrived at Bakers Hill... and the pie shop. Time for an early lunch and rest. I had calculated the distance from Northam to Perth before starting out in the morning (+120 km) and after about an hour of riding my body informed me that it wasn't about to even try to do that distance in one day. So a nice long pie stop was called for; my body also thought that was a great idea. I just didn't have the legs for a long day in the saddle.

The track continues to get quite a workout from the hoon dirt bike riders (horses, foot and cycle traffic is allowed, motorbikes are not), but paved roads parallel the track all the way to Chidlow and I spent most of my time on these. From Chidlow, the hoons surrender the Track to the mountain bike riders and pedestrian traffic.

I rolled into Chidlow not long after mid day, pulled out my folding chair under a huge Morton Bay Fig tree at the community oval and sat there quietly for a few hours thinking about the journey.

Eventually I had to start thinking about my night's lodging. There are plenty of places to stealth camp around Chidlow, so that was one option. In the end I opted for the luxury of a hot shower and camp kitchen that the Lake Leschenaultia campground provided. Being a Monday, I knew it would be free from the hoards of weekend campers .... and it was. A fine camp spot for my last night on the road...

To Perth: And so it ends... 

28/11/2017, Tuesday 

40ish km

I don't know what it was: maybe it was the emotional impact of finishing the longest hardest ride of my cycling careeer; maybe I was just physically tired and needed a rest day... Who knows? But I was shattered next morning and just didn't feel like getting on the bike, even if the first 15 km was all downhill through the Jarrah forest on the beautiful rail trail. I just didn't feel like pedalling...

So I struck a compromise with the body/psyche: I'd pedal into Midland and catch the train to downtown and then cycle from downtown the 15 km home to North Beach, stopping off at Trigg Beach for a ceremonial wheel dip in the Indian Ocean.

And that's exactly what I did...

Wheel dip - North Beach - end of the ride
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