Ravensthorpe ... just - A Short Ride? - CycleBlaze

May 16, 2011

Ravensthorpe ... just

It's about 80 km from the rest stop to Ravensthorpe and that distance is within my limit, so I decided to go for it. For the most part, it was a ride of up and down small hills and a few nice long straight aways. There were winds from the north east and north west, so I had an assist from time to time. Also got rained on a fair bit. The last 20 km into Ravensthorpe had a couple of good hills and I was motoring along a a good pace. On a downhill stretch, at about 50 kmph, I start worrying about encountering heavy rigs either going the other direction or overtaking me from behind. As an old acquaintance Rob Cartwright used to say 'that would be a calamity,' so I apply some brakes.

I was pretty done in by the time I got to Ravensthorpe and actually crashed my bike as I was trying to stop and negotiate a slow turn around. Only damaged my pride, but it was a sure sign I had done enough for the day. I stayed at the local Caravan Park and paid for two nights. They have backpackers rooms at $35 a night and it's a quiet and well run site - recommended.

Bike needed some maintenance; after the wet riding the chain was squeaking like a flock of small birds. Tent needed drying out and clothes definitely needed some washing.

Note to self: take a small tube of chain lube on next cycling adventure.

I cycle in merino wool short and long sleeved tops. They are brilliant. You can go many days in a row without washing them and they don't stink... well, don't stink too much. Heavy weight tops keep you warm in the cold and wet weather and the very light weight tops are good to wear in the warmer weather. I haven't tried them in the high heat (above 90 degrees) but am told they work well even in these temperatures. Go Icebreakers.

While here I met Adrian, a young French traveller on a tour of Australia. He's been in Australia for a year and a half travelling proper. He looks for interesting things to do and takes his time. He worked mustering in the Northern Territory, outside of Wave Hill. Worked with Aboriginal stockmen for 3 months in the bush, sharing their lives and experiences. He was even short changed at the end of the job, just like his Aboriginal work mates. This is not an uncommon experience in the bush - I've heard of many similar experiences. Heck, there are even a number of good traditional cowboy songs about failing to get paid at the end of a cattle drive. Seems to be a tradition well alive and still practised amongst pastoralists here in OZ.

Adrian is now on a beat up old motorcycle and plans to ride through Kalgoorlie / Laverton and the Red Centre on the back track to Alice Springs, in the middle of winter. Hope he makes it.

No photos - a sure sign I was too focused on covering distance and not enjoying the ride.

Today's ride: 84 km (52 miles)
Total: 611 km (379 miles)

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