From Neerim South to Noojee the road climbs steadily up for at least ten kilometres, then climbs more steeply up for another few before swooping down through the forest in wet twisty curves. Magnificent riding, but a little unnerving with the wet leaves and the narrowness of the roads. Inflight discussions between tandem pilot and stoker resulted in the decree that the tandem would travel at a reasonable speed downwards through the forest….
Blessed are the tandem-riders, for they shall manage to ride all day and escape the rain — at least it seemed that way today! A lucky start when we woke in sunlight and with a bit of prodding managed to leap into action and pack the bags and tent before breakfast and more importantly, before the next squall and rain-front came through. Even more impressive was the one after that, not just icy rain, this one had ice in it — a few minutes of hail that caused general mayhem on the campground.
stats. Today 76.0 km Trip 293km The ride from Bacchus Marsh to Melbourne is always a bit of a slog — first there’s the seemingly endless plains of red dirt and rocks, broken only by the great swooping descent into the gorge over the Werribee river, then there’s the interminably mindless eight kilometres along the Western Highway with the mind-numbing roar of the traffic and the ever present danger of the idiot’s towing their caravans and not realising how much wider than the car the ‘van is.
stats. Today 91.2km Trip 217km There are some magnificent swooping descents in the last few kilometres to Bacchus Marsh, ending in a hill into town with a 60km/hr speed limit, a hill where a bicycle can quite easily reach that speed limit! Unfortunately there seems to be some local law in effect in Bacchus Marsh that insists that the local motorists must be abusive, ignorant and stupid, I don’t think I’ve ever ridden into town without someone being yelled at, swerved at, or had something thrown at them — today was no different, halfway down the hill at 62km/hr on the tandem, some ignorant petrol-head pulled out of a side-street straight in front of us and nearly got 150kg of tandem and riders right up his boot.
stats. Today 80.3km Trip 125km It was cold and frosty overnight, for the first time in many years my old sleeping bag seemed to not be enough and I woke up cold. Stepping out of the tent showed frost on the grass and the tents, and fog rising over the lake. A beautiful sight.
stats. Today 45km Trip 45km Another Good Friday morning, another Deadly Treadly Tour commences! A little too far from Oakleigh to the city to do the car and bike shuffle, so Jo and I hopped on the first train of the day, loaded down with bags and helmets and the tandem. Arrived at Flinders Street station to discover that we had to carry the beast up the stairs, no easy task while wearing a large backpack!
stats. Today ??km Trip km Not just the fourth day of the bike ride — today was our first wedding anniversary! Woohoo, what fun. One year and no divorce, we must be better than all those Hollywood people or international sporting stars…
A couple of friends snuck breakfast-in-bed, the paper, and a bottle of bubbly under the edge of the tent this morning, luckily we opened the door before packing up the sleeping bags, letting us have a somewhat amusing romantic breakfast-in-bed of muesli while sitting in the tent!
stats. Today ??km Trip km The overnight rain had blown away as we packed up this morning — I guess there’s got to be some rain on an Easter Deadly Treadly! In place of the rain we had a strong westerly, straight in our faces on leaving Tarwin lower and for the next hour’s slog towards Inverloch.
stats. Today ??km Trip km A magnificent day’s riding, mostly along peaceful country roads through the Gippsland hills.
At one point we watched as a flock of twenty to thirty black cockatoos flew overhead, creaking mournfully as they called to each other, flying with their characteristic slow, floppy wing beat.
There was a long hard climb after the morning-tea stop at Meeniyan, then magnificent views down towards Wilsons Prom as we headed south to rejoin the Foster to Inverloch road.
stats. Today ??km Trip km Breakfast, finish packing, put the bags in the car and drive down to Alexandra parade to the start of yet another Deadly Treadly… somewhere along the way Jo asks whether I’ve checked that we really are starting from the same place as all the previous rides! We are, and about a hundred people have shown up, quite a few more than the last couple of times.
stats. Today 0km Trip 188km Things continue to improve. Its a sunny day, breakfast at a reasonable hour. A visit to a laundromat and a coffee in Beaumont street. Definitely an improvement.
In the afternoon Ron and I trundled into town on Big Bertha for a beer at the waterfront brewery, then along the sea-wall to the lighthouse, and around the point.
stats. Today 73km Trip 188km Stuff-ups and more stuff-ups! Up at 4 am as the cooks got up and started to prepare breakfast. A quick pack up and dress, then down to the showground in the mill owners 4WD. Put the bags down in a corner where we could see them and started on the bikes, preparing and loading them into the trucks.
stats. Today 5km Trip 117km There was little to do all day except walk around town and look at the floods. Some of our more quick-witted friends ignored the BNSW organisers, arranged to have their bags taken in a van, and rode the 100+ km straight down the highway to Newcastle. Others, who had friends in the area, arranged to be picked up and taken there in cars.
stats. Today 36km Trip 112km Breakfast took longer than anticipated, the weather saw to that. Ominous dark clouds threatened while some chose to pack up before eating, others chose to eat first and pack later. I was one of the latter group, not only had I not packed up, but I was only just joining the queue as the downpour began and put a delay in the proceedings.
stats. Today 74km Trip 76km Either the beer or the travelling had produced a killer headache, tend to think it was the latter since I always seem to end up with a stiff neck and a headache after sleeping in buses and trains.
Steamy and humid all morning, then a bit of a cooler change after the lunch stop.
stats. Today 2km Trip 2km A foggy morning in the Southern Highlands as it became light enough to see from the train, then a seven o’clock arrival at Strathfield for 07.30 departure on the North Coast XPT. Homeward-bound ferals everywhere on the platform, chuffing away on joints and bongs, oblivious to the “No Smoking” signs, but no more oblivious than the rest of the population with their cigarettes.
stats. Today 0.0km Trip 0.0km Seems strange having a day or two holiday before I go away on a bike trip. Usually I’ve finished work one day, gone home, packed up, got to whatever transport is required, got to the start and got on my way… it all seems very relaxed this time!
Tried — and eventually succeeded — in getting Telstra to change over the phone numbers from my old SIM to my new one.
stats. Today 91.5km Trip 257.0km Final day of the ride, best weather so far! Sticking my head out of the tent at around 6.30 am there was not a breath of wind, the sun was rising and the bay was as flat as a mirror. We left Rye around 10 am, in bright sunshine, but with a chill still in the air.
I experiment. I play. I write and I take pictures. Some of the site is organised around topics, other parts are organized by date, then there’s always the cross-references between them.
Long ago it started as a learning experiment with a few static HTML pages, then I added a bit of server-side includes and some very ugly PHP. A hand-built journal/blog on top of that PHP, then a few experiments in moving to various static publishing systems. I’ve never wanted a database-based blogging engine, so over the years I’ve tried php, nanoblogger, emacs-muse, silkpage and docbook before settling on emacs org-mode for writing and jekyll for publishing. But the itch remained… I never really liked jekyll and the ruby underneath always seemed so much black magic. So now the latest incarnation is org-mode and hugo.