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August 9, 2001

Overland Australia - Update 15

August 9, 2001
Day 17

We want our dirt back!


If we don't get our dirt back soon, one of us is going to die. We cycled for 80km today on the sealed road. Every so often a road train or a camper van full of retirees would pass. We had a fairly good system, and because the road was very straight and had hardly any corners, we usually had advance warning of their approach.

The day began fairly well with a seven o'clock start. Cold, but nice. A few cars passed, and we had no troubles with them. We arrived at Georgetown at about eleven; this was where were to leave John, who was going to Brisbane for a painting show. We stayed in the small hole of a town for an hour, waiting for a battery to arrive, parted with John, and went on our way. Past the copious amounts of road kill (that was so yesterday, sorry guys), we pedalled on and on. Sun bearing down on us and giving us a generous North Queensland tan, or freckles for some.


Three corner jacks became Bel's worst enemy. When we left Georgetown, (all breathing a sigh of relief to see the back of the town) Bel found she had a double puncture. So we stopped and fixed that. One kilometre down the track Bel found she had another puncture and so we stopped and fixed that also.


Looking over my shoulder every thirty seconds would give me enough warning when a car or a road train was coming. With the exception of one time, when a road train had snuck up behind us, and passed with less than half a metre's clearance. It kept on coming, it was rather big, and from then on I can't quite remember what exactly happened - but I do know that the group had stopped rather hastily after the truck had passed. This caused me to stop in a sudden, and due to the stress of the moment and the swapped around, rotten American braking system, I jammed on the left-hand break. On my bike that would be the back brake, though on the American bikes the left is the front, not back, so I went over the handlebars and bit the dirt.


Fortunately, I lay on the ground for a minute to work out what was hurting more, my right hand little finger, or my grazed elbow. Jim insisted I take some "crash medicine" and off I went. Just two kilometres onward and we reached camp. I am now sitting beside Bel and Todd writing updates.

These road trains are dangerous and if cyclists are not careful they may
get in the way of the monstrous machines. We want our dirt back!

Feed your children wheat.


Environmental Studies

Posted on August 9, 2001 12:24 PM