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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy New Year to Everyone

Another year has come and gone. Welcome to 2011!

My plan for January is to go sailing with a friend. Not that I am a seasoned sailor, it is just that physio friend Birdman Jim wants me to help him win the National MG14 Titles on Lake Illawarra - January 8-13, 2011.

The Port Kembla Sailing Club wont know what hit them! Never even heard of MG14 sailboats.



Are you an organ donor yet?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sparta Support!

My ride for Cystic Fibrosis from Sydney to Melbourne did not go unnoticed by the friendly people at Sparta. On my return home I found this great Sparta collared shirt in the mail with well wishes! Thank you Sparta, I had a great ride on my Dutch Sparta bicycle.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Media in Merimbula

Got these articles in the mail! These were published in the Merimbula Times on the Sunday and Monday after my visit! Excellent.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Slideshow




Has anyone got any idea of what I could do next. Suggestions? I am always on a budget, so no going to the moon and back! Why not leave a comment!

In 2012 I am planning to walk the 750km El Camino de Santiago Trail in Spain.

Walter---

Recap



Safely back home I can now do my sums. Every day I tried to record the daily high and average and maximum speeds. I rode for 27 days, an average of 52 kilometers per day and covered 1370 kilometers.

The money spent on the trip was approximately $65 per day including repairs, preparations including some bicycle gear and the boat home for me. It did not include the airfare to Canberra which was done using frequent flier points. Total amount spent was $1797, and was much more than I had imagined, but realistically this is not bad. Don't forget that in many small places where we stopped the vegetable range in the shop was limited to onions and tomatoes and there always seemed to be a pub available with hot meals which always ended up averaging $35 per person for dinner. Even doing a quick BBQ was an expensive operation as we couldn't carry many of the basics and had to buy the whole kit and caboodle each time. I did safe a lot of money by carrying home meals which I had dehydrated before leaving. I carried about 10 meals for us both, which saved us significantly and provided wonderful meals.



Cycling from Sydney to Melbourne was easy for navigation, plenty of signs and good free tourist maps. There was a wonderful free tourist publication specifically available for driving from Sydney to Melbourne along the Pacific Highway, and there was phone coverage pretty much the whole way.

I used the iPhone maps to find my way and choose routes and calculate distances. It made it a lot easier. Looking for a campground was as easy as typing the word on the map and the icons would appear on the screen, and a click later you could call their phone number.

Blog was kept up to date via the iPhone as well, and all the photos I took I took with the iPhone. I used the iPhone to post the photos on FaceBook (become my friend to see them). The $400 cap and the 500MB data limit was enough to see me through.

When Ree came with the support vehicle we used Google Latitude to see where we both were, and occasionally emailed positions to each other. The photos I made with the phone were also geotagged so I could see where I took them. Technology was wonderful. And did I run out of batteries for the phone or find it a problem to leave it plugged in to charge in a public place? No worries there, I had an external battery charging cover. It carried a full charge for the phone and all you had to do  is use it as a phone cover and it would charge the phone. The charger itself did not have a phone and was not terribly valuable or likely to get pinched.

Monday, November 22, 2010

That's the Spirit


The last morning to wake up in a tent :(
I love my tent, but I do love to go back to my own bed... And so after a hearty cooked breaky I left with the bike... on the back of the car to find a nearby bikeshop to fix my tyre.

'Gonna be a bitch of a job' I was told by the young mechanic in Frankston once he had the bike on the stand in the workshop. 'Do you know how to take the wheel off?' was the next question. I was not filled with confidence. I had just asked them to fit a new tube and a Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyre, and tighten the loose spoke please while the wheel is off...

Ree and I disappeared for an hour and a half as was requested, using the time wisely by visiting the local Aldi store for last minute bargains (we don't have Aldi in Tasmania). When we returned to the shop it was all fixed, miraculouysly. 'Was a bastard of a job...' the mechanic told me as I left. We mounted the bike back on the car and drove for a lunch spot on a nearby beach before I had to head off on my final ride into Melbourne. At the lunchstop Ree noticed she could still open the hatch of her car even with the bike rack on. A minute later she slammed the hatch shut and I heard this almighty groan... She got hit by the bike rack in 12 different places from head to shoulders. Whoaps.

And the joyous time of mounting the bike for the final 30 kilometers arrived. I jumped on the bike and rode a few hundred meters before realizing the gears weren't working properly. Having earlier noticed a bikeshop around the corner I called into the  Mordialloc Bicycle Centre where I met Mark. Before getting into the bikeshop Mark had traveled around the world for many many years and in benefit of several great causes, collecting some serious $$$ from sponsors. He fixed the gears, told me how to do it, tightened the loose spoke, and did not charge me. He was a very inspirational man who was full of words of wisdom and seemed a highly competent bicycle mechanic. Great man to meet!

Again I joyfully jumped on my bike and headed North to Melbourne! I followed the road and rode on a few walking/cycle paths here and there and eventually got onto the great track past StKilda Beach. The riding here was lovely. Gentle tail wind, people playing in the sun, surf kits, roller skaters, bikes, babes, everything. Enjoying every bit of it I made my way towards Port of Melbourne. Passing the historic HMVS Cerberus shipwreck just off Black Rock was pretty cool. Everything was cool, even approaching Port of Melbourne and seeing the Spirit of Tasmania docked there. A wedding on the beach a stone throw from the ship, people everywhere.

Fellow Hash House Harrier HellenBack came to welcome me and had a beer with us before we got on the ship. I was lucky to get on as I was due to sail with Hans the following night, but Ana from the Spirit of Tasmania's reservations was able to squeeze me on this boat. And so I sailed away in the sunset bound for Devonport Tasmania.

All good things come to an end, and in actual fact I am writing this from the comfort of my home, already been to work (on my trusty Dutch bike of course), and back in the swing of things. Saw several bandicoots, went fishing with a mate, paddled in my kayak, seen various eagles, walked on the beach,..  I do so love Tasmania.

Now, what shall I do for my next adventure?



-- The End of this adventure --
(watch this space!)
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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Arthurs Seat


Waking up in a great campsite is wonderful. Fresh air, sounds of birds, camp coffee,.. why leave Franklin,... And so in good spirits I headed up Arthurs Seat, 20 kilometers along a scenic road gently winding its way up to the 305 meter high lookout. The day was warm and sunny with a friendly hint of a tailwind. After I whispered a few words to friendly horses in a paddock along the road I discovered I had a flat tyre. It was the third puncture on the same patch! Nothing sharp was spotted except a tiny blemish. This time I also patched the inside of the tyre.

Views looking down onto Mornington Peninsula were stunning from the top (see picture). But hungry for lunch I headed down to Dromana where I was expected for lunch at the renowned Fork to Fork restaurant. Flying down the road I came across a few intersections, but on my map it seemed I just had to follow the main road down. When I finally came to an intersection with confusing road signs I actually checked the map and realised I was heading down the mountain in a wrong direction somehow. Many extra miles and several hills later I came close to where I had to be, except I was on a freeway and if only I could turn right 100 meters I would be there...

Alas, La Trobe Parade, where I had to be was a fly-over bridge and there was no getting off the freeway here. I had to backtrack a fair way to an exit and by the time I reached La Trobe parade again but it looked like I still had a fair way to go uphill. Blood sugar level and energy were way down, it was 3pm. In a cranky mood I locked up the bike, called Ree and got a lift for the final 300 meters up the hill. The food was magnificent and I was fully recharged within the hour. The restaurant made a fair donation to my cause as well, which was incredibly thoughtful. Thank you Fork to Fork.

At 4pm I left for our final campsite for the trip, the Big4 at Frankston. Cycling below Mount Martha along the blue seas and white beaches of Mornington was excellent, winds still reasonably favourable too. But then I got onto the highway. Obviously getting closer to Melbourne now, lots of peak hour traffic. Very noisy and smelly cycling along the busy road. Not so good. Not so good at all when I got a flat tyre again! This time the European valve on the tube also broke. I had no tools to take the Dutch wheel off, to change the tube I actually need to take the gear and brake cable off too, clumsy arrangement. I called Ree and got rescued. She too was frustrated in the traffic and was not happy to be so close to the big smoke of Melbourne. Together we arrived at the Big4 Holiday Village in Frankston at 730pm where we were well received by Jake before setting up our tent for the last time.
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Friday, November 19, 2010

Good Mornington

You know you are in a place of abundance when road side litter includes a good day's catch!

Winds have continued to steadily blow in the wrong direction for me, but with most of my gear now in Ree's vehicle I dare not complain! As we have a few days up our sleeve we decided to detour past Mornington Peninsula, Melbourne's summer playground, where the population here doubles from 125000 to 250000 people in summer.

The landscape was pretty much flat till I got to Tooradin on the Western Port area, a swampy area east of the peninsula. Ree arranged a budget cabin for us there. The next morning I cycled down the western side of the peninsula. In Balnarring for lunch we found lots of
Boutique shops and great food in the trendy shops where we had lunch in an Italian cafeteria with the best coffee and friendliest managing partner. Even the other patrons in the cafe were extremely friendly. Ree bought organic veggies for a stirfry and we visited the local wetland area regenerated by the local primary school as an ongoing project.

It was under 20kms but pretty hill to the bushy Flinders Caravan Park where the owner offered us a free night under the trees. We were warned not to be alarmed by the koalas growling noise at night and he gave us eggs from the happy chooks wondering on the grass nearby. A fellow cyclist camped next to us and we invited him over for dinner.

What a lovely spot here on the southern end of the Mornington Peninsula.

Today I ride across the peninsula to Arthur's Seat for lunch, the biggest hill on the island at 305 meters above sealevel. Apparently there is a chairlift!

Tonight will be our last night as Ree is on Saturday night's ferry to Tasmania. Hans and I are on Sundays sailing but I hope they will let me in with Ree. Ether way will be OK.

Hans is on nearby Phillip Island where the grand prix is held every year, and home to Australia's most popular penguin colony which is in peak swing at this time of the year.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Power to the People

This morning Hans departed towards the Strzelecki Range and left me and Ree to head towards the Mornington Peninsula. Headwind was today's theme it seemed.

The iPhone directed me up a farmers yard, and I had to bravely travel on the M1 Pacific Highway shoulder for almost 10kms towards Warragul. Ree followed the bicycle route to Warragul using her TomTom and had no hiccups. I did find a geocache on my route, an Aldi store and the haunted hills of Moe which I climbed up on, all the way to the Moe graveyard, before descending into Moe for lunch.

I can tell Melbourne is nigh not only by the traffic volume but also by the big power stations of the Latrobe Valley - one being the Hazelwood brown coal plant which was to be decommissioned many years ago, but is still going strong. It was built in the 1960s and is alleged to be the most polluting power-station in the western world according to www.aboutcarbon.com.au/fossil-fuels/hazelwood

The Latrobe Valley is a coal rich area and generates 85% of Victoria's energy needs.

Monday, November 15, 2010

World Peace and Random acts of Kindness

A day of well deserved rest was had, and a lovely woman overheard me having a small whinge about some personal issues on the phone to someone and approached Ree later on in the evening and said she wanted to give me these beautiful Peek-A-Boo handcrafted turtle cufflinks which she makes herself which symbolize good luck and longevity. What a lovely random act of kindness!

Today we had a look at the Gippsland Plains RailTrail. It is not quite finished yet but the first part was great. The rest kind of needed a mountain bike. As we had a good headwind we ended up riding on the adjacent road. Ree got lunch ready for us which was a great luxury. We had a wheel fall off Hans's trailer this morning, which for me is not an unusual event. I've had a bicycle wheel fall of after I had the bike in for service myself, had a car wheel fall off my car after getting wheels fitted once, saw a wheel fall off a boat trailer once, had a wheel rolling into me in Moscow whilst waiting for a bus and had a random rolling wheel run into my car in Canberra whilst driving on a main road. So a trailer wheel was nothing to me.

Today we also had gas bottle fires from discounted Kmart gas bottles and we ran into the Sri Chimoy World Peace running relay team - www.worldharmonyrun.org. I held the flame and made a globally beneficial wish (to make CF stand for Cure Found!).

To top off a long day of riding (we didn't get into camp till 6pm) we were welcomed with a complimentary campspot in the luxurious Traralgon Park Lane Tourist Park where Ree was busy preparing gourmet carboloading spaghetti Bolognaise.

Tomorrow we are riding on the M1 for a day of quick riding towards the Western Port.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The art of resting

After our drenching yesterday it was decided we have a restday today. Today we also met Ree who brought her car and a boot full of food! She will not be carrying our gear oh no, that would be cheating, no no! Well maybe a little. My sleepingbag bag is ripped, making it hard to pack in the panniers, so maybe the sleeping bag,
and maybe the tent, and...

Lovely day today, almost too good to not ride, but hack our muscles need a day off perhaps. Sigh. I love my riding.

Ree tells me I have lost weight. I will make up for it now that she can cook for us!

Last night we ran into Molly's aunt and uncle. Molly is a young lady with CF who goes to Melbourne's Monash CF clinic. I will mail her a copy of Walter and the Mucous Monster when I get back to Tassie.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cool change

Lovely and cool overcast
morning, not cold, just much better than yesterday's heat. We leisurely ate our muesli and drank our coffee, got our Internet fix at the 7 star camping and left 11am. We had 75 kms to go to Stratford where the next railway trail is waiting for us.

Today's ride was cutting through a rural area using minor roads. Loads of cockatoos and several swooping little piwis and one measly magpie made a humble attempt to swoop as well. Few hills and little traffic, with no towns in between.

Now that my glasses are not as accessible I decided to ask for directions instead of using my iPhone (much to Hans's enjoyment) and we had friendly people stopping for us when we weren't sure of which road to take. Winds were mostly favorable too but there was some light drizzle which turned into rain just before we arrived at the Statford Top Tourist Park.

Tongue in cheek I asked the lady at the 4 star tourist park about their luxury units and then humbly asked for the usual unpowered tent site.

Rehydrating tandoori chicken now, which I am cooking up with peas, a carrot and noodle soup in one big pot for us. Hans might complement it with a noodle dish.

Tomorrow Ree, sailing from Tasmania right now, will be meeting us and we will have gourmet meals from then on as well as a support vehicle! Oh, and she is good company too! I hope she finds us for breakfast.

Oh, and due to popular demand, here is a koala bear photo taken on Raymond Island yesterday.

Friday, November 12, 2010

How much can a Koala bear...

100 kmph till you get to the T-intersection in 100 meters...
Today it was hot. Hot hot hot. We had trouble leaving the campground and only got 1km on our way before we stopped for a cold drink. I took my usual 2 salt tablets, and hoped that to be enough for me to ride the measly 25kms that we had scheduled for today to get us to Paynesville, the heart of the Gippsland Lakes district. We hoped to camp on Raymond Island, a short ferry ride from there, where I thought we could camp. Raymond island is noted for it's koala population and when we got there we saw quite a few. There was no camping, so we found a campsite on the mainland. We had our island fix and veged out at the Resthaven caravan park where the man in the office offered us a tent site with en-suite - our private toilet/bathroom!
What surprised me today was that when we got off the highway and cut through some minor rural roads the speed limits were still posted as 100kmph which is ludicrous on these sections of a few hundred meters at a time! If they advertise that they are speed 'limits' and not intended as a 'challenge' then why post the sign 100 meters from a T-intersection like in this picture? Anyways, now I got that off my chest I can breathe easy and try and sleep in this 30 degree heat (could be much hotter here!). Tomorrows forecast is rain and we hope to cycle about 70kms. Keep fingers crossed, we are slightly behind my predicted schedule.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

East Gippsland Rail Trail

Old Tressel bridge on the East Gippsland Railtrail
Today we had the most wonderful day. We woke up in Nowa Nowa and leisurely left at about 10am on the East Gippsland Railtrail. As I had mixed up some of my medications I took a Fluimicil, an effervescent mucolutic (acetyl cysteine?) which is not for sale in Australia in that form but is for sale everywhere else in the world! It helps me greatly to clear my lungs when doing exercise.
All on our own on the gravel trail we passed a most magnificent historic railway bridge before reaching Bruthen. Bruthen, where we had lunch amongst the old people in caravans ad campers, is on the road to Mount Hotham where the road goes up to 1860 meters above sea-level. I am glad we didn't make a wrong turn there.

We had 60kms of blissful riding on the old transformed railway track made perfect for cycling or walking. Especially after lunch it was mostly downhill, still no people or traffic, and we got into Bairnsdale about 5pm.
Along the way today we again met many magnificent mosquitos but also a range of other much nicer wildlife. Amongst the Silver Wattle and the gum trees we saw Blue Wren, Pee Wees, Kookaburras, Crimson Rozellas, tortoises, rabbits, double winged Dragonflies, Gallahs and Cockatoos, magpies, echidnas, whip birds,... and many other birds I don't know the names of. We heard a Tawny Frogmouth too.

On arrival in Bairnsdale we raided the local Safeways Supermarket and bought about 3kg of steak for a barbie. The pharmacy sold us Bushman's insect repellant and gave me free insulin needles and then to top of this great day, at the Mitchell Gardens Holiday Park we were given free accommodation as well! We ate all the meat, plus everything else we got for the barbie! It made up for a skimpy meal I had last night.
Tomorrow we have little distance to cover as we are going to Raymond Island for a rest day.

What is your poison?


Nowa Nowa campsite - a great place!
Foxes get 1080 poison I noticed along the way (see photo I put on my FaceBook page - look me up and become my friend!). My poisons, apart from the odd beer... And apart from my Keflex antibiotics, Pulmozyne, Ventolin and Seretide, ABDeck, enzymes and insulin, I also take the following: 500mg of vitamin C, salt tablets, glucosamine/chondroitin, calcium, Schuessler tissue salts and spirulina. I think that is pretty much it. At home I vary the supplements a little, and have a healthier diet! Anyways, back to the Sydney to Melbourne cycle trip:

As idyllic the campground at Marlo was, we could bot ignore the Mosquitos. Millions of them. Even in the tent. And so it came that Hans was packed up at 630am and me at 730am.  We made breakfast and left in a most efficient manner. 

We followed the Snowy River from its mouth for 15kms up to Orbost. Pie and coffee in Orbost and back on the Pacific Highway for the remainder 35kms to Nowa Nowa on the East Gippsland RailTrail which we will follow all day tomorrow! 

The campground at Nowa Nowa feels a little like paradise. Very relaxed and shall we say perhaps unconventional or a tad alternative. Very friendly management and longterm happy campers. We feel very much at ease here after being welcomed with some fresh milk and magazines of the area instead of formalities such as name, address and money please Siree.  Looking forward to the dirt track of the rail trail!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cycling Around

It is amazing how many people do ride bicycles around Australia like we do.

Maree from www.mareebiketouroz.blogspot.com is just one of then She is touring the country and checking out all the scenic little spots along the coast. Relying on free campsites and great views she has the best ever time. Leaving her IT career and her stable city life she now enjoys each day to the fullest. Not setting speed records or anything she just plans to head north to her parents and further North towards Cairns in the dry season. Onya Maree!

RedBull

Hans passing a dead wombat...
Pumped full of RedBull Hans tested the virtues of 'better living through chemistry' principle. It worked for 90 minutes of vigorous uphill riding, but then.... it was time for an early lunch, and another RedBull boost for Hans. I had just stopped my morning cough at that stage. Twenty minutes after lunch, about 2pm, we happened upon the scenic and idyllic BellBird Hotel right on Wilderness Creek, and out of mobile reception, where free camping was on offer. The publican happened to be of German descend and was dreaming of going to Hamburg once the hotel, currently on the market,was sold. We set up camp and had a $5 shower with real towel and soap, wonderful.
During our afternoon nap Maree from http://www.mareebiketouroz.blogspot.com/ arrived. The three of us had lots to talk about and we all had dinner in the hotel. My medicine bag safely stored away in the cool room and Hans's resolution to not drink alcohol was broken with a nice bottle of Cabernet.
Shortly after dinner the locals came in and I was the 8th person in the Euca competition. Beginner's luck kept me from embarrassing myself.
Full of good recommendations we headed for Cape Conrad in the morning. It was pretty much all downhill, and once there enjoyed both the great views and a second breakfast.
By 1am, with tailwind, sunshine and no hills of significance we arrived at the nearby Marlo Ocean Views caravan park where pets were allowed, complete with wheelchair facilities, and according to Hans the most beautiful place he had seen on the East Coast. They allowed me to put my medicine in their shop fridge. My medicine bag is increasingly becoming slimmer and lighter, and now has space for beer and chocolate!
Tomorrow we really plan to cover more distance, but due to perfect weather and scenery our plans may be foiled again.
One disadvantage of going slow is the number of campsites and meals we need to pay for. As cheap as a cycling holiday seems, it does make you ravenous and one pub meal per day can cost you an arm and a leg. Hans at the BellBird hotel had to order two dinners to get satisfied. Buying food in the few little stores along the way is also really $$$, and limited (here in Marlo the shop only had onions and tomatoes for fresh vegetables!) and to buy ingredients for a simple BBQ (when available) from these shops is as expensive as a proper pub meal.
Tonight I am making the last of the ten or so dehydrated meals that Ree made for us and which I carried with me. Carrying anything that is non dehydrated takes up too much space on the bike. Everyday we carry a loaf of bread, muesli bars, cheese, salami, tuna, carrots, nuts and chocolate... We have porridge for breakfast with sweetener and powder milk, so you can understand a pub meal always sounds inviting.
Life on the road, cycling between Sydney and Melbourne is awesome though, and as you now understand the problems we face have little to do with Cystic Fibrosis!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Yes we Cann

Today we rode through big forests. Lots of noisy chicados and amazing bird sounds. I had not quite expected the hilly terrain, up to about 1000ft. We arrived in Cann River where the Cann River Hotel was very kind to us by providing me with a styrofoam box of ice for medicine at the primitive camp just out of town. We will have dinner there tonight as it is apparently renowned. Hans is shouting tonight!

Hans thinks the hills to date have been 'nothing', including today's hilly 50km. Tomorrow is likely to be longer and higher, but shhh don't tell him.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Halfway Hotel

Had a good day riding across the border into Victoria. Mostly enjoyed a tailwind too for a change.

Then we found the best little pub in Victoria I think, the Genoa Hotel run by Dave and Jean: Reasonably priced, friendly management, friendly customers and good food. This must be the reward for reaching our half way point between Sydney and Melbourne!

Health is A1, bike doing well too. I know my health is under control when I am not constantly forgetting things like my medications! Even managed to get ready to go by 8am and do breakfast for us this morning.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Eden and Merimbula

The wildlife here along the coast is lovely. A few days ago two kangaroos were hopping along with me in the paddocks, jumping over the tallest fences, before dangerously hopping across the highway. Yesterday we saw lots of Rozellas, a bunch of echidnas, and we saw some wonderful rock orchids in flower too.

We are getting media attention here and will star in the local paper as well as in the radio. The journalist that took the above photo came to see us at the campground.

In Eden at the campground, where we just arrived, the lady put my big medicine bag in the fridge. The office is closed from 6pm-830am which means I am hoping for a cool night as I will put it in my tent at 6pm. Campsite fridges are pretty important for most campers. Time to check out the famous Eden whale museum.

Tomorrow we really will cycle into Victoria!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

First restday

We stopped in Merimbula for two nights. It gave us a chance to see a little of the beautiful Sapphire Coast of NSW as well as recuperate and repair damage to my bike. Local friends Ray, Trish and Henri showed us around the hood with my mother - who bussed in from Canberra!

Dangers of traveling

Picture of me having a neb treatment in the tent.

We left the campground at Tathra, and as per habit bought a loaf of bread. As I usually do I stuck it under the rain cover of my panniers where it doesn't get squashed. However, when belting down a hill at high speed it slipped down and somehow managed to get the raincover and the loaf itself jammed up into my wheel, under the mudguard and bending it right up. The bicycle skidded from 70 to 0 in one very scary minute!

Just shows you that the challenges of traveling are more likely related to the activities you do.

Perhaps it is my inattention to detail that caused this. In the morning I even had trouble unscrewing the lid of my fuel bottle and then screwing in the pump straight. Hans was watching me fumble with frustration and took over - and immediately took the opportunity to teach me how to screw tops on bottles correctly. Mornings are just hard for me when my body operates on low oxygen levels, or whatever it is that causes me to not perform simple tasks.

Having a rest day in Merimbula! Repair damage and re-supply. Mum Connie and good family friends are here and are treating us like royalty!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

National Parks instead of Melbourne Cup

After a long wet night we decided the tents needed to dry out a little and we only left Bermagui around noon. The road took us past some wonderful beach scenes and in and out of several national parks.

Whilst Australia stood still for the Melbourne Cup we rode up and down many hills in the Mimosa Rocks National Park where Hans told me I was losing my Mojo and made me stop to eat our last half a bread roll and banana. Hans sure keeps a good eye on me, I picked up straight after and full of energy arrived in Tathra around 5pm.

Today we saw an elderly Belgian couple cycling in the opposite direction, carrying all their gear, and we also saw a Chech man in his late 40s! All foreigners having the fun here in Australia, including me being Dutch and Hans being German!

The friendly management of the Tathra Beach Tourist Park offered us free accommodation for the night on hearing we were riding for Cystic Fibrosis. There is a young man in Tathra who also has CF and he will be given a link to this website! We set up the tents with a big smile.

The campground office at dusk:

Monday, November 1, 2010

Well deserved seafood platter

Cycling for weeks and weeks is really like being in a campervan for weeks and weeks. Retired people do it in droves, complete with all their medicine and medical equipment. I am no different. Enjoying every day, taking it relatively easy Stopping every 100m up the hills to let my oxygen levels come up, and not pushing it too hard.

Today I woke up with a spider in my towel who fought hard to maintain his claim to it. I won, and the spider had to retreat in the tree.

It was a big day for us today and we rode 75 kilometers or more to Bermagui. Hans got swooped badly (3-4 times) by a magpie who decided he was a threat to his territory. In Sydney I got attacked too. Courageous all there creatures taking on us humans.

We saw two road cyclists with support vehicles ridge for a cause of sorts in the opposite direction. We all waved at each other enthusiastically for the three seconds of being within sight.

We rode till 6pm an found the camp office closed already. The pub was open and the bistro they made us the biggest seafood platter ever. We ate it all. Sugar levels are still way too high despite insulin. I never had a meal like that I guess and will take more insulin next time I pig out like that!

Raining steadily and the tent is dripping inside. Big day again tomorrow. We want to get to Merimbula where my mother might visit. I need to sleep!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Moruya

After another great downpour my happy tent survived. Everything was a little damp, but that was just the air.

An extremely slow start this morning, we rode 15km to this beautiful beach out of Malua Bay for lunch where Frank and company met us. From there a pleasant meander to Moruya where we found a comfy campsite for the night. The next two days will be big days for us: 75kms each day. I got some extra BSL needles as I hadn't packed enough. The pharmacy gave me what I needed for free without me having to buy a whole box of them to carry with me! People along the way are very friendly.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Batemans Bay

We are on schedule and arrived in Batemans Bay today. We had some good and mostly safe highway cycling on the shoulder of the Pacific Highway. The crickets in the forest were noisier than the traffic at times now that we are leaving Sydney behind.

The Batemans Bay Big4 campsite supported us by not charging us for camping and brother Frank and family came from Canberra to cook us a BBQ for dinner!

Have you made a donation yet??

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Jervis Bay

We had a very rainy night and the staff at the Big4 campsite at Seven Mile Beach gave us all a complimentary hot coffee! We headed off full of beans to Nowra and off towered Hervey Bay. Traffic is relentless on the Pacific Highway! We were well treated at the www.whitesandstouristpark.com.au where they even provided a complimentary bag of ice to keep my medicine cool overnight.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Three happy campers...

Cindy, Hans and myself each carry our own little home. Gives me space to nebulise and sort out my drugs. Warm thanks to good gear. Eating well thanks to lovingly home cooked dehydrated food that we brought along.

Not making that much progress, but we are heading in the right direction! And did you register as an organ donor AND tell your family?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Road Rescue

Michael from Wollongong Bikehub came to the rescue at the campground! Took the bike to the Bikehub's 'Service Zone' and is now busy recoiling the crankarm. I so appreciate service with a smile! Reminds me of the Tasmanian Adult CF team.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Gear Failure

Happy campers at Corrimal Beach where my pedal broke off... The NRMA even came to look! A mechanic is coming past tomorrow morning. The thread is actually stripped.

We are now officially one day behind schedule, but the friendly lady at the campground has a husband who has a new heart and the same donor also donated lungs to a person with Cystic Fibrosis!

If you are not a donor already go into your local Medicare office and become one pronto!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Day ONE

Day one was a good adventure. My first flat tyre and lots of rain! Physio Jim brought me to Sydney and there I met Cindy and Hans. Jim cycled with us till the town of Waterfall where he caught the train back to his car and three of us continued on to TopStay B&B in Stanwell Tops, 50kms from where we started that day.

Jim carried my panniers and Hans my tent. They both changed my tyre and all I had to do was cough and paddle. When Cindy spotted a great place to stay next to a MacDonalds and a bottleshop 10kms from Waterfall I was insistent on continuing to Waterfall. In Waterfall there was nothing at all and we were told to continue another 10kms in the rain to Helensburgh. There the man in the only hotel could not tell us if he had a room or whether the town had a taxi service or where there was any other accommodation. We found a wonderful B&B using the iPhone at 6pm. Luxury tonight at www.topstayaccommodation.com.au and Shelley there drove us to and from town for dinner with a smile!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Last bit of comfort

The last bit of comfort at mum's home. I better enjoy these last few pain-free days. I bought some ibuprofen today as I know my knees will ache a lot the first week at least. Still looking for some small items for the trip, will ride the bike 15km into town and back and see how it goes.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

In the beginning

Leaving Devonport on the Bombardier Dash-8 is always a pleasant experience. When I got to Canberra I discovered my pocket-knife was in my hand luggage... Lucky again.


On a travelling day it is hard to get good exercise, but after landing in Canberra it is always a pleasure to go for my regular walk/jog up Isaacs Ridge behind mum's house.


Found the bicycle in the garage looking good. Took it to TLC in Phillip and got it pimped out by Ken who was very supportive of my mission and took great care of me!


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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Partner Hans on his way


Here is Hans my partner in crime for the journey. For me my planned ride is an incredible once in a life time bicycle ride from Sydney to Melbourne, but for Hans my great bicycle ride is more akin to a leisurely escort for his last leg home. Hans has been cycling for months and months: He cycled from Melbourne to Adelaide, than into the desert, and via the remote Birdsville Track to Brisbane. Currently cycling Brisbane to Sydney and will meet me next sunday to do the final leg of his grand circle tour to Melbourne. Onya Hans, see you soon!
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Monday, October 18, 2010

Certified Achiever!


Wow, can you believe this, another award! I am so proud to get all this recognition! As far as I can see I have as much fun as my budget and health allow for, and am apparently spreading inspiration as I do so. Wonderful to see I do not go unnoticed and that people appreciate what I do for organ donation and CF Awarenes.

Unfortunately I could not afford to go to Hobart for the presentation of this certificate (would have cost me at least $300 to go to Hobart and stay somewhere and attend the function). I can go to Hobart for functions if I can combine it with a CF clinic, but that was not possible. Besides, we do not have a CF specialist in the Tasmanian CF clinic right now!

Other good news, I completed my third Burnie Ten! I did it in 1 hour and 24 minutes. Almost 15 minutes slower than last year, but I am still very happy to have done it again.



Back to packing the bicycle as I only have two more sleeps before I leave for Canberra to preparre the Dutch Sparta Bicycle and start my ride from Sydney to Melbourne!

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

120 Inspirational Coasters


That is me! I got in the top 120 somehow!
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Ride preparations

http://www.carryfreedom.com/info.html
Gosh, golly, miss Molly,... where do I stow all my gear! I have loads of gear lying on the floor of the study, ranging from medicine and portable nebuliser to cooking gear and clothing, tent and sleeping bag and everything in between. Thank you Creative Hum for helping me with some of these purchases!  It is all coming together, but how will it fit on the bike? Hans is towing a modest bicycle trailer (see pic) so he can maybe take a little of mine...

Maybe I need to get some front panniers of sorts. Still need to get a bicycle computer to log my all important distance. We want to avoid the highway as much as possible, which will be a challenge on my city bike. I presume at least half of the journey will be on dirt roads, and almost all days will be hilly.

Been on the Wii, been running, cycling and kayaking too as of yesterday! Legs are pretty tired, had cramp in thighs last night. Remind me to drink more water and take salt tablets. Next weekend is Burnie Ten! My aim is to run it in 1 hour, which is very wishful thinking. Miraculously did it in 1:10hr last year.

Hopefully I will not look like this!!
Remember to register online as an organ donor now!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Lamington Drive



Just over two weeks to go to departure! Found a great little tent to carry, dusted off my sleeping bag, got the beginnings of a stove (need some parts), panniers are recovered from the shed,... Friends are arranging a Lamington Drive to collect some more funds for the trip, others on the mainland are arranging for some press coverage en-route,...

And best of all people are again donating to CF! The goal of $4095 has almost been reached, with only under $1000 to go! Thank you to everyone who has donated so far. Remember the next thing you need to do is become an organ donor. It is not tax deductible, nor is it scary to be an organ donor. It doesn't mean your body will be ripped open the instant you die, it merely means that if all the circumstances are right for the possibility of an organ donation you will save human lives and suffering.

Lamingtons will be for sale in the North West Coast of Tasmania and will be baked next Saturday, to be sold primarily on Sunday at the Don Market. (10 October 2010).



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The previous adventure!

Register with the Organ Donor Register

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