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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