Tuesday, March 31, 2015

More Caiguna to Balladonia photos on Facebook

Caiguna to Balladonia, an epic day. Much colder and wetter than we had expected the Nullarbor to be. I wore lots of wet and warm weather gear including shoes and socks and had to dig into emergency food supplies: Thanks Ree and Karina for the goodies that saved my life today :)

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The longest straight road

Despite me peeing about four times during the night I survived the Azaria Chamberlain fate. We had been  explicitly warned about possible packs of nocturnal dingos looking not just for babies but we all woke up to a beautiful rainbow and sunrise at 530am without even hearing a single howl.

Marilyn was determined to pack her seat full of foam so as not to get a Megasorarse today as she was intending to ride 100kms of the longest straight road in Australia (Jordan to Dubai is 670miles apparently!). Excitedly we left the campground while Jo was going through the pre-departure checklist for the caravan. It was overcast and drizzling and we soon put on our raincoats.

Quick stop at the official sign indicating the 90 mile straight, a quick stop at the Caiguna blow hole, a cave entrance that blows air out from the extensive Nullarbor limestone cave system, and we were off in a straight line (small ups and downs).

Jo met us about 35kms up the road and later again at about 60kms where she fed us noodles. Next we ran into a lady walking the Nullarbor with a man on a bicycle and a support vehicle with her dog :) Particularly few roadkill along this long straight stretch (not counting the snails I rode over)  but  we did see a lot of car wrecks including an abandoned vehicle with an Arabic note on the dash.

Marilyn wanted to test her battery on this straight, so we carried a fully charged one with us. At full throttle I made the usual (impressive) 70kms before changing and Marilyn did 80 before changing to a fresh one. By then I was cold as following Marilyn on her last charge was slow going for me with a spritely new battery. And then later with a fresh battery Marilyn had the advantage on me requiring me to put in a good pedaling effort to keep up (a fresh battery zooms along)!

We stop at the only two resting areas 65kms apart and no sign of Jo. Instead of getting cold we decide to push on on the last remaining battery charge  to stay warm. Eventually Jo finds us, surprised we'd gone this far!

Marilyn decided to continue her marathon effort and finished the 90 miles and continued on to the Balladonia Road House, located in the Western Woodlands (end of Nullarbor). Enormous downpours along the way, we were wet, cold and sore at the end. Marilyn got her leg caught in bike cables on her final dismount at the caravan and fell over. Jo had made spaghetti and got us a nice WA wine and was waiting for us all set up. It was a dramatic day of 182kms still at a 25k average! Wow, what a way to cross the Nullarbor :). Thank you ProElectric for the Aseako bikes!

Tomorrow another 191kms to the end of the A1, to Norseman! There we can get water and food again. Some roadhouses on the Nullarbor even collect water from air-conditioning units, and certainly none is available to connect to caravans. Roadhouses sell Timtams, beer and meals, but even lip gloss was not available. Certainly no veggies or other regular shop items.

After Norseman we think it might be easy street with phone and Internet for me (thanks Telstra for not giving ALDImobile customers coverage along this major highway section of 1000+ kms)!

7pm. I'm sure it's bedtime somewhere!! Nite :)

Monday, March 30, 2015

You think cycling the Nullarbor is dull?

Another super early start. Amazing what a sunrise at 530am does. We were out riding at 730am again! Marilyn and I crossed another cattle grid, we've past perhaps one a day. Then we ran into Tobias who was Geocaching, and we joined him to find an old XW Falcon wreck 200m off the road with a hidden Geocache which we found without too much trouble. I haven't done a Geocache for a long time!

We continued to Cocklebiddy for lunch, saw about half a dozen roadkill eagles, which is nothing compared to the 494 pipes of bones in the 60kms that Marilyn counted just on one side of the road... Quite sad. And than there is 1080 bait all around the place for the wild dogs (dingos) and foxes apparently who attack stock (haven't seen any!!). A happy camper told us they control the dingos for the safety of campers at road houses! Anyways, leave that topic.

Jo and I cycled to Caiguna, the start of the record breaking longest straight and flat bit of road which we'll ride tomorrow. As if we hadn't gone through enough time changes...here at Caiguna was a sign to change clocks back 45 minutes for some bizarre reason. And next Sunday is end of daylight saving too... Sigh. 

Than we thought we'd get one beer in the road house, something that we rarely ever do, and we are recognised by a person there! Neville Bingham and wife Patsie are staying here. He remembered me from an Order of Australia dinner 7 or so years ago! And he is also Jo's group training organiser for the Barrington group fire fighters volunteers! Small world isn't it....

Then Sam and Lauren we met at the cliffs in WA appeared and Sam took some nice pics of us which we'll post later.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Nullarbor Cliffs

Nullarbor Views from the South Australian side. Huge cliffs everywhere!

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200km day into WA

After completing a 100km day Jo thought she wanted to try a 200km day, and today offered a perfect opportunity! It was to be a massive 187kms to Border Town, on the border, and an additional 13kms to Eucla WA. Not only that it was cool (and drizly!) plus we would gain 2.5hours with the time change to WA time!

We headed West at our usual early time of 940am (it gets light at 8am!) after pancakes for breakfast and filling up next to the Whale at Nullarbor Road House.

The road closely tracked the ocean with regular cliff viewing Kodak sponsored stops (little camera signs pointing to the areas) where we occasionally took a photo.

At the quarantine station all of us crossed the border together at about 730pm... and then pedaled the final 10+kms into Eucla at dusk in the rain, and arriving there at the respectable time if 530pm WA time :) 201 kms and 7.5hrs of riding. 

Coughing Furballs

Coughing4CF team member Jo came up with an appropriate meaning of CF: Coughing Furballs.
When riding with me she's been counting trucks and my coughing and spitting. Turns out my coughing outnumbers the trucks by a mere factor of six..

All the continuous aerobic exercise on the Aseako Electric Bike keeps my lungs nice and clear from the mucous that is continuously produced by my infected lungs. 

Antibiotics don't clear it up, but exercise always maintains my lungs. Obviously I'm over doing it a little right now. Or am I? 

At home I do one hour of intense aerobic exercise and perhaps two or three small 10-20 min commutes on the bicycle around town. OK that doesn't compare with 5-7 hours riding the Nullarbor...

Everyday, I take vitamin supplements and prescribed drugs. One of the prescribed drugs I get is SALT. I take salt tablets with all my meals. They hurt your stomach if you take them without food. 

People with CF have a five times higher than normal salt content in their sweat. In fact the salt/sweat test  is a definitive test for cystic fibrosis! An old English proverb even mentioned something about if your baby tastes salty it is doomed.
So there you go. Little bit of education for those new to cystic fibrosis.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Eyre Highway A1 OK

Today we rode 153kms of the A1 Eyre Highway from Ceduna to Nundroo. Turns out the dreaded Road Trains were nothing as I had expected, just trucks with two or three trailers. Ok, two of them carried helicopters and some had 40 wheels, but none threatened our safety. The radio of me coughing and spitting to trucks is about 10 to 1 according to Jo who keeps count. In other words there was little traffic and with our mirrors we could see traffic well in advance. 

Some roadkill on the side included a couple of wombats and roos, birds and one feral cat that looked very much like a massive quoll (had spotted fur).

At the one road stop at Penong for lunch I saw a caravan pulled by a car with a road bike on it. I barged in to give the occupants my propaganda and immediately we were offered delicious fresh quarantine-bin destined fruit (SA border) and asked if we take donations. We received a record donation!

Again the road was gently undulating up to say 70-80meters, none steep enough to gear down more than one or two below top gear. We arrived averaging just over  28kmphr with the wind mostly in our back (awesome) at the Nundroo Cabins before 6pm. Powered sites but without internet, phone or water, but we have three showers and a loo!

Being Grateful

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March 27, 2015 at 08:06PM

Thursday, March 26, 2015

March 26, 2015 at 09:05AM

This morning we start the 1200 barren kilometers from Ceduna to Norseman. We may not have much phone and internet coverage so do not worry. You will be able to follow us on the map as our satellite tracker will continue working .... We hope! Wish us luck :) http://ift.tt/1M02GIo

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

end of Flinders Highway

From Streaky Bay to Ceduna is the last stretch of the Flinders Highway and the last of the Eyre Peninsula! Cycling the last miles was a bit of a challenge with tough winds blowing mostly against us. It was only 114kms which we did with time to spare on the Aseako bikes. 250 Watts may not sound like much but it kept our average speed well above 20kmph. We do hope the wind direction changes tomorrow so we won't have a headwind starting the Nullarbor stretch - the next 1200kms to Norseman WA.

Lately the countryside has been undulating with long gentle hills which went from perhaps 50m to now down to about 20m above sea level. Ample opportunity for the wind to build up!  My Aldi Mobile phone and internet reception is now seriously lacking, and I have found some of the 1-2% of the Telstra network that is not accessible to Aldi customers....

We see the did dead animal, snake, too, rabbit or fox. Quite a bit of sand now too. Weather relatively cool and we even had rain in Ceduna!

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Murphy's Haystacks

Murphy's Haystacks! Though not exactly along the highway these were a very worthy side trip. We had a big tailwind so we figured we should do it. They were really cool.


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meeting Vanessa

According to our proposed dates we are in fact two days behind. During these adventures we never know exactly when and where we end up, and sometimes you and up a few days ahead or behind schedule. But a newspaper on the Eyre Peninsula that covered us had mentioned we would be in Port Kenny on Sunday apparently.  In the meantime we had left Elliston with a tailwind and were heading for Streaky Bay, bypassing Port Kenny. In our excitement to leave we had left the hose attachment for he caravan on the tap in Elliston, so as we cycled into Port Kenny for lunch we thought we'd try the highway facing caravan park store for the part. As I gave them our propaganda leaflet the lady said someone is looking for you!

Ten minutes later we met Andy and Vanessa Pointon. Vanessa has CF and had a lung transplant 18 months ago. We all had lunch at the caravan and had a nice chat. Was amazing how the stars had aligned for us to meet! Andy raced home to get me some CF stuff that I was short on and they even left us a handsome donation! We were pretty moved by it. Jo gave Vanessa a CF hanna tattoo before we left.

Andy told us not to miss the Haystacks half way to Streaky Bay, a scenic rock formation close to the highway.

Photos attached are also from Streaky Bay where we had to disengage the caravan from the ute, which gave me a good photo opportunity of the team in action!

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Massive day down the Birdseye Highway

Massive day today. 168kms in 7.5 hours riding time... We cycled the Birdseye Hwy battling a cold wind and drizzle. Still we managed to get to Elliston SA by 645pm. Our Aseako electric bikes maintained an average speed of over 22kmphr which I know is about 15kmphr faster then if we were paddling unassisted! Thank you ProElectric for providing these great bikes!

Again a SPECIAL THANK YOU also to Leonie and Burnie Print for printing our information leaflets and Gray Hodge from Cam River for our signwriting! Without that we wouldn't get half the attention, donations and the occasionally discounts here and there. People approach us with personal CF stories because they see our CF signwriting.

Also again, an extra thank you to City of Devonport Lions, Burnie Hash and the Devonport Fire Station for helping pay our diesel bills! Having the support vehicle is a total luxury! We wouldn't have this caravan if it wasn't for Eric and Marilyn, who also deserve an extra special mention. But seriously, we are getting so much support both financial and in kind we feel very honored to have so many people acknowledge what we do for #CysticFibrosis.

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Sunday, March 22, 2015

March 22, 2015 at 08:23PM

follow us on Facebook

Make sure you follow us on Facebook to see some more pics.... You don't even need to 'be' on FB to see them :)

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Phantom Ferry ride

Getting to the ferry, www.seasa.com.au was a casual 63kms and once we got to Lucky Bay we had 58kms to Cleve. Two relatively easy days. Tomiriw we plan to ride 165kms! May the winds be with us :)

We stocked up on diesel, petrol and LPG, some extra oil, filled up on water and Thelma and Louise checked the tyre pressures with the manual as I took photos. All we need to do now is figure out if we should worry about the slightly squealing belts or worry the sound is from the water pump or the glowplugs, ... I suggest spray some soapy water on it and get a spare belt but we will get a professional opinion before hitting the nullarbor! Walt----

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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Ferry across Spencers Gulf

Last night was Friday night. Jo thought we'd have to at least find the local pub in Port Wakefield... We ended up in the local pub doing karaoke. We were the only ones :) apart from Donna the hotelier and the entertaining DJ.

So Saturday morning started with re-patching Jo's tyre, this time sticking the patch more on the puncture rather then sort of on it....

 I lost my left glove after morning tea in the caravan but Joe found it an hour later Velcro'd to her tutu... We then made our way to the ferry at Wallaroo to cross Spencers Gulf. The ferry has not been running for months apparently and is not likely to run for another 6 months. We wouldn't let this spoil our fun. We settled info a nearby cafĂ© and had lunch before making our way to the ferry and securing our bicycles in the caravan for the journey to Lucky Bay.

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Friday, March 20, 2015

Jo's Jollies

Today's adventures.. Started off rough and ready.. Lol.. Thanks gg..( G G E O F F) for escorting me out of Adelaide.. Xxx


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First flat!

First flat tyre! Before leaving the campground in Adelaide we discovered Jo had a flat tyre! We had a pool to dunk the wheel in and a bucket to locate the puncture and a green lawn to do it all on! Perfect.

Andrew Rutherford came to meet me last minute with a rushed over parcel which contained a new bracket for the GPS... and then Jo drove the caravan SOLO out of town (following Geoff in his http://ift.tt/1CDuoWV  van!)

Marilyn joined me on my off road expedition out of town. Dirt roads and cycle paths, u-turns and open gates.

Today's goal was Port Wakefield, and the wind was blowing in the right direction! 117kms at an amazing average of 26kmlhr saw us arrive about beer o'clock at a friendly caravan park.

ProElectrics has also kindly provided extra battery chargers so all can charge at once which amazingly still only draws about 500Watts of power. Not bad.

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Media Coverage!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Up and Down the Adelaide Hills into Adelaide!

Wow, what a cool day we had yesterday. We rode across the Adelaide Hills, stopped at the Meadows bakery where we saw a flyer for Macie's Ride for Cystic Fibrosis! Macie is a two-year old from Meadows, and I called up and touched base with Macie's mum! I trust with today's advances Macie will also easily live to be 50!

Batteries on the Aseako bikes performed great across the Adelaide Hills, and when we raced down into Adelaide we reached a maximum of 67kmphr. After 25kmphr all you have to propel us forward is gravity, and there was lots of it flying down the big hills! With only 72 kilometers clocked for the day it was a relatively easy ride, despite the Adelaide Hills! Jo and I stopped in Glenelg for a beer and snack before continuing to the caravan park to meet the Caravan which had driven past Dario Caravans & Repairs where they received parts for our caravan to fix the damage to our awning attachments. Big thank you to them and Jo's friends Colin and Geoff who are working away to get the caravan back into shape.


We had a special dinner at a Grange cafe nearby, with Aseako's representative Jasmine Yow, and all our friends from Adelaide who could make it! It was also Leonie's farewell, and she left us with a furry proxy demi-god named Eweturn in her honour. Today is a restday! Tomorrow we head North out of Adelaide...

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

West Coast Sentinel


My big oops! Notice how many of the little white posts are missing. City council refuses to remove them though the tourist information manager has made the request many times after other incidents.

HUGE THANK YOU TO DARIO CARAVAN AND REPAIRS for giving us new parts to repair our damage! And a big thank you to Colin and Geoff from Happy Valley who are tinkering away to get it all fitted!


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A turbulent day...

Yesterday we saw two emus running oanick stricken through the shrubs. But today it was our turn....

Today was an eventful day compared to all the smooth sailing of the past week! First of all the wind was blowing a gale against us. We just made it to the Wellington Ferry across the Murray on one battery, but with this wind knew that cycling up into the hills was going to be a little ambitious. An impromptu lunch was had at the Courthouse Cafe at the ferry and was kindly paid for by my Mother! Thank you ma!

Before leaving i dumped all my excess weight, including my raincoat, and we headed into the gale towards Strathalbyne. We got blown off the road by a big truck, which was an eye opener for Jo. I was quietly thinking about the B-Doubles on the Nullarbor... The wind alone was blowing me into the gravel regularly too without the help if trucks. It was very windy. Without the Aseako electric bikes we would not have made it very far in this wind, but with battery assist we could move along nicely till we hit the vineyards. .. There we decided the batteries needed changing as we didn't think they'd get us to Strath, they would if we were conserving power a bit, but heck it was REALLY WINDY and the vineyard was very inviting.

When we called Marilyn and Leonie it turned out they had a 'situation', ; at the tourist info they had swiped a little pole past the caravan, ripping important bits off. Eventually all was sorted, they made it to the vineyard, and we all bought soothing alcohol. . before leaving for Strath. I made sure I checked my Blood Alcohol Level with my breathaliser which of course I carry with me.... Jo and I left on bike into the formidable winds and with 10kms to go the clouds opened up. I had no rain jacket of course and my breathaliser didn't keep me dry. Jo put on her jacket.

The campsite at Strathalbyne was incredibly friendly, with the Manager looking at our broken bits and giving us back our camping fee (!) and quietly told me I deserved a medal just for traveling with three women. Even the lady from the tourist info came over to see if we were ok apparently! She had also offered to drive batteries out to us when we made our distress call during their 'situation'... Though Strathalbyne is known for its antique shops and Marilyn was keen to check it out, we didn't get a chance.

Maybe tomorrow. Tomorrow we ride up into the hills towards Meadows and down into Adelaide! We hope to get to the Big4 Adelaide Shores Caravan Park about 5pm. Planning a rest day! http://ift.tt/1EmspkQ


anyone with Contacts at Spencers Gulf ?

HELP: Thought I'd ask if anyone knows of a fisherman or boat who can help us across Spencers Gulf from Kadina/Wallaroo to the other side? The public ferry stopped last year.... Even just the two bicycles and riders :)


Monday, March 16, 2015

Through the Coorong

Today was a good day to test the electric batteries. And wow, I did almost 145kms on two batteries, one done at full power. Very impressive. We left Kingston SE at about 930am after saying goodbye to our friendly fellow campers next door and powered towards the Coorongs at high speed.... Marilyn patiently drove 5kms at a time as I rode till my battery stopped and then she stopped at the point where Leonie finished her 100km Century ride! Now we are at Meningie, 147.8kms down the road. Average was 23.4kmph. Hope we can repeat these distances!


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Marilyn Eclectics

Some of my eclectic photos as I've cycled across Australia on the Aseako Electric Bike. We left Devonport, TAS 9 March, and are now in Kingston SE: http://ift.tt/1b1s9Ay

Lunch in Lucinda SA

When we pulled into Lucindale for lunch the caravan was parked just past the pub there. Friendly locals were craning their necks from the door and window at the tutu clad riding girls - Jo and Marilyn. Jo thought she should enlighten these nice country folk with a flyer and go in there to get some hot chips. Lunch standing by in the caravan was quickly abandoned as the rest of us were justifying one beer in the pub. ... And before you know it we had beer and pizza for lunch and Jo did some henna tattoos in return for donations! It was a memorable lunch and we need to have some more entertaining pub lunches like this!


Aseako electric bikes in top gear

Today was an awesome ride. Pretty much downhillish (not significant but hey, down is down) and mostly tail winds. The road was smooth and only light traffic.

We powered the Aseako bikes up to full power and top gear and averaged a comfy 25km/h over 98.6 kms to Kingston SE. We were going into the Coorong area but decided we preferred a proper campground to a primitive bush one which was all we would find for the next 130kms. Tomorrow we'll try to cycle 130km to the next power point and shower!


Saturday, March 14, 2015

South Australia!

First full day in South Australia. Mostly a tailwind on a quiet Riddoch Hwy wondering directly North through undulating country from Mount Gambier to Naracoorte. I knew the names sounded familiar when it dawned on me that we were riding right through Australia's most premium wine district, the Coonawarra region,where the grapes for Grange Hermitage are grown! Unfortunately we did not manage to stop at any vineyards... I had no idea it was so close (say 50kms) to Mount Gambier!!


Friday, March 13, 2015

Jo's Prose - Cycling into South Australia

What an awesome ride today... fbt past us every ten minutes along the highway, lots of fast hills.. I hit the 57 km without assistance yeah... Getting stronger... We saw emus crossing the road, past the first border, South Australia..

We are getting so efficient, with setting up, packing up, finding where we have to go is a challenge bur fun... Leonie is an awesome nevergetter.. I went the wrong way for 20 min.. Whoops.. Great views, we are so lucky... Weather was better than yday.. Hit the 500 k mark.. My bum is great.. Legs are pumped.. It's amazing what your body can do.. I'm so surprised.. We cycled from 9.30am to 6.00pm  all day with a few stops for lunch and food.. Ow and my new bum dance that works great.. I'm really surprised how much I'm enjoying each day... It's hard but rewarding.. That last 10km is the best feeling..

I would like all my fb friends to try 10km on your bikes with your kids.. Then donate 5 bucks to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Just do it... Nite for now.. Jo jo xx


Big Thank You to the Big4 Caravan Parks

A big thank you to the Blue Lake Holiday park at Mount Gambier. This is the second Big4 campground that has given us complimentary accommodation! Not only that, when we arrived a friendly camper helped us park the van and his wife brought us a $20 donation, a second cash donation for today! Not bad for a Black Friday! Go visit www.bluelake.com.au!

we made it to South Australia!

Here we are riding along the border between SA and VIC on a road called border-road. Notice Leonie has her L plate firmly attached to her backpack and Marilyn is beaming on her bicycle!


March 13, 2015 at 08:09PM

Today we used the selfie stick. My first ever attempt :). We crossed the Victorian South Australian border yeah. See pic. Today is also a Black Friday incidentally, and we cycled 113kms in just over 5hrs between 10am and 6pm, averaging a comfy 21kmphr! GPS claims 800m ascent today. We kind of had a tailwind too. Anyways, was a good day and we all got a bit of a ride in. Walt----


Thursday, March 12, 2015

notice something strange?

No, not strange about this photo. This is just another organic composting longdrop along the way!

 The entries in this blog have been automatically created through a link from our facebook page to this website. This is something new. We had to do it this way because while we are cycling and camping there is very very little time left in the day or night to make entries in the blog. 

We hope this is ok and that you can enjoy our travels as we spread awareness for cystic fibrosis. Thank you for watching our blog, and helping us live our adventure spreading inspiration to people with disabilities and their families. Thank you for your support! And don't forget to be an organ donor or donate to our cause :)

OUR FACEBOOK PAGE IS HERE: www.facebook.com/coughing4cf


March 12, 2015 at 07:03PM

Today we rode 111kms, ascended 400m apparently according to the GPS,, averaged 19.5kmph and rode almost 6hrs. Without the Aseako electric assist I wouldn't be able to do it...


March 12, 2015 at 07:02PM

Waiting for Wally.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

D-Day close now

Things certainly are shaping up now! The team has been packing frantically for weeks now, reaching a virtual crescendo. Last minute sponsors have come on board such as the Solar Panels from PowerCom Solar.

Burnie Hash House Harriers presented us with A TV Cheque for $500 which will ensure we have enough diesel for the truck to get us out of town and probably most of the way into WA!

Graham at Cam River Signs offered to do the SignWriting for us, ensuring we will be seen and recognised! Graham and his wife are keen cyclists and would've loved to have joined us. Instead just their logo will cross the Nullarbor on our caravan complete with our messages.

In the mean time Jo has brought her bicycle to the bike shop to get us spares and ensure her bike is set up as good as can be! All bikes now have Schwalbe Marathon tyres on them, a front basket, a rear rack and some panniers. Chains have been lubed, and two new puncture repair kits for each bike which according to the Umbrella Rule means we won't get to use them... My bet is, by Murphies Law, one flat tyre on the entire trip...

Leonie has been test riding her bike regularly to ensure she has the required fitness to pedal to Adelaide with us. Below she is pictured with me in front of the Spirit of Tasmania which will sail us to Melbourne next Sunday Night!

The previous adventure!

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