Birdwood, 24 February 2009


Mawson trail
Adelaide - Stone hut road
23 February 2009

Cycle to Ceduna? Yes, that sounds like a great plan.

Now, Birdwood seems a nice goal for a first day destination, well at least Lobethal.

I just do not count the bit downhill from Belair to Adelaide center.

And I can not really care about the small bit along the Torres river.

Well, a long journey starts with a first step.

And my first steps towards Ceduna start just outside Adelaide.

Pass Castambul and the Mawson trail goes up, very steep indeed.

Now I am not the best of friends with gravity, given my 140 kg weight.

Add some extra kilos for

and you will end up with just about an odd 190 kg.
Now try to cycle 190 kg up a steep dirt road with loose sand. It is a no go.

I have to get off the bike fast and just push, step by step. The Australians take the words push bike way to serious.

Birdwood is an unachievable goal for today.

And so is Lobethal.

Pushing gets harder and harder.

I did take some muesli bars along, as a emergency lunch, but I finished them long long time ago already.

And dinner was something planned in Birdwood.

The sun sets as I continue my fight against gravity.

I am not even halfway towards Lobethal and the final bit of energy flows out of my legs.

Aye, these first steps are much harder than anticipated.

When the clock hits 7, I just call it a day.

Enough steps so far. I just roll out the swag!

The sun sets and the high hills get chilly.

I kind of spend the whole night shivering. It is too cold for a good night sleep.

Oops. This first step is harder than envisioned.

Ceduna is far, far away. And so is Lobethal.

Mawson trail
Stone hut road - Birdwood
24 February 2009

The sun rises and heats up the morning.

I did not really sleep. The night was way to cold. Now, wasn't Australia supposed to be a warm country?

My body aches as I get up. I roll up the swag.

The battle against gravity is about to enter a new round.

I still just give up cycling. The most I can achieve is to walk little bits and pieces, pushing the bike as long as I have sufficient energy.

Then I recatch my breath and wait till my heartbeat gets back to normal. And another bit of pushing...

The number of hilltops seems endless.

Somewhere here there must be the highest top of them all. But what seems an absolute peak to me, turns out to be just a local one, again and again.

It takes several hours before the road finally heads down. I am so happy I rolled out the swag last night!

Now, going down is a smooth and fast ride. The speed is even a bit dangerous, with the loose gravel.

But the Flevobike is rock solid on the road. The front suspension works overtime.

It is another few hours till the end of the forests and the start of the vineyards.

Lobethal is next.

The local hotel is just a bar, without accommodation or breakfast. Ozzies and standard definitions of English words do not go together well.

But the deli across the road is a bikers cafe with an excellent breakfast. Now that tastes very well, a good compensation for yesterdays missed lunch and dinner. I feel my energy levels recharging.

I won't have another day without food, that is for sure. So I stock up bread, cheese, nuts and water.

Just outside Lobethal the heat is too much for me.

The sun radiates too much energy and my energy is now stomach oriented. So I just lay down in the shade to digest the heavy breakfast.

Just a few kilometers down the road some trees look very inviting again. So a second nap follows shortly.

When the heat of the day is over, the ride downhill towards Birdwood is a joy. Cycling now resembles driving a motor bike.

There are times when the speed get to high, and I have to slow down to stay on the road.

In Birdwood it is easy to find accommodation, the club house of the Ace motor bikers, a B&B with a bunkhouse. The word bunkhouse was new to me, it is a kind of dorm, with stacked beds.

The hotel down the road serves an excellent mee goreng.

The sun sets and I go down too. Tomorrow is another day.

Till next nut,