Ceduna, 6-7 April 2010

weld done

28 March, beyond Hawker

My final bit of the Mawson trail starts North of Hawker.

This last bit is the best part, right through the Flinders Ranges National Park.

Mawson Trail, SA, Australia Share your bike routes @ Bikely.com
The track gets rough, but is still easy to cycle.

This decent is a bit too challenging for me though. I can't cycle down.

I put my feet down and squeeze the brakes.

Slow but safe I descend to the foot of Mernmerna hill.

A long sandy track along the Elder Ranges is next.

This track is impossible to cycle.

For hours and hours I push my bike through the loose sand.

This is not a track.

It is a bloody sand box with some occasional rocks.

At the Chigwidden I make camp.

A man made water hole offers drinking water.

It is a welcome cool down after an afternoon of pushing.

My camera is on strike, does not respond to buttons anymore.

This piece of the Mawson trail was a bit to shocking for the delicate Japanese electronics.

31 March, Flinders Ranges National Park

Below Rawnsley Bluff I loose track.

There are several tracks here, all in different directions.

Now which one is the Mawson trail?

Map, compass and mountains act as road signs here.

Easter holidays invited a mob at Wilpena Pound.

It is way too busy for me.

Once past Wilpena Pound it is absolutely quiet, enjoyable again.

The sun shines bright.

I snooze in the shade of a tree.

Some roos do the same, below the next tree.

The trail goes down towards Bunyeroo Creek.

I enjoy the decent.

The scenery is beautiful.

The Heysen Range is to my left.

And the ABC Range to my right.

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The bike's suspension is working overtime.

The trail crosses several dry creeks.

These short descents are very inviting.

  1. Steep down, to the creek,
  2. speed across some rocks,
  3. and back up at the other end.
Just push the pedals a bit and another creek crossed.
All goes well for a number of creek crossings.

And yes, this joy comes to an end.

Right in the middle of a heavy crossing I feel how the spring of the back suspension hits the bottom.

I hear metal hitting metal, f*ck.

The rear suspension is no more.

I investigate the damage done.

The spring seems to be OK.

And I fail to see any other damage.

So I mount my bike again and continue the descent towards Bunyuroo Creek.

Having no rear suspension is quite good for road contact.

It is a bit of a rough ride, but I go down well.

Once passed Bunyuroo Creek I make camp.

From my swag I look up towards the stars along my bike.

The bottom of my bike looks odd.

F*ck, the frame is torn!

There is no way I can continue cycling.

I can not repair this myself.

Blinman is the nearest town, a one day walk.

But Blinman is a small town, with a population of just 20.

Successful repair in Blinman is unlikely.

And there are no other towns around Blinman.

F*ck, this is the end of my 1,000 kilometer journey on the Mawson Trail.

Hawker (population 300) is further away, a few days walk.

Hildabuilt in Hawker has an excellent reputation for impossible repairs.

But I do not know if Hildabuilt can weld an alloy bike frame.

It is a full moon.

The trees throw long shadows in the white moon light.

The sky shows less stars than darker nights.

The torn frame is not a problem now.

The broken bike can wait till tomorrow.

I'll have some sleep first.

1 April, back in Hawker

The morning is still cool.

The sun is about to rise.

I push my bike up hill, out of the Bunyeroo Gorge.

Hey the bike is broken, but the view on Bunyeroo Valley is magnificent.

Two hours later.

The sun burns.

The morning heats up fast.

At Yanyanna Hut I see a car, 4WD.

Two Australians are heading to Alice, right through the desert.

They offer me a lift to touristy Wilpena pound.

It is back to civilization, with working phones.

This saves me a few hours of walking.

Ta mates!

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Hildabuilt sends a car to pick up the bike.

The mechanics in Hawker take the bike apart.

Several bolds just snapped.

The frame parts are not only torn, but quite out of shape too.

F*ck, this is going to be a tough job.

Hildabuilt lives up to its great reputation.

Two mechanics weld the torn frame in no time.

And they bend the frame parts back into shape.

The frame pieces fit together again.

The frame is even stronger than ever, with a bit of extra alloy on top of the weld.

New bolds do a good job of keeping it all in one piece.

It takes f*cking hours and quite a f*cking bit of f*cking swearing and f*cking tearing, but at the f*cking end of the f*cking day Hildabuilt f*cking gets the f*cking bike f*cking ready to f*cking ride.

F*cking weld done, g'd on ya mates!

Till next nut,