Journal

GOR – Day 2: HEADWIND! (LC to McGrath Flats, SA) 14 March 2007

At Peachabella We are now on our own, the four of us. Last night when we arrived, the B&B owner warned us of tri-corner thorns when we told her we had ridden our bikes the 1/2 mile from the paved road on the dirt/gravel to the B&B (something a really serious road-cyclist would *never* do!) Sure enough, Jim had a flat, and then we blew out a tube pumping up, so our start was a bit late. Jim and Irena took off 30 minutes ahead of Patricia and I and parked the jeep at Wellington, where we would take the ferry across the famous Murray River – about 23 miles away, and rode back to meet us.

Meanwhile, Patricia and I *carried* our bikes the 1/2 mile back to the road (nervous of a flat and no air to pump a new tube – we FORGOT to get compressed air canisters! – that was a tough walk for Pat on her bad toe). It took us 58 minutes to meet up with them on the road, 11 miles out into a fierce headwind – I think about 30mph. It took them only 30 minutes to meet us, 12 miles back, with a huge tailwind of course!

At the ferry Irena took the jeep, and the 3 of us headed back into that awful headwind. Murray ferryWe were barely going 8-10mph (our usual speed is about 15 mph), and it was miserable. We rode a total of 36 miles, and at that point I said STUFF IT, and hopped in the jeep with Irena. Jim and Patricia kept riding while Irena and I went to find our night’s accommodation. In the meantime, in the little town we would stay in, WE got a $300 ticket from a motorcycle cop for our license plate being “obscured? by the bikes (looking for ways to get his salary funded?). Bloody hell – it was clearly in view!! Needless to say, we were incensed. Anyway, we found our cabin, rejected it (no linens, even for hire), and went back to meet Jim and Pat.consultation

They were completely stuffed – the wind got worse, and they wished they had taken my advice to ride in reverse. So we took a break, found a new place to stay in town right on beautiful Lake Albert, and then we all piled back in the car with 3 bikes and Irena dropped us at our planned stopping place for the day and we rode WITH the wind back to the motel! Brilliant – we rode an average of 19mph, covering 16 miles in less than 45 minutes – it was great fun! I rode 50 miles today, overall average speed 12.7; Irena rode 23 miles on a bum knee, and Jim & Patricia rode 63 miles – a metric century of 102K.

When I mentioned to headwind to the hotel keeper, she said a group of about 25 cyclists had come through yesterday, one day ahead of us, also complaining about it. But lucky them, to be riding in a peloton and able to take turns at the front, so surely at a much faster pace than the 3 of us could manage!