Cycling the Oodnadatta to Uluru

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Cycling the Oodnadatta to Uluru

Postby ozipom » Sat Nov 30, 2013 8:41 pm

I'm currently planning my next tour which will commence in April 2014. The tour will be starting from Adelaide and heading north via the Mawson Trail and along the Oodnadatta track. I've allowed myself about 5.5wks for the trip, as will be meeting my partner at Uluru at the end of May. Will be skipping the first part of the Mawson Trail, as already rode parts of it on a previous tour. So looking at picking the trail up around Laura.

I've put together a spreadsheet to give me an idea of supplies and highlights along. Adelaide to Uluru spreadsheet. I've also been looking and getting a lot of info from the following websites and blogs;
Red Centre Expedition
http://www.cycletrailsaustralia.com

I do have a couple of questions which you maybe able to help with;

    Currently have two plans, Plan A and a Plan B. Plan A is to pick up the Mawson Trail at Laura. Currently I'm planning on riding there from Adelaide. Was wondering(hoping) if there was a bus service which could take me to Laura. The only one I've found seems to be leaving Adelaide in the evening. If this was not possible I do have a Plan B. Which is to take the lunchtime bus from Adelaide to Port Augusta and then ride to Quorn the following day. Thinking plan B maybe better, as will give me more time to explore the trail without going through areas I have already toured last year.

    Thinking of getting an extrawheel for this tour. But not 100% sure yet. Pros would be I could carry more stuff (which would be useful on the more remote areas of this trip), not having as much weight on the bike, ease of use. The negatives I've thought about are the extra cost of buying it, another thing to maintain if something breaks, will it be okay on the trails(?). I've noticed a couple of you have used the extrawheel, was wondering what your thoughts of it is now you have done a few ams?

    Looking at maybe mailing parcels on to key points along the way (e.g. Oodnadatta road house) Any issues with this that people have come across? Things I am thinking of including in the parcel are additional food, couple of things for the bike.

    Finally I have a water filter. Of course I understand there isn't much water out there, but have noticed a few waterholes along the way where I think it'd be needed(?). So wondering if it is worth taking on this trip?

Any other useful tips or advice would of course be welcome. Thanks
- Brian

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by BNA » Sun Dec 01, 2013 5:41 pm

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Re: Cycling the Oodnadatta to Uluru

Postby il padrone » Sun Dec 01, 2013 5:41 pm

ozipom wrote:I do have a couple of questions which you maybe able to help with;

    Currently have two plans, Plan A and a Plan B. Plan A is to pick up the Mawson Trail at Laura. Currently I'm planning on riding there from Adelaide. Was wondering(hoping) if there was a bus service which could take me to Laura. The only one I've found seems to be leaving Adelaide in the evening. If this was not possible I do have a Plan B. Which is to take the lunchtime bus from Adelaide to Port Augusta and then ride to Quorn the following day. Thinking plan B maybe better, as will give me more time to explore the trail without going through areas I have already toured last year.

I don't know much about the bus services, but I would expect there are a few options. I know that a Greyhound service runs up the Stuart Highway to Alice Springs. It does take bikes if you ring up and book, and must stop at a range of locations. There is also a bus service that runs from Adelaide to Arkaroola something like once a day.

Regarding the Mawson Trail from Laura, we wound up riding the main road from there to Quorn as it had been wet and we didn't like our chances of striking glue-pot mud. As it turned out this was a good move - some fellow cyclists took the trail and had a bit of grief.

The mud can get like this:

Image


BTW, the trail in this section doesn't really go bush that much - a fair bit of it north of Melrose was just gravel and dirt farm roads through pasture-lands. The main road was a nice ride, low traffic, and in particular you get to stop at the Stone Hut Bakery, and Melrose is a bit of a gem with good MTB trails and an excellent bike shop.

ozipom wrote:Thinking of getting an extrawheel for this tour. But not 100% sure yet. Pros would be I could carry more stuff (which would be useful on the more remote areas of this trip), not having as much weight on the bike, ease of use. The negatives I've thought about are the extra cost of buying it, another thing to maintain if something breaks, will it be okay on the trails(?). I've noticed a couple of you have used the extrawheel, was wondering what your thoughts of it is now you have done a few ams?

The Extrawheel is a great way to carrry a bit of extra gear. Maintenance needs are minimal and it is pretty tough. Nothing broke on mine, apart from the flag fraying and tearing off the pole.

I found one irritation - at times on certain sealed roads it gave a bit of a disturbing wobble to my steering. Not bad enough to cause problems like a speed wobble. It first showed up on the descent into Adelaide, at 25-40kmh, after 1000kms of sealed road riding with no problems :roll: (but we had headwinds and rarely got too much over 20kmh). There were a couple of puzzling aspects about this wobble:

1. it only occurred in a narrow speed band - once the speed got over 40kmh it was rock solid;
2. it occurred on certain road surfaces only - mostly any surface that had a rythmic rumple to it. One day out near the Flinders Ranges I found I could ride on the sealed shoulder (which had a wave/rumple in the surface) and the wobble would happen, then I could move out onto the road proper (much smoother) and the wobble would stop, back to the shoulder and it started up again;
3. weight seemed to have a bit of an impact - the Extrawheel when heavily loaded was more prone to wobble;
4. the wobble never happened on gravel roads.

Eventually my solution to this minor annoyance was to pack all my light, bulky gear in the Extrawheel and load the heavy stuff (water in particular) in the rear panniers on the bike. This pretty much fixed it. Like I said this was not ever any serious stability problem for me.

ozipom wrote:Looking at maybe mailing parcels on to key points along the way (e.g. Oodnadatta road house) Any issues with this that people have come across? Things I am thinking of including in the parcel are additional food, couple of things for the bike.

We mailed two boxes of food up to Oodnadatta from Leigh Creek, where there is a large, well-stocked supermarket. When we left Marree we carried food for 8 days, and the journey to Oodnadatta took us 7 days. We had one meal (excellent tucker) at the William Creek Hotel. Once you head north the normal foods you expect to find become rather scarce (eg. only white bread after Quorn, don't expect to find noodles and asian sauce mixes). Oodnadatta has a small grocery store plus the Pink Roadhouse. Between them the range is not too bad, but subject to when the last truck delivered stock. The Pink Roadhouse is a bit of an outback icon, it's been proiding services to travellers on the track for the past 30 years. Recently one of the owners, Adam Plate was sadly killed in a car crash. It has since been sold and new owners have taken over.

Bike parts were something we carried with us. Best option is to make sure that your bike is very reliable and well-maintained. There is not much that a mix of baling wire, hose clamps and gaffer tape won't fix :P

ozipom wrote:Finally I have a water filter. Of course I understand there isn't much water out there, but have noticed a few waterholes along the way where I think it'd be needed(?). So wondering if it is worth taking on this trip?

We did not take one. Boiling is an excellent way to purify water. I think I carried some Micropur tablets, and used them for the water in the bidons along the track where we were in cattle or sheep country. I carried two 710ml bidons, a 1.5L bottle, and 6L and 10L waterbags. There is water at a range of locations along the track - Maree of course, Alberrie Creek (the desert sculpture park) I think, Coward Springs, Beresford Springs then at William Creek - where despite all sorts of rumours the publican was very friendly. After this I think we carrried water for our camp at Duff Creek (but there was a creek 2-3kms further on that we could have used) and we got plenty of water at the river at Algebuckina, then rode into Oodnadatta. The biggest issue with the water was that often it was a bit poor quality, often slightly salty. For drinking some lime cordial may be the best solution to this - we just got used to it. In the NT there are frequent tanks at roadside rest areas. They have signs saying "do not drink", but we did :o and mostly the water in them was a good deal better than the tap water at Alice Springs.

ozipom wrote:Any other useful tips or advice would of course be welcome. Thanks

Get Telstra if you want to use a mobile phone. Even then, we had no reception at all for the entire length of the Oodnadatta Track after we left Copley. Even Oodnadatta (a town of 200 people) has no mobile service a all :roll:

Arkaroola was a great place to visit, but quite remote - three days ride to get in there and two days ride back out to Copley. If you go there plan for at least one day to see the sights, especially the Ridgetop Tour. Stunning scenery.
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Re: Cycling the Oodnadatta to Uluru

Postby ozipom » Mon Dec 02, 2013 6:15 pm

Thanks for your detailed response. Found out the Greyhound leaves Adelaide each evening for Alice. Premier Stateliner seem to have three services a day. My flight gets into Adelaide on Easter Monday in the early morning, so will most likely get the lunchtime bus to Port Augusta. Where I can then stock up on food, maybe send my first parcel onto Blinman(?), before heading for Quorn the following morning. I am a lot more interested into getting up to the Flinders than spending the first week going through farming areas. I'm hoping the track won't be too wet, but we will see...

I've heard lots of good things about the extra wheel, so your extra input was very useful to know. Especially regarding using it for the more bulky, lighter items and keeping the heavier stuff on the bike. Thinking I will end up getting one, as I'm planning on some more remote tours over the next few years. Also I have a spare front dynamo wheel, which I could fit to the trailer to give me an extra option for charging whilst riding (already have a dynamo on the touring bike which I use with a pedalpower+).

Bike parts were something we carried with us. Best option is to make sure that your bike is very reliable and well-maintained. There is not much that a mix of baling wire, hose clamps and gaffer tape won't fix
gaffer tape, spokes and spare bolts for the ones which may work loose are always part of my repair kit. Will add a few hose clamps and bailing wire to my kit.

Agree with Telstra. I've been pleased having it when I've been touring around TAS and across from Perth to Adelaide last year. Usually found in the small town/distant areas I would have some sort of coverage. Whereas other people I've met (especially on the west coast TAS) had no coverage whatsoever. So don't mind paying a few extra $$$ each month for a service which works where I'm going to be. Good to know about the lack of coverage along the Oodnadatta Track though.

Arkaroola was a great place to visit, but quite remote - three days ride to get in there and two days ride back out to Copley. If you go there plan for at least one day to see the sights, especially the Ridgetop Tour. Stunning scenery.
I almost missed this when I started planning the trip earlier on this year! Think it maybe one of the highlights for this trip :D

Currently trying to find out if I can get a bike box when I arrive at Uluru, if I can't will get my partner to bring one out from Sydney when she flies over to meet me at the end of the tour. Or might get one of these Body Bag, need to measure the bike to see if it will fit.
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Re: Cycling the Oodnadatta to Uluru

Postby il padrone » Mon Dec 02, 2013 7:25 pm

On the Arkaroola Ridge-top Tour.

Image


Siller's Lookout

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Re: Cycling the Oodnadatta to Uluru

Postby Warin » Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:09 am

I'd think the bus services for the end of the Mawson trail may also do pickups/downs at various places along/near the Trail.

Communication along the Oodnadatta track is by UHF CB radio. The old analog cell phones used to have some coverage but when that was switched off the locals complained and UHF CB repeaters were installed to give coverage.

The water naturally available along the track usually has minerals in it .. boiling will reduce the smell, but you'll want a good filter to reduce the taste. I think for taste you want a filter with charcoal.

Bike boxes .. I'd think the nearest would be Alice Springs for those... Bit more riding? Kings Canyon and the loop road (they don't like people camping out along the loop road though)?
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Re: Cycling the Oodnadatta to Uluru

Postby Warin » Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:04 pm

About 20 km south of the Kulgera Roadhouse you can take a dirt road to Mulga Park (small outback store, at least there was one there when I went through) then another dirt road north to Curtain Springs (free camping, bar + fast food, also possible paid camping, pool? memory is not what it used to be? :roll: ). This gets you off the tar and less traffic. Try not to camp along these dirt roads .. the locals don't like it (may not be possible to do otherwise). You should check for road conditions/permissions to Mulga Park at Kulgera (both dirt roads were in good condition when I did them some years ago, red sand, clay as you'd expect).

You can find post offices at http://auspost.com.au/ .. one in Fink and another in Kulgera... You can also search for phone boxes on the Telstra site.
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Re: Cycling the Oodnadatta to Uluru

Postby il padrone » Wed Dec 11, 2013 6:20 pm

I would reckon you'd need to camp for two nights along that route. If 'the locals' disapprove you'd be kinda stuck.

We rode from Curtain Springs to Kulgera on the sealed road, camping just west of Mt Ebenezer (now closed) and staying in a room at Erldunda (the heat hit us, air-con was too tempting). The traffic along this route in late September was quite low - few cars or mobile homes, just a few road trains that were travelling quite reasonably. Unless you want to go really 'outback' the Mulga Park route is not necessary.
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Re: Cycling the Oodnadatta to Uluru

Postby Mulgabill » Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:04 pm

Checkout YouTube videos by Chris Rishworth. He toured through this region along part of the Mawson Trail, the Oodnadatta track and onto Uluru. For memory he has a blog as well and may be willing to share his experiences.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUT0u--8Afc
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Re: Cycling the Oodnadatta to Uluru

Postby bagelonabike » Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:23 pm

il padrone wrote:On the Arkaroola Ridge-top Tour.
Siller's Lookout
Image


Stunning! :D
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Re: Cycling the Oodnadatta to Uluru

Postby Warin » Thu Dec 12, 2013 7:52 am

il padrone wrote:I would reckon you'd need to camp for two nights along that route. If 'the locals' disapprove you'd be kinda stuck.


Too many people doing the wrong thing with their rubbish I'd think.
I'd think camping at Mulga Park would be ok ($? .. and that may be one of the reasons camping along the road is questioned). So one night between Mulga Park and Kulgra .. lot of space out there. Some one has to see you and care...
The traffic along the main Uluru road sees a fair number of tourist buses. They had lowered the speed limit along there 100 or 110?km/h .. due to the number of accidents.
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Re: Cycling the Oodnadatta to Uluru

Postby il padrone » Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:18 am

Warin wrote:The traffic along the main Uluru road sees a fair number of tourist buses. They had lowered the speed limit along there 100 or 110?km/h .. due to the number of accidents.

We had no trouble at all with tourist buses, and generally we could ride for 5-10 mins at a time between vehicles. Maybe busy by NT standards but no concern at all for us. 110kmh speed limit IIRC. Stuart Hwy is 130kmh, but very few actually do this speed, or if they do they slowed down quite a lot before passing us.
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Re: Cycling the Oodnadatta to Uluru

Postby ozipom » Sun Dec 15, 2013 1:43 pm

Warin wrote:About 20 km south of the Kulgera Roadhouse you can take a dirt road to Mulga Park (small outback store, at least there was one there when I went through) then another dirt road north to Curtain Springs (free camping, bar + fast food, also possible paid camping, pool? memory is not what it used to be? :roll: ). This gets you off the tar and less traffic. Try not to camp along these dirt roads .. the locals don't like it (may not be possible to do otherwise). You should check for road conditions/permissions to Mulga Park at Kulgera (both dirt roads were in good condition when I did them some years ago, red sand, clay as you'd expect).


Thanks for the additional information, I didn't know about this road. I'm thinking by the time I get to this point I maybe looking forward to doing a few kms on the sealed road instead to Uluru.

Mulgabill wrote:Checkout YouTube videos by Chris Rishworth. He toured through this region along part of the Mawson Trail, the Oodnadatta track and onto Uluru. For memory he has a blog as well and may be willing to share his experiences.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUT0u--8Afc


Thanks, I just found Chris Rishworth videos across Australia last week. They certainly give me an idea as to what to expect when I'm out there next year.
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Re: Cycling the Oodnadatta to Uluru

Postby ozipom » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:02 pm

Well just another couple of months to go before I fly out to Adelaide. The extrawheel was delivered a couple of weeks ago. Have set it up with a dynamo front wheel I usually use on the commuting bike. Tested it charging my ay-up and camera (GX-1) batteries. All seems to be working as planned by using an e-werk. Very happy, as don't need to worry about finding power points along the way.

I have booked the bus ticket from Adelaide to Port Augusta and will arrive there about mid-afternoon Easter Monday. This gives me enough time to get the bike back together, buy food and fuel (for the stove) before heading towards Quorn on Tuesday morning.

I have a couple of more questions which some of you may be able to help.

When I told my partner about the lack of mobile coverage for a good proportion of the trip she was a little bit concerned. I told her that I have a detailed itinerary and if you don't hear from me by such a date to then be concerned. The original plan was whenever I was in mobile coverage or near a pay phone I would check in and update her on my location. I have since been doing a little more research and noticed there are these;
Spot tracker
Fast Find

The main differences I found between the above devices is that the Spot requires an annual fee, enables for me to checkin each day (no matter on location), sends a distress signal to a commercial entity overseas who in turn contact the relevant authorities in AU (would this mean a delay?). Whereas the Fast Find is more of an emergency beacon only, registered in AU, does not require an annual fee, does not enable me to checkin each day.

Was wondering if anyone has used either of these devices or would recommend one over the other? Currently my preference is the fast find. As will give me the option to request help in only the most dire of situations. I could then still tell my partner that if I don't check in by a certain time to start raising the alarm. With the Spot my partner would be expecting me to checkin each day, and if there was a problem with the device it could cause her my stress than reassurance.

Also I was just chatting with the staff at Ayers Rock airport re getting a bike box They said they usually have them but to check about a week before hand. I'm planning on getting there at least a day before my partner meets me there. If they don't have a box I'll get her to buy one at Sydney airport instead and bring over on the plane. Another option was to buy a body bag from Ground Effect. I've measured my bike (Surly LHT) and think it'll fit, was wondering if anyone has had any experience using them on planes. If so were the airlines okay about it?
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Re: Cycling the Oodnadatta to Uluru

Postby Warin » Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:12 am

ozipom wrote: Port Augusta and will arrive there about mid-afternoon Easter Monday. buy food and fuel (for the stove) before heading towards Quorn on Tuesday morning.

Easter Monday .. stores open in Port? Probably - reduced trading hours? You should check by ringing them?

ozipom wrote: Whereas the Fast Find


'Fast Find' is a particular brand of EPIRB/PLB .... numerous 'discussions' on what system is better. Personally I'd go with EPIRB/PLB as a minimum, the next step for me is a Satellite Phone, skipping the spot service. Along the Oddnadatta Track a UHF CB is good - the Pink Roadhouse lobbied for this when the mobile phone coverage was reduced by the change from analog cell phones to digital. You can even call ahead and get your hot food ordered before you arrive! You'll have a fair amount of 'traffic' out there ... at least ? 1 vehicle per day ...

I've used the EPIRB/PLB once .. it worked. Old system - carried no ID nor GPS the newer ones (the only ones you can buy now) are better .. get one with the GPS function - reduces search time.
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Re: Cycling the Oodnadatta to Uluru

Postby RonK » Tue Feb 18, 2014 3:53 pm

ozipom wrote:When I told my partner about the lack of mobile coverage for a good proportion of the trip she was a little bit concerned. I told her that I have a detailed itinerary and if you don't hear from me by such a date to then be concerned. The original plan was whenever I was in mobile coverage or near a pay phone I would check in and update her on my location. I have since been doing a little more research and noticed there are these;
Spot tracker
Fast Find

The main differences I found between the above devices is that the Spot requires an annual fee, enables for me to checkin each day (no matter on location), sends a distress signal to a commercial entity overseas who in turn contact the relevant authorities in AU (would this mean a delay?). Whereas the Fast Find is more of an emergency beacon only, registered in AU, does not require an annual fee, does not enable me to checkin each day.

Was wondering if anyone has used either of these devices or would recommend one over the other? Currently my preference is the fast find. As will give me the option to request help in only the most dire of situations. I could then still tell my partner that if I don't check in by a certain time to start raising the alarm. With the Spot my partner would be expecting me to checkin each day, and if there was a problem with the device it could cause her my stress than reassurance.

It depends on your partner's tolerance for uncertainty I suppose, but if you are travelling solo in remote locations then most would think it irresponsible not to have some kind of device.

Another option which will allow your partner to see your progress on a map, and let you send and receive text messages at any time is the Delorme Inreach. It can generate an SOS signal, and you can communicate with rescue services to give a follow-up situation report. I used one on a solo backroads trip in New Zealand. Yes, you do have to pay a fee for the Irridium connection, but I was able to get a 4 month subscription which saved quite a bit.
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Re: Cycling the Oodnadatta to Uluru

Postby il padrone » Tue Feb 18, 2014 5:59 pm

Warin wrote:Along the Oddnadatta Track a UHF CB is good - the Pink Roadhouse lobbied for this when the mobile phone coverage was reduced by the change from analog cell phones to digital. You can even call ahead and get your hot food ordered before you arrive! You'll have a fair amount of 'traffic' out there ... at least ? 1 vehicle per day ...

No need to get quite so stressed out about the remoteness. When we toured the Oodnadatta we carried no EPIRB nor UHF radio. I had a GPS for navigation (though along the track it is a bit supoerfluous - the road is pretty obvious and signed well), my mobile (no reception at all) and an AM/FM radio (some reception at night). I could not imagine touring with a UHF radio, but then I have no experience of using these.

The traffic was light, but along the actual Oodnadatta Track it was more like 2-3 cars per hour. North of Odnadatta on the Finke/Mt Dare Road we rode all morning and only saw 3-4 cars. Generally there is a fairly steady flow of tourist 4WD and 'grey nomad' traffic. You won't be totally alone for too long.

Re. family concerns, it is a public road when all is said and done.

An area that we rode that felt much more remote from traffic and settlement was along the Mawson Trail near Burra - the road along Dusthole Creek and out to the Dare's Hill lookout (beyond the Goyder Line). Very quiet all day, saw just one car I think.
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Re: Cycling the Oodnadatta to Uluru

Postby Warin » Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:17 am

il padrone wrote:The traffic was light, but along the actual Oodnadatta Track it was more like 2-3 cars per hour. North of Odnadatta on the Finke/Mt Dare Road we rode all morning and only saw 3-4 cars. Generally there is a fairly steady flow of tourist 4WD and 'grey nomad' traffic. You won't be totally alone for too long.


The 'traffic' is very dependent on season and weather. 1 vehicle per day I'd think is the minimum for any season. If it is wet out there then you might get no traffic .. simply because it is not worth the trouble, and the fines the council can impose if they declare the road 'closed'. that said .. you'd not be traveling out of season so I'd expect more 'traffic'. My usual practice was once you sight the dust cloud coming up in the rear or front ... get right off the 'road' on the up wind side - less dust that way, have to make sure you complete the maneuver before they pass! If you have enough time then the nearest 'tree' for shade? You'll quickly work out your own strategy for comfort and safety. Big things make bigger dust clouds.

UHF CBs are commonly used by 4WDs, caravans, truckies . even the farmers. I've not carried one myself. But they are a common form of local communication for travelers. Some say they have used them for emergencies - to get medical help to a traffic crash for instance.
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Re: Cycling the Oodnadatta to Uluru

Postby il padrone » Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:27 am

We rode the track in late June & July. I would never plan to ride it in summer.

There were a reasonable number of vehicles - well over 1 per day, more like 20 per day. At that time of year the winds were almost exclusively southerlies, so a great time to ride south-north. Dust clouds of vehicles were visible for several kilomtres which kept us were well aware of their approach. Riding was almost always better on the right hand side (east) side of the road for some reason. Even drivers we spoke to noticed this. We at times stayed on the far right side of the road while approaching traffic went by, the left side was SO bad - severe corrugations, deep gravel.

I know about the value of a UHF radio (if that's your thing), but carrying one and keeping it charged raises a whole lot more issues for a cyclist. I would not do it unless I was going deep into the desert..... highly unlikely by bike.
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Re: Cycling the Oodnadatta to Uluru

Postby ozipom » Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:39 pm

Thanks for your responses. The more I think about a device I would use to check in each day, the less I like the idea. If I was at home each day and my partner travelling, I would be getting concerned if there was no response by a certain time each day. Even though she might be okay. I do like the idea of an emergency beacon though. This would give my partner the comfort that if there was an emergency I could get help (as long as I could push the button!). Also we could keep the emergency beacon after the trip and have it in the pack when we are bushwalking.

I've cycled remote tracks in the Blue Mountains where I wouldn't see another vehicle for days. On that trip I was generally only a couple of days out of coverage on the mobile. With this trip though my partner is more concerned with it being for a lot longer. Think it didn't help when I told her there was no mobile coverage along the Oodnadatta track. Of course though there are pay phones in key spots along the way where I can check in. Will work out where these pay phones are and should then be able to give my partner an idea how often I would be checking in.

I do understand the tracks (baring some of the Mawson trail) do generally see a bit of traffic each day, so if I do have a problem (non-emergency) I can always flag down a vehicle.

When I get to Port Augusta I'm planning on getting food stuff and fuel either on Monday afternoon (if shops are open being Easter Monday) or first thing Tuesday before I head off on my ride.
- Brian

Trek 7.3 - The Commuter
Avanti Vivace 2009 - Bluey to her friends :)
Long Haul Trucker - The freedom of touring
Link to my Tours around Australia
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Re: Cycling the Oodnadatta to Uluru

Postby il padrone » Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:25 pm

ozipom wrote:I do understand the tracks (baring some of the Mawson trail) do generally see a bit of traffic each day, so if I do have a problem (non-emergency) I can always flag down a vehicle.

Re an emergency..... this was me ~85kms north of Oodnadatta on the Finke Rd with a dislocated shopulder. Waiting for my mate who had ridden to get help. A 4WD roads vehicle came by soon after. The station folk and the local mail-run driver helped to get me to medical care. It was sadly the end of my ride though.

Incidentally, the reason I dislocated the shoulder was due to the fact that there were two of us - when my bike was toppling I put my hand on my mate's bike next to me to try to hold it up. When carrying 8 days of food and 2-3 days of water (50+kgs) do not ever expect to hold a toppling bike with one arm. I would have done so much better to have just rolled onto the sandy track.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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Re: Cycling the Oodnadatta to Uluru

Postby Warin » Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:10 am

Fixed Phones..
Any of the population centers (Maree, William Creek, Oodnadatta, Fink). Other places .. Mt Dare, Farina. You can 'look' for them on the telstra web sight (gives address .. not gps lat/long). Hint.. take a telephone card .. some of the phones get jammed with coins and will only take a card.

If the public phone is not working you can always try a local business.. they are usually accommodating.
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Re: Cycling the Oodnadatta to Uluru

Postby Aushiker » Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:34 pm

ozipom wrote:Thanks for your responses. The more I think about a device I would use to check in each day, the less I like the idea.


I use a Spot and used it all the time on my Chasing the Dirt tour. It was configured with a "I am okay" message which I would send each day once I hit camp; a I need help but not urgent option and then the full on emergency option. I only used the okay option thankfully but for Anne it was important. It just let her know I was okay. I phoned when I could but as long as she got the text via the Spot she was happy. The other thing with the Spot was she and others could follow my travellers at Spotwalla.

In my view not an unreasonable thing to offer in return for going touring.

Regards
Andrew
"Pedal-pounding pounce" - D. Fluellen - West Australian 13/1/14
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