Canberra to Perth via recumbent

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Canberra to Perth via recumbent

Postby glawrence2000 » Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:37 am

Mate of mine is planning his next big recumbent ride; Canberra to Perth in March.

As a mountain bike riding companion of mine he has asked me a bunch of questions regarding such things as size and state of the verge on the road across the desert. Places to camp and availability of fresh water.

None of which I can answer, while I admire his drive, determination and ambition, I prefer being somewhere in the middle of a 747 for such trips. :idea:

I intend sending him a link to this thread and would really appreciate any advice you guys can give.

PS. it is a three wheeled number.
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by BNA » Fri Jan 23, 2009 12:50 pm

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Postby njg02 » Fri Jan 23, 2009 12:50 pm

Not having done a great deal of touring, one of the best spots I've found for info is this place, 'Crazy Guy on a Bike' and search 'oceania'
There are numerous examples with good info.

Neil
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Postby Caelum » Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:05 pm

I should be able to post a few useful links when i get home - i've done some research on this kind of area due to my trip from perth to brisbane, starting in march.
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Postby Kalgrm » Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:24 pm

Which route is he taking? There isn't a "desert" as such across the Nullarbor, and if he goes across the desert (Uluru to Laverton and on to Kalgoorlie), there isn't a "verge" (it's a dirt road).

Cheers,
Graeme
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Postby DaveW » Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:31 pm

Big trucks with big wash - I wouldn't do it.

But then again I avoid any road if I can. :lol:

The road is all good nowadays, but I wasn't paying attention to "bike-ability" last time. Most of it is nice wide road though - cars should be able to make room - but I would be concerned by the trucks.
Make sure they have no troubles seeing you from as far away as possible. :wink:
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Postby Kalgrm » Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:35 pm

The trucks are fine. Since he's doing it on a three-wheeler, he'll be able to pull completely off the road and onto the verge (if he's crossing the Nullarbor) without putting himself in danger.

If I were doing the ride (and one day I will) I'd be riding at night as often as possible. Less wind, less heat, less traffic (and easier to see it).

Cheers,
Graeme
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Postby glawrence2000 » Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:41 pm

Looks like there is the making of a WA based welcoming party from the replies thus far. :idea:
Thanks heaps.
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Postby chuckchunder » Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:26 pm

yeah crazygyonabike.com is great.......

a couple more with differing perspectives, both on trikes -

http://www.where2pedalto.com/

- this has a journal of a 2002 round australia ride

http://www.pcw.iinet.net.au/Australia/Oct_p1_2006.html

- mal and lee are now somewhere in Cambodia....


cheers

glen
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Nullabor Trike

Postby Freddyflatfoot » Fri Jan 23, 2009 7:38 pm

Back in the mid 90's, there was a couple that rode from Perth to Canberra?, or was it Sydney?
Anyway, I think I have a copy of the HUFF magazine that featured that ride.
Or maybe Poit Heal will jump in with the details.
Cheers!
Rob
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Postby william » Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:19 pm

Hi All,
Back from holidays and 6 weeks off a bike, ie: soft muscles. Really soft.
But getting back on the post There is a few things to bear in mind when traversing the Nullabor.
Number 1 is that the wind direction is always West to East during the day. Daytime temperatures can get up to 50C sometimes with near frost temperatures during the night although rarely any wind at night.
Night time would also be my choice there too. You might see another vehicle every hour, maybe. You will also see them way in advance with their headlights,especially trucks and I would definitely move off the road for them in the same direction. Casual car drivers don't want to risk hitting Kangaroo's that jump into the headlights. Between Port Augusta and Ceduna is the biggest Roo's I've seen in the whole country.
Water? I think the longest distance between road houses is 285 K's. There is water tanks at selected parking areas but they have usually no water and full of bullet holes. I wouldn't trust the water in those anyway.
If you are mentally tough and well prepared, you will achieve something that very few have done and many will aspire to.
Keep us posted.
Regards,
William.
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Postby Caelum » Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:17 am

http://theridersofoz.com/index.php?opti ... &Itemid=57

Has some great info in it for crossing the nullabor.
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Postby william » Sat Jan 24, 2009 11:17 pm

Wow!
Interesting bit of travel and much more helpful hints.
Kind of makes you think why anyone would want to deliberately do that.
For those that want to... safe travels.

William.
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Postby John Lewis » Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:23 pm

Not quite where you're starting from but here is Dennis Smith's account of his trike ride from Adeaide to Perth.

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=3 ... id=311&v=7

Good luck. Keep us all posted.

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Re: Canberra to Perth via recumbent

Postby glawrence2000 » Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:05 am

Well lads,

He's off. After a fairly boozy send off in Deakin, 7 bottles of wine, a bottle of sticky and 27 beers and a bang up barbie at Frank's place he rolled out Saturday the 21st.

Here are the updates to date..

22 March 2009 Txt
Just at AlfredTown 15 Km E of Wagga X 2.
Finally found a Pub.
Having 1st beer 4 the ride after a big day 140 km, hills, heat & flats - buggered Cheers.
Thanks heaps.
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Re: Canberra to Perth via recumbent

Postby glawrence2000 » Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:05 am

26 March 2009 email

Hello Everybody
Just a quick note to keep you updated on the bike trip.
Unfortunately I must be brief as they won't allow you to bring beer into the library.
Anyway all is going well
Will chat soon

Cheers

O.K to be honest the library closes at 5pm
I have reached the quaint country town of Hay and have covered about 540km in the last six days.
Thus far I have experienced about everything there is to experience or that I had anticipated experiencing
Hills, sore legs, Heat, sore legs, Rain, sore legs, Wind sore legs, Humidity, sore legs, Trucks, sore legs, Punctures and sore legs.
So far all is actually going well. Have only had some minor issues with the bike mainly related to punctures and a snapped gear changing cable (thankfully only the front derailler).

For the cyclists headding into wagga wagga I had a total of ten punctures within 15km of riding due to cateyes. have taken the chemical in tubes approach and it has worked a treat without a puncture since. despite pulling at least thrirty thorns from most tyres.

Despite things going well I cannot comment on progress according to plan. The reason being after all the months of planning I unfortunately left the plan and a hat at home. I have since purchased a hat and I know I had previously sent the plan to some of you as such if you have a copy it would be aprpeciated if someone could send it to me. Whilst I have a pretty fair idea of where I am going (i.e. west) I am more concerned about schedule which is tight.

Anyway so far I have learnt heaps like in the middle of the day it is not a good time to ride due to the heat, in the afternoon it is not a good time to ride due to the sun in your face and in the face of the traffic approaching you, and at night it isn't good time to ride because it is night. So the best time to ride is in the morning. My problem being I am not a morning person.

I have also learnt that the town marked on the map called Bookham doesn't have a pub or any other form of facilities.

Will try an keep in touch.
Thanks heaps.
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Re: Canberra to Perth via recumbent

Postby glawrence2000 » Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:08 am

30 March 09 txt

Just Met 1000 km milestone and on schedule @renmark S.A. Big day, 145km winds good yet very hot. Cheers.
Thanks heaps.
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Re: Canberra to Perth via recumbent

Postby Kalgrm » Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:19 am

Sounds like he's having fun - and a few beers. I bet by the time he gets to Perth he won't be drinking so many beers.

Has he sent any photos of himself or the bike en route yet?

Cheers,
Graeme
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Re: Canberra to Perth via recumbent

Postby glawrence2000 » Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:32 am

No not yet, will hit him up for some though.
Thanks heaps.
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Re: Canberra to Perth via recumbent

Postby glawrence2000 » Mon Apr 06, 2009 11:04 am

Latest update by Email..

04 April 09
The Three days when it sucked to be me.
Hello All

I have finally arrived at Port Augusta. After 14 days of continuous riding covering just over 1400km I am currently enjoying my first rest day for the trip. Rather tired yet think that this may be due to my first sleep in a bed for some time being interrupted by some drunkards at 2am (thankyou steve).

I have crossed a wide array of country side in the rural areas of Western NSW and South Australia ranging from the desert like Hay Plain, following the Murrumbidgee in NSW and Murray river in Victoria then heading across the rolling hills and southern edge of the Flinders ranges.

The weather has been hot to considerably hot with temperatures going into the high 30s on most days yet the winds have been predominantly favourable or non existent.

As much as I am not a morning person I have managed to adopt an early start approach with getting up before dawn and usually riding close first light enabling a good coverage of distance prior to the heat of the afternoon. I have been mostly town hopping covering anywhere between 80 to 145km per day. From Hay I have stayed and Euston, Mildura, Renmark, Morgan, Burra, Port Pirie, and Port Augusta.

From a stats perspective my average speed so far has been 14.8km per hour which tends to be about 12.5km per hour distance gained over time once you include breaks.

These stats have not been helped by what I refer to as the three days with only three gears. A period of time where it sucked to be me. The gear cable for the rear derailler snapped at a point that I couldn't repair with parts on hand (i.e. cable ties and electrical tape). It managed to happen just as I started heading into the hilly terrain of SA. Due to the hills I had to lock the rear into a low gear which meant I didn't have any range to travel at spead on the flats or down hill runs. It was most demoralising to wake up in the morning knowing you had a day full of hills and no gears or when you were on a down hill run and you couldn't pedal faster than 20km/hr when you know you could be doing around 40. For those three days all I could do and say, and all I tended to say was sucks to be me.

Anyway bike fixed and spare parts pool enhanced, the Legs have come good and I feel like I am in good form to continue. Next rest day is in Ceduna which I expect to be at by the end of this coming week. For those interested my schedule is attached.

Will try and drop a line then so stay tuned and I will tell you all about how ten hours of riding a day affects ones bowel movements and the results of my most recent hypothesis being that if you spend enough time in the country your farts will start to smell like a cross between Blood and Bone fertiliser and decomposed road kill.
Thanks heaps.
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Re: Canberra to Perth via recumbent

Postby glawrence2000 » Thu Apr 09, 2009 2:20 pm

09 April 2009 by Email.

Image

Greetings

I have finally arrived at Ceduna and am extremely pleased about it. Having a rest day today, starting the trip across the nullabor tomorrow.

Gotta love the pissing contests, The town Kimba claims to be half way across Australia. Unfortunately not half way for me. The town Wirrulla claims to have a secret, the secret is that they are in the middle of nowhere yet have a warf (the result of two councillors back in the late 1800's having one of those my town is better than yours conversations whilst on the terps. Endstate Wirulla has a pointless warf like structure behind the local pub but don't tell anyone as it is a secret.

Image

However, when it comes to pissing contests the best is the retired caravaning community. Having spent some time in caravan parks it is amazing to see the variety and gadgetry that can be attached to a caravan, motor home or 4WD. For some they must spend an absolute fortune. I must say that in all honesty I love these guys they are friendly people, courteous on the roads and, whilst this may be a sign of getting older, for the purposes of this trip I would much rather be camping amongst them than in the middle of a paddock surrounded by gen Y's that wear those white rimmed sunglasses calling each other dude, talking about how fully sick their cars are then throwing up after to many lolly waters.

As per usual all is going fairly well and on schedule.

The ride from Port Augusta to Ceduna was fairly good although the fist day was a bit of a bummer. Lots of hill climbing and a big head wind made for a difficult day. On top of that destroyed a couple of tyres and cracked the rear hub causing a buckled back wheel. Spent the next three days watching the crack slowly get bigger and bigger and bigger whilst in hope that I could get to Ceduna without the wheel falling apart.

Anyway the bike survived arrived at Ceduna around lunch yesturday and had some celebratory pints complimented with the joy that the shipment of critical parts arrived (i.e. new back wheel and new tyres). As such the journey is set to continue as planned. My thanks and commendations to Michael Priest from Fuse Recumbents (see http://www.fuse-recumbents.com.au ) for his assistance in sourcing and freighting the parts I needed in such a constrained timeframe. I wouldn't be able to continue without the parts and as such for his assistance I am truely greateful.

For the stats lovers so far , distance travelled 1917.6km, average speed 14.82 Km/hr, total riding time 129 hrs 28 mins, top speed 71km/hr.

Image

I am yet to reach a conclusion as to my previous hypothesis however I am looking at proving it to be wrong and put the incident that generated raising of the line of enquiry down to one of the many follow on effects (will spare you the detail) that came from a combination of to many beers and a dodgy mixed grill.

Hope all is well and wishing you a happy and safe easter break.

Image
Thanks heaps.
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Re: Canberra to Perth via recumbent

Postby bradwoodbr » Thu Apr 09, 2009 3:47 pm

Thanks for a great review and pics - awesome.
I think you win all pissing competition as your rig looks bloddy brilliant.
Now if that BOB trailer ran a wheel identical to your trikes rear wheel, then you would
have a spare.
:D
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Re: Canberra to Perth via recumbent

Postby glawrence2000 » Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:11 am

Latest installment - apologies for my tardiness.

14 April 2009 - by email.

Hello All

Just a quick note to let you know that I have crossed the border and now in Western Australia.

I am currently just over half a day ahead of schedule due to some mighty fine efforts of my own if I don't say so myself.

Stats
so far 2603.2 km
average speed 15.14km/hr
travel time 172 hours and 5 mins
Max speed 71km/hr

Just finished riding for the day and settling in to a nice cold beer at Madura Pass.

Just over half way across the nullabor (Ceduna to Norseman) and to be honest I have really gained an appreciation for how large a country this is and how arid, isolated and harsh the outback environment can be. I know for some that there were concerns about this aspect of the trip venturing out into wild open spaces with nothing for hundreds of miles other than wildlife, caravaners and road trains. However I must say that there is no need to worry, the roadhouses are no farther than 200km apart and most of them sell beer.

As such all is well

Don't know why they call it the nullabore plain meaning treeless plain as there are plenty of trees and for the first couple of hundred of Km's out of Ceduna it wasn't much of a plain with the number of hills that I had to cross.

Anyway other than that I don't have much to say... umm... been doin a fair bit of peddling...

Cheers
Thanks heaps.
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Re: Canberra to Perth via recumbent

Postby Earthy Ochre Man » Sat Apr 18, 2009 10:57 am

Cheers for the update, I was looking forward to hearing about how the trip was going.

Matt D.
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Re: Canberra to Perth via recumbent

Postby Kalgrm » Sat Apr 18, 2009 12:27 pm

The rider wrote:Don't know why they call it the nullabore plain meaning treeless plain as there are plenty of trees and for the first couple of hundred of Km's out of Ceduna it wasn't much of a plain with the number of hills that I had to cross.

Yeah, the actual Nullarbor Plain is only about 150km across, just east of the Nullabor Roadhouse. On that part, there really are no trees and it really is a plain. For the most part though, there are trees all the way across. (I love the trees in that part of Australia - they look like the trees from Dr Seuss books.)

Cheers,
Graeme
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Re: Canberra to Perth via recumbent

Postby glawrence2000 » Tue Apr 21, 2009 10:47 am

Lagtest Update - Received by mobile.

20 April 2009 - by txt

(AT) esperance. Nullabor crossing complete. 3350km done and mobile back in range. 3 days ahead of schedule.
Boat crusie booked for rest of day tomorrow. Cheers.
Thanks heaps.
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