Bike Odyssey
Sydney to Darwin 2001

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Journal for 16-Jul-2001 : Longreach
Date: 16/07/2001 (Location=Longreach, Dist=108km, Total=1969km)
Nervous start to the day as every white 4x4 is looked on with suspicion.

A gentle SE breeze kept our pace reasonably high and the effort reasonably low. Lots of long rises to crests and gradual drops to floodways as the road's course stays dead straight pretty much all day. What is the difference between a gentle breeze and a stiff wind? To a cyclist a gentle breeze comes from behind and a stiff wind comes from the front.

Lots of Kytes feeding off road kill (quite a few dead pigs - which I'm not sure how I feel about).

The road authorities have attempted to reduce the road carnage. Strategic placement of reflectors has been made on the outside of the roadside poles to scare away animals approaching the road. As the evidence on the test area and the control zones attest, it isn't working too well. This probably has a bit to with fact that kangaros and emus generally don't have headlights, so they probably arn't going to notice these outwards reflectors.

My upper legs are starting to get a lean but muscular look after sustained cycling (not quite there yet). Linda tells me her legs are starting to lose that wobbly look.

The sun now feels really strong. For the first time we started the day without arm or leg warmers.

We're also getting the cyclists tans. At St George we looked as white as the English after riding wearing arm warmers, leg warmers, thermal singlets and woolen gloves for the first part of the trip. Now, we've got arms that start white at the shoulders, are brown to the wrists, are white to the knuckles (our cycling gloves) with the tips of our fingers a dirty brown. Maybe they're just dirty. I've got a white strip down the side of my face courtesy of my helmet strap, and three brown spots on my forehea
d where the sun shines through the ventilation slits in my helmet's visor. Linda's been more careful with the placement of her sunscreen.

David F

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