Bike Odyssey
Sydney to Darwin 2001

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Journal for 9-Aug-2001 : Darwin Airport
Date: 09/08/2001 (Location=Darwin Airport, Dist=17km, Total=4601km)
Today we wandered up to the Darwin Museum and inspected the Cyclone Tracey exhibit. What struck me most was the photos of pre-Tracy darwin. With stilted Queenslander style light fibro and corrugated iron houses the town looked very much like Broome or Derby in equally Cyclone prone regions to the west. Most of the substantial damage inflicted on Darwin was caused not by the wind directly, but by impacts from all the loose sheets of iron flying around. Quite an impressive exhibit (not just because it was
free) which several Tracey veterans told me was extremely acurate, even though they'd never been to the museum.

Spent much of the day lazing by the pool and eating the remanants of our cycling food.

Rode into town to collect our final photos and a few widgets to help prepare the bikes for air travel. While waiting in the town mall we met Martin, a Pom who'd just cycled to Darwin from Perth.

Cycled out to the airport with the Darwin Rush Hour traffic.

At 5:00pm we started trying to put our bikes in the official airline boxes.
Removed luggage, front pannier racks, seat posts, peddles, turned handlebars in and down, deflated tyres, repacked panniers to minimise excess baggage and taped up the boxes.
Four and half f*&^%ing hours later we finished. It was not made any easier by the fact most of the bits that needed to be adjusted or removed hadn't been touched for nearly six years and were *very* very tight. Removing the peddles alone took over an hour and a half as we experimented with various leverage positions and imaginative uses of a seat post to undo what 40000km of peddling had screwed in.

The Frequent Flyers club (which didn't open till midnight) was pretty good. I washed properly, sent the e-mail for free and ate all their complementary food.

David F

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