Saturday 26th March, 2022
8:09 moving, 10:56 elapsed. Avg 23.3, Max 50
We set off riding at 6.10am, after buying food in the roadhouse before we left, and (for me at least) trying to eat something that might count as breakfast.
We might have started our ‘Nullarbor’ section, but we were still in woodlands and it was not flat. There was stark evidence in some sections of bushfires (from January 2020)
We made our way gradually up, (but also down, up, down, up) as the day warmed up, up, up. By 11am – and then for the rest of the day – it was hitting over 30 degrees. The high point was Fraser Range – 100km from Norseman, and we reached that ‘milestone’ at about 1pm. Marc recalls me having a bit of a ‘moment’ at one point (I ended up having so many ‘moments’, I don’t specifically recall this one)… but it was a lot to do with coping with the trucks – on top of the heat and the general slog. Yes there was technically a shoulder all the way, but at times it seemed barely more than a foot wide. He reckons it was earlier on in the day, and that I kind of got it out of my system, and through gritted teeth (and hidden tears) kind of stoically just, well, kept pedalling. What else are you gonna do?
So it wasn’t exactly downhill after Fraser Range either. Still with the ups and downs, albeit with a downward trend. Throughout the afternoon we were stopping for a break about every half an hour, and our last rest break was a mere 10km from Balladonia. It only took us another 20 minutes from there to the roadhouse. Marc recalls starting to up the pace. It was flatter, and it felt a tad cooler with late afternoon, and he could all but smell the day’s finish line. From behind him, he hears something along the lines of “geez, settle down!” Communication on a tandem is key.
11 hours since leaving Norseman. Balladonia Roadhouse at last, thank *&@#! I can’t remember when we had rung and booked, but at least I had known all day that we definitely had accommodation. I also can’t remember at what point we booked the second night, but it was not up for debate.* Tomorrow was going to be a rest day. We didn’t care what standard the accommodation was, as long as it was a room and a bed.
Even though we’d got in late in the afternoon, and the water in the pool was freezing, we went for ice water ‘therapy’.
My strava: ‘this is just bloody ridiculous’
Message to my sister: trashed. Having a rest day otherwise have no hope of continuing
* I don’t know, maybe it was up for debate. At some point along the Nullarbor, I remember being pretty negative, and having him exasperatedly say ‘But you KNEW it was going to be hard!’