Sunday, August 12, 2012

Del and Cindy's Marathon Cycle: Time to start blogging!

Del and Cindy's Marathon Cycle: Time to start blogging!

It was late 2011 when Del first mooted the idea - around his 71st birthday. All I had in mind was a relaxing cycling holiday in Perth - or Adelaide.

That year we'd enjoyed two fabulous cycle tours in France - one from a barge on the Canal du Midi - the other a self guided ride along the Loire.

This new adventure sounded a lot of hard work in comparison. I dragged my feet for quite a while, eventually giving in to the idea.
Del began road training in earnest as soon as he got the nod.

We invested in a bike trailer for me which took a little adjusting to. Del had one already for his Reinga to Bluff cycle in February 2011.
We made several trips around the neighborhood with our trailers in tow and with ever increasing weight loads until I could handle any situation. As I found training rather boring, that was about the extent of my physical preparation. I'd just have to develop fitness on the trip.

We carefully planned the route, following the coast south from Perth then eastwards to Esperance, up to Norseman, across the Nullarbor to Ceduna, on to Streaky Bay then across the Eyre Peninsula to Cowell, catching the ferry from Lucky Bay to Walleroo, then on to Port Wakefield and Adelaide.
I googled all the stopovers to make sure that we had names, addresses and phone numbers of every possible caravan park, motel or roadhouse and the cycling distances between them.

By now, even I began to get quite excited at the prospect of it all as the plan unfolded.
We'd fly from Auckland to Perth on 29th August 2012. We calculated that the prevailing wind would be in our favour for most of the time - fingers crossed!
We already had sleeping bags, a tent and basic camping accessories but invested in extra thermals for the chilly mornings we had been warned about. We also included chafing cream in case of saddle soreness.
Del had the bikes serviced at Bike Barn and grabbed a couple of cardboard bike boxes from them.
We decided to invest in Marathon Plus tyres for both bikes to minimise punctures and bought an extra bike tyre and trailer tyre, inner tubes, spokes, tools and repair kit for emergencies.
In the final few days before leaving home, we did several trial packs, weighing and repacking the trailers and boxes.

We were raring to go!

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