I’m not really sure what the wind was doing today, it seemed to keep changing but oh well, I’ve finished the Nullarbor Plains and am back in some kind of civilisation. I’ll no doubt head into the wind and out of civilisation again tomorrow but for now, I’m fairly pleased.
My experience of cycling across the Nullarbor hasn’t really been that great. Although this is entirely to do with the wind. Had it not been blowing in my face the whole way, I think I really would’ve enjoyed it.
Now apart from ‘Why are you doing this?’. The thing I get asked the most is probably whether I listen to music whilst cycling. The answer is no. Before setting off, if you’d asked me, I probably would’ve said ‘’no, but I may do across the desert’’. Well in case anyone was wondering – I didn’t. There are a number of reasons why not; including the fact that it makes it easier, and personally I don’t think one should be deprived of the mental challenge that comes with cycling. One of the main reasons I’m doing this trip is to push myself, both mentally and physically, so to listen to music would almost feel like cheating.
The other reason may make slightly more sense and is probably the thing I should lead with when answering said question. Whilst riding, our eyes and ears are essentially the things that prevent us from crashing (assuming you have mastered the balancing part). That being said, most of the time ones eyes are looking forward, therefore our ears are the only things that will warn us of something dangerous approaching from the rear. Here is a list of a few things you DO want to hear before they reach your rear wheel:
Another cyclist: If they’re behind you, you want to keep them back there. It’s a bit late to up the pace once they’ve already overtaken you.
A monkey: Believe me, if a monkey starts chasing you, you will know about it…so it’s better that the realisation comes before it’s biting at your calves.
A dog: Same reason as the monkey although slightly more frequent and slightly less terrifying… unless it’s an Albanian dog, in which case it may as well be a bear.
A road train: For obvious reasons, you do not want to be caught out by one of these… especially if it’s travelling across the Nullarbor carrying a portacabin that hangs 3-feet over the edge on both sides… A pre-emptive ride into a ditch is not always the worst outcome.
Anyway, that’s my long-winded answer to a rather simple question. It’s also my way of increasing the word count on what has been a rather dull day. Not sure what happens tomorrow; finishing the Nullarbor feels similar to reaching the end of a Leg. The problem with this is that I have stayed up longer than I should and still have to ride 100 miles tomorrow… I’ve set my alarm every 5 minutes for half an hour… anyone want to take bets on which will actually get me out of bed?
Distance: 94.1 miles / 151.4 km
Riding Time: 6:27:05
Av. Speed: 14.6 mph / 23.5 kph