(written by Dave)
Today was one of those days on tour that we would normally not have much to write about. We were up early at Rod and Lisa’s, listening to the rain coming down outside. We had a chance to say goodbye to Rod before he left early for work, and then said goodbye to Lisa and William before heading out. We hung in the garage doorway for a minute and watched the rain but took a deep breath and rode out into the rain. Many thanks to Rod and his family for the great weekend with a great Australian family.
We headed for Sexie Coffee, Rod’s favourite coffee shop, for brekkie. Sexie Coffee was great – we had proper brekkie and some great coffee. It rained most of the way riding there and we ended up hanging there out for 2 hours waiting for the rain to let up. Monitoring the rain in the car park was futile, there was no change – just heavy rain and more of it. Eventually we gave up and took the plunge.
It was 55k to Childers and we pretty much rode all the way here in the rain without stopping for anything. No photos or toilet breaks even.
Ten kilometers out from Maryborough we passed a fellow touring cyclist – we were riding slightly faster – we traded hellos and a little info (she was heading for Cairns eventually and Childers today). Normally we would stop and traded stories but the road had no shoulder, there was lots of traffic and it was raining very hard. I hope we somehow see her in Childers, if nothing else to apologize for not stopping and chatting. As we arrived in Childers, we ran into two more touring cyclist – two guys from the UK riding around the world and on their 18th day. We stopped to chat with them and swap info on the road ahead. Wow, 3 tourist in 1 day – we’ve seen so few to this point.
We’ve blown the budget and checked into another caravan park, onsite van (well, okay, exceed it a bit – hard to blow the budget in Childers Qld!). It is still raining and the wet feet rule comes into play. Soaked feet and soaked everything is closer to the truth – not fun for setting up the tent, much less taking it down tomorrow. Childers has lots of backpackers that work in the fields around the place so it is a bit ‘rough’, as they say. Happy to be inside our own caravan today.
So what is this 100,000 blog title and what makes today special? Well, since 1988 when I started riding for knee re-hab, I’ve kept an annual mileage log (Nancy says that I am a bit obsessive about this – point taken). Today, about 10ks from Childers I passed 100,000 lifetime miles. It would have been nice to pull over and have a mini celebration but again, no shoulder, cars and heaps of rain – we missed the moment completely. At least I got to ride it with my best riding mate – Nancy!
I keep all my annual logs online, even down to the individual day level since 1998 (again, a bit geeky). The nice thing about having all the logs is that I can review past trips and relive the moments. I read through a bunch this afternoon and came up with a top 10 all-time ride list – here goes:
10. 2004 Hokkaido Tour – great food, nice people and Nancy bailing me out whenever I started a Japanese conversation and got in over my head.
9. 2007 Alp d’Huez Century w/ Ross, Jeanette & Nancy – with Ross babbling incoherently at the top of Col Lauteret.
8. 1997 Oregon to SF ride with Chris, Marsh, David and Nancy – great ride even though we should not have let Chris plan the daily mileage (100 miles per day, for 7 days).
7. 1996 New Mexico tour with Andy – great ride and food – with Andy and his green slime rear tire providing endless humor for years to come.
6. 1993 Pete and Inge’s first day riding across the USA – they were so keen with the possibilities of the trip.
5. My 1st Century – 1988 PWTC Gorge Century with Steve Sterba – crazy hard 1st century but we were naïve – finishing on fumes – completely under prepared.
4. Finishing the 1998 Death Ride (NV/CA Sierra Nevada Mts) with Pete and Nancy – on our second attempt.
3. Finishing the 2010 3 Peaks Challenge (Australian Alps) with Nancy.
2. Winning 1997 Oregon hill climb time trail with Nancy on the tandem – getting to be “State Chimps” as Kirti would later say.
1. 1992 Cross country (USA) honeymoon ride with Nancy.
If I go through the logs again, I’m sure I could come up with a completely different list. And I’m hoping that one day the list will include many moments from this trip. Certainly even getting the chance to do this trip should make the list somewhere. Thanks for reading. And for future/past/present riding partners, thanks for being part of the journey. And thanks to Nancy for being the best riding partner through it all!