It can be a mission to keep your bird happy some days and so it was with Sharlene today. She was distinctly unhappy with my terribly unsocial start time for the ride to Balladonia. This ride starts at Ciaguna which is at one end of the famous ” 146 km stretch -longest straight road in Australia” By electing to start this ride at 1 .30 am in the morning she complained that she was not going to see much of this special piece of Australia
” it’s part of every Emus birthright to be able to see this road at least once in their lifetime” she said , like a pilgrimage of sorts.
I had to sit her down and explain the reason it had to be this way. We had 180 Kms to cover to get to Balladonia and the forecast was for a brisk westerly to develop as the day progressed. A long straight road and a headwind can be terribly demoralizing so we had to pull out all stops to minimize the hurt. The days have also be getting hot – with temps up to 30 c by the afternoon .
Heading off into a tunnel of darkness was a bit spooky – a star studded horizon . The lights on the bike worked very well and I made great progress in very still predawn conditions. Dawn arrived at about the 90 km mark. I celebrated the 60 km , 100 km and 150 km marks with chocolate bars – great incentive as the Kms ticked by.The last 50 Kms was character building with the promised westerly slowing the bike down considerably.
The early start was a great call. Finally arrived at Balladonia at about 11am – absolute stuffed – so was Sharlene
A great help on the day was a nice young couple of Aussy travelers I met at Ciaguna. Ryan and Erin agreed to transport my panniers to Balladonia which made for a much better ride for me. Here they are after catching up with me at about the 25 Kms to go point.