The numbers build

Today was a quiet one. A gentle walk up the street for a nice coffee.

Then back to camp to greet the new arrivals who started streaming in. It’s nice to finally put a face to those I’ve been chatting to online.

The day was mostly spent wandering and admiring each others’ bike and the modifications they’ve done to it. There are a lot of things I’d like to do to mine but of course they all come at a price. From a new seat (my arse would really appreciate that) to new foot pegs, cruise control, & trailers.

At lunchtime I went for a short gentle ride back or to Victor Harbour with a few others for some photos and a coffee.

Then again to get one if my boots repaired as some of the stitching was unraveling.

All but 3 have turned up to the rally – the last will arrive early in the morning. We have not done a full count but it should be about 45 bikes we think.

Adelaide to Middleton

Rather than take the more direct 77km ride from Adelaide to Middleton on boring main roads I decided to take the scenic route via the Adelaide hills.

Heading south-east on the freeway just to exit the city, then beaching off at Stirling into the back roads.

First village was Aldgate and Mylor and then Echunga. This was a really picturesque twistie drive up and down the slopes with lots of leafy green growth overhanging the road.

From there I turned south-westerly where it opened up into farmland and through Meadows, Yankalilla (where I had a lovely steak, bacon, & cheese pie and coffee)…

…& then continued around the coastline to Victor Harbour and finally Middleton at about 3pm.

4,119 KMs since my departure from Perth I’d arrived! A bit saddle-sore, but in 1 piece.

There were already a few OzSToc members already there. So, it was a first-time meet ‘n greet followed by tent, washing, beer, & chicken schnitzel at the local.

While there will be many more arriving tomorrow, it was good to finally put faces to forum members.

Carruthers’

Derek and Julia have been long-time family friends of the Broadbents so I’ve known them since Ellie and I started seeing each other and they became Grace’s god parents when she was born.
Late last year they moved from Gooseberry Hill over to Adelaide to be closer to their own children and grand children. So I took the opportunity to stay with them for a night and see their new place in the southern suburbs of Adelaide.

It’s quite an old house circa 1930. Actually it’s also a corner store. Over the years is been a general store, deli, hairdresser, and a few others. They intend to visit their local historical society to learn more.

The shop it on the other side of the large brick wall to the left…

The interior of the “shop”… look at the light!

Cowell to Adelaide

This represents the penultimate leg of my outward journey to Middleton. The heat was gone and the wind had reduced significantly so it was going to be a good day!

I’d originally thought of stopping in Whyalla to visit their maritime museum. However, because I’d left early and from half way up the Spencer Gulf the museum wasn’t going to open for another 45 minutes so I decided to kick on through Port Augusta.

I hugged the coast as best as possible down the eastern coast passing through Port Pirie, Port Broughton, and finally Wallaroo before heading for Adelaide.

Like the western side if the gulf, this area seems to be their wheat-belt with lots of flat farm land. So the wind picked up again, but this time now manageable and nowhere near s bad as yesterday.

I spotted a group of about 20 wind turbines…

…and thought “Great! Why can’t we do that in WA”. Then I realised this was actually part of a bank of what seemed like hundreds of them. I know they’re controversial but I find them really attractive – a kind of art in their own way.

When I planned the trip I had scheduled an arrival time into Adelaide of about 4:30. What I neglected to take into account was that this would be peak-hour. Adelaide wasn’t normally that bad from my own memory, but that was a while ago and there are some serious roadworks going on at the moment.

I arrived at the Carruthers’  (Grace’s god parents) where I was greeted with a hug, a shower, a Coopers, a lovely meal and a very friendly dog called Reiver.

Derek,  Julia & I chatted for a while after dinner with more beer and wine, then off to bed for this little black duck.

Worst riding experience on the trip so far

Due to the hot weather, I wanted to shorten the next leg into Adelaide. So rather than staying in Port Lincoln I decided to book an air conditioned cabin in Cowell Caravan Park. I should end up with a good night sleep, shorter distance to Adelaide, and be able to leave earlier in the morning.

Port Lincoln to Cowell is 160 kms up the Lincoln Hwy on the eastern side of the Eyre Peninsula. Due to the strong wind from Ceduna earlier in the day, this leg for me was 160 kms of hell. Buffeted by gusting 42 degree winds at 10 o’clock that had me leaning so far I reckon my left foot peg was on the ground the whole way. It was so physically demanding. Result: neck, back, & forearm strain.

Luckily the a/c was already on when I got to the cabin. Although, I grabbed some bottled water off the bike for a drink and I think it was bath temperature.

Ceduna to Port Lincoln

Quite an easy ride. Strong wind coming from about 7 o’clock, but gusting sometimes from 9 resulting in the occasional leaning zigzag to correct (just have to watch oncoming traffic).

Called into Streaky Bay for breaky. A guy from Sydney joined me. He passed Glen & me on the way to Ceduna who also stayed at the same Caravan Park.

Headed South and took a detour to the
Elliston Clifftop Drive. Given the purpose of this trip I really couldn’t pass it up could I?

View was pretty good. It’s like their own little private Great Australian Bight.

I probably would have paid more attention to the view but the road was really rough limestone with sharp rocks in it. I was a little worried about puncturing a tyre.

Finally arrived at Port Lincoln.

The ride was hot. Peaking again at 42 with an average of 41 for most of the 400 km trip. So, it was Wendy’s for lunch.