DAY 9 THROUGH TO SATURDAY THE 27/5th
- on Tuesday, 30 May 2017.
So, I made it to Cairns and scrounged a bike box from one of the local bike shops [Trinity Cycle Works] to pack the MW into. I then crammed everything into an Uber and off to the airport I went!
Got everything on board and the flight was uneventful and smooth all the way to Sydney. I Uber’d it out to my daughters and arrived by 9 PM.
The next day I was seconded by the Fashionista i.e. the designer of haute couture, otherwise known by Al as 'shit you can't wear' to do menial tasks around town in readiness for the big event, thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with the young crew and had a ball, there is always so much energy in Jameen's events!
Booked in to the YHA at Sydney Central and ended up using it as a base for 6 days.
Thursday's gig on the boat went extremely well, apart from Al taking a wrong turn whilst returning with the young crew's lunch and therefore getting an unscheduled view of the Opera House whilst crossing the Sydney Harbour Bridge....... :) The girls had to upsize the boat as the RSVP's flooded in and it was standing room only on a 400 PAS vessel!!! Big turnout, great time had by all, although most of the press were a bunch of wackers with very little respect and very little brains!!! You should have seen them, they were like cockroaches scurrying around, eating anything they could, one was walking around eating a whole loaf of bread he'd taken off the table!
After the gig was over I went off to do research on pedal assist bikes, I had developed the idea of riding the BNT with one. I figured it could mean I could tackle even the roughest sections if they were up to scratch. I did a ride on one a couple of years ago and the technology left a little to be desired. Well the tech has well and truly evolved so I seriously started looking at top end model, full suspension mountain bikes with plus sized tyres. I rode several and developed a criteria list. Ironically, the bike that ticked all the boxes, [theoretically] was in Perth. I purchased it sight unseen and unridden, as I had not been able to find one in Sydney.
I flew into Perth early Monday AM on the 22/5th, dropped my crud at my Nephews and Uber'd off to the bike shop in Osbourne Park. I was sort of hoping this purchase would be OK as I've not had a real good run on blind purchases lately, read Motorbike and MW. I paid the balance after a quick spin and off to my Nephews I went. Empty, on the tar, it performed really well. One has to pedal it as per a normal bicycle but under 25 KPH, the electric motor kicks in and offers powered assistance to the level the rider has selected. There are 4 levels of assist, Eco, Tour, Sport and Boost.
Whilst in Sydney I had tracked down and purchased a Tout Terrain 'Mule' Trailer, this unit works particularly well with full sus bikes. I assembled it at Luke's place, loaded one of my tubs onto it and packed it with what I'd need for the ride back to Muka, as that's what I intended doing.
I left Luke's at lunch time on the Tuesday and did a couple of things en-route to Midland, arriving there at 3 PM. After giving it some thought I decided to ride back to Northbridge to the hostel I stay at, recharge the battery and then train it back to Midland early next day, all of which I did. This gave me the advantage of having a fresh battery pack and plenty of time to test it out on the fire trails that run up the Darling Scarp beside the Toodyay Rd, my route home. This I did and I have to say I'm exceptionally happy with the results. It pulled a 164 KG load up some really gnarly washed out fire trail. Breakdown of the 164 KG, Trailer 40 KG. Bike 28 KG. Me 96 KG. I'm certain this bike will enable me to ride the whole of the BNT, the only issue is charging, but in my usual fashion, I have some ideas!!!
I completed the ride to Muka in a 3.5 days and other than the saddle, which is a horrendous piece of equipment designed by a team of Sadists hell bent, and succeeding I might add, in causing as much pain as possible to one's rear end. It was pure hell after 50 K's on it. I averaged about 70 K's per day which I was happy with, having not been in the saddle for over 18 months. I had to ride very aware in order to enable the battery to last for the day. I did one full day of gravel road and found the assist to be a real boon. All in all, I'm very pleased, however, I changed the saddle to one of my favorited Brooks Saddles immediately upon arrival at home, and I mean IMMEDIATLY, like within half an hour..... man, what a 'superior posterior supporter' it is........ comfort plus, I gotta tell ya........:)
Now, one would think I'd be on the plane and back off to the BNT, and I'd love to be, BUT, on Monday lunch time after just shelling out for the bike, I received an e-mail which has thrown a serious spanner in the works. To be honest, it's to the tune of tens and tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of spanners and I have to wait and find a work around, I have to say I was pretty gutted!!!! It may mean I'm not going anywhere, apart from work, for the rest of the year.
Stay subscribed if you're interested to know if I'll return to the track, in a few weeks I'll post what will be happening.
I'll post some pics to the relevent pages over the weekend as I have to go to Perth between now and then.
Cheers, and thanks for following along.