Photo by Jenny, nearly at the end of Osman Road, in the distance is the glorious bitumen of Military Road.
April the 25 to May the 2nd.
Hey did Jen mention in the last blog post that we have a humongous bicycle tour coming up in a matter of weeks…?
Hang on I’d better do a quick check…….<back again>…….ah yes she did & I see so did I in the post before hers. Guess it’s a bad case of nervous excitement.
The last time we did any “Real” multi day Cycle Touring was back in January 2017, when we did a mini Munda Biddi ride for 4 days with 3 other friends. Since then our longest ride was recently with Randell, I think for 48 clicks up to Rockingham. To say our training has been spasmodic would be a slight understatement !
So time for team wiljen to pull out the “Cold Turkey” Cycle Training Card.
One night after a few to many Melot’s we devised a plan…Let’s ride to Gingin & back, well to an Uncle & Aunty’s Orchard Farm in the Gingin vicinity. Great idea, how hard could it be for a couple of unfit middle aged fatties to cycle up there without the assistance of a 950cc & 883cc V-twin Motor ??? Actually pretty f*cken hard !
Our first major error was departing on Wednesday, ANZAC Day, a special Memorial Day for our past & present service men & women who have fought in many conflicts since the original Gallipoli Battle back in February 1915. “Lest We Forget” .
Jenny & I do remember them, including Grandfathers, Fathers, Uncles & past workmates who have all made great sacrifices & been involved in some of the many wars. I like to think they would be happy to know that we do think of them & what they did but don’t need to attend the many memorial services held around Australia & New Zealand to honour them. Just living our lives as best as we can is honouring what they had to endure, fighting for our freedom & right to choose.
So on April the 25th off we pedal, after a beautiful run along the coast up to Woodman Point we arrive at the Woodman Point Caravan Park. Tired & sore after riding 62kms on a pretty warm day (our longest ride since November 2015) the Receptionist informs us the Park is full & we can’t stay.
Wow that’s a first ! Apparently it’s the combination of School Holidays & ANZAC Day. I’m bit stunned & pull the poor tired touring cyclist card who only needs a little space for a small dome tent routine. No still can’t (won’t) help you.
We know there is another Caravan Park about 3kms further north in Coogee. Being 4.30pm I’m worried, so ring ahead, but of course there is no answer. With fingers crossed off we pedal to try our luck. Once at the Coogee CV Park the office is shut, I ring a number on the window and out comes the caretaker. They are full to, but after some pleading he says we can pitch our little tent on the concrete slab out the back of his Cabin, FOC….wow thanks Kev !
It was an excellent training tour & went on to prove that Jenny & I can still ride consecutive 60km+ Days (4-5 hours in the Brooks Saddle) in a variety of terrains, with temperatures up to 30C, while regularly camping in our tent. All up we covered 326kms together over 7 days with 1 & half rest days.
Here are some notes of our ride:
Date. April 25th
From to Where. Mandurah to Woodman Point Coogee.
Depart/Arrive. 11am – 4.30pm
Weather Conditions. no wind until 12noon, then a 20km/h SSW. Max temp 25C.
Point of Interest. Nothing open so caught an Uber into the South Beach Hotel for dinner.
Date. April 26th
From to Where. Woodman Point, Coogee to Burns Beach.
Depart/Arrive. 8.30am – 3pm
Weather Conditions. No wind until 3pm, then a SW tailwind & max of 30C.
Point of Interest. A day of meeting random people, first up the Denmark (WA South West coastal town) Hiking Man, followed by an out of shape middle aged Bloke at the Dome Cafe in Coogee interested in our bikes & how to get into Cycle Touring.
Next it was a surprise meeting with Mike in Floreat Beach, an old friend from our Tom Price days who we still occasionally keep in touch with. Then it was “Bio Pace” Man near Trigg Beach, a homeless dude who had done a lot of big Cycle Tours around Australia’s East Coast in the 1980’s & 90’s, using Bio Pace Chain Rings. He didn’t have many teeth & I thought he was saying “Bio Paste”, l’m thinking I’ve got to get some of this special Paste !
While taking photos at the Trigg Cafe a younger fellow lady cyclist who had past us earlier, riding with her Dad, “Liz” had a great conversation with us about Cycle Touring.
My Dad, Bill use to own that shop in the background back in the early 80’s. While he worked long hours my brother Geoff & I honed our surfing skills, often at the beach located opposite. Trigg…
While riding through the Ocean Reef sand dunes we rode right past an old High School Mate, John, who we didn’t recognise since we had now entered “the zone”, sorry John. Finally it was the old grumpy Caravan Park owner at the Burns Beach Caravan Park, “I choose who stays here” he ultimately turned out to be nice enough, though his price was a bit on the high side. Park was pretty good, neat & tidy. Overall a good day.
Date. April 27th
From to Where. Burns Beach to Willow Brook Farm (Neergabby)
Depart/Arrive. 10am – 4.45pm
Weather Conditions. Fantastic 20km SW tailwind all day, Temp 30C max.
Point of Interest. Being desperate to get off a very busy Indian Ocean Drive, full of fast School Holiday traffic, we thought we’d take a short cut on Osman Road (also known to the locals as Old Military Road), which turned out to be 9kms of hellish, rocky, rough, limestone track. It took us an hour to ride the 9kms but at least there was no traffic. Willow Brook Farm was fully booked but since I had rung ahead they squeezed us in 🙂
9kms of rough dirt track officially known as Osman Road gives us a solid workout.
Date. April 28th
From to Where. Willow Brook Farm (Neergabby) to Humphry Orchard (Wanerie)
Depart/Arrive. 10am – 11.15am
Weather Conditions. Hilly but generally easy with a SE tailwind. Max temp 29C.
Point of Interest. Catching up with my Uncle & Aunty.
Date. April 29th
From to Where. Humphry Orchard, Wanerie
Depart/Arrive. Rest Day
Distance. No Cycling.
Weather Conditions. Max Temp 30C
Point of Interest. I give Colin & Helen some help hand picking small Hotel/Restaurant Limes, a 10kg crate takes me 45 minutes. I do improve this time to 35 minutes by crate 5. It takes longer because we are focused on quality not quantity. All up 30 crates are required & between the 3 of us we picked 18 crates. I don’t think Orchard Farming, growing fruit & stuff will be a future caper for team wiljen. Not really our thing !
Later the four of us take their Car, 40kms over to Lancelin, a small coastal crayfishing town for Dinner at the Tavern. Having only drunk soda water, Jenny volunteers to drive us back to the Orchard at 50km/h due to all the Kangaroos hopping around.
Date. April 30th
From to Where. Humphry Orchard, Wanerie to Butler Train Station, then by Train to Bull Creek Station (50 minute journey), ride to Booragoon.
Depart/Arrive. 9am – 3pm (Wanerie to Butler 62kms took 3hrs to cycle)
Weather Conditions. 29C started off with a NE wind, 20km/h tailwind then after 40kms it became Westerly.
Point of Interest. Catching the train with fully loaded touring bicycles, catching up with Cycling Friends, Allan & Julie who both commence there own epic 3 month European Cycle Tour this Thursday. Check them out on their new Blog at The Ogre & the Troll, Europe Cycle Tour. we spent the night having an enjoyable evening with them.
Some curious things at Neergabby
Date. May 1st
From to Where. Booragoon to Mandurah
Depart/Arrive. 9am – 3pm
Weather Conditions. Headwinds, 20km/h Southerly Wind, Max Temp 20C.
Point of Interest. Rode home along the Kwinana Freeway Cycle Path, Allan & Julie decided a bit of extra cycle training wouldn’t hurt so rode with us for the first 19kms before turning around & riding home to pack their bikes into bike boxes. Have a great tour you two !
Great fun sharing part of the ride with Julie & Allan, enjoy your Europe Cycle Tour !
Jenny & I continued to push our way into an energy sapping headwind with a short stop at the BP Baldivis for a lunch break. We were both really feeling it when we arrived home. Great first effort !
Even though we are riding along the Freeway Cycle Path & the traffic noise is annoying there is always interesting plants & critters to see.
For the curious here are some interesting Cycle Tour statistics:
- End of tour loaded bike weights excluding water & water bottles.
Jenny’s “Black Betty” 40.5kg (Bike, Panniers & Gear).
Will’s “Yellow Dawg” 44.2kg (Bike, Panniers & Gear).
Unloaded Bike Weights:
Jenny’s “Black Betty” = 17kg
Will’s “Yellow Dawg” = 17.5kg
Weight of Gear Carried (not including water)
Jenny = 23.5kg
Will = 26.7kg
*Total Distance over 7 Days, 326kms.
*Average distance per day over the week, 46.6kms. Without including the rest days 59.3kms.
*5.5 Riding Days, 1.5 Rest Days.
*3 nights in tent. 3 nights staying with friends/family.
*Spending for a Cycling Couple over 7 days (everything) $591, averaging at $84.43 per day.
There is still 8 weeks until we head for Calgary, Canada to commence our North American, Cycle Tour, so we will continue to keep training. Maybe a week trip down to Bunbury or a few days up to Dwellingup. Lots & lots to still do towards preparation.
Thanks for reading you Crew ! Hope to see you all out there some time.
Love Will & Jenny.