Crossed into South Australia yesterday to notice a hell of a change in the road conditions for riding safety.
No edges and just a white line to follow and should you have to get off in a hurry there is only loose stone for you to hit - this was the case within the first hour of riding yesterday when I followed the lead support vehicle onto the loose stone making me lose total control of the trusty trek. By luck my bike jolted sideways and I managed to keep my footing. A close call and I shall now be more alert, but also protected by my rear support vehicle that the driver signals me from when cars, trailers or trucks are bearing down from the rear, allowing me more time to get off the bike and/or get off the road completely.
The sunshine has been kind for the last couple of days but not so with strong Northerly winds blasting me side to side during gusty periods but I have slowly been moving towards the Nullarbor roadhouse for our overnight stay now.
Bad weather predicted for tomorrow but as Forest Gump's mother said "Life was like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get." That's been the case out here as Juvy, my co driver, regularly shows me the weather map for the following day, so as to predict the conditions for riding. I may be in for a shock with 85 km winds predicted for tomorrow.
Excellent scenery along the Great Australia Bight today with unobstructed views along sheer cliff faces running East and West. Not lucky enough to see the whales off the coast whilst riding along some of the old Ayr highway paralleling the coast but still exhilarating to be able to ride close to one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world.
The long ride home is gathering momentum and quite a few donations have come in from travellers as we meet them by the side of the road or at a roadhouse stop.
I take great pleasure in talking to the donors or people in general at these stops who, in a lot of cases, have had a family member or close friend stricken with the terrible disease PTSD. On a few meetings I've also met younger war veterans who are on a journey, not to just travel the Nullarbor or trip around Australia but are on the journey dealing with PTSD themselves.
In riding the Nullarbor Plains and camping out I am able to share my PTSD issues with my friends in the support crew. I haven't quite totally closed that final chapter that I have mentioned before in dealing with the disease and have at times on this trip, shown to others that it's still part of me and possibly will never be totally settled. I don't have to break down any barriers talking about the issues that I face with PTSD when I'm sitting on the Nullarbor plains by the campfire with these guys who I trust and have themselves experienced the same traumatic events as me in the past.
A few more people have donated to the long ride home. A great cause as proceeds are going to the beneficiaries of the long ride home, carers for PTSD sufferers. On behalf of RSL Defence Care, St John of God (Richmond Hospital) the Bravery Trust and The Long Ride Home Team, thank you to the latest donors:
Kevin & Dianna Hewitt
Carmel Shervington & Jock Anderson
Adam Weir & John Harris
Laurie & Heather
Beris & Paul Bidgood
Ren & Sylvia
Robin & Spencer Faulkner
Mary Anne Feber
Diedre and Roy Smith
Kerry & Tony Vella
Should you wish to donate online please go to to the long ride home website at http://www.thelongridehome.com.au/donations
Warmest Wishes to all from the Team - Truck, Juvy, Gunney, Terry and Ned Kelly at the Nullarbor Roadhouse.
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