On waking It was a very misty morning today mostly hindering our morning view of the Stirling Ranges. The hot breakfast and brew that the support crew get ready daily is a delight before I finally get into the saddle for the day. The morning routine of getting dressed is totally different now to that of the SE Asia leg, as now have to protect every part of my body from the winter elements before riding off.
Due to the wind chill factor I'm now having to wear a long sleeve undershirt, a long sleeve cycling jersey, a pair of arm warmers, a pair of SKINS ( long johns ) to break down the lactic acids in the legs, a pair of leg warmers on top of the SKINS , two pair of cycling shorts, a scarf, a gortex hoodie jacket, a beanie hat with the jacket hoodie over the head and beanie, winter full finger gloves, thick winter socks and the jacket pulled up at the front to cover the mouth and nose area.
One would think that after at least an hour or so I would be stripping off some of those items once the body parts warm up , but not the case, as the added warmth is a bonus . Even after the ride I'm still rugged up and now in the sleeping bag almost straight after the ride (after a wash down of course) accept for the gortex jacket and shoes. Riding in slight head winds in very cold conditions with drizzling cold rain around lunch time to our stop here in Fitzgerald ( short of Ravensthorpe ) tested my body.
Being cold and wet is a new chapter to the long ride home journey for me , so I have to get used of it as it's all part of the daily routine from now on, unlike the tropical conditions on the SE Asia leg, or as they would say it Asia " same same but different ".
I took great pleasure (just short of Jerramumgerup ) seeing a rather large buck kangaroo and his doe paralleling a fence line and pacing me along for about 3 Kms until the buck with great ease hurdled the fence to my right , crossed right in front of me by about 3 meters and then hurdled the fence directly to my left into a crop of canola, leaving the doe to continue pacing me for another 2 kms or so until she finally skittled right into another patch of canola. When you see an animal like this from the bike seat so close up you see the actual beauty of such an animal in real slow motion. I've never experienced this on my bike before making it another highlight for me on the long ride home. It was almost like they were doing their own lap of honour and welcoming me home to Australia.
Passed through Ongerup ( town of the big sheep sheers ) and an extended stop at Jerramungerup for a bite to eat before the skies went dark and rain started down. It looked like a real drizzly winters day , but I had stocked the belly with some warm food before braving almost unrideable conditions for the next leg.
At last nights camping spot a generous couple on the caravan circuit and two chaps today donated to the long ride home cause donation bucket;
* Neil & Carol Powley
* Greg Tatum, and
* Andy Barton ( a British traveler)
Thank you kind folks for your generous donation from
myself and the long ride home team hoping you stay in touch via our long ride home website.
The trusty Trek and I are currently in the long ride home truck, the wind is blowing harder and the rain looks like it is set in for the night so I'll be rugged up with the muscles recovering from the big day today in readiness for tomorrow which I believe is going to be another wet one.
The Twins; Gunney and Juvy have set up camp; the generator going, a bush campfire flaming away but short lived as the rain is getting heavier, but mostly everything operational in a very short time of stopping for the night.
Well done again lads !!!
Warmest regards to you all on a very cold night
Truck, Juvy and Gunney
On the long ride home
South West of Western Australia
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