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Monday, November 11, 2019

Touring Thursday

Ready for the 6:08 train to Ballarat, Southern Cross Station

Breakfast and interview with Gayle at Ballarat station

Jamie and Gayle

Gayle, Ballarat

Lunch Stop at a wet Beeac

Jamies bike at Beeac

My trike, pre- and post repairs with a t-shirt corset, Beeac.

Ryans / Mackays Road Beeac. Wet

Ryans / Mackays Road

Ryans / Mackays Road
Draft version

For a few weeks before the 2019 ozhpv challenge in Geelong, I had been planning a short tour to get there and invited ozhpv via facebook and Jamie Friday along. The route was the reverse of several trips I'd done to get to Ballarat in the past, so I knew most of the roads. Jamie came along and we competed against each other in the first day of the challenge. So here is my visual trip diary, over four entries, one for each day.

So today I got up super early to arrive a half hour early for the 6:08 Ballarat train, plenty of time to disassemble my bike and get on. The trains arriving in Melbourne at this time were already busy with tradies and others arriving for work.  Soon after settling the bike into the luggage spot, my friend Jamie Friday arrived, he had worked till late getting his recumbent rolling again after a few years spent in the shed with the chain "almost frozen solid" from neglect.

I'd arranged to interview Wecycle founder Gayle Ileivski for a new edition of my book, and after a phonecall, text and some ordering of breakfast, we were all together, tape (ok, phone app) rolling.  The interview went ok then we headed out on the Midland highway south.

Unfortunately we were involved in a stack outside of Ballarat, Gayle had dropped some glasses on the road, and as I slowed down to pick them up, Jamie, also distracted slammed into the tailbox causing not-terminal damage. After a bit of clip-rearranging, we kept going, Gayle dropped us off at the Colac turnoff, we waved goodbye and kept going south.

We had considerable crosswinds and when Jamie decided to remove his front wheel discs to improve control, he managed to cut his tyre with the knife being used to sever the cable ties. Luckily his repair kit consisted mainly of a large roll of gaffer tape, and with 5 layers of it on the tyre and a large patch managed to fix the tyre and tube. Further on I had a puncture and managed to fix it while Jamie had a small sleep.

By our lunch stop at Beeac there was continuous rain, and although I had a fairing keeping rain off my legs, my front tyre was a bit of a sprinkler so overall I still got very wet.  At Beeac I added a t-shirt to the tailbox which held it together all the way to our destination at Aireys Inlet.

Soon after Beeac, a left turn let us travel west with the wind on Ryan's Road towards Birregurra, but soon another Southerly leg (sideways rain) and the Princes Highway (traffic, rain, roadworks) made it less pleasant again. Birregurra was a welcome food stop, and from there we pushed on through Deans Marsh and the quite formidable 10 k climb to Benwerrin. After that it was downhill towards Lorne. Freezing and wet, and with brakes on all the way.  I was shivering at the bottom, and we were both concerned I would get hypothermia, but fortunately the rain stopped, and I had some spare bread on board and ate a few slices of that, and slowly energy levels and optimism returned, and from Cathedral rock on, the ride along the Great Ocean Road was enjoyable and spectacular, with a fine, clean, mid sized swell rolling in from Bass Strait.

There were no restaurants still serving when we got to Aireys but that was all for the better really, we spent the time lighting a fire, getting clothes to dry,  warming up and raiding the cupboards for food before heading for bed. The next day was a much shorter trip!

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