Day 2 – GoPro, Exits Stage Right
Day 2 began under blue skies at Wellington with a gentle breeze making its way along the mighty Murray River. First adventure of the day was about 400m into the ride. A ferry ride across the Murray.
On the western side of the river, everything was good. There were unicorns with pandas on their backs wearing top hats jumping rainbows with pixie dust coming off them. Once we crossed, Voldemort, The Big Bad Wolf and Wiley Coyote on our way into Sauron without Sam! That may be a slight overstatement, but it really wasn’t the best day for me.
A 2km run along a back road until we hit the Princes Highway. Turning right and heading directly south into a reasonable South Easterly breeze. We were going ok, pushing along at about 25kph, knowing it was going to be a long day. The GPS said it was going to be around 160kms. We were taking turns at the front. The road surface wasn’t great, but it wasn’t a disaster either. Just your normal “out in the middle of no where country highway” sort of surface. There was the odd car, and from recollection, at this point we might have seen 2 trucks. Hardly Parramatta Road during peak hour. At one point I noticed the GoPro camera, which was mounted on the handle bars on its shiny new GoPro mount, was vibrating a bit. I remember thinking the video wouldn’t be all that flash. On we pushed. About 50 minutes into the ride, I was second wheel behind Gary. I felt something hard and heavy hit my right forearm. Then it was one of those tiny stretches of time, probably no more than 5 clicks of the second hand, when time slows right down. I looked down to see the GoPro camera making a rather hasty exit from the bike. It could have made a leap to the left and landed in some soft grass. Nope, my little friend was hardcore, he chose to go to the right. As I watched him head towards the road, I was thinking to my self “He’ll be right, I have seen them take far more…” it was at that point that I turned to see if there was any cars coming. Nope, no cars, just a 62 tonne B-Double!!! Having seen a bunch of cyclists ahead, he was doing the right thing and getting off our side of the road. I had just enough time to to a bit of calculus in my head and realise that my beloved GoPro had just committed suicide! The truck got him with every wheel on its left hand side. It made a sickening sound. The sound of a camera crying out in pain, or was it my wallet screaming? I don’t know. Tony reported a cloud of plastic, with green bits, presumably the printed circuit boards, my cameras innards!
We pulled up. After quite a few WTFs, I let the boys know that video footage for the rest of the trip would be limited. It was then pointed out that if we could find the camera, or the memory card, it might make for interesting viewing. Yeah, if it isn’t your $300 camera being destroyed, sure. 🙂
We cruised up and down that part of the highway for 10 minutes, but no memory card could be found. Part of the housing, the lens, the battery and fragments of plastic were gathered up, but no memory card. if you some day find yourself on this part of the Princes Highway, please stop and see if you can find a 32G Sandisk SD card. I’ll pay for postage. 🙂
With one G Pro scattered to all parts of South Australia, the search was called off and we got back on the bikes and proceeded. It was cold and windy. The weather was matched by my mood. Only another 140kms to go. Next stop, Meningie, on the shores of Lake Albert. We rolled into Meningie. It had been hard graft, but from now on, the wind should be hitting our backs. Off to the bakery. I opted for a hot pie. It would turn out to be not the best choice of fuel for the long day ahead.
After our break, we headed off for a 50km run directly East. Wind in our backs, we did it at a cracking pace. Averaging just shy of 30kph for close to 50kms to Coonalpyn. Just before the stop there was a ripping sprint down the hill hitting over 60kph.
That is Wendy squealing as they go past. 🙂 We stopped and had another feed. I was starting to feel a bit flat, so I had a can of Coke and some fruit cake. Every now and then the sun would burst through a gap in the clouds, but not for long enough to warm you up. We left Coonalpyn and turned onto Dukes Highway. The boys stopped for some photos of the first sign that had melbourne on it. Dangerous didn’t hear the call and pedaled a kilometre up the road before realising he was on his lonesome. I should have got a photo of Dukes Highway for my mate Duke. I also should have got a photo of the town of Culburra in South Australia. I live in Culburra Beach, NSW, which used to be called Culburra until someone phoned emergency services for an ambulance at Culburra and it was sent to Culburra South Australia. Well that is the local tale, and we are now known as Culburra Beach. I pedaled right through it with out even noticing.
Just 10kms up the road was our next stop, Tintara. It was a short stop for a stretch and some food before we hit the road for the last leg of the 160km day.
We pulled out of the service station and headed off. Not too far up the road was the first drama of the trip. A very late call of “rock” meant the guys at the back were on it before they heard the call. Ash hit it square on and ended up with the first puncture of the trip.
It wasn’t a long stop, and we were off again. The next 40kms into Keith I struggled. I kept dropping off the back, but with the help of Big Gary, we ground out the last hour or so at a leisurely pace. I was very pleased to finally get into Keith. You can see from the photo below, I wasn’t in my happy place.
We wandered over to the office of the caravan park. Confirmed our bookings, then I was told they don’t have credit card or EFTPOS! Welcome to 1979. Cash only. Luckily Ash rescued me and I was allowed to dump my gear in a concrete box about 3m x 3m. 5 star it wasn’t. 0.5 of a star, maybe.
Grabbed my gear and it was over to the amenities block for a shower. It was good for my spirits to hear other blokes in the shower, their own showers by the way, moaning and groaning about sore muscles. Out of the shower and we gathered up our gear and used the washing machines to give our gear a good wash. Then it was down to the local IGA (supermarket for my overseas readers) to get some supplies for a sausage sizzle. I had managed to leave my shower gel at Carls place, and my tooth brush, tooth paste and Nurofen tablets at Wellington. Time to restock a few items.
I had a chat to the bride which cheered me up. Then dinner. I was beat, so declined an invitation to watch the Brownlow medal presentation and went to bed. My double bed was on casters on a tiled floor. When the alarm went off I was nearly 180 degrees from where i started the night. But, another big day was done. Bring on Day 3.