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Cycling Australia's Outback

February 22, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 168

Adventures start with you getting out of the house, city or country, and one way out is by pushbike. Ever thought of using your bicycle to travel around the world? Heres some inspiration:

I was on a motorcycle travelling around the outside of Australia when I met two very different men in 2 remote spots in Australia's Outback. The first was an older man in his 60's, the second was a younger man in his early 30's.They had two things in common, a sense of adventure, and a love of cycling.

Wagtail Bill

I met Wagtail Bill at Tenant Creak, deep in the Australia's outback. After late life crises, his loving wife leaving him for a younger man, Bill made a decision that would take him out of normal society for several years. He sold his home, purchased a pushbike, and built himself a bicycle trailer to carry his whole life aboard.

He has a big smile on his unshaven face, as he pulls into the camping ground, His grey beard as un-kept as his old straw hat. The temperature must be 40degC as he slurps away on his water bottle, stretches his wiry frame and sets about pulling tackle off his trailer and assembling his camp. Moments later his tent has been erected and a chair is produced and he sits in the shade of one of the very few trees to enjoy another spectacular outback sunset.

I approach him and sit on the ground next to him, amused at why a man of his age would be so far away from a city on a pushbike. He is only to happy to share a few yarns and tell his story. Travelling for 2 years so far, it will take him another 2 years to get right around the outside of this massive country.He travels around 30 to 100km every day unless he really likes a place and he may stay a few days. Although he kept to main roads, on some parts of his journey he would not see a house or civilization for up to 7 days. This meant that he needed to carry enough food and water to keep him going for a week or more.

One question I had to ask was "Do you still enjoy this adventure?" "Sure do! " he replies. " I have the solitude I need to do some thinking, I meet the most fantastic people out here and I am not just seeing this country, I'm smelling it, and feeling it."

The next morning as the sun rises he heads out of the camp ground, pacing himself gently into a steady rhythm, showered and fresh for the first time in a week.I wave at him admirably. This guy is a real adventurer.

Further on in my journey I arrive at Derby, a remote town in the northern parts of West Australia. Small shops lace the wide streets of this minimally populated town.This is where I meet Belgian Bert.

Belgian Bert

Bert, in his early 30's, shoulder length curly hair semi contained under his cycle helmet swings his mountain bike around, over the small curb onto the grassy knoll where I have my tent.His athletic body smoothly dismounts, laying down his ride and swinging off his backpack in the same manoeuvre.

Camping grounds in the outback are fantastic places to meet people. Many are lone travellers or people who have taken up short-term residence for one reason or another. Most of them are looking for a little conversation to pass the time away or like me, have had a fair bit of solitude and now want a bit of company.

Belgian Bert tells his story. He works for a Belgian bike store in summer, but the work is minimal in the winter so for the last 3 years he has been travelling along with his mountain bike to Australia's Outback during Belgium's winter (Australia's Summer). This is his second year in the Kimberly region. He camps and rides the 4x4 dirt tracks though some of Australia's toughest, remotest and most picturesque landscapes. He has to carry on his back, and his side and front panniers, months of food and water.Thankfully he can fill up with water at some of the remote campsites and the rivers in the region. The food he carries is mostly in powder form, dehydrated or canned.

He is coming to the end of his second trip to the Kimberly's. "Are you planning on coming back?" I ask. "Ill do one more year at the Kimberly's then I want to go south, I hear there are some great roads south of Perth", he replies

This dusty landscape is a haven for real adventurers. For these guys, it's a very personal adventure, one of solitude and natural beauty. A personal challenge that they are addicted too, knowing their capabilities and pushing themselves a little more every day to get a bit more out of it. There is no glory in finishing their adventure, just a satisfaction in them selves and another story to tell.

Written by the Author of Where you ride gets softer, longer and more enjoyable.

Source: EzineArticles
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