Between February 2002 and March 2003 I circumnavigated 12,504 miles around the Australian continent on my bicycle, or push bike as they say there. After that I went to New Zealand for three months and met up with a friend and ended up pushing the total mileage to 14,115.7 miles (22717.02 km). I spent 269 days on my bike, 272 days not on my bike, and getting 67 flat tires over those 17 months.
I started and ended my 13 month lap around Australia at Luna Park in St. Kilda/Melbourne.. The distance around Australia (including Tasmania) ended up being about 20,281km (12,600 miles).
One fun thing I did during my trip was to visit six "confluences", which is where a whole-numbered latitude/longitude mark intersects for The Degree Confluence Project.
Had a nice ride this morning...wasn't in too much of a hurry since I only had about 3/4 of a day to do. It was a pretty fast ride into Roebourne since there was a strong tailwind. Spent awhile there. As I was leaving town I passed a church where there was this old guy sitting on a stool watering the flowers. I stopped and talked to him. His name was Frank and he was about 90 years old. He invited me in and gave me the run of the mill in the kitchen. I had a cup of coffee and talked to him awhile, then took off a half hour later.
Got to Karratha in the mid afternoon. Found and checked into the hostel. Didn't really think much about the hostel until I saw a sign reading "Grass, Cash or Arse...nobody rides for free". Funny in that Grant Hart has a song of similar title where the lyrics go "pick one of the three...nobody rides for free". I took this as a sign that this place would be alright.
This town annoys me already. Picture the parking lot of your local McShoppingCenter. That is pretty much what it feels like. There are a few roads, but the big bulk of the town center is set up around these giant parking lots. I dove right in and got a large pizza from the local pizza franchise joint. This particular franchise was awarded the "#1 upseller of the year" award or something. I can see why, the guy must have asked me if I wanted about 4 billion things either in, on, or with my pizza before he took my money.
Ran into Simon on the way back to the hostel. We couldn't actually get to each other due to the maze of traffic islands and parking lots. I dislike this town already and I'm going to be stuck here till Thursday. As Simon and I were riding down to the hostel, we passed a house and heard a guy yell "HEY! Do you want a beer!". Simon and I beelined it over to the house. Turned out to be a few guys in their mid 20's. We ended up staying there a couple hours drinking beer with them. One of them, Chris, told me my new favorite joke:
q: why are women like clouds?
a: cause when they fuck off you can have a nice day.