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.
Woke up and it was a bit light out, no big heavy clouds. Made a CD for Ryan (Shins and Husker Du), got clock pics of them on the beach. I left around 11:30am...just as a bunch of black clouds were everywhere. After about 6km the rain really started to come down. I was pretty much packed for dryness so things were ok. Just me riding in the heavy rain listening to the Pixies. The rain would stop, then start again, then stop. Time for new brake pads, these weren't working the best. There would be flashes of lightning off in the distance and extremely loud thunder following a few seconds later. At one point I had to grab the brake cable running across the top tube and give it a hard pull to slow down. The ride was nice though, the waves crashing up against the rocks right near the road.
When I passed though the little settlement of Charleston it was raining full throttle. I didn't want to stop since I'd start to get cold, so I just kept riding. Reached Westport about 4pm. It looks like a nice town, a lot of old buildings and everything was pretty much on the main street. (Quite unlike Karratha, Western Australia...where the whole town felt like a giant shopping mall.) Found a hostel, turns out it is in one of the oldest houses in the city. Got everything loaded inside and then the rain started to REALLY come down. Went to the store, then went and saw the movie Frida tonight. It was a large theater but there were only 7 people I think in there. Outside I saw an older guy staring at my bike. He asked me how far I'd gone and if I went ot Australia. He said that he'd gone all over Australia also, but stayed inland a lot. "I noticed the water bottle and figured you had been going for awhile", he said.
Probably going to take tomorrow off...this hostel is kinda nice. Gotta get this travel site up to date. Found an old time magazine here. The letters section has responses to the Ali cover story. Funny to read this now, because I read the Ali issue of Time when I was in Esperance, Australia in January...and now I'm reading the letters six months later.
I fly home a month from today...