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.
Kept waking up last night thinking it was morning. The moon was pretty bright and it the sun doesn't come up till 8am now. I probably wouldn't have woken up as much had I bothered to zip up my sleeping bag rather than just drape it over me. When I woke up for good, I stared at the bushes/shrubs on the hillside across the field. Right there was Mr. Vladimir Lenin! Really. I couldn't get a picture of it since it was too dark. Once the sun came over the top of the hill it disappeared.
I rolled out around 9am. I didn't have the greatest motivation for moving. Nice scenery and everything, but was a little mentally stagnant. I spotted a bumper off in the weeds with a license plate still attached. I parked the bike and walked back to the bumper. It had a "homemade trailer" license tag on it also, heh, must not have been built the best or something bad happened. Pulled out my tools and spent a good 20 minutes liberating the license plate. I rolled into Murchison around noon. It was a lot bigger than I thought it was going to be. It had a store and a few hotels, plus the other town type stuff. There was some sort of secondhand shop and I went in. The woman told me to "mind my bag" because of all the glassware. Tons of very breakable glassware were perched on every little edge of every cabinet. I wonder how much they sold due to breakage and how much they sold like normal. I found a Vera Lynn 8- track....might be worth something on ebay to those hardcore Pink Floyd collectors. They also had a bunch of promo cds, including a Tori Amos one. I would have bought it on the spot, but all their CDs were priced at 6 bucks, regardless of how long they were.
Went and quick checked my email...and to see if the Tori CD was worth anything, 8 bucks US...I'll pass. (Tori is really collectible, I learned this from the record store).
Read the newspaper at the cafe. Looks like Bushy lost another guy working for him...one that even worked under Reagan and Bush #1. Oh well.
Headed out of town around 2pm. The biking book said that there was a "bikepackers" about 40km up the road, so I shot for that. Right as it got dark I reached the farm area were it was...but it wasn't there. I kept biking and eventually it showed up, yay! (I thought). I turn and go up the road and there is a big "no vacancy" sign. NV at this time of year (when hardly anybody is biking) means that they are closed. I saw a light on and though about just asking them if I could camp in the yard...but said heck with it and decided to bike another 15km in the dark to the DOC campsite. After about 2 minutes my rear tire started to go flat. Things only went downhill from there, except the road...which went sharply uphill in a 250m climb. I continued to pedal up the hill, then another rear spoke broke. I cursed the Bikeshop in Karratha, Western Australia again (for the 26th time or something) and kept pedalling. I had to stop every few minutes and put air in the tire.
Eventually I reached the top of Hope Saddle and started down the other side. Pretty soon the air wasn't staying in the tire at all. It looked like I wouldn't even make it to the campsite so I found a spot off the road in some trees. It is pretty cold, though I'm in my tent now it isn't too bad. Had a big spaghetti dinner and am going to bed. Going to Nelson tomorrow and will take a few days off there. Don't like the idea of waking up and having to fix a tire, but that is the way it goes.