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 around 11:00am. P & G took me to the Burbank airport. We said goodbye to each other, now I was on another adventure...getting though security and the ticket counter. I was a bit worried aobut the 2kgs of Cocaine I had in my bike box. (kidding, just making sure you are paying attention). They charged me 50 bucks for the bike which I threw a hissy fit about since they didn't charge me when I flew down to LA. Had I know this I would have flown a cheaper airline. Funny how the flight from Burbank to Portland cost 1/3 the price of a flight from Melbourne to Auckland to Los Angeles. The security guy spent a good half hour cutting open both my bike box and suitcase. He spent a good deal of time trying to get everything back in the box. Due to regulations I couldn't help him...so he was on his own. Awhile later I was on the plane to Portland. I kept looking out the window, eventually I saw a big spooky area of water, Crater Lake! Then after that I saw the Three Sisters. Started getting a little, I don't know, emotional when I saw the mountains. There are some clock pics in the early 8am hours when we climbed up Middle Sister. Next was Mt. Jefferson, then Mt. Hood! I could see Mt. Adamas and Mt. Rainier in the distance, home! Before I knew it everyone's seatbelts were fastened, tray tables stowed, and our seats were in the upright position. Touched down in Portland!
At the baggage claim I saw a bike box like mine, but it was empty! Turns out it was MCQ's bike box. He'd landed a day before and rode from the airport. They still hadn't picked up his bike box. I went outside, flirted with a cute girl reading a MAD magazine of all things. My buddy Jeff pulled up and we loaded stuff in. It was good to see Jeff. We hung out at his place and then Jeff drove me to my friend Chris' house. As we were driving about I kept spotting all kinds of cute girls about. I saw a cyclist do a quick doubletake in a direction, so I looked and indeed he was checking out a girl.
Got to Chris' house. Chris is a dedicated lunky.com reader who I've known for a few years....now he is getting some text ink on the site. (Hi Chris!) We talked awhile and then rode bikes down to the Lucky Lab where everyone was for Bollino's birthday.
Rolled in and here was Peter and Joe bounding over to me. It was really good to see everyone again. Home, yay! The birthday party was good, talked to everyone. Met Bollion's brother Tony where we had a nice PHP discussion. I have to mention this because my brain has been quite unexercised lately in the nerd department...so it was good to finally talk nerd stuff with someone.
MCQ and I being the only people at the table not really working, decided to bike up to Dots and have a beer there. We stopped by some sort of industrial plant and drunkenly talked to a guy working there. Up to Dots we went. Met some guy on the street and ended up having a beer with him inside and played pool. I took a bunch of funny pictures, but most are not on the site so MCQ and I can save a little bit of face.