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.
I got my crap in Chris' basement cleaned up, then set off for Yakima via bike! Had to stop at the Amazing office to check email and get maps for the side roads along I-5. Eventually I got rolling about 10am. Kinda wierd to be biking on the right side of the road now. Stopped in St. Helens for a quick little lunch that I had with me. Stopped at a yard sale in Rainier and met a nice few people there, they gave me cold water. Going over the Longview bridge into Washington was as tedious as I remember. The sidewalk is really narrow, so basically I had to straddle the bike and "walk" along the sidewalk. Found an Oregon license plate on the sidewalk but it was mounted to part of a bumper and would take a long time to remove.
North of Longview I ran into a couple cyclists out on a ride. Instantly my pace was faster and I wasn't even tired. I keep forgetting how slow I ride by myself when I could be riding faster. We talked awhile as we rode, he was keen to check out the website.
Stopped in Castle rock for chicken and Jo Jo's. (seasoned potato wedge things). And yes, the Ketchup and sauce packets were FREE! As I stood there eating a Chevy K5 Blazer pulled up with the top off. Toby Keith's 3rd grade attempt at lyric writing "Courtesy of the Red White and Blue" was playing at full volume. "We'll stick a boot up your ass" goes the song. Somehow I think the song is as popular as it is, simply because it is someone else's son or daughter wearing "the boot" and getting killed. Then again, this is the same crowd that think Springsteen's "Born in the USA" and Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land" are patriotic anthems. (the "anti-american" last couple verses of TLIYL get hacked off, thus it sounds like a patriotic tune)
Eventually I reached the Highway 12 junction...and saw a sign to Yakima. The whole thing with biking home is to suprise my parents. They are driving to Portland on Thursday to pick me up, so I figured I'd show up Wednesday night and suprise them. I called mom to make sure I they weren't going to drive down tomorrow, a day early, how unfortunate that would be! I hemmed and hawed about where to stay, the state park was 1.5 miles out of the way, I spotted some forest and camped in that. Had a hard time falling asleep, due to the fact that I was so tired. I rode about 160km today which is about a two day ride in Australia/NZ for me. The mosquitoes kept "bugging" me too, don't know why I didn't put on my fly net that I bought in Normanton, Queensland for AUD $4.71