Month: September 2018

From London to Margaret River

And here we go – a straight flight from London to Perth: 16 hours and 45 minutes! 9,157 Miles / 14.736 kilometers! The good thing about this flight is that if my bicycle is onboard, it will arrive! No connections, no hassle or risk of a delayed flight, no chance of additional handling damage, one nice straight flight. Maximum luggage allowance was 30 kg, including bicycle, excluding 7 kg hand luggage.

It all went well! Bicycle + box was 21.9 kg. Check-in luggage was 14.9 kg. Hand luggage was 10 kg and then I had my ‘laptop’ (rear bicycle) bag with laptop, photo camera and other stuff. Qantas was pretty cool. The bicycle went through as 21 kg and there was no mentioning of the extra 5.9 kg. Let’s hope all goes as smooth for my next flights with Qantas 

I met Jane on the Silk Route in 2012 and she moved to Perth a few years ago. She picked me up at the airport and we started talking until I had to leave two days later. It was great to see her and catch up after so many years. Thank you Jane for helping me get started.

Riders meeting was at 15:00 hrs on Saturday where our tour leader, Ozgür, took us through the initial cycling days and routine. First impression, a man of little words but knows his stuff. We are starting with 13 cyclists and 4 staff. More will join (and leave) before Queenstown (NZ) and I am sure we’re going to have a good time.
Breakfast was at 06:30 hrs on Sunday morning – who said this was a holiday? Now the nerves kicked in – no training, am I going to get through this? How will my legs do after a couple of days? What’s the landscape, surely not flat? How steep? What was the reason for doing this again?

The first day took us from Perth to Falcom – 127 km. Quite a lot of sun in the morning. The barber in Perth was a bit too enthusiastic and who thinks of putting sun cream on the back of his head? The cycling went above expectations but that could also have been the excitement. Camping site was next to a estray and of course I had to go for a swim. Imagine how cool it is to lay in the water with a pelican flying over just two meters away – quite awesome! Setting up tent, dinner and after it gets dark at around 18:00 hrs, I slept from 19:00 till 06:30ish the next morning – now that is holiday 🙂

The next two days we cycled from Falcon, via Bunbury to Margaret River – famous for its wine! Of course I needed to make a toilet stop half way, but hey, once you’re there, you need to taste some wine. Lucky me, they also made local gin. So with a few wine tasting and a gin tonic the cycling became much easier.

We have a rest day in Margaret River – am planning to do very little as the next 7 days will be tough.

 

 

 

Trans Oceania Preparations

Taking time off and cycle across a continent has been such a great experience and joy that it wasn’t a surprise that I got quite excited about TDA Global Cycling’s tour across North America or the one across South America… And when there was the possibility to cycle across Australia and New Zealand, and visit my auntie in Franz Josef village, the choice was easy. Trans Oceania it was.

Preparations started about a year ago asking my employer to take some time off, which they found exciting and supported happily. Bicycle-wise I was OK with Biggles, and I started reading about weather conditions in southern Australia and New Zealand between September and December – sunshine, bit of rain now and then and around 20 degrees Celsius. So that could mean anything and it still had to fill my two 90 liter duffels.

The one thing I did know was that I needed to buy a new tent as the one we have wasn’t waterproof anymore (after 15 years). I also needed new shoelaces as the washing-line-emergency-repair lasted since the 2012 Silk Route journey and it would look silly if I would not have fixed new ones before setting off on another 4 month cycle journey. I am expecting another washing-line-repair, but let’s see how long these new laces are holding.

Ha, the other preparation ‘topic’ much asked about was about my training. Well, I have to say, I should have done more. Traveling to my customer every other week was not helpful, and after a month spinning classes at the gym I cancelled my subscription as it was more aerobics than spinning. And before I knew it, it was off to the airport – so yeah, other that the cycling into work no real training. Sometimes it happens…

Comparing to 2012, preparations went much smoother due to social media and online shopping. Reading online reviews was useful. Amazon was great for ordering a photo lens. After comparing prices, my new tent (newer version of previous tent) arrived within a few days. Comparing and booking a flight was done one evening on the couch. Checking if it was OK to bring my bicycle with me on the plane was no more than a few Twitter messages back and forth to Qantas. Filling in forms for TDA Gobal Cycling was done online. The only thing which required a long phone waiting and conversation was for my travel insurance – impossible to compare online and apparently not cost efficient. And with a big bicyle box and two duffels, I ordered a Uber XL who picked me up at home and drive me straight to Terminal 3.
What should I do with limited internet for almost four months?

Anyway, all sorted – ready to go!

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