It had been a cold night in Mandurah. At daybreak I saw light misty rain, the kind you get along the coast. Just enough to be annoying when packing up. I was looking forward to today’s ride.
I took the old coast road, thinking it would mean light traffic. With the Indian Ocean on my right, farmland, remnant bush and open country on my left. I was hoping to see some jarrah trees, I expected it’s too early for wild flowers.
The only kangaroos I saw were road kill. However, I did see on numerous occasions large Ring Necked Parrots along with those screeching black cockatoos, lots of hooded doves and a lone nankeen kestrel.
I seemed to have the best of what wind there was and the skies stayed clear for the first 80 kms or so through pleasant country in easy riding conditions.
Everything changed around 40 kms from Bunbury between Preston and Myalup beaches. The wind changed direction bringing rain then thunderstorms with cloud bursts. At times the rain was so intense cars were pulling off the road, perhaps I have ridden in worse conditions but it’s hard to remember when! The deluge was responsible for flash flooding.
Riding up a rise, I was pushing into a torrent of water coming downhill inches deep!
As suddenly as it started the rain eased then stopped completely, but I could see more trouble brewing on the horizon.
Up ahead a ute pulled off the road, as I approached the driver got out.
“The best thing you could do would be to throw your bike in the back and let me take you the rest of the way into Bunbury.”
“That’s a kind offer and I am tempted, but that would be cheating.”
“Why are you in a race or something.”
I explained to Ray, as it turned out, that I was as wet as I could possibly get and another 20 kms wasn’t going to matter.
“Well,” said Ray “that’s fine, but are you thinking of riding to Esperence?”
“There’s a place called Stokes Inlet about 100 kms south of Esperence around 7 kms of the highway, I reckon you should call in there. You know every cast into the surf, even with a hand line, will land you a black bream!”
With that Ray and his ute were gone and the heavens opened up once more just as intense as before. I felt a pang of envy for Ray and his dry ute while reproaching myself for not taking him up on his kind offer.
I have been soaked 4 out of the last 5 days all my gear is damp, the forecast isn’t promising but the road’s good and the cycling’s fun.
Hey Nick pity about the rain! But the farmers probably love it. Noticed you are riding with panniers rather than Bob – what are your comments on the comparisons of the two methods? Did you leave Bob behind becuase he was too heavy for the plane? cheers
Hi Andy, I took Bob as far as Mackay in Queensland, where I visited Audax rider Sir Peter Mc Callum. Bob was fine but did become temperamental at times, in particular the arm lifting off the skewer which resulted in a broken locking pin. I have to be more judicious about what I carry now, it’s not an either or option. I would tour again with Bob but perhaps on shorter tours because airlines try to charge you double if you have Bob boxed up. That happened when I was flying back to Melbourne from Mackay. Cheers