“How do you go with the road trains?” It’s a common question I get asked. While most of the Big Rig truckers are professional, we have survived some perilously close encounters with reckless or inattentive drivers, but then that’s the price of entry to cycle tour in Australia. We do everything we can to ensure our own safety: Keeping as far to the left as practicable, cycling single file, wearing high visibility clothing, even flying flags off poles from the rear of our bicycles!
Using our mirrors to see what’s coming, we call to each other “Truck up” or “caravan back”. While remaining alert but not alarmed, there’s all kinds of crazy in Outback Australia and we get to see our fair share out on the road.
Despite regular breaks, long days on the bike for months at a time creates its own specific set of considerations. Cuts and scratches become infected, rashes, chaffing, bites and boils need to be addressed while common illnesses or injuries can be exacerbated by strenuous exercise, heat, dehydration and exhaustion.
A precautionary visit to the Doctor before cycling into more remote areas proved challenging. Not wanting my problem to become someone else’s, I reluctantly decided to take a little time off the bike to recover from a nagging virus, a choice of common sense over ego.
After resting up in Perth and the beautiful South West of Western Australia, we are itching to be back on the road.
Flexibility and spontaneity are a major component of cycle touring.
The revised plan is to cycle from Perth back to Melbourne but not until November, in the interim we have boxed up the bikes and are flying off to cycle through Finland Scandinavia and the Europen summer, via the cycleways and designated Eurovelo cycling routes.