Date writ­ten: 26 Sep­tem­ber 2019

Date post­ed: 7 Octo­ber 2019

This post was writ­ten by hand in my diary on the road, and entered into the blog when I got home.

I start­ed this morn­ing in the worst pos­si­ble way — dis­as­ter struck my rear axle. I snapped the ‘Bur­ley Balls’ rear axle bolt, which was made out of cheap Chi­ne­sium, as I went to depart the Dar­lot Motor Inn! I was dev­as­tat­ed — this could eas­i­ly have been the end of the adven­ture right there. I was com­plete­ly immo­bilised. With­out a rear axle I could­n’t even walk the bike to the local bike shop. I rang my part­ner Danielle in despair.

Luck­i­ly, after some wran­gling with the local taxi com­pa­ny, I final­ly got onto a friend­ly cab dri­ver will­ing to try fit­ting my bike and trail­er and gear into the back of his maxi-cab. Just fit by about half an inch. We got to Hor­sham Cyclery, where the very-awe­­some Dami­an saved the day with a replace­ment bolt, jury-rigged to fit the Bur­ley adap­tors. Real steel this time! I feel so relieved, so grate­ful to Dami­an and the Hor­sham Cyclery guys, and so incred­i­bly pissed off at Bur­ley for com­pro­mis­ing a $600 prod­uct with a 10c bolt. Dami­an, ever the help­ful leg­end, charges me a pal­try $5 for his 20-minute repair job, so I bought a few extra things from the shop to say thanks and give a lit­tle sup­port right back.

With a light day in mind, of just camp­ing by the Wim­mera after pulling up a lit­tle sore and wor­ried about the weath­er, I head­ed off to a laun­dro­mat, then a local café called the Cheeky Fox. It looked very nice from the street, but was incred­i­bly loud inside, and the ser­vice was stan­dard at best. The cof­fee was enor­mous though — when they say large, they ain’t kiddin’!

As I said, I was in for a light day of camp­ing on the Wim­mera, so I head­ed off for Pimpinio, with the view to then head due west from there to the Wim­mera and just free-camp. I stopped in Pimpinio to fill up all my water bot­tles and 10L blad­der for the camp, at a lit­tle car­a­van deal­er­ship called Ansu Leisure. I end­ed up stay­ing for a cup of cof­fee and a great chat with the own­ers, Andy and Tanya. Andy’s dog was a beaut, per­form­ing a fun trick where she jumps on Andy’s back for a pig­gy­back ride. Andy sug­gest­ed I push on to Dim­boola, as there are more suit­able camp­ing areas and bet­ter roads. After my expe­ri­ence on the cor­ru­gat­ed grav­el in Lan­gi Ghi­ran State Park the oth­er day, I agreed to take Andy’s advice and strike out to Dim­boola, effec­tive­ly start­ing my Leg 4: Hor­sham to Bor­der­town sec­tion early.

I end­ed up enjoy­ing a beau­ti­ful, leisure­ly and thor­ough­ly enjoy­able ride to Dim­boola, fol­low­ing the rail­way tracks — big thanks to the freight train for giv­ing me a sup­port­ive toot as they passed — and I even saw the help­ful cab­bie from this morn­ing along the way.

I arrived in Dim­boola car­a­van park just as the sun was about to set. The man­ag­er, David, offered me a free berth in sup­port of the char­i­ty cause, and I picked a spot just out­side the park grounds where the trees were the most suit­able for my ham­mock. I met a nice bloke from Ade­laide, Jim, who was an elec­tri­cian on a camp­ing trip ahead of his wife and daugh­ters, from Ade­laide and Mel­bourne, who joined him lat­er in the evening. Jim invit­ed me to share their camp­fire, and I grate­ful­ly accept­ed. They were yet anoth­er love­ly fam­i­ly I met along the way.

The Journey

This ride was split over more than one day, due to inclement weather.

Down­load file: bikeit-day4-horsham-bordertown.gpx

This post first appeared at bikeitinadress.org

I have since retired the bikeitinadress.org web­site as it is no longer need­ed and was cost­ing me mon­ey. I have copied the key arti­cles here.

Category: Bike It In A Dress, Cycling
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