The Great West Australian Bike Ride – Day 8

David Meego - Click for blog homepage

Day 8 - Saturday 26-Mar-2011 - Balingup to Nannup - 43 km (27 mi)

Click here for Rider Route details.

Remember yesterday I said that the temperature was 32°C, well I was wrong. I was informed that it reached 42°C at the location where we stopped for our lunch break. Being in a valley and on the road makes it even hotter than the forecasted temperature.

I also mentioned that the water truck sprayed many of the riders at a point towards the end of the ride yesterday. Today I was able to take a picture of the water truck and its driver.

With these long rides, you might be wondering what happens if a rider is unable to complete the ride for some reason. It could be a mechanical failure that can't be fixed on the ride, or a rider who physically can't continue due to illness or exhaustion. Well the answer is "The Sag Wagon". This is a mini bus support vehicle with a trailer designed for carrying bicycles that follows the riders and picks up those who need a lift. Note that you can't use it for a free lift, if you use it too many times you can be asked to leave the ride.

A couple of stories for you. A lady riding with her daughter on a trailer bike got to the 95km mark yesterday, with only the downhill run home left, had to get the Sag Wagon because the tread on the rear tire came off. What a shame to complete all the climbing and not be able to enjoy the downhill run.

Another guy avoided the Sag wagon when the rear deraileur of his gears broke. He used a chain breaking tool to remove the chain. Then removed the broken parts and replaced the now shortened chain to give him a single geared bike to finish the day's ride.

The ride today was along the beautiful road that is Tourist Drive 251 between Balingup and Nannup. While it is a great road yo drive on, it is actually very hilly and was really hard work after yesterday's ride.

We also crossed the Blackwood River which winds its way through the South West.

When we finally got to Nannup, we set up camp and then went back into town to purchase a couple of things. We found the local pub which often has rows of motorbikes in front of it was now taken over with pedal power.

A unexpected pleasure for me was to find an ex-colleague doing the ride as well. Rubina (Ruby) Usman & her friend John Brugman have been catching up with us on the road and in the camps. The amazing thing is that Ruby only recently started cycling (about 9 months ago). For a novice rider to take part in a "Great Ride" is fantastic.

Just a couple more interesting bikes for you to look at. The first belongs to a Mother riding alone with her two children. She has a tandem and a chariot style trailer.

Here is a very nice racing tandem.

A cool racing recumbent.

A homemade recumbent with a wind break.

Final ride stage tomorrow, starts with a huge up hill stretch to climb from the coastal plain up the escarpment into the Forrest region.

The Route Profile for the day is attached to the bottom of this article. 


Day 8 Profile - Balingup to Nannup 2011.pdf

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