Monday, 18 February 2008

Australian Bicentennial bike ride

Australian Bicentennial bike ride 1988 ITS BACK for 2008 - maybe ?

wow 20 years ago ,when I was 22yrs old (to save you getting your calculator out) I did this ride Australian Bicentennial Bike Ride 1988

I lived in Sydney and half the 2100 people arrived in Dandenong by overnight coach - from many starting points.

In 1988, as part of Australia's bicentennial celebrations, a 14 day bike ride was held from Melbourne to Sydney. The distance covered was over 1,200km and we endured all sorts of weather from pouring rain thunderstorms and driving wind to beautiful sunny days.

We traveled along the coastline, climbed through the Snowy Mountains, descended from the heights into Canberra and finished on a hot sunny day in Sydney where several thousand riders celebrated the finish of a wonderful experience. It doesn't get any better than this!

Our support crew carried our tents ,clothes and sleeping bags etc to the next night stop.We only had to pack up each day, load it on the truck and then set up at the next night's stop -usually a country town showground or paddock. There was also a car with a trailer to carry injured, and broken down riders.

Meals were all eaten al fresco Portable kitchens were set up under large tents and we took turns serving and helping. During meal times we meet and talked with other riders and shared experiences.

Inevitably, dishes had to be washed and dried. Portable sinks with running water were set up near the kitchen.

Portable showers and loos too ...

We were given a packed lunch (roll/sandwich) every day and riders stopped wherever we pleased.

Or alternatively, a more convenient place was found!(The PUB)

Riders drifted into camp across various times of the day ... my uncle was always ahead of me.So he usually set up tent before I got there.Then we had spare time to explore and discover the town we were located at that night.... or sleep !

The Snowy mountains to Canberra leg was the most gruelling and longest in kilometres (1oo plus too) . Mountainous hills, pouring rain,windy and freezing cold (in Dec - Australian summer).I was in tears most of the day. Alone. I stopped for a leg massage from the support team at lunchtime -soaked through and in agony. I almost gave up and called my Dad ... till when I arrived in Canberra my Uncle had looked up his friends ( went into the local Bank - he worked in another branch of same bank in Sydney).

We had a comfy dry bed and even better food for 2 nights and I was refreshed to begin again.

I made a friend from Melbourne along the way - most days we rode together .For a few years we kept in touch till be both moved/got married and then lost addresses.

The culmination of 14 days on the road; a finish in the Domain Gardens in Sydney where we had a big party to celebrate.
Australia travel tips: Australia Guinness Records.
Most participants in a bike ride

In 1988 there were 2,157 starters in the Australian Bicentennial Caltex Bike Ride from Melbourne to Sydney.

I conned my uncle who was 9 years older than me into coming along. We had a great time except I was pinning for my new 'boyfriend' (I meant the one and only) and wondering if absence really did make the heart grow fonder or out of sight out of mind...

The story had a happy ending ...I made it home and he was waiting for me

Fast forward 19 years later, married 18years ...hardly riden my bike (well unless you count the exercise bike) .I doubt I could even get my husband to think about doing this but I would consider it if he came along as my support team with a caravan in tow.

Your turn ... tell me something odd , great or unusual you have done ... skydiving , hot air ballooning ?? anything


Melissa Markham said...

What an awesome memory you have!

On my husband's and my honeymoon we went on a tour in a cavern in Colorado Springs, Colorado (Cave of the Winds). It was called a Walk on the Wild Side. We went into places the normal public doesn't go. We were to wear our oldest and dirtiest clothes. We crawled on our belly in some places and there were a couple of crevices we were allowed to explore that I politely declined. But still, I am glad we went:)

Misty Dawn said...

Most anything that I've done that anyone would consider odd, great, or unusual has been with my dad, because I was always trudging after him and trying to prove that I could do anything he could do (such as jump off a cliff into the water when I was young).

Lately, I haven't done anything exciting, although now I've got the 'itch' ;-)

Military Mom said...

I think the most adventurous and grouling thing I ever did was to make it through Air Force Basic Training. 7 weeks of torture, to earn the right to be called Airman, for very little pay and even less recognition. But it was worth it to graduate and be able to say I did it. Half the girls in my flight did not graduate. Other than that, the proudest I have been is when I completed the America Kids Run 5K last year.

Military Mom said...

Oh, and I wanted to tell you that I am in awe of you for completing that bike ride! It must have felt awesome at the end. When I was 15 I went rapelling with some friends, and it was terrifying and exilerating at the same time. You must have been so proud of yourself!

Jenty said...

That sounds like quite an experience. I've done the Argus Cycle race twice in Cape Town. It was an amazing experience.

jeanie said...

I am very impressed!!

My odds, greats and unusuals were more in the lines of getting up in front of strangers on a stage.

Anonymous said...

WOW - I would LOVE to do that bike ride :-) Just pondering how to manage it...

Carmi said...

What an odyssey! Please consider me inspired. I'm a cyclist, and I've always wanted to get more involved in long distance rides. The only challenge is time: family and work commitments make it difficult to get away for extended periods of time.

But life's short, so I'll need to make it happen. Thanks for the push!

Flatfoot said...

I did that ride too!

Please email me, especially if you have photos.

Ray Smith
New York

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