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
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