week 1!
one kilometre down, 14,999 to go...

Nambour to Bundaberg

How much pineapple can you eat? Better get munching, 'cuz this pineapple is three storeys high! The Big Pineapple marked the starting line for our Australia-wide Bikeabout Tour! See you again in 15,000 kilometres!
the butterfly effect... This little guy is our biggest supporter. Everywhere we go, we seem to see him. He's always right by our side, or just ahead, or just behind, but he's always there.

This butterfly travels seem to be parallel our own, as though he's living some sort of allegorical life along side our trip. A long flat stretch has us puffing away at an easy pace, while the butterfly flits from side to side at a good speed with us. At the top of a long, hard hill, we occasionally pass him struggling in the heat on the roadside, and help him into the shade. In the breeze of a downhill acceleration, we swing by him again, triumphantly swooping as if to say, "Way to go!"

One of these days, we're going to see him fly out into traffic and get swatted by a truck. If it happens, that's where we stop for the night. We're not going to chance it.
All About Julie:
Job: Economic Development Project Officer
How Long: 1.5 yrs
Before: Tourist Development Bureau
Before that: Queensland Health
Why the job switch: Nicer to deal with holiday crowd than health crowd.

All About Hervey:
Pop: 45,000
Growth: Rapid
Backpack/yr: 109,000
From: UK, NZ, Holland, Germany, Israel
meet julie martens
Julie is the Economic Development Project Officer for the Hervey Bay City Council. We dropped in on her on our way through Hervey Bay to see if we could find out a little more about the place she and the humpback whales call home...

First of all, why is Hervey pronounced "Harvey"? The town of Hervey Bay was named after an Admiral Hervey of the English Navy. His name, his spelling, I suppose.

Why should people come to Hervey Bay? The number one reason for visitors is definitely the whales. Hervey Bay is the best place in the world to spot humpbacks.

Are you sure? What about the Bay of Fundy? According to Wally and Trish Franklin, world renowned whale researchers who have been all over the world studying and cataloguing whales, this is the spot. They run a private research foundation known as the Oceania Project, where they've recently started to do DNA testing on discarded whale skin, just to see if there is any interaction between the whales here and elsewhere in the world, such as the Bay of Fundy.

Why else come to Hervey Bay? It's the gateway to Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world. We've also recently received an award for making the city so accessible for walking, cyclists, and people with disabilities. This makes it a good retirement area: accessibility and climate.

What's the coolest thing you've ever done? I once climbed the mast of a tallship in Tasmania. I never thought I could do something like that. What a great feeling!
these are the people in our neighbourhood...

We had a smorgasbord lunch with our new mate Justin in the town of Childers. Justin was on vacation up the Qld coast, blowing all the cash he made while working as a rigger on the little-known films "Matrix Reloaded" and "Matrix Revolution". Holy Frickin' Frack! The only secret he was willing to reveal: watch the DVD for multiple endings.
Peter & Denise
New to the Avondale area, Peter and Denise were at the Bush Dinner to meet their neighbours. They spent the whole evening with a couple of Canadians instead. They've just moved from downtown Brisbane to a farm in rural Bundaberg. We would have learned more, but they were off to milk the chickens (they're still learning).
Bushy & Jake
The only other competitors in Kevin's weight class for the Annual Cane Lift Competition. Andy "Bushy" Bush took home the title (sadly, both trophies in the adjoining photo are his). Just to show he wasn't a poor sport, Kev let Bushy, Jake and their best gals take a spin on the trikes. Nice guys.
Max, Bruce & Helen
Hervey Bay, as we've learned, is a great place for two things: retirement and mobility. These folks are the perfect example. They popped over to ask a few questions about our unique trikes, and gave us some great advice on the roads to come.
how to lift a heap of sugar cane...
1. Roll the cane onto your toes until you can reach around it.
2. Standing to the right of centre, bend down and wrap your right arm around the top of the bundle, and your left arm under it.
3. Stand up with your arms around the bundle. Keep your left knee bent.
4. With a mighty grunt, heave the lower end of the bundle over your left shoulder.
5. You've done it! Good on ya! Go get your trophy!
Click here to see Kevin's first lift!
dean and bushy... separated at birth?

Take a gander at Wally's Amazin' Hat. wally's amazin' facts!
Wally wants a more active role on the site, and since he's soooo smart, he wants to change the Where's Wally Wombat section to the Wally's Amazin' Facts section. (You can still look for Wally, he's just taken on additional responsibilities).

This Week's Amazin' Fact: An emu egg shell actually has seven layers! The outermost is dark blue, and each layer is lighter than the one before! That's how the Aboriginies can make amazin' artifacts like this!

Neat, huh? For next week, I'll let you ponder this question: how do you ease the irritation of sandfly bites? Until then, this is Wally W. Wombat.

Don't forget to look for Wally this week!
We've already seen an Echidna, a Goanna, and even a Red-Bellied Black Snake... lucky for you latecomers, they were dead! That means there's still time for you to enter...

The Bikeabout Betting Pool!
Enter now, make some predictions, and win big prizes!
Distance this week: 479kmDistance since Day 1: 479km

What is Bikeabout? Click here to find out!

Day 1: Limber Up!
Distance Travelled: 49.6km Temperature: 27
Time on Trikes: 5.6h Water Left: 8.2L
Terrain: Easy morning, tough after Eumundi
End Location: Cooroy
range rovers
This is it. The big day. 15,000km ahead of us, and nothing behind us but a giant ungodly pineapple. Can't wait to see it again...
  The day went better than expected what with only having ridden the bikes three kilometres before now. We actually rode further to get to the Pineapple this morning than we did all last week. Last week was just parking lots and deserted residential street. Today was the Bruce Highway, where the speed limit is 110, and the shoulder is just wide enough for a tandem trike.
  Our lunch stop in Eumundi filled us up in the way only a Ploughman's Platter can. Personally, I can't picture a ploughman eating so much salad, but it certainly hit the spot for us. I still can't figure out what exactly that Scotch Egg was.
  There are only four roads out of Eumundi: One was the way we came, one went back to the Bruce Highway (under construction, so the shoulder was now considered a lane), a third went to (yeech) Noosa, and the last was aptly named "Eumundi Range Road". I could winge to you about the hills, but then I'd have no material left for tomorrow...

"You want yummy? Go back home to yo' momma. Here, it's nutrition first, then, if you're lucky, taste."
- Aimee.
Day 2: A Good Sign
Distance Travelled: 46.7km Temperature: 31
Time on Trikes: 6.6h Water Left: 8.2L
Terrain: Sucked Ass
End Location: Wally's Farm, Cedar Pocket
kin kin o' whoop ass
The first thing I felt when I passed the sign for Pomona was an eerie sense of deja vu, not a vision so much as a vibe. It wasn't the town itself, but the sign welcoming us to it. The sign read, "Welcome to Pomona, Home of the World's Only Still Authentic Silent Movie Theatre." Just like being back on the roadtrip.
  Pomona is also home to the King of the Mountain challenge. The city is right next to a wickedly tall lava cone, where every year thousands of silly people from all over the world try to be the fastest to run to the top. I can almost hear my knees crying.
  And cry they did. We became kings of our own mountains today, climbing through the Kin Kin ranges. It was a one lane steep-ass road through the unforgiving mountains of doom. When a jeep struggles to climb a hill like this, imagine two flabby web designers, laiden with forty kilos of cargo, nearly unable to turn the pedals on their lowest of 128 gears, moving so slowly that the bike odometer has assumed they've stopped. Yesterday's Eumundi Range was a pedal to Helen's next to the Kin Kins.

"Have you ever noticed how people in Thunder Bay eat a lot of mozzarella sticks?"
- Aimee.
Day 3: New Friend!
Distance Travelled: 79.9km Temperature: 29
Time on Trikes: 8.8h Water Left: 7.9L
Terrain: Nice and flat
End Location: Poona Forest
better get moooooving...
Last night we slept in our first farmer's field. The farmer (whose name, coincidentally enough, was Wally, and had a Jack Russell Terrier whose name, coincidentally enough, was Jack), was kind enough to allow us to rest our weary bodies, free of charge, as long as we didn't mind a few cows at 6:00 the next morning. Not at all, we thought, we'll be gone by then.
  Come morning, I think it was the cows that minded us more than the other way around. They stared on curiously as we collapsed our tent and rolled up our gear. I think they got a real kick out of our morning stretches, though.

"Too many of these people look like Richie for my liking."
- Kevin.
Day 4: Whaleward
Distance Travelled: 66.0km Temperature: 28
Time on Trikes: 7.1h Water Left: 8.6L
Terrain: No shoulder, hellish traffic
End Location: Hervey Bay
highway of hell
The road from Maryborough to Hervey Bay is a nasty one. 25 kilometres of shoddy country highway with lanes hardly wide enough for a transport, let alone us and a transport. Most of the trip was ridden in white-knuckled terror, with Kevin turning hard on the steering and me, head swivelled right around, shouting, "Off the road! Okay, after the white car! Okay, you can get back on! Okay, off the road again!"
  Even when we did get to Hervey Bay, the city was much bigger than we originally thought. The first time we were here, we spend all of our time near the hostel, which seemed to be on the main beach-front strip. Driving through on our bikes, the city was huge!
  Hervey Bay wins the prize of being the first city to have someone swear at us. Oh, it was totally our fault. We're Canadians: we can't figure out those stupid round-abouts. We're having enough trouble staying on the left side of the road. So, to the man who called us dickheads, we're sorry, and you're absolutely right.

"It's an echidna! My first echidna! It's so cute! Even when it's dead!"
- Aimee.
Day 5: Deputy Drive
Distance Travelled: 39.3km Temperature: 31
Time on Trikes: 4.0h Water Left: 3.6L
Terrain: Fine, flat, easy
End Location: Burrum River
spin city
It's not every day the Deputy Mayor asks if he can ride your bike.
  We had a nice little run-in with Julie, Michelle, and Mayor Mick from the Hervey Bay City Council. They were very happy that we took the time on our cycling trip to visit Hervey Bay, and presented us with the greatest gift we could ever ask for: caps.
  We're not being sarcastic; they really are great caps! The first few days on the bikes taught us how intense the sun could be, and we had just been talking about how we could really use a couple of caps to keep the sun off our faces. Hervey Bay City Council to the rescue!
  Just wait and see what those beautiful white caps look like after a week on the bikes. Eww.

"The Post is like that fish I thought was seaweed."
- Aimee.
Day 6: Camera Shy
Distance Travelled: 61.9km Temperature: 30
Time on Trikes: 6.2h Water Left: 5.2L
Terrain: Pretty flat
End Location: Isis Hwy R/S
talk of the town
We rolled into Childers early today, a quaint, historical town just this side of Bundaberg. We had big plans for Childers: upload some photos, have a bite to eat under a big tree and keep on moving. Childers had other plans for us.
  Within seconds of arriving (the time when we like to catch our breaths for a moment and see if we can still stand up on our own accord) the local real-estate-agent-slash-town-welcome-committee-man in a pink shirt (which doesn't make him a pink donut eater) started yelling at us to come into his shop for some ice cold water. We're not ones to refuse water, especially from one so enthusiastic about giving it to us, so we did what he said.
  Then the locals started congregating around us, and around the bikes. Then the newspaper man showed up. Then the children started arriving, wanting rides on the trikes, pulling on our arms. Somewhere in there, we managed to meet a great bloke from the Blue Mountains and have a picnic with him. After nearly five hours, we got nothing done, and we were more exhausted when we left than when we arrived. Ah, the price of fame.

"It's not very safe out there... too many Christians."
- Brian, pink shirt guy.
Day 7: Family Fun
Distance Travelled: 61.1km Temperature: 29
Time on Trikes: 5.5h Water Left: 8.0L
Terrain: Easy to Bundy, Hilly after
End Location: Avondale Oval
bad bad beimers-browne...
Meet Hayley Browne, or should I say, Hayley Beimers! Remember way back on Week 8 when we went to visit the Beimers family in Lilydale? Well, there's even more of us! We're everywhere!
  We caught up with Hayley in Bundaberg for a coffee (there goes Aimee's promise) and a chat. She was the only Beimers we could get in touch with... turns out Anske Beimers (her dad) had gone to Monto this weekend for a Primary School Reunion! Ah well, as the old Dutch expression goes: one Beimers is better than none.
  We hit the road at around 3pm, staying out of the sun at the hottest part of the day, but still getting in a few more k's before bedtime. We thought we were going to have a nice, relaxing evening in the tent. Little did we know we'd be attending the Bushman's Dinner tonight...

"Your husband looks like the guy from Danger Bay!"
- Kevin.
Day 8: Wrong Turn
Distance Travelled: 74.8km Temperature: 28
Time on Trikes: 9.1h Water Left: 6.1L
Terrain: Gravel roads, steep hills, absolute shit
End Location: Lowmead R/S
son of a bitumen
Picture yourself in a strange country, climbing steep gravel hills too slowly for the spedometer to measure, then barrelling down the other side at 35km/h on a go-kart contraption with no shock absorbers. Next, imagine the slow climbs occassionally punctuated by the sounds of wild pigs rustling in the bushes. Take away the sun (it went down an hour ago), it's pitch black. You can't see snakes on the road and you run the risk of smacking into a kangaroo twice your size.
  After 31 kilometres of this, you may come close to experiencing what we did when we got caught between Lowmead and the Bruce Highway. For us, it was six hours of sheer hell, puncuated by the occassional ute driving by at warp speed. We've learned a couple of lessons tonight: one, we need better lighting on the trikes; and two, no more gravel roads - they'll shake both the trikes and our sanity apart.

"I don't think this water is even worth adding Tang to."
- Kevin.
mullet: (n.) A disgusting haircut, or a disgusting fish. If someone in a fish & chips joint (or a barber shop) offers you a mullet, just say "No thanks, I'll have the barramundi!" (or "No thanks, I'll just have a little off the sides.")

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© 2002 Kevin Beimers & Aimee Lingman. Who da man? Cloud da man!