week 25...
counting sheep

Geraldton to Gin Gin

Do you realize how long we've been dying for a really good fish & chips? Last time we had fish & chips was back in Mount Isa, and they were CRAP. Of course, it was the day of the Melbourne Cup, so I don't think the guy's heart was really into making them.

Anyway, Jurien Bay seafood certainly settled that craving. YUM!
meet two other cyclists
We've been travelling on these trikes for who-knows-how-long, and haven't seen another cyclist EVER (except that loopy German dude on the Barkly). Then on Sunday, we meet two! Holy Frickin' Frack! We're not the only nutters!
Nationality: German
Age: 20-30
Bike: SOIL racing bike
Number of wheels: 2

Starting point: Brisbane
Finish: Darwin, the long way.
Distance so far: 6500km
Per day: 150km
Time: 3 months

How much cycling did you do before this? Not much, just to and from work, mostly.

What's your diet? I only have been eating bread, fresh fruit and vegetables.

You realize there's not a lot of that where you're going. I've been able to do it this far, but the towns haven't been that far apart.

Bjorn was the picture perfect cyclist, with his stretchy, lycra Adidas shirt, platypus water backpack, and coordinated panniers. He was only carrying about 6L of water when we met him. He's in for a surprise when he gets north of Gerro.
Nationality: Belgian (now Aussie)
Age: 45-55
Bike: Recumbent trike
Number of wheels: 3

Starting point: Perth
Finish: Darwin
Distance so far: 200km
Per day: 90-100km
Time: 2 days

How much cycling did you do before this? Years ago, I actually cycled from Belgium across Asia, then to Australia. I live here now, but have never ridden this stretch.

What's your diet? A bit of everything: pasta, rice, porridge, couscous, tuna, sardines, muesli.

Jean-Pierre's been around the block a few times, but this was his first big trip on a recumbent. His wife, also a cyclist, decided to sit this one out and flew back to Darwin, while Jean-Pierre took the long way home. We liked the fact that, like us, he was about function, not form. He was wearing any old shirt to keep the sun off, and had stuff tucked away in freezer bags.
these are the people in our neighbourhood...

On Monday, the radio called US! ABC radio saw our writeup in the newspaper and called us up to talk about our story, and oh my goodness, she looks and talks and acts so very much like our good friend Alissa from New York, 'cept she was an Aussie. Next up, Extraordinary, by Better than Ezra.
Frank, Sara & Lilly
Pharmaceutical salesman by day, bad-ass surfer by night. Frank is a regular at Champion Bay, and this time he brought along his wife-to-be, Sara and his daughter-to-be, Lilly. Don't take your eyes off Lilly, even for a SECOND, or she'll do a wee on your hardwood floor, or steal your bacon.
Terry O'Neil
Terry read about us in the Geraldton Guardian (Big Kev Sheds 25 Kilos) and considered himself lucky to have run into us before we left the area. He also rides a recumbent (his is Aussie Made) all over the Great South West. He reckons the Perth-Margaret River-Esperance-Kalgoorlie loop is one of Australia's finest.
Peter, Joyce, Glen & Melissa
These poor battlers were stuck at the Badgingarra Roadhouse waiting for the RAC to fix their Mitsubishi. All they really wanted was for someone to come along and tell them a good story. Good thing we showed up! (I don't think her name was Melissa, but I'm pretty sure I got the other three right.)

Things aren't always what they seem.
What do you think this is?

wally's amazin' facts!
You Americans think Texas is big... HA! Western Australia is four times the size of Texas! Australia's land mass is larger than that of the continental United States, and Western Australia takes up one third of it! Jeepers!

This Week's Amazin' Fact: You know what my favourite late night talk show is? It's not Jay Leno, and it's not David Letterman... then who can it be? Why, it's ROVE, of course! Yup, Rove Live at 9:30 every Tuesday night on Channel Ten. He's so funny! Not everyone gets to meet Rove, but you can always meet Rove's parents! Ma and Pa McManus run the pub up in Lancelin, only 120 km North of Perth! Consider it a brush with the parents of greatness!

Here's a joke: What's black, clumsy, and doesn't eat Nutri-Grain? Answer next week!

Don't forget to look for Wally this week!
Distance this week: 286kmDistance since Day 1: 8009km

What is Bikeabout? Click here to find out!

Day 170: I can see Dongarra from here!
End Location: Champion Bay Bed & Breakfast
the local colour
Okay, Frank. One more night. But that's it. Then we really have to get going.
   I don't think Frank from the Bed & Brekky wants us to leave the city until we've see every single street of Geraldton, WA. This morning, while Aimee got a bit more work done, Kev, Roy and Marg we're given Frank's Personalized Geraldton Extravaganza (ask for it by name). He took us to the spot where he and his dad used to fish, the cray factory where he gets his fresh seafood, his mate's yacht at the harbour, the place where he used to collect mudcrabs for practical jokes, the church where he was an altar boy, but was kicked out... See, Frank knows everybody and everything about this city, so if you want to spread a bit of juicy local gossip, just ring Frank. Maybe he'll include it on his tour!

To book a room at the Champion Bay B&B,
ring Frank or Sue at 9921 7624!

"I am a long passenger."
Day 171: Meat your Maker
Distance Travelled: 48.5km Temperature: 31
Time on Trikes: 7h Water Left: 4L
Terrain: Huge Hills
End Location: Outside Dongara
where's the beef?
You know what you get when you mix too much pampering with too much friendliness? You get LAZY, that's what you get! And that's what we are! After just five days rest, our bodies are getting mushy squishy and we're eager for another challenge. But what's the challenge when our next town is only sixty-eight kilometers away?
   We're so used to the struggle and the hardship and the fight for survival that we don't even know what to do with all this populated cushiness. It's going to make us soft, I tell you. Soft. You watch, soon we'll be begging for bore water and rolling in the dirt to feel at home. We're never satisfied.

"That gas station wasn't on my map!"
- Kevin.
Day 172: Ding Dong
Distance Travelled: 42km Temperature: 27
Time on Trikes: 5h Water Left: 8L
Terrain: Lots of Sheep
End Location: Cliff Head
pie in your ear
To us, Dongarra was going to be the icing on the cake of civilization. As we've travelled down the coast, we were told many times about the World Famous Dongarra Bakery. The pies at the World Famous Dongara Bakery are NOT TO BE MISSED.
   We made it our first stop in town (because it was the first stop in town). It was 8:30am and we proudly walked in and announced our intentions to sample one of their World Famous Pies. We should have realized something was wrong when the woman manning (womanning?) the counter looked at us curiously, then shrugged.
   We sat back, and both bit into our pies. We both put up a good show that they were World Famous worthy. But inside we were each thinking "Okay, they're good... but world famous? Enh."
   We would have been satisfied with just thinking that the Dongarra Bakery was more hype than haute if we hadn't pedalled down the road a bit and overheard someone raving about the World Famous Dunsborough Bakery, about 600 km further south. And we thought we were used to the Aussie accent by now.
Pedestrian noticing flag: "You must be from Vancouver."
Kevin: "Why, because I can't back up my bike?"
Day 173: A Moment of Silence
Distance Travelled: 51.3km Temperature: 29
Time on Trikes: 8h Water Left: 8L
Terrain: Windy and Hilly
End Location: Desperation Bay
the great ocean road
The visions of sticky-dates dancing in our heads clouded our sense of reason as we arrived in the populated centre of WA. No matter how much we were looking forward to having a grocery store on every corner, we had forgotten why we were glad to get to the isolation five months ago.
   See, more sticky-date means more people to eat the sticky-date. And people have this nasty habit of transporting themselves from place to place in fast-moving vehicles. These fast moving vehicles scare the crap out of wimps like us, who are used to having maybe fifteen of these zip pass us each day. Now there are so many, Aimee's getting whiplash from turning around and yelling "Car!" every five seconds.
   The sticky-date better be worth all this stress.

"You used to have such a rapport with sheep."
- Aimee.
Day 174: Dyn-o-mite!
Distance Travelled: 25.3km Temperature: 29
Time on Trikes: 2h Water Left: 5L
Terrain: Pretty Nice
End Location: Between Leeman and Greenhead
go nuts for donuts
If there's one thing Canadians do well, it's donuts. Thunder Bay has a Robin's Donuts shop on nearly every corner. Aussies, bless them for their meat pies, but they don't know how to do donuts. They put pink icing on them and try to make them look like happy faces for the kiddies. Don't they realize that a donut is a very grown-up, serious thing?
   Not that I'm all that crazy about donuts, pink smiley face or otherwise, but as with all things that you're not able to have, I do get a craving for a well made, respectable donuts every now and then.
   The Canadian Donut Gods must have been smiling down on Greenhead today because this little corner shop decided to make fresh sugar donuts this morning. Just for us, it seemed.
   I ate three, Kev ate five. Bismarks they weren't, but they were still damn tasty.

"You're making a mockery of my bin."
- Aimee.
Day 175: Calfinated
Distance Travelled: 61.3km Temperature: 33
Time on Trikes: 7.5h Water Left: 6.5L
Terrain: Very Mountainous
End Location: Jurien Road
bubba the bovine

This is, without a doubt,
the fattest cow in existence.

"This isn't a second hand shop, this is a Nationwide Warehouse."
- Kevin.
Day 176: Knicker Botcher
Distance Travelled: 57.1km Temperature: 25
Time on Trikes: 9.5h Water Left: 5.5L
Terrain: Again with the Mountains
End Location: Badgingarra
knickers in a knot
I am such a dork. Other people get toilet paper stuck to the bottom of their shoes... they never remember people's names... or they lock their keys in their car. Those simple embarrassments aren't enough for a geek of my caliber.
   Me, I get my panties caught in my derailleur. This could only happen to me. Ten minutes of detangling later, the panties and I are both covered in grease and sweat. At least I wasn't wearing them at the time, although I wouldn't put it past me.

"If my foot were a brain, it'd be smarter than you."
- Kevin.
mud map: (n.) a quick hand-drawn map, to give you the basics of getting from A to B.
"Okay, when you get to the BP station, turn left and go until you get to the roundabout, take another left... here, I'll give you a mud map."

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