week 32...
i made it
through the

Albany to Esperance

Fifty metres vs. twelve feet. 125 tonnes vs. 400 kilos. 110 kilometres per hour vs. a mere eight. As much as we'd like to think that our behemoth is the king of the road, it's the road trains that rule. We're just glad that they're willing to share (some of the time).

A road train can be a harrowing experience even in a car. Most people ask us how we get along with the trains, but we've always taken the approach that when it comes to a vehicle of that size, weight and velocity, it's our responsibility to make sure that we're off the road when they fly by. After all, we'd rather trundle over a little gravel than worry about that third container of coal playing crack-the-whip as the road train shifts lanes to avoid us. As they say in Australian politics, make friends with the big guys!
a toughie, but a goodie...     (It's a contest, dummy!)
By now, I know you've all noticed the Australian tendency to end any big word with an 'ee' sound: it's not football, it's 'footy'; it's not breakfast, it's 'brekky'; he's not a truck driver, he's a 'truckie'. This little dooz-ie of a comp-ie oughta test your nogg-ie on Auss-ie vocabular-ie!

Can you figure out what the hooly dooly these easy wordies could be?
bikky: prezzie:
hossie: Chrissy:
telly: barbie:
Pokies: pinnies:
exy: soapy:
chokkies: ciggies:
rellies: curry:

Actually, don't bother to enter. The answer is on The Last Page of the Trip.
these are the people in our neighbourhood...

It's Justin, the GWN News guy! We never did see the final broadcast, but you can be sure it was a hard-hitting, no-nonsense, journalistic masterpiece worthy of the Pulitzer, if that's what prize you get for TV reporting. If not, give the man a Logie!
Robbie (& Rupert)
Robbie wanted a trailer for his bike, and rather than paying an arm and a leg, he made this one out of an old pram! His next project: a paracycle! Picture a Penninger, but with a JET TURBINE ENGINE AND A PARACHUTE! It's awesome! I've seen the sketches!
Eddie, Lily, Tony & Edna
Caught on film by the South Ocean Highway Paparazzi! Thank goodness these four Perth-based travellers stopped us for a cuppa, or we never would have made it as far as we did that evening. We learned from them that the most valuable outback currency is the Tim Tam.
Cycling around Australia seems to be a race to the Finnish! Ha! Veijo's making much better time than we are. We met him just 30km out of Albany just before we set up camp, and he'd already done 150km that morning, planning to still make it to Albany before quitting for the day. Last year, he went to the South Pole on skis! Check out his website at www.seikkailua.com!
wally's amazin' facts!
Anzac Day is a big deal here in Albany because it was the last port of call for the soldiers of World War I before they set off to Gallipoli. Each year at the dawn service, a ship lays a memorial wreath in the entrance to the harbour. Then everyone heads over to the Drill Hall for coffee and rum! A fine tradition.

This Week's Amazin' Fact: These days, everybody's talking about the Rabbit Proof Fence. Probably the only idea by the conquering British that kinda worked as intended, no matter how ridiculous it seems on first glance. The bloody Poms brought over rabbits, probably because they didn't find wombats sporting enough, and, having no natural enemies, they ravaged everything in sight. So, somebody in the West said, "I say, why don't we build a fence from the top of Australia to the bottom to keep the rabbits out? Jolly good then!" So they did, and blimey, it worked! Too bad the Aborigines didn't think of building a Pommy Proof Fence!

Boy oh boy! Probably gonna get emails about that one! Yaw hee haw! Just to get your mind really working weird... what's the best use of a drinking straw in Esperance? Have a Coke and think about it!

Don't forget to look for Wally this week!
Distance this week: 472kmDistance since Day 1: 9560km

What is Bikeabout? Click here to find out!

Day 219: Sneak Peek
Distance Travelled: 0.0km Temperature: 25
End Location: Beach House at Bayside
woe = me
The indoors can kill you. I'm convinced of it. Seven months of living outside without a sniffle. Five days indoors and I'm fevery. I really am. I'm not faking you know. You might think that I just wanted the day alone to watch DVD's while Kev toured Albany. It's NOT true. Sniffle. Snuffle. See? I even had a hot spa to unplug my nose... you wouldn't think I'd do that if I was feeling okay, would you?
   It's a good thing that the television swivels to face the spa, because I don't think I've got the energy to get out. It's tough being sick. Sniffle.

"I waaaaaant poooooo-tay-toooo chips!"
- Aimee.
Day 220: Over to you, Bob
Distance Travelled: 32.5km Temperature: 21
Time on Trikes: 4.0h Water Left: 2.0L
Terrain: Up & Down
End Location: Manypeaks
camera shy
Kevin should have been a talk show host, he's so relaxed in front of the television cameras. Stick a camera in front of his face and he'll start telling stories left and right. I think the cameraman may have secretly turned the camera off at this point, but he keeps on going.
   Me, I'm the opposite. Put me in front of the camera, and suddenly I'll find that my tongue has swelled up to twice it's size. Ask me a question and I'll find the quickest two-word sentence that I think might satisfy you. And chances are it'll come out sounding like "ghurg lurg." Here's an example:

News Guy: "So how far do you go a day?"
Kevin: "On average, I'd like to say that we go around 60-70km a day, but here in the populated areas, we tend to slow down and smell the exhaust a little bit; you know, stop at the bakery, hang out in the frozen food section of Wooley's... it's nice to take a bit of a break."
News Guy: "And Aimee, how many punctures have you had?"
Aimee: "...Ghurg lurg."

Yup. I've always said I've got a perfect voice for newspaper.

"If I may, I have a public service message to Western Australia: Please don't ever tell the person in the back of a tandem that they're not pedalling. It's not funny. You're not the first. They've heard it before."
- Kevin on GWN Television.
Day 221: The Sun Always Sets
Distance Travelled: 70.4km Temperature: 28
Time on Trikes: 9.0h Water Left: 5.0L
Terrain: 5km hills all friggin' day
End Location: Wellstead
next week's special guest
For those of you who didn't know (and really, how would you know, since we haven't told you yet?) AIM'S DADDY is visiting us for a week! We originally thought we'd be meeting him in Esperance next Monday, but a late-night phone call to the sister-who-knows-everything confirmed that the sneaky guy is ALREADY IN ESPERANCE. Where are we? Five days away! HOLY FRICKIN' FRACK!
   Time to burn rubber. Check out our daily increase in distance as we slowly run our trikes into the ground to make it to Esperance this week. You think today's 70.4km is impressive? Oh ho ho! You're in for some shock and awe.
   I should add that all we really did today was read our books. All day. The scenery wasn't even that neat. All I can say is that I think I have only one more Arthur Hailey novel to go before I've read all of them. That was my big day.

"We must have missed that town, although I can't see how considering our speed."
- Kevin.
Day 222: Rose Suspicion
Distance Travelled: 77.6km Temperature: 26
Time on Trikes: 11h Water Left: 6.0L
Terrain: Even bigger friggin' hills
End Location: Jerramungup
polish pumper
We've been to some weird places along these roads, but the Rose Roadhouse takes the cake. First of all, there were no petrol pumps, only spaces for them. Not that we needed petrol, but I'm sure it's confused a few motorists. Secondly, the only person around was a gruff old Polish bloke who needed someone to pick on - we were the chosen ones.
   The problem with tough old Poles is that you never know if they're having you on. This one wanted us to pay $1.50 for tire air. At first, we thought he was kidding. Then we thought he was serious. After about ten minutes of us refusing air and the Pole trying to find the air pump to make sure we got air, we didn't know what to think.
   We kind of backed out of the place (as much as one can 'back out' on a bike) and pumped our own tires down the road. Strange stop.

"What's on my brake pad? Mmmm. Tasty."
- Aimee.
Day 223: Buzz!
Distance Travelled: 79.8km Temperature: 26
Time on Trikes: 10h Water Left: 7.0L
Terrain: Same
End Location: 45km from Ravensthorpe
bargain bin
I remember my cousin Drew telling me the story of how he quit his job, sold his house, left Ottawa and made for the West coast. His first purchase: a brand new $3000 stereo for his car. A man's gotta have priorities. Me, on the other hand... Five minutes in the Two-Buck Shop and I've equipped the bikes with a state-of-the-art sound system. We already had the most important (and expensive) component, the Discman. It's a fine foundation. All we needed now were peripherals:
   Two bucks bought me the finest pair of speakers a single coin can buy. Red Star brand. I think Arnold Schwarznegger has the same brand in his Hummer.
   But the real deal I'm proud of is the batteries to run the system. They were a steal at $4.00 for 48 AA batteries! I challenge any of you to find a bargain equal to that. Even better, they're really light. Must be some kind of new alloy for improved portability. The best part is that two of these fine AA batteries nearly have enough power to play a single CD beginning to end. Nullarbor, here we come.

"I'm not a slave to your teeth."
- Aimee.
Day 224: A Low Fat Snack
Distance Travelled: 92.4km Temperature: 27
Time on Trikes: 11h Water Left: 7.0L
Terrain: Smoothing Out
End Location: Munglinup
weights and measures

Why is it so easy to drink
two litres of milk in one sitting,
yet so difficult to eat
two litres of ice cream?

"Wanna see the Milo turd?"
- Aimee.
Day 225: Guess Where I Am? Nowhere!
Distance Travelled: 118.9km Temperature: 26
Time on Trikes: 12h Water Left: 10L
Terrain: Easy Riding
End Location: Next to the cows
the bar is raised
Holy Frickin' Frack! We're gone into overdrive and today we cycled further than we ever have before! We're trying so hard to make it to Esperance that we've given up sleep so that we can keep on shaving off the kilometres. Mother Nature decided to stop torturing us today by replacing a lot of the uphills with flats. It's about friggin' time, too. Not that it being flatter should diminish the importance of beating our previous best-ever mileage from Day 32.
  Even Dean should be impressed with today.
Aimee: "I wouldn't pet him, he's foaming at the mouth."
Kevin: "Aw, he's just hot, aren't ya boy?"
Aimee: "Kevin, it's not exactly hot out."
truckie: (n.) Aussie truck-driver. One wouldn't think that a big, tough, porn-readin', Vivarin-poppin', burger-with-the-lot-eatin' big rig driver would submit to be called something cute like "truckie", but they do.
Supplemental: A long-bearded Harley-riding hellraiser is a "bikey".

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© 2003 Kevin Beimers & Aimee Lingman. Yer doin' fine, Jerramungup! Jerramungup, O.J.!