week 39...
look who's
not pedalling now

West Eyre

We've seen more rainbows this week than in our entire lives. Double rainbows, glowing rainbows, sunset rainbows, pretty pretty pretty...

Sure, it all sounds like an episode of the Care Bears to you, but to straightforward, fundamental, unromantic us, rainbows represent rain. Which means that each time we see a rainbow, the rain is either coming to soak us or has just finished it's job. Just so that you 'inside dwellers' can relate, imagine that each time you finish your favourite meal, you get tomato sauce dumped down your pants. Or perhaps you're given the choice to be 'sauced' before you eat it. Either way, sooner or later, you'd stop saying "Hey... Lasagne! Awesome!"

Have we really become so jaded that we're picking on rainbows? Yup. 'Fraid so. Luckily, although we didn't know it at the time, there was gold at the end of this rainbow. Or, at least, a Rae of sunshine...
back to back...
Hey all you beautiful people out there. This is Kevin, your man in the back seat. Finally.

As I'm sure we've mentioned many times in the past (but I can't be bothered to read back through everything to confirm, so I'll just trod on), Aimee and I made a deal at the beginning of the trip: Each state, we switch seats. We did this because (a.) it's a bit of an effort to switch the bikes back to front, and (b.) every now and then you need a bit of a shakeup to keep things fresh.

Top Five Reasons Why the Back is Better
1. It's not as lonely when you can see your partner's head.
2. I can concentrate on my book with BOTH eyes.
3. Nothing beats a rousing game of "Truck!"
4. Crochet.
5. Letting someone else do all the work for a change. Haw haw!
However, being the non-forward-thinking individual I am, I went first. So far, I've had Queensland, Aimee had NT, and I had WA. That means that out of 11,000km, I've been in the front for about 9,500 of them. And South Australia shouldn't be any more than a few more weeks. Mind you, I get Victoria, the littlest state, but that's small consolation after spending six months in the front in the biggest. It's like playing the alphabet game and letting the other player go first to be nice, then realizing you screwed yourself because now you're stuck with V, X & Z. And if you don't know what the alphabet game is, you've obviously never been on a long distance cycling trip.

So, pardon me while I sit back and put my feet up for a little while. Apparently that's what people do when they're in the back seat. I intend to try it out.
how to fillet a squid
Men & women, young & old, everyone loves a good squid. But haven't you always wanted to know how a squid gets from the bottom of the ocean to your front door? You have?

Well, Don's the kind of man who could (and would) batter and fry a metal storage drum if it came out of the water on the end of his hook. Don, why don't you take us through the process, dockside to dinner plate? You will? Yippee!

1. Before you start, let the squid expunge most of its black gook onto the jetty.
2. Shove your hand up inside the flute (aka. the squid's toque) and squelch out anything above the eyes.
3. Tear the slimy, membranous, filmy skin off the outside.
4. Shove an inky finger between the sideflap and the flute, and tear it off. Save the flap for eating too! Yum!
5. Poke your finger into the top of his head (this is Don's favourite part) and turn the bugger inside out.
6. Yank out any innards that are left clinging to its ruined corpse, and be sure to remove the plastic backbone.

You're done! What you've got left is something that looks remotely like a contraceptive. Chop it up into cross sectional rings, dip them in batter and fry 'em up on the barbie! Now that you've seen the process, who could say no? Hell, can't be worse than an oyster.

(Don't forget to chop up the tentacles for bait!)

Coming Soon: How to get a squid jig out of your pocket!
these are the people in our neighbourhood...

As a member of the Five Timers Club, You already know a fair bit about Don. Here are three things you didn't know:
1. He was once engaged to the same woman 7 times, but never married her.
2. He once reversed 40km on the highway because he missed a pub.
3. He was hassled and frisked by a San Diego Cop.
Brad-James-Bond-Harris and Corey
Brad James Bond Harris instroduced himself to us in Port Kenny by approaching us, pointing at his elbow and saying "See my cut?" Meanwhile, Corey had slight trouble with his C's and R's, introducing himself as "Towey". Both had tendencies toward self injury and kung fu, blissfully spending their Wednesday afternoon kicking over the signs in front of the General Store.
Mt. Dutton Bay B & B
Actually, these people weren't in our neighbourhood. They were in Adelaide this week. You see, six months ago, they offered us lodging at the B&B for when we arrived in the Eyre Peninsula. We happened to time our arrival for the same weekend that Jacqui goes on holiday each year. Phooey! Thank you for the offer anyway! Maybe next time around!
Peninsula Pedallers
One of the unique aspects of riding a funny bike like ours is that people who ride regular bikes are always fascinated, and frequently invite us for coffee. Where we thought Port Lincoln was going to be an In-n-Out visit, we hooked up with the local cycling club at the end of the ride, and ended up sleeping over! Wouldn't get that kind of offer had we been in a VW bus!
wally's amazin' facts!
You can attribute the skinny windows in some of the old buildings to history's greatest influence of architecture: tax evasion. The King of England at the time enforced a tax on window width - the wider the windows, the higher the tax. Why? Because the clever old King also owned a candle factory! Skinny windows may mean less tax, but you've got to buy more candles to make up for the loss of light! In the words of the Eagle Boys: That's what I call being done at both ends!

This Week's Amazin' Fact: Aren't rainbows beautiful? Haven't you ever wanted to find the end of one to see if there's a pot of gold there? Well, sorry to shatter your childhood whims, but you never will. The magic of rainbows can be easily explained away through physics, or more specifically, the diffraction of sunlight through raindrops as seen from your relative position. When seen from a plane, a rainbow actually takes on the form of a complete circle. So, run run as fast as you can, but you'll only pot o' gold you'll ever find is at the local Shoppers Drug Mart. Boo hoo!

Next week, maybe I'll ruin the magic of seahorses for you. Here's a picture of a couple of dead ones in the meantime. Can you tell which is the male dead seahorse and which is the female dead seahorse? Stay tuned!

Don't forget to look for Wally this week!
Distance this week: 391kmDistance since Day 1: 11502km

What is Bikeabout? Click here to find out!

Day 268: Bus Pass
Distance Travelled: 71.0km Temperature: 15°
Time on Trikes: 7.5h Water Left: 4.0L
Terrain: Getting Seasick
End Location: Streaky Bay
don's sidetrip
Since we last saw Don at our wedding in Esperance, can you believe that he's already been to Melbourne, Sydney, through Coober Pedy and now he's on his way back to Perth? He's literally traversed the continent while we've been sludging along the Nullarbor! This guy gets around. I can see why he didn't mind cutting down into the Eyre Peninsula to see if he could catch up with us. It didn't take him long.
   One more thing you didn't know about Don: He's the only bloke we know who whips his shirt off at the sight of us. Today, it was only the Eyre chill that made him put his jumper back on straight away.

"When you go to the toilet outside, you can't really have any
unplanned poos."
- Aimee.
Day 269: Dirty Bird
Distance Travelled: 53.4km Temperature: 19°
Time on Trikes: 4.5h Water Left: 2.0L
Terrain: Fast & Smooth
End Location: Port Kenny
fancy a shag?
This dopey little seabird, who looks rather like a cross between a penguin and a duck, is called a shag. Stop that giggling! The grand and noble shag (shut up, Beavis) can usually be found near the local jetty, and sometimes even go as far as to steal the fish from your hook as you're still reeling it in. Cheeky little shag!
   Why the ornithological interest? Why the need to introduce and explain this ill-named bird to the North American followers? Because, if we didn't, you'd wouldn't enjoy the following joke nearly as much. Actually, you probably still won't enjoy it, since nothing ruins a good joke more than preparing the audience for the punchline ("Hey Earl, tell everyone that joke about the 12-inch pianist!").
   However, I suppose the introduction has gone on so long that if I didn't tell the joke, you'd forever be wondering what it was about, so here goes anyway:

Miss Nelson was having a classroom discussion about birds. She asked her first year class which birds they liked best, and to tell everyone why. Sally started off by saying, "I love the kookaburra, because it always sounds so happy and it's laugh wakes me up in the morning."
   Billy put up his hand next. "My favourite bird is the parrot," he said, "because it's so colourful, and it can speak!"
   Then Jenny added, "My favourite is the stork! I love the stork because it delivers babies!"
   Little Johnny started to frantically wave his hand in the air. "Yes, Johhny?" she offered.
   "Miss Nelson, that's not true! My sister said she got her baby from a shag on Rottnest Island!"

That was the joke. The fact that the shag was on Rottnest Island was of no consequence; that was just how Don told it. I could have explained that Rottnest Island was a tourist spot off the coast of Perth, but it wasn't pertinent to the joke. Of course, it probably threw another element into the joke that you didn't get, but, well, I couldn't exactly just say "from a shag." It just didn't make a very good closer.
   Anyway, that's one for the office tomorrow morning. If you didn't like it, here's a different one, suitable for all audiences:

     Q. Why do farts smell?
     A. So deaf people can enjoy them too.

"Food Boss is not made of stone."
- Food Boss.
Day 270: Have you seen this lamb?
Distance Travelled: 63.1km Temperature: 13°
Time on Trikes: 7.0h Water Left: 3.0L
Terrain: Deceptively Uphill
End Location: Elliston
little bo weep
To understand today, you have to understand that Kev has developed this rapport with Australian sheep. I'll let that one sink in for a minute before continuing...
  Lambs, actually. He can 'baaa' with the best of them, but it always seems like the lambs are the only ones that really respond to him. I think he's become the father figure they've never had.
  Today, we were innocently cycling along, trying to dodge raindrops, when we heard a lamb cry out. Kevin automatically answered, (just for fun, not because he could understand the sheep) and then it happened. This tiny little lamb that was obviously alone in the paddock started crying it's eyes out and stumbling after us. If you question how we knew it the tiny thing was crying, trust me, you'd know too. It almost broke our hearts.
  The lamb had obviously mistaken Kevin for a fellow sheep and there was no way he was going to let us get away. Yet, he still wouldn't let us get close enough to warm him up. We were at a sheep standstill, with our species coming between us.
  How does this story end? I'm afraid that we don't know. You see, although we did contemplate rescuing the lamb, there were just too many complications with sleeping arrangements for us to take him with us. In the end, we had to cycle away with tears in our eyes and the sound of crying in our ears. Needless to say, Kev hasn't baa'd since.

"You're sucking off the side like a stapled stomach!"
- Kevin.
Day 271: Penny Loafers
Distance Travelled: 42.8km Temperature: 12°
Time on Trikes: 5.0h Water Left: 3.5L
Terrain: Barren, Rocky
End Location: Sheringa
turning a dollar into bread
This is the beginning of a beautiful relationship. In a discovery equal to us realizing that Milo makes Bore water drinkable, today we realized that bakeries consider day-old bread to be rubbish. They're more than willing to give it to us for free (or for a very small fee). We were very glad to take it off their hands, and eat our sandwiches while giggling about our lucky free bread. Tee hee! Shh!
   Only long-distance touring cyclists and homeless people could really appreciate a find like this. At the moment, we're not sure which category we fit into.

"I never lie when olives are involved."
- Kevin.
Day 272: I'm cold, and there are wolves after me.
Distance Travelled: 61.7km Temperature: 12°
Time on Trikes: 7.0h Water Left: 1.5L
Terrain: Miserable
End Location: Farmer's Field
it's us against him
The rain is getting us down. It's wet (duh.) and cold. In turn, we are also wet and cold. And grumpy. That's one thing the rain isn't, I'm sure. In fact, I think the rain is enjoying chasing us down the peninsula. Each day it let's us outrun a cloud or two until it becomes bored and just dumps it down on our poor unprotected heads. Then, it giggles maniacly, and chases down some sheep who look too peaceful.
   Us and the sheep. Playthings of the devil.

"I'm the only person in the world who has to take off my socks to step outside in the pouring rain onto the wet cold grass to have a pee… and YOU'RE LAUGHING, YOU... RAKISH TURD!"
- Aimee.
Day 273: Pies & More Pies
Distance Travelled: 61.3km Temperature: 11°
Time on Trikes: 8.0h Water Left: 1.5L
Terrain: Worst Environment Imaginable
End Location: Coffin Bay Turnoff
two bucks two bucks
We had a Ten Buck Budget for our five days down the coast. Under the new plan, this would have gotten us at least fifteeen loaves of bread, some tomatoes and maybe a head of lettuce. That is, until the deep fryer showed itself.
   But I've gotten ahead of myself.
   It was a bad day. A very, very bad day. There's nothing that made it a bad day, except that it was one. We raced the rain and lost about five times. Aimee actually swore and pounded her leg with her fist. Today was no more difficult than any other day. Nay, it was much easier physically than many other days. But mentally, we were finished. Too much work for no reward, so to speak. That is, until the deep fryer showed itself.
   A small town footy game consists of five things: competing footy teams; cheering parents; a beer truck; and a mess hall, serving up a sausage sizzle and chips that we could practically taste from a kilometre away.
   That was the end of both the bad day and our Ten Buck Budget.

"...well, it wasn't HEAVY heavy, like if it had a handle it wouldn't have been heavy, but the fact that it was a pastry...."
- Kevin.
Day 274: Spag Bog
Distance Travelled: 38.0km Temperature: 14°
Time on Trikes: 4.5h Water Left: 5.0L
Terrain: Steep
End Location: Kingsley & Raelene's, Pt. Lincoln
pot of gold
If you thought yesterday's sausage sizzle was the "end of the rainbow' I was telling you about earlier, you're wrong. Life gets much, much better than eating hot pies and watching the footy players slide on the wet grass.
   This morning we gladly, but wetly, flew into the city of Port Lincoln. In a trademark Kev and Aim Stroke of Luck, who would come up behind us but the entire team of Peninsula Pedallers, all geared up with their lycra and racing bikes. They were just ending their Sunday morning ride and invited us to share a cuppa with them at the local coffee shop.
   Within moments of meeting them, we had a cosy place to stay for the next few days and that night was a feast of BBQ at the home of Raelene and Kingsley Mason, two of the nicest people this side of the earth's sun. More on them, the Peninsula Pedallers and the joys of accountancy next week...

"We're either dining with celebrities or illegals, but either way it's interesting."
- Raelene.
spag bog: (abb.) spaghetti bolognaise. First mentioned by Sean back in Port Hedland, and thought to be personal idiosyncracy. Mentioned again this week by Raelene, 20 weeks later, which means the expression was more common than first thought.

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© 2003 Kevin & Aimee Beimers. Finger Poking Bloody Sequences.