week 48...
the rainmakers

Horsham to Ballarat

Hey hey! It's me, Wally! It's time to visit my old classmates from Horsham 298! Hooray!

I was soooo looking forward to get back to 298 and see all of my old friends again. I'm enjoying being on the road, but there's nothing quite like going home, even if it's just for a short visit. I hid in his hidey-hole while Kevin and Aimee talked to all my friends about our trikes and our trip, and then... SURPRISE!!! Here's Wally!

But you know what? I'd been away for so long, the kids didn't even recognize me! Maybe it's because I was a little older and a little more cultured, maybe it was because they'd had gotten a little bigger, or maybe it was just my keen new hat I was wearing, but a lot of my friends didn't believe I was me! "IT'S ME! IT'S MEEEE!" I shouted. Jeepers! Have I changed that much?

Later, I went around the room, said hello and I got a pat on the bottom from everyone I knew, and I even met nine or ten new friends that weren't in Mr. Clough's class last year. I think they believed me once they saw me up close. I hope so, anyway.

All in all, I had a pretty good day! Hot Diggity! Don't forget to enter my contest below! See you around, you Year Four clowns!
who's wally wombat?
I'm Wally Wombat, yes the real Wally Wombat, all you other Wally Wombats are just lookin' for some combat! So will the real Wally Wombat please stand up? That's me! Yay!

Ask yourself this... what amazin' facts do you know about me? Have you learned anything I've taught you? Would you, unlike the Year Fours, recognize me if you saw me? Let's see what you know about the world wide web's favourite world wide wombat...

1. Where was I hiding my first week on the site?
Near a Coffee Cup   On Dave's Ute   In an Esky
2. What was my girlfriend's name on Magnetic Island?
Jess   Tess   Wes   Shaniqua
3. On which week do I have gold teeth?
Week 2   Week 21   Week 35   Week 10
4. On Week 24, I tell you all about the oldest form of living organism in the world. What is it?
Stalagmites   Stromatolites   Vegemites
5. What's my favourite late night talk show?
Parkinson   Andrew Denton
Letterman   Rove Live
6. Who's mouth will you find me in on Week 6?
Simon Vivian's   Kermit the Frog's
Andrew Denton's   A puppy's
7. What was the fastest wind ever recorded in Australia?
150km/h   290km/h   330km/h   A fart  
8. Which of these exclamations have I never said?
Jeepers!   Gadzooks!   Hot Diggity!

Gadzooks! This contest's over!
The most correct answers came from
Krista Wise!
Seven out of eight ain't bad! The real answers are on Week 66!
Atticus Maximus:
Contemporary Rock
Songs: Six
Bass: Lee Wallis
Drums: Catherine W.
Vocals: Another chick

Lee's Top 3 Albums:
1. The New Metallica
2. By the Way, RHCP
3. Powderfinger

meet the bassist of atticus
Lee Wallis, Horsham's answer to Flea. If you've never heard of Atticus, now you have, and you heard it here first.

What's the future of Atticus look like? It rocks. We're competing at the Battle of the Bands next weekend at the pub. We've got a great chance of winning, and it's the same night the Androids are playing.

So what your saying is that Atticus is opening for the Androids? Yeah, I guess.

Never sell yourself short in this business. Have you got an album? We just finished putting together an EP, six songs. Except, the guy who mixed it can't find it anymore.

Now, what's going to be your first release? Probably Hilde's Song. Hilde was a Norwegian exchange student who was part of the band before she moved back home. She wrote the lyrics; it's a great song.

Who are your influences? Probably Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers...

Bob Dylan? Bob Who?
I took a walk down the breakfast aisle at the Supa Valu the other day (shoulda called it the Stupa Valu, if you ask me), and you know what I found? CRAP, that's what. How come there aren't any fun cereals here? Where's the frickin' marshmallows and stuff? It all Weeties and Oaties and Cornies and Grainies. Barf. The coolest you've got is Coco Pops? That's the best you can do? Sheesh.

Hey, look, by the way, if you're wondering why I'm looking more and more, erm, unkempt every week, it's 'cuz I don't do so good in the rain. Whaddya want from me? I'm made of frickin' paper mache and water based paint. Anyway, I'd appreciate it if you didn't say anything. I'm kind of sensitive about it.

Yeah, so, cereal? I reckon that's crap.

Be sure to read "I Reckon That's Crap" every week, only on Beimers.com!

*The opinions expressed by Mr. Skinnylegs do not necessarily reflect those of beimers.com. If you have any complaints, direct them to mrskinnylegs@beimers.com.
these are the people in our neighbourhood...

The Stevens
It's Ann and Ken! It's Ann and Ken! We took the ride out to Haven to drop in on the Stronsay Bed & Breakfast and have a cuppa with our old mates, the Stevens. They're busy busy busy, which, when you're running a B&B, is a good thing!
The Wallises
Chris Wallis taught with my dad at Horsham High back in 1982, and he's been trying to catch up with me for a year. His fondest memory of my dad involves Canadian Club whisky... it seems he can't remember much after that. Nice to meet you!
Rory, Margaret & Kieran
I didn't take a picture, I didn't really see what they looked like or heard anything they said, but they win the prize of being the only people ever to stop in the rain and help us change a tire. More people honk, but nobody stops. Well, honourable mention to the Ryan family!
John & Paul
Yet another Paul that gives clout to the rule of Pauls: I've never met a Paul I didn't like. It seems the biblical name inspires honesty and integrity in its owner. Notice how many Pauls become firemen, medical workers, and charity workers. His mate, John, wasn't such a bad guy either.
Surprise! Dominick, the on-the-spot roving reporter for ABC Radio Ballarat caught us coming out the supermarket with some Corn Flakes and asked us for an interview! Too bad he picked the day after our WORST DAY EVER to interview us. We made him feel so sorry for us, he took some of our gear in his car to Ballarat for us and dropped it off at Richard's! Thanks, Dom!
This is the Richard whose house at which Dominick dropped our gear. This is also the Richard who is the son of John Patterson, the man who picked us up at the airport. He lived in my house in Canada in 1982 while my dad was drinking Canadian Club with Chris Wallis in his. He and Sally, his fiancee, didn't even know we were coming. We just dropped in and slept on their couch! You'll meet Sally next week.
wally's amazin' facts!
As if you haven't had enough of me this week. Hey, who else on this site is going to tell you that Bridgette Muir was the first Australian woman to climb Mount Everest? Mr. Skinnylegs? I don't think so!

This Week's Amazin' Fact: Ballarat may have been the centre of the Victorian gold rush back in 1850, but today it makes its money from a different kind of gold... golden caramel, to be precise, poured over rich, creamy nougat and coated in milk chocolate. I'm talking about Mars! The Ballarat Mars factory provides Mars and M&Ms to the entire South Pacific. If you buy a Mars bar in Singapore, chances are it was made here!

Until next week, let this question melt in your mouth: What do the M's of M&M stand for?

Don't forget to look for Wally this week!
Distance this week: 219kmDistance since Day 1: 13090km

What is Bikeabout? Click here to find out!

Day 330: When's Recess?
Distance Travelled: 19.9km Temperature: 14
Time on Trikes: 2.5h Water Left: 1.0L
Terrain: Horsham Rush hour
End Location: Simon's
injury-free for 330 days
The Year Fours may not have remembered Wally, but they certainly remembered us! Look at that excitement!
   Actually, the joy of the kids of 298 may not have been captured by the camera, but they had a great time, and surely remembered us. In fact, when we first arrived in Horsham, we pulled into the Shopping Centre, and one kid waiting for his mum by the car saw us and actually said, "Hi Kevin, hi Aimee." Either a gifted memory, or Mr. Vivian blabbed we were coming.
   This visit, we started off the afternoon in with the old school chums, showing them our route on the map, and the trikes themselves. Then, for the last 20 minutes of school, we went out onto the Netball court and talked to the rest of the school. Caught up with Mr. Clough, Ms. Jackman, and all the old friends from a year ago.
   One startling revelation... one of the kids asked us if we'd ever been injured on the trip. The answer: No! Can you believe that? No torn ligaments, no broken bones, no scraped shins, no lost toes. Incredible. Shackleton should have been so lucky.

"Put your hand up if any of you are impressed by this."
- Kevin.
Day 331: New & Improved!
Distance Travelled: 4.6km Temperature: 13
Terrain: Just up to the shops
End Location: Simon's
are you being served?
Not ones for beating around the bush, we decided today that, just for kicks, we'd look for a new online host for the beimers.com enterprise. A simple task, easy enough to do while you're travelling. All you have to do is follow this simple checklist:
  1. Dig around online to find a suitable host, preferably one that offers three times the amount of space at a quarter of the price of your current host. Check.
  2. Email Danny, who has broadband. Ask him to download everything from your old server, burn it onto a CD, and then upload it onto your new server. Should take him 14 hours, tops. Check.
  3. Tell the internet registration company where they can find your new DNS server. They should take 24 to 72 hours to make the switch. Check.
  4. Get onto your new host and re-enter all the old email addresses, subdomains, and mailing list members. Check.
  5. Get onto your old host and tell them to go reboot themselves. Check.
And that's all there is to it! Some companies spend weeks, months even, preparing for this moment, and make the tech staff sleep at the hosts office and on blow-up mattresses to ensure minimum down time. Us? We just decided to do it in the middle of our bike ride. No worries, mate!

"Is that somebody's cell phone? Nope, it's an eggplant!"
- Kevin.
Day 332: Hello? Psychic Hotline?
Distance Travelled: 0.0km Temperature: 11
End Location: Simon's
are you being served, part 2
If you can still read this, it means the transfer went smoothly. Yay! All systems go!
   On our last server, we had a maximum of 350Mb of space. We were using about 390Mb of it, and getting goat-assed on the cost of every Meg over the top. Now, we've got a Gig of space!
   And you know what that means? It means we've got the space to keep travelling for three more years! That's travelling, taking photos, and writing down everything that happens to us for you folks at home. Now that's something to celebrate! What a great opportunity to treat yourself to something at The Beimers.com Giftshop! Get us something too!

"There isn't much I can do to fix Chris's computer problems over the phone. Tell him it's slow because he looks at too much porn."
- Kevin.
Day 333: The Sky is Falling
Distance Travelled: 0.0km Temperature: 8
End Location: Simon's
dropping in
See that guy standing by the window? That's Chris Wallis, an old mate of my dad's who still lives in Horsham.
   See that stuff he's looking at out the window? That's called rain. Now, while Aimee and I have seen our share of rain in the last few weeks, it's very new to Chris. It's a rare thing for all of Horsham, actually. They haven't seen rain in about five years.
   Tonight, the rain came in with a bang, literally. Thunder and lightning and thrashing winds and fallen branches. In Horsham! No wonder Chris was so pre-occupied. Mind you, he may not have seen rain in five years, but he hasn't seen me in twenty.

"I draw the line at Macho Man. I have this fear that someone's going to come into the room and catch me."
- Simon.
Day 334: Milo, just like mom used to make
Distance Travelled: 75.7km Temperature: 11
Time on Trikes: 9.5h Water Left: 0.5L
Terrain: Scenic
End Location: Stawell Van Park
kumbayah, my lord
I think the last time we stayed in an honest to goodness caravan park was in Carnarvon, about a billion kilometres ago. Back when the earth was warm.
   Tonight, we stayed in the caravan park next to The Sister Rocks, on the way to Ballarat. At first, we were going to just pitch our tent at the Rocks, but we were getting a creepy vibe from all the graffiti. It looked like the sort of place where a lot of underage drinkers could hide from the country cops at night while beating up vagrants like us and hiding their bodies amongst the rocks so that the country cops would never find them. The caravan park was only 500m up the road.
   It generally goes against our principles to stay at a van park, on the ideal that why should we pay $13 to sleep on the ground in a park, when we can sleep on the ground for free everywhere else. The answer finally revealed itself after being shrouded in mystery for so long: Mission Impossible was on in the TV Room! Yay!

"Is one sandwich enough for you?
I mean, one sandwich and half a banana cake?"
- Aimee.
Day 335: Day is Done, and so am I
Distance Travelled: 72.9km Temperature: 6
Time on Trikes: 9.5h Water Left: 0.5L
Terrain: Crap
End Location: Beaufort Pub
We told you we'd save it for a day we really needed it! Thanks to
Michael, Idana & Noam Kellman
who provided the donation for us to stay indoors tonight!

Buy us a gift at
The Giftshop!
Get yourself one too!
you had a bad day?
Don't you hate it when you say something like "I had a bad day today," and somebody one-ups you with "You think you had a bad day? Let me tell you about my day." Like it's some kind of ongoing contest to prove who had a worse day.
   Today, however, no matter how bad your day was, there's a pretty good chance that unless you lost a limb, our day was worse than yours. I could easily say this was the worst day of our trip, possibly even our worst since birth. In fact, for me to tell you about our day, I need to revert to point form in order to fit in how bad it really was. You think you had a bad day?
  • Day began at -1C, and condensation had seeped into the tent to wet our sleeping bag
  • Rain began at 11am. Not mist, not drizzle, but heavy, fat, pelting, chubby rain. Good for the farmers, bad for us.
  • Strong wind, never quite going in the direction we want it to.
  • Punctured two tires, but needed to change tubes four times. Why? Because we've been carrying a pile of both good and bad tubes, intending to mend the bad ones when convenient. Well, it certainly wasn't convenient today, I can tell you.
  • Purchased one new tread in Ararat. Thank goodness we did, because we ruined two during the course of the afternoon. The purchased tread, when inflated above 35psi, would bulge in one spot. Finished the last 15km of the day wobbling on one side and pumping every 2km on the other.
  • Changed one tire in the rain in front of the Buangor pub, much to the delight of the vastly dull patrons, who, when we entered the pub to warm ourselves at the fire, couldn't think of anything more intelligent to say than, "Why don't you stay here for the rest of the night and get on the piss?" Gosh, what an invitation!
  • Rode the last 5km into Beaufort (or rather, the Mobil near Beaufort) in the dark, in the rain, without the aid of our trusty reflective vest which, unbeknownst to us, fell off the back of the bike that day.
The only good thing to come out of today was Paul. Paul and John were eating their Saturday meal at the Mobil, and agreed to escort us the rest of the way into town, for safety's sake. And so, at 8km/h, Paul followed behind us in his car on the side of the highway with his hazards on. Straight to the Beaufort Pub, where we entered the restaurant looking like drowned kangaroo rats and mustered the energy to say, "Room?" Once inside, we shivered for three hours under the electric blanket, all the while thinking about having to get up and do it again tomorrow.
   I would like to say that he went through it all with a smile, but I don't think maniacal laughter counts.

"That last hill into town? Some serious guess work there.
Like, driving by numbers."
- Aimee.
Day 336: Toejam Football
Distance Travelled: 46.3km Temperature: 4
Time on Trikes: 4.5h Water Left: 0.0L
Terrain: Galewind Tailwind
End Location: Richard & Sally's, Ballarat
i told you so
Holy Frickin' Frack! I didn't know it could happen in Australia.
   I've got frostbite. A full day spent outside in the freezing rain with my feet elevated has given me a mild case of frostbite.
   Don't worry, though. It's not the full-blown, bulby, get the scalpel sort of frostbite. It's the itchy, sausage toe type. I'll survive. I'll spend some hours of my life scratching, but I'll make it through.

A note to my unbelieving Canadian sister:

"I'm still feeling about two standard deviations below the mean."
- Kevin.
goog: (n.) egg, I think. A 'goog' is an egg, but eggs are sometimes described as 'googy eggs', which I guess means 'eggy eggs'.
full as a goog: (ex.) Even if you eat too much, you can't get more full than an egg. "No seconds for me. I'm full as a goog."

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© 2003 Kevin & Aimee Beimers. Are you sure? (Y/N)