week 54...
on a whinge and a prayer

Hobart to Glengarry

Break me resolve? Break me chain? Break me consecutive streak of unpushed hills? Any of these names would have been appropriate. Pain-In-Me-Neck could have also worked.

Whatever it is, we're at the top of it. It may have taken all day, but we're here.

The following made our Tour to Tasmania possible:

What About Rob:
Name: Robert
Home: Campbelltown

Hobbies: Smoking Hoochie-Cooch, Growing Hoochie-Cooch, Talking about Hoochie-Cooch


Before Kevin and Aimee get any letters from parents, they'd like to say this: Neither Aimee nor Kevin have ever done hoochie-cooch, nor do they condone the use of it. On this trip, they've occasionally come across it or references to it, but have used discretion because they know all ages visit this site. Having the influence over your children that they do, they wouldn't want you to get the wrong idea.

If you'd like, turn this man's interview into a lesson about what hoochie-cooch can do to you.

This is Kevin and Aimee, saying goodnight, God bless, and don't do drugs. Thank you.
meet mr. hoochie-cooch
"Are you staying anywhere tonight?" asked the odd man in the Campbelltown park, "'cuz I've got a spare room at my place." Now, you might say no to a man looking like this, but not us: we could tell he'd make for a couple of good stories...

What a great house! How old is it? It's an original colonial home, yeah, from around the 1850s or 60s. Yeah, the salvos got it for me.

How did you swing that? Oh, the salvos are great. See, I can't work anymore, since I was in this court case a while ago after I got my head bashed in outside of a pub, and the lying bastards lied in court. See, she said she had to get back to the party. Well, we weren't at no party. There were only, like, three people there. So she lied, so then I saw this thing on 60 Minutes, so I'm trying to get them to do a story. Hey, remember that Canadian guy in the Japan Olympics who had his metal taken away because he smoked mari-ju-wana?

Yeah, the snowboarder? Yeah, and he said he was at a party where other people were smoking mari-ju-wana, and that's how he got it in his system, so they gave him his metal back. I reckon, now, that's a great excuse, if I were ever caught. You know what they do in Queensland?

Nope. What do they do in Queensland? See, Queensland are so behind, especially the cops, because, like, in Victoria where I used to live if they caught you with hoochie-cooch, they, like, would hardly do nothing, but in Queensland they can fine you, like, 375 dollars. That's why I live in Tasmania now. Hoochie-cooch, man. Hey, do you know Barry... um... Barry Something. He's in a band...

Probably not. Yeah, see, I'm not that great with names. I don't remember names so good anymore, see, ever since I got my head bashed in outside of a pub. See, that girl, I think she got the guy to lie in court. There were two other guys, and the one was talking real quiet, and when the guy asked him to speak up, he was all nervous, and I think she got him to lie. Hey, what do you think of this?

What is it? It's the first draft of my letter to 60 minutes, because I want this guy to do a story on me, because the statue-whaddyacallit is seven years, and it's been six, so I don't have much time to get the lying bastards who lied in court. Sorry, I don't have much food in the house.

That's okay, we got some pasta. Want some of ours? Nah, I gotta run up to the pub later because my mate, I don't know where he is, I'm meeting him up there, he's got my hoochie-cooch, and I have to go get it if I can find him. Hey, you don't smoke, so I won't smoke while you're here. I don't want to make you uncomfortable or anything.

Us, uncomfortable? Nah. Cool.
these are the people in our neighbourhood...

Go up Bust-Me-Gall, down Break-Me-Neck, and take a left into Buckland. Can't miss it. It's the Ye Olde Buckland Inn, owned by Ian, with a comfy, if not unusual, little room in the attic for weary travellers. Remember: never ever pass up an offer of accommodation: you just might get a scallop pie out of the deal.
The Five Backpackers
Five friendly boys from all over the world pulled up Wednesday evening for a chit-chat. We were so tired, we can't recall any of their names or nationalities, but we know they were supportive and cheerful, and will probably have an excellent time the rest of the way around Australia. Nice guys finish first!
The Roo Shooters
Saturday Morning, Lake Leake Rd. Last night we camped in the only space we could find, which was a cattle gate slightly recessed from the roadside. We were woken by a fleet of utes, each containing at least two men and eight dogs. They weren't going to work; they were on a weekend roo-shoot! Needless to say, we didn't ask to join them.
The photographer from Australian Cyclist, who we couldn't seem to co-ordinate a meeting with, finally found us in Campbelltown! We couldn't get him in Hobart, missed him in Swansea, and were supposed to call him from Launceston in two days. He was on his way up the Midlands highway and spotted the bikes! They tend to stand out like that. Photo shoot done. Sweet!
Save the Tasmanian Forests!
These earth-minded individuals are on a quest to stop Forestry Tasmania from chopping down trees for pastureland! Dressed in their best orange coveralls and sporting "Clean, green or just obscene" signs, they're out to win their state forests back! Good luck guys!
After this week, it's about time to open a kin-can of Skinnylegs on Lonely Planet.

Now, Kevin and Aimee don't travel with Lonely Planet. In fact, I'd consider them the Anti-Lonely Planet, because instead of travelling around a country with their nose in a book, eating where they say to eat, staying where they say to stay, they actually get out there and discover stuff for themselves. And sleep on the side of the highway. You want to know how lonely this planet is? You won't find it in your little book, because everyone else is reading it too, and probably going to show up to wherever you're going on the same day.

Anyhoo, the Beimerses were handed a copy of the Lonely Planet Cycling Guide to Tasmania the other day. "Mr. Skinnylegs," they said to me, "we know you don't like Lonely Planet, but we'd just like to see what the East Coast is like. Besides, we know one of the editors, and he's a pretty decent chap." Fine, I told them, just warn me next time, so I'm not standing downwind.

Now, here's a direct quote from Lonely Planet: "Day 2: Orford to Coles Bay. The Tasman Hwy between Orford and Swansea is neardead flat and with a common south-east tailwind and sea views all the way, it's one of the most pleasant day's riding imaginable." Umm... yeah, okay, maybe in a Toyota. Kev & Aim spent more time pushing the bikes up the near-dead-flat hills than I do thinking about my missing nipple. Listen, do yourself a favour, and tear out page 235.

I'll tell you why Lonely Planet sucks most of all: because it doesn't rhyme with anything insulting. Homely Cram-It was the best I could do, and I'm usually good at that sort of thing.

I'm Mr. Skinnylegs, and 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.
wally's amazin' facts!
I tried to con you last week, asking you about Poms while wearing my convict get-up. Lots of people think the word POM stood for Port Of Melbourne, where the prisoners were brought in. Others think the word is POME, short for Prisoner Of Mother England. But the answer is actually a lot dumber than that. Aussies use a fair bit of rhyming slang, and in the late 19th century, one bright fella thought that pomegranate sounded like it rhymed with immigrant. So, instead of a boatload of immigrants docking, it was a boatload of pomegranates. Ha! Clever bloke!

This Week's Amazin' Fact: Did you know that the Huon Pine, native to Tasmania, is one of the finest boadbuilding timbers in the world? Aside from being a big-ass tree, it's very durable, and has an extremely high water resistance. It also makes very nice fridge magnets!

So now you know which Tazzie trees make the best boats. Which Tazzie trees make the best trees? I'm looking for the tallest, of course. In other words, you won't find them in the Pilbara. You will, however, find them on next week's Amazin' Facts! Look for the wombat!

Don't forget to look for Wally this week!
Distance this week: 223kmDistance since Day 1: 13924km

What is Bikeabout? Click here to find out!

Day 372: Bust-Me-Chain
Distance Travelled: 57.8km Temperature: 13
Time on Trikes: 8.0h Water Left: 1.5L
Terrain: Busted me gall
End Location: Ye Olde Buckland Inn
the golden state
Apparently if you were to take a sledgehammer to Tasmania (granted, a very large, God-sized sledgehammer) it would flatten out to an area the size of Australia. It seems a little hard to believe when looking at your trusty atlas and comparing the size of itty bitty Tassie and the big bulky pancake of a mainland, but after today, I'm willing to give this theory a bit of credit.
   Traditionally, we like to celebrate milestones like our 10,000th kilometre, or the half-way point in the ride, but today we have a much more significant milestone that makes the others pale in comparison... Today is the first day that we had to push the bikes up a hill.
   Break out the frickin' champagne.

"Not a bad downhill. Good enough to tear a hole in the tarp, anyway."
- Aimee.
Day 373: Good or Bad? You Decide.
Distance Travelled: 57.1km Temperature: 14
Time on Trikes: 8.5h Water Left: 3.5L
Terrain: Anything but 'near dead flat'
End Location: Little Swanport
a passing grade
Today is the second day of the entire expedition that we had to push
the bikes up a hill.

However, the 14% grade was a downhill. Don't know why they suggest switching into low gear now, when I've been on my lowest gear for most of the morning.

Care to experience our 14% grade downhill?
We thought you might.
Do the hill with us. (968K)

"And I thought we were roughing it: in our Subaru Foresters, only staying at four star hotels..."
- Orford travellers.
Day 374: Good Morning Swansea!
Distance Travelled: 23.8km Temperature: 16
Time on Trikes: 3.5h Water Left: 1.0L
Terrain: Seaside Views
End Location: Cosy Cabin, Swansea
the bad and the good
At the risk of sounding redundant... this is the third day we had to push the bikes up a hill. We're developing new muscles from walking so much.
   We were going to try to make it all the way to Bicheno today, only another 40km. We could have made it, too. We arrived in Swansea at 9:30am, which was plenty of time to do 40km (well, one never knows, when you take into account the height. The X-component might be 40km, but they neglect to take into account the hypoteneuse).
   But as things happen, people get older, people get lazier, and when a cabin opened up at the Swansea Cosy Cabins, well, we just couldn't pass that up.

"That is all one piece of roo meat."
- Swansea Butcher.
Day 375: Snug as a Bug
Distance Travelled: 0.0km Temperature: 16
End Location: Cosy Cabin, Swansea
From our Cosy Cabin in the truly beautiful town of Swansea (which I believe has some of the best coastal views in Australia, with the possible exception of Coles Bay, which has a view of Swansea), we had two options:

option #1 We cycle up to Elephant's Pass and onto St. Helen's and beyond. This is the true adventurers choice on the East Coast. It brings you through some amazing ocean-side scenery and very hilly terrain. Well worth the climbs, if you've got a bike that can still technically climb.

option #2 We cycle up to Elephant's Pass, then cut in at St. Mary's towards Devonport. This would save our bikes to a certain extent and still allow us to take in a bit more scenery on the East Coast while experiencing the famous Elephant Pancake Barn at the summit of Elephant's Pass. From what we've heard, it's well worth the climb, if you've got a bike that can still technically climb.

option #3 Ahhh. Did I say two? This is the third option. The wildcard. This option brings us directly across to the Midlands Highway to Campbelltown. While not nearly as scenic as the East Coast, it would still offer us a great view of the ocean and the area around Swansea. It would also give us a second chance to sample this local delicacy again. From what we've heard, it's pretty flat, which is good if you've got a bike which, as I mentioned previously, can't technically climb hills.
   It's not a decision to be made lightly. It's also not a decision to be made today. Today we enjoy Swansea. Tomorrow, we decide to climb or not to climb. (Bet you'll never guess!)

"It's like every hair of my body is being torn out painfully. Want to try?"
- Aimee.
Day 376: This is what disgruntled looks like
Distance Travelled: 55.1km Temperature: 13
Time on Trikes: 9.0h Water Left: 3.0L
Terrain: Entirely Friggin Uphill
End Location: Lake Leake Rd
penguins take the joker
Looks like we're wildcard sorts. After much deliberation and thinking only of the state of the bikes, we decided to cut in to Campbelltown. Essentially, we felt that it was either cut in and finish the expedition on the mainland or go the extra mile up Elephant's Pass and pretty well put the bikes to pasture. Sure, we'd enjoy a very large plate of yummy pancakes, but our dreams of circling the entire continent would have been squashed. Squashed like... like an elephant, standing on a large plate of pancakes. Don't ask me where that came from.
   We can hear the Tazzie Devils laughing now, because we decided to take the 'flatter' route. Those devils are laughing because the chosen 'flatter' route was actually 200m higher in elevation than Elephant's Pass. The difference was in steepness. Where Elephant's Pass is a climb of 400m, it occurs over eight kilometres. However, Lake Leake Road brings you to a height of 640m, over an agonizingly slow 25km kilometres. It's the equivilent of choosing to tear off a bandaid or slowly peel it off. We decided to peel.
   Peeling was the right option, though. We pedalled up the entire road (mostly), and the bikes survived to cycle another day. On a positive note, can't wait for tomorrow's downhill!

- Source.
Day 377: Give me a break
Distance Travelled: 21.6km Temperature: 17
Time on Trikes: 1.5h Water Left: 1.5L
Terrain: Zoom!
End Location: Robert's, Campbelltown
the tassie god of goodness
What a glorious day! For every day that Tasmania puts us to the test, or rains us out, or puts a mountain in our path, it offers in return a sunny day, a newborn lamb or a chance for us to match our speed record. Today it offered all of those things as we rolled in Campbelltown.
   I'll tell you one thing about Tasmania: they know how to do downhills. They're still learning with the uphills, but boy oh boy, do they know how to design a kick-ass downhill. Our ride down from Lake Leake was one continuous winding 50km/hr slope, and for one brief moment we reached 67km/hr - the same speed that we reached on week one of the trip and have been unable to replicate since. If we'd only had another few hundred metres before the next curve, we would have cracked it, too ('it' being 'the frame of the bikes').
   P.S. We're really sorry about littering on Lake Leake Road. It happened while we were going very, very fast and the bikes were in danger of shaking apart. We would have stopped when the bag of garbage flew off the bikes, but to do so would have burned out all of our tires and we would have been several kilometres away. To make ammends, we've been picking up other people's trash ever since.

"So I knew this guy, and he was telling me, you know those guys who come to your house with the bibles? Well, he gave them biscuits he made, but they had hoochie-cooch in them, and you shoulda seen them, trying to ride home on their bike, all over the road, like, freaking out. In Queensland, they'd throw you in jail for that. Shouldn't give drugs to someone who's never done 'em before, that's not good. Except, I did it to my dad once. That was funny."
- Robert.
Day 378: We have LIFTOFF!
Distance Travelled: 8.0km Temperature: 13
Time on Trikes: 1.0h Water Left: 0.5L
Terrain: Done with Tazzie!
End Location: David & Deborah's, Glengarry
every loop has a hole
Two major accomplishments today! Number one: We have officially closed the loop! Tasmania, in our eyes, is done like dinner.
   You see, we have a policy. Two policies, in fact. The first is that to cycle around Australia, one must complete a loop. You can be picked up and driven somewhere in event of an emergency, as long as you're driven back to the point you left before continuing. Two such incidents where this has occurred were in Mataranka and Apsley. Both times we were dropped off to continue the unbroken loop. Why? Because you'd feel pretty dumb biking all the way around Australia except those 35km where you got a ride.
   The second policy (actually, we have three policies, if you include "never trust a church with padded seats") is that if we have to do the same road twice, we can take a ride the second time. Think about it: If you draw a line, then without taking your pen off the page, you draw over it, it still looks like one line, right? The loop is still unbroken.
   And so, with that in mind, when we arrived in Campbelltown, it occurred to us that we'd been there before. From here on, we'd just be pedalling the same old road to get us back up the the boat in Devonport. Ergo: Save the bikes. Call your friend with the trailer. Go have a nice dinner and sleep for a few days. You've earned it.
   By the way, if you're wondering about the second accomplishment: We actually got the Irish Space Shuttle to take off. It really works! Zowie!

"I only eat processed meat."
- Samantha.

yummy in the tummy!
Week 52, we asked you what the hell this was.
The correct answer was from Michael Walker...

It's a Deep Fried Mars Bar!

We also said that creative answers will receive honourable mentions. The most creative other answer we received was "Mutton." Enh. Nice try, Nolan.

wog: (n.) since Wally dealt with 'Pom', we might as well get the other derogatory immigrant label out of the way... Wog refers to Southern European immigrants, such as Italian or Greek. Not a nice word.
For a better definition, rent The Wog Boy, starring Nick Giannopolous.

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© 2003 Kevin & Aimee Beimers. Like living with a four year old.