week 6...
pigs in our space

Richmond to Mount Isa

What's the best way to beat the heat in Outback Oz? Simple! Do your riding while the sun's asleep!

We took up the hobby of night riding once the temperature jumped 10 degrees. During the day, we just cuddle up under a nice big tree... IN OUR DREAMS. You think there are nice big trees here? Ha! I suppose you think we break out the tea and crumpets at noon, too! A vast wasteland, I tell you.

During the day, you guzzle down as much sun-warmed greasy bore water as you can and slowly watch it seep out the holes in your body like some bad beer commercial where a cowboy goes into the saloon for refreshment and doesn't realize he's been shot six times. And you think he's got problems, "poor cowboy" you say, but at least the cowboy's got a freakin' horse! It's miserable!

That's why we ride at night now.
it happens...
Ladies and gentlemen, let's talk about poop.

We had to get around to it sooner or later. The quality of the site, after all, has been on a slow, downward spiral into The Land of Low-Brow Humour. Pretty soon, you knew we'd be talking about bums, or farting, or how picking your nose and eating it tastes different in the dusty outback than it does on the streets of San Francisco. Yum! And let's face it, Wally can only keep the kids entertained for so long.

When there's over 100km between towns, sometimes, well, you just can't hold it. You sit in your little bike seat, and squirm. You try to pedal with your knees together, but you just end up looking like Martin Short doing the My Little Buttercup dance on The Three Amigos. YOU HAVE TO POOP!

By law, we must now state that due to the graphic nature of the following material, we must ask that you censor yourselves accordingly. If you are:
  1. under the age of 18, or are unaccompanied by a parent, guardian, or Mr. Clough;
  2. offended by anything that occurs below the waist and above the knees;
  3. live in the state of Mississippi;

...please do not read the following commentary. Instead, please go enjoy this photograph of smooth, creamy chocolate.

how to crap in the bush
1. Ask yourself, "The next town is 248 kilometres away... can I make it?"
2. If the answer is no, get the garden shovel and the toilet paper from its place on the back of the bike.
3. Dig a hole. It should be at least 5cm deep, and, boys, since you've got extra bits, it doesn't hurt to make the hole a little longer to catch everything.
4. Stare at the hole. Assess again whether it's really necessary that you go right this moment.
5. Pull your pants down to your knees, AND your pantlegs UP to your knees. If you think you're using a toilet, and you leave everything around your ankles... ugh... better yet, first timers may want to take their pants all the way off.
6. Now, squat. Preferably over the hole. Now, close your eyes and say to yourself "It's a toilet... It's a toilet... It's a toilet..."
7. You're done! Put your pants back on and take a bow! Don't forget to wipe!
by the way, speaking of crap...

Click here to sign up!
What is the Crappy Gift Exchange?
these are the people in our neighbourhood...
Barbara, Kelly & Britney
Remember Jim? He's the one who stopped and gave us the cold custard last week. Well, we ran into Jim again today on his way back to Darwin He gave us beer! Less than an hour later, Jim's wife Barbara, along with Kelly and Brittany, stopped us and said hello! And they gave us beer too! We love the O'Doherty family!
We're at the library. A lady with a helmet sees our helmets, and asks us about our bikes. She invites us for a cuppa. We meet her husband and kids. Her husband is from Canada. He has a cousin in Thunder Bay. Named Jamie Rodgers. Jamie Rodgers? Red hair? Took Comp Sci at Lakehead? Does a passable impersonation of Dr. Hasegawa? You're joking! Jamie Rodger's cousin... in Julia Creek. Well, holy frickin' frack.
John & Alice
These wacky folks introduced us to two handy things: the Solar Shower (a hanging black bag of sun heated water), and pineapple cordial. Luckily, the sun heats ALL our water, so we can always have a hot shower, with or without the Solar Shower. But pineapple cordial? Two litres of that can sweeten 20 litres of crummy bore water! We'll take two bottles!
Henry, Martin and Jutta
As we learned last week, if you stay at a rest area long enough, somebody will give you a drink. We met these three German travellers, and were lucky enough for the drink to be beer. They were on an interesting package: Relocate a camper from Cairns to Alice Springs in 5 days (that's 2500km) and the use of the camper is free. Better get moving!
Benny and the Rev
Benny's the dog. Reverend Kev is the guy. Believe it or not, we saw him twice, at the vehicle inspection station near Cloncurry, then again halfway to Mount Isa. His home is in his van, or, when he reaches a rest area, the rest area. Plants and everything.
The Cosbys
This is Andrew, Amy, Eleisha and Sook Wei and Kermit (adopted). They're from Frankston, Victoria, and wouldn't you know it, we've been through that place on our way out to Philip Island. Okay, so it's not as cool as meeting Jamie Rodgers' cousin, but it's still neat.
wally's amazin' facts!
The Dalrymple Shire is home to over 644,000 cattle! That's more cows than any other shire in Queensland! Holy... um... Mackarel!

This Week's Amazin' Fact: The Dunnart, a tiny marsupial thought by the 'experts' to be extinct, turned up super-duper unextinct in the Julia Creek area! Now they're breeding them in captivity! I read that on the back of a postcard!

Speaking of reading, ever wonder how Outback Queensland libraries have such great books? And new, too! Well, start wondering, because you won't find out until later!

Don't forget to look for Wally this week!
dean and the mount isa guy...
separated at birth?

Distance this week: 435kmDistance since Day 1: 2449km

What is Bikeabout? Click here to find out!

Sign up today! Get crap in the mail tomorrow!

Day 37: Our Hero
Distance Travelled: 16.7km Temperature: 35
Time on Trikes: 1.5h Water Left: 5.0L
Terrain: Rolling Hills
End Location: Allan's Farm
guess who's coming to tea?
A warm bed, home-cooked food, a newborn calf and a singing Aussie with a heart of gold. Who knew we were in for such an exciting evening?
   Allan found us sitting outside of the Food Mart in Richmond, lapping up our Milo-enriched milk like a couple of half-starved kittens.
   We immediately took a liking to each other and before we knew it he had taken us in and was feeding us, bathing us (not personally), and enriching our evening in a way that Milo can't.
   Allan's a rare sort, overwhelming us with his spirit and warmth. Even his constant readjustment of Kev's name was wonderfully quirky and provided us with dozens of laughs throughout the night as we called each member of Allan's family so that they could talk to "The Canadians - Aimee & Keith."
   If you ever find yourself in Richmond, head on up to Allan & Sue's Place (Sue was in Brisbane when we visited.) He lives 4km W of Richmond - the house on the hill, right after the road to Winton, with the red guardrails. Drop in for a cuppa and tell him we said G'Day.
   That newborn calf's name is Kevin, by the way. Or maybe Keith. Either way, it's a nice gesture.

"I've never been called a 'sausage' before... I'm kind of flattered."
- Kevin.
Day 38: I Can See Topeka!
Distance Travelled: 109.0km Temperature: 38
Time on Trikes: 11.0h Water Left: 14L
Terrain: Flat
End Location: Roadside, 40km from Julia Creek
next stop, pottersville
Allan woke us up this morning (at 6am) with a rousing tune from the forties and two cups of hot tea. We considered chucking in this adventure stuff and staying on with him for the rest of our lives, but we knew we had an obligation, not only to our sponsors, but to all of you as well. Besides, Allan was almost out of food. So we decided to move on.
   And move on we did. Let's both take a moment to look at the mileage for today. One hundred and nine kilometers. Now let's look at the temperature. Thirty-eight degrees.
   Amazing. We are frickin' frackin' amazing.

"He looks like he wants to be the mailman."
- Aimee.
Day 39: Technological Disaster
Distance Travelled: 111.5km Temperature: 40
Time on Trikes: 13.5h Water Left: 8.0L
Terrain: Flat
End Location: JC/Clon Rest Area
barbed wire
We are "somewhat in the middle of nowhere". This stretch of bitumen between Richmond and Cloncurry is the emptiest stretch o' land that we'll encounter...that is until after Mount Isa. At that point, we'll have a pretty bad stretch of nothingness until Darwin. But all this is nothing compared to after Darwin, when we have to really start watching out because there's nothing out there in the Kimberleys- huge expanses of nothing... Anyhoo, the point I'm trying to make is that if we're kinda, sorta in the middle of nowhere, WHAT THE FRICKIN' FRACK IS THAT TELEPHONE POLE DOING IN THE MIDDLE OF MY SUNSET SHOT?!?

"If you're going to live by any rule, I think 'Don't accept beer from a creepy guy in a truck at one in the morning 50 kilometres from any town' is a pretty good one."
- Aimee.
Day 40: Thar She Blows
Distance Travelled: 57.1km Temperature: 42
Time on Trikes: 7.5h Water Left: 8.0L
Terrain: Hills begin again
End Location: Cloncurry Vehicle Inspection Station
win some, lose some
It seems that the outback has some lessons still to teach.

Such as:
  Don't Assume That Just Because Wind Goes Your Way That You Should Leave Your Shade And Pedal In Scorching Sun Because Road Will Bend And You Will Melt

But there is balance with this lesson:
  When Sky Opens Up And Begins Shooting Fire Onto Earth Remember That You Can See Many Tens Of Miles Ahead So You Can Put Your Flagpole Back Up And Stop Worrying

"Here... I can't drink and drive, but you guys can."
- Jim.
Day 41: Heart of Stone
Distance Travelled: 46.8km Temperature: 35
Time on Trikes: 8.0h Water Left: 11.5L
Terrain: Treacherous
End Location: Roadside 30km W of Cloncurry
i also do beef pies...
When you think of the hardships of an adventure like this, you think about the fatigue (whenever I type 'fatigue,' my high-school French pops us and I think 'fat-eee-gay' and start giggling. I want to stop, but I can't.) and you wonder whether your legs can handle the constant pedalling and if your well-being can handle the mental barriers. It never occurs to you that your hands won't be able to handle the heat.
   In the past few days, my fingers have broken out with about two hundred little blisters that are alternatively itchy and painful. I ran into the Cloncurry pharmacy as soon as we arrived and shoved my hands at the slight woman behind the counter. "Look! What is it?! What can I do?!" I cried, exaggerating slightly for effect. After a few moments of hmmmming and awwwwing over my hands, she raised a finger and said wisely, "I've got a special lotion that I make myself that will work perfectly."
   Does this happen often out here, people's hands blistering and bubbling out of the blue? For some reason, I felt as though I was in very good hands (ha) with this woman. Anyone who can make their own potions, especially for my ailments, is a good soul in my book.
   She jumped down and turned around and gave me a wink, and came back with a film canister full of pink, sweet smelling cream. She wrote on the label: Mrs. Mac's Special Cream. Will it work? Who knows. But whether it works or not, I feel somewhat special to have received this little jar of outback love.

"When you get to NT, watch out for the little lizards with the really big jaws."
- Cloncurry Local.
Day 42: Looking Back, Not Forward
Distance Travelled: 63.4km Temperature: 38
Time on Trikes: 9.0h Water Left: 12.5L
Terrain: Even More Treacherous
End Location: 25km E of Isa
hump day
Spoilt we are. We've had it flat and good (how quickly we forget about Day 40) since Richmond. Now we've got this big ass mountain range to cross before the sweet smell of Mount Isa success. It's as though the gods are waiting until we're within a day's cycling of a city - we can practically taste the Vanilla Coke and swimming pool - and then they throw that mountain range in. You want it? You reeeeeeeeeally want to get to Mount Isa? Well, You're gonna work for it. Bwah ha ha. It's not fair. It's just not fair.

"I think your sponsor is trying to kill you."
- John Stone.
Day 43: Do you want couscous with that?
Distance Travelled: 30.0km Temperature: 37
Time on Trikes: 3.5h Water Left: 9.5L
Terrain: All Downhill
End Location: Mount Isa
gimme an m
Let's get something straight right away. We're not the type of people who travel to another country and immediately head for the McDonald's because it's the only familiar food. We're much more interested in experiencing the local tucker than Macca's. That said, Macca's is still the only place anywhere where you can get an ice cream cone for 40 cents. There's something to be said for that. And using the drive-through makes it an excellent entertainment value - for us and the Macca Bees.
  There's also a certain reassurance that we won't be seeing the golden arches for another 2000 kilometres. That's a pretty healthy McRatio to me.
Kevin: "They're going home with 144 Cokes!"
Aimee: "I'll bet that's good value."
bludge: (v.) to let someone else do all the work, to reap rewards from another's hard toils. One who 'bludges' is known as a 'bludger'.
Jackass, to Aimee: "And what, you just sit on the back and bludge?"

Join our mailing list!  
Enter your email address into the box above to get updates from us!
day 37
day 38
day 39
day 40
day 41
day 42
day 43
We've got mail...
Hi Aimee and Kevin
I think your adventure is f-a-n-t-a-s-t-i-c! and I am enjoying reading your website. I did join your mailing list and have now found this email address. We live in Caloundra, just south of the Big Pineapple so you will travel close to us (maybe you will even come in here) towards the end of your adventure next year. My husband and I are "seniors" who have enjoyed touring on our road bikes through areas of NSW and QLD. We have only taken it up in recent years and it is the best thing we have done in retirement.

Do continue to enjoy yourselves and keep safe. I am looking forward to the next installment.....week 7.
- Suzanne, Caloundra QLD

Drop us a note!
proudly sponsored by:
look for our
articles in:

Check out our American roadtrip at roadtrip.beimers.com!

© 2002 Kevin Beimers & Aimee Lingman. What a bloody adventure!