week 60...
when bikes attack!

Ulladulla and Beyond

There's nothing sadder than a boy and his broken bike.
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the way it is...
We've been pushing, shoving, duct-taping and repairing for over a thousand kilometres. Out of the past 100 days, we've been held back 30 of those due to weather, bike repair or illness.

Some of you at home may be asking yourselves how we're handling all these delays. To tell you the truth, I think we're doing quite well. It's been very frustrating to be held back by repairs now that the weather is nice enough to cycle in, but that's all part of the adventure, isn't it? When we signed up for this, we knew that there would be good days and bad days, days when we wouldn't want to go on and days when we'd like to but not be able to. We knew we'd reach some goals and watch some others slip by.

When you're on a trike, things can't always be scheduled perfectly. And even with all the frustrations and trying days we've had lately, I still wouldn't want to be travelling any other way, on any other bike, with any other man (this is Aimee, by the way).

Another week, another milestone...

15,000 Kilometres!
(Only 1,200 more to go.)
Fact Title:
Birthday: Nov 15th
Age Last Week: 27
Age This Week: 28
Last Year: A Lingman
This Year: A Beimers

Birthday Wish: November 15, 2004 - when I won't be cycling.

Sing Happy Birthday to Aimee!


meet the birthday gal
It's her birthday, it's her birthday! This week we're interviewing our very own Aimee Beimers as she ticks off another year of her life.

If you could do anything for your birthday, what would you do? Wake up early, rent about three chick flicks and buy an armful of magazines. Then just plunk myself on the sofa with lots of muchies for the day. At night, go out for a long walk and fish n' chips with my husband.

What did you actually do this year? Spent the day cycling like crazy to get to Sydney. We did have fish n' chips though.

How is this birthday different from last year's? It's cooler weather. I think last year I cycled 89 kilometres and today I cycled 90. Let's hope this isn't the beginning of a bad pattern.

Do you feel any older? After cycling 90 kilometres, anyone would feel older. Ask me in a week.

What's the biggest change for you this year? I have a different name and a new husband. The best that money can buy!
Mr. Skinnylegs here, reporting live from Bodalla. There's not much hope for a paper-mache head on the side of the hot bitumen. I've been bloody pecked at by magpies and just this morning I was splashed by a ute.

Ask me if I've made any progress in the How-Can-Things-Get-Worse-Than-This category. Yesterday the wind blew me about three feet into a barbed-wire fence. That's a step up from the soggy ditch that I've been calling home since those bastard Beimers abandoned me.

I don't even have anything to whinge about this week, other than my sorry condition. Can you blame me? I hope those friggin' magpies get indigestion from my water based paint. Sheesh. I could go for a slice of Tasty Cheese right about now.

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.
these are the people in our neighbourhood...

Milosh & Amelia
This man has ridden a bicycle farther than even us! Milosh rode from San Francisco to New York, Niagara Falls to Vancouver, and even Czech Republic to Australia! His favourite Canadian town? Marathon.
Tony
When you've got supa-size trikes like ours, you need to hitchhike selectively. The selection chose Tony. Tony's an aspiring engineer and the proud owner of a beaut ute. A true Aussie male. Thanks for the lift, Tone-ster!
Andrew
He's got a big wrench and the know-how to use it. Or maybe he's just happy to see us. Actually, the wrench belongs to the engineers next door, but he's still the one using it. Close your eyes, Mr. Penninger.
Ben & Kally
Powered by giggles, Toohey's Red and perhaps a bit more, they're cycling their way from Adelaide to Sydney, or maybe Brisbane. They'll make it long before us, at the rate we're going.
Daniel & Craig
These two guys were our caravan mates in Ulladulla. We know they like their beer and their surf. They've been here for months enjoying both.
Michael & Lani
This cycling duo from Nowra were kind enough to offer us a bed for the night and a birthday party. Are we the only ones who find this photo funny?
Mardi, John & John
Mardi's our second cross-Canada cyclist this week. She may not remember Marathon, but she remembers the hills out of Thunder Bay! See you in Terrigal, Mardi. Maybe you too, John & John!
Debbie & the Kids
We stopped in to Debbie's house for a tall glass of Coke and a fierce water fight with Cameron and Matt. I'm not sure which refreshed us more! Thanks for the bikkies, too!
wally's amazin' facts!
Still trying to figure out the best way to keep those tyres puncture-proof? It's as simple as it is unsafe! Just tear the seatbelt strap out of your car and wrap it around the outside of the tube! Nothing'll pop that! Just make sure you drive really slowly!

This Week's Amazin' Fact: With all that money you're saving from your tyres, why not go on a holiday? Trash the plans to go to Dreamworld and come with me to Industry World! Here in gorgeous Wollongong, Australia's Industry World is the fastest growing industrial area in Australia. They might not have thrill rides, but if you're lucky, they might even let you ride a conveyor belt!

Industry World may be the biggest employer in the area, but we know one man who doesn't have to work there... because he became a half-million dollars richer last year! Anybody know which famous Wollongonger I'm talking about?

Don't forget to look for Wally this week!
Distance this week: 256kmDistance since Day 1: 15087km

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Day 414: Water Under Troubled Bridge
Distance Travelled: 68.7km Temperature: 30
Time on Trikes: 6.5h Water Left: 8.5L
Terrain: Still going smoothly
End Location: Ulladulla
smooth operator
Today was wonderful. A day of working bikes and acceptable distances. Sure, it's hilly, but we're hardly feeling them now that we don't have to get off and push. If every day is like this, we're going to actually enjoy cycling the last portion of this adventure!
   As you can tell, we're in good spirits. And, I mean, why not? The bikes are fixed to absolute perfection, the weather has taken a turn for the warmer and drier. Everybody's honking and cheering us on (at least, we think that's why they're honking). What a fantastic day! A fantastic day, to possibly kick of the most fantastic week in a long time! Maybe, dare I say, the most fantastic week of our lives! Yippity!
   What could possibly go wrong?

"Yes, that would have answered my question, had my question been, 'Where is the next McDonalds?' However, if my question was really, 'why are you such a dork?' the answer is not '6km ahead.'"
- Kevin.
Day 415: When Prairie Chickens Attack
Distance Travelled: 14.2km Temperature: 28
Time on Trikes: 1.5h Water Left: 2.5L
Terrain: Kablooey!
End Location: Back to Ulladulla
losing our marbles
After cracking 73km/h just last week, today we took the hill out of Milton at a breezy 75km/h. The excitement of breaking our record was matched only by the terror of the fast curves and oncoming traffic. All in all, a very exciting hill.
   A hill which we will now unfortunately have the chance to experience all over again. Read on...
   "Well, how 'bout that," said Kev. Then he threw his helmet into a nearby farmer's field.
   There wasn't much else we could say to each other when our 'quick-fix' BMX Freewheel 16-Tooth Hub (yes, we're lingo-maniacs now) literally disintegrated before our very eyes today. It's one of the parts that we just replaced back in Moruya, and it should be said that we all knew it was a temporary part. However, we hoped it would be a little more "temporary" than 150km. We were shooting, temporarily, for the Big Pineapple.
   Now, with the part in many pieces, there isn't much else to do but to get a lift back to Ulladulla using a brand-new specialized hitchhiking technique of only sticking your thumb out for empty utes. Selective hitching, if you will.
   As expected, the Ulladulla Sports Power didn't have the same inventory selection as Moruya Cycles, probably because they were also the Ulladulla Toyworld. Luckily, they were able to have a part "overnighted" from Sydney.
   (Hey, remember Sydney? That's where we're supposed to be by now.)

"Try putting the headphones up your nose and opening your mouth so we can all hear."
- Kevin.
Day 416: Roasted!
Distance Travelled: 2.1km Temperature: 27
End Location: Stuck in Ulladulla
things we learned today
Thing #1: In Ulladulla, "overnight" means two to three days.
Thing #2: In Ulladulla, where the hills dominate the decisions of the city planning department, it always pays to phone the Sports Power before pushing your non-functioning bike 900m from the caravan park to pick up the overnighted part that hasn't yet arrived.
Thing #3: In Ulladulla, if you phone your friend or family back in Canada and tell them you're in Ulladulla, they ask, "is that seriously the name of the town or did you make it up?"

"We only specialize in what we know, and we think we're pretty good at it."
- Tagline for locally made commercial.
Day 417: He's got a handle on the repairs.
Distance Travelled: 4.5km Temperature: 28
Terrain: Down that same stupid hill again
End Location: Still in Ulladulla
for want of a washer
Ulladulla. A town of about 9,000 people. We're looking for one washer. This washer (or spacer, if you will) must fit perfectly between the BMX freewheel hub (our second in seven days) so that it doesn't screw itself into oblivion.
   Our first step was the Bike Shop. He had a spacer, but it was a bit too big and made of a very soft, pliable metal, which certainly wouldn't withstand the rigours we'd be putting it through. He sent us to the Bunnings Warehouse. Bunnings sent us to Auto Pro. Auto Pro sent us to the lawnmower repairman. He wasn't there so his wife sent us to the Auto Wrecker. He sent us to the engineer. The engineer could manufacture one for us after he finished his KFC Variety Bucket, but we didn't much care for the engineer, so we went back to the lawnmower shop. In the time we spent at the engineer's the lawnmower repairman had come and gone, so it was back to the Bike Shop for us, wondering how the heck we were going to solve this one.
   In desperation, we called Mark from trusty old Moruya Bicycles, by far the most knowledgable cycle guy we know. It also helps that he's seen the bikes.
   It was Mark who came up with the solution to use a simple BMX bottom bracket lock-nut in place of a spacer. Of course. Why didn't we think of that. Sports Power had about three kicking around, but we didn't need three. The first one fit.
   All problems solved (yay!), but since we've wasted half the day hunting for a washer, we're leaving first thing in the morning. Maybe tonight, we'll celebrate. With a KFC Variety Bucket.
Engineer: "Well then, why don't I just do it for free and give it to you for charity?"
Kevin: "Hey, that works for me. Oh, I see. Sarcasm."
Day 418: The hill we love to hate.
Distance Travelled: 75.4km Temperature: 25
Time on Trikes: 7.0h Water Left: 4.5L
Terrain: Different, thank goodness
End Location: Michael & Lani's, Nowra
the new fixer-upper
So long, Ulladulla. It's been good to know ya.
   There's a big difference between holidaying somewhere for a few days, and being trapped in a town where others go holidaying for a few days. Usually we're pretty adaptable, but for three days straight, we've been packing up the tent, walking to the Sports Power, watching Andrew shake is head in despair, and walking back to the Holiday Haven Beach Resort (or is it the Haven Beach Holiday Resort? Maybe it's Haven Resort Beach Holiday, I can't remember).
   But, there are definitely worse places to be stuck waiting for parts. In fact, we've compiled a list!
  • Fortesque River Roadhouse, WA
  • Elliott, NT
  • Border Village, WA/SA
  • Camooweal, Qld
  • Bulla Rest Area, NT
But as of now, we are trapped no more. We've replaced the busted BMX Freewheel with another, better quality BMX Freewheel and we're more confident than ever that we'll be in Sydney within days. Cheers to Shimano! Jeers to whatever DLX second rate garbage we had before.

"Somehow I knew you'd think I was funny today."
- Aimee.
Day 419: Barbed wire abuse.
Distance Travelled: 90.7km Temperature: 24
Time on Trikes: 7.5h Water Left: 6.5L
Terrain: Take the Coast Road!
End Location: N. Wollongong
different strokes
There are some people who will complain for no reason. Then, there are people who will complain only when they're really annoyed, usually for a pretty good reason. Then, there are the people who will have ridden 90km in the hot sun to make it to their caravan park and still not complain when their tent-neighbours play Eminem at full blast while imitating Rove, all at 2:00am.
   What can I say, I'm Canadian. However, there was a German in the vicinity who did not possess the polite gene that affects all of us Canadians. Thank goodness, because mine was just about to pop.

"Who knows how to play strip poker? No? Okay, who knows how to play regular poker? I figure it's like that except you take off clothes, right? Can you play strip any other card games?"
- Campbelltown youth group in caravan park.
Day 420: We can practically smell it.
Distance Travelled: 57.1km Temperature: 22
Time on Trikes: 7.0h Water Left: 5.5L
Terrain: Shoulda taken the coast road
End Location: Hart's Van Park, Miranda
bulli shit
Last night we stayed in a beautiful seaside caravan park. A portion of it's beauty came from the ocean, the other portion from the large cliff that was in sight just behind us. As we quickly learned this morning, this cliff was the last obstacle standing between us and the greater Sydney area. It's called Bulli Pass and it is definitely the largest, steepest mother of a frickin' frackin' mountain that we've ever had to climb.
   There's a coast road. Usually. It's just that the coast road has been closed for a month while they reinforce it before it drops off into the sea. All other traffic is diverted over Bulli Pass. We are part of that other traffic.
   Now, I've seen signs that say 10% grade, and I've seen signs that say 12% grade, but I'd never seen one that simply said "1 in 8". I'm not exactly sure what that means, but it filled us with fear (however, the lady who came out of her house sipping a cup of tea who said "you're not at the steepest bit yet" merely filled us with anger).
   In any case, it took 2.5 hours to climb four kilometres. We won, Bulli Pass lost. Cha-ching.
   But the adventure wasn't over yet... our goal today was to get as close to Sydney Central as possible without actually entering the city, but still being able to find a caravan park to sleep in. We were able to find Hart's Caravan Park a mere 25km south of Sydney.
   One needs to remember that rural van parks and urban van parks are two completely different things. A rural van park in America is a campground, but an urban van park in America is a Trailer Park (a.k.a. where Jerry Springer gets most of his studio guests). As advertised, the new management has kicked out all the druggies, prostitutes, and homeless that were occupying the area before they arrived. Now it's perfectly safe for the likes of us. Let's hope that none of the previous tenants get homesick tonight.

"Look, the combination of that jacket and your breath is just offensive."
- Sinell, to former resident.
cluster: (n.) thingy your chain turns to make the wheel go.
freewheel: (n.) thingy your chain turns to make the wheel go.
cassette: (n.) thingy your chain turns to make the wheel go.


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day 414
day 415
day 416
day 417
day 418
day 419
day 420
the final exam:
sydney

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© 2003 Kevin & Aimee Beimers. Banana time in the monkey cage.