week 62
getting surly...

Stuck in Terrigal

This is it! You know all that whinging we've been doing about that stupid-ass part that keeps breaking on us? Well, whinge no more, because I'm holding in my hands the solution to the problem. Ladies & Gentlemen, I give you... the Surly 16-Tooth Track Cog.

The last one we had was good for 14,000km (and have a look at its condition by the time it finally died). Let's hope we don't have to test the limits of this one.
We just got even more interactive!

chatting is the best medicine!
Standard Cycling Questionnaire:
Start: Vancouver
End: St. Johns
Trip length: 3 Mths
Distance: 7021km
Per Day: 110km
Longest Day: 156km
Punctures: 4

Cycle-Friendliest Province: Quebec
Worst Hwys: Manitoba
Invited Home Most Often: New Brunswick
Nicest Guy Met: David, Rainy River

Words of Advice: We did it in three months, and that was way too short. The purpose of a bike trip is to enjoy the ride, not race to the next destination. Four months minimum, but six or more would be best.

meet mardi beat
Mardi's an Aussie who just finished cycling across Canada. She's never cycled around Oz, but I suppose that's fair, since we've never done Canada either. Let's compare notes.

Why would you do something stupid like cycle across Canada? I'm a dual citizen of Australia and Canada, and I lived in both Newfoundland and BC. My friend Robin (Canadian) and I were on a trip to Thailand and we started talking about it. By the time we came home, we'd had it all planned out.

What was it like travelling with a friend? The two of us have very different ideas about touring -- she's a "gotta do 100" kind of cyclist, where I like to slow down if I like a place. My recommendation is to make sure you know someone REALLY WELL before you set off to spend 3 months solid with them.

How was Canada's hospitality? You guys did well. Lots of people invited us home on rainy nights... in fact, one guy, we didn't even know his last name, and he just gave us the keys to his place and his car if we wanted to get around.

Any horror stories? Only one I can think of, when Robin got into a fight with a Gravel River cafe owner about the definition of a free coffee refill. We ended up getting kicked out of there.

Mardi's Top Five Spots in Canada
1. Serendipity Cafe,
      Rossport ON
2. Tidal Bore, NB
3. Kaley's Cabins,
      Badger, NFLD
4. Kicking Horse Pass, BC/AB
5. The Prairies
What did you think of Thunder Bay? You know, Thunder Bay was really nice to us. We stayed in a Bed & Breakfast, went to that pancake place...

The Hoito? Yeah, that was it. You know, I'd have to say that one of my favourite rides was the North Shore of Lake Superior. Nice mountains you've got up there.

It is my sad duty to inform the public of the untimely demise of our beloved cast member, Mr. Skinnylegs.

As you may have noticed, his condition has been slowly deteriorating since he joined our adventure back in Mintaro, SA. Though it was his wish to reach Brisbane, he sadly became too weak to continue. With the loss of his right skinnyleg, his nipples, and finally his head, his plucky spirit and enduring charm drew to a close.

As his strength ebbed away in his last hours, he managed to whisper these final words:

All you people out there reading this site every week? Listen closely. Don't waste your life in front of a computer. Get out there. Get out and see the world... like I did. It made me a better person. It made me feel good about myself. The second I left my home town of Mintaro and saw the world, I became a new monster. It's sad that it took me a life of misery and inactivity before I finally realized that all it took to change was to walk out my front door.

So, all of you! (cough) Grab on to life with both hands (wheeze) and hold on tight! Don't let your life be ruled by the things you own, or they'll end up (gasp) they'll end up owning you! Stop making excuses! Get outside (croak) your comfort zone. Do it now.

Stop reading about it, and do it. Because, my friends, pretty soon, you're years older, your leg and nipples have fallen off, and you'll ask yourself, "Where did the time go? I should have... I should have... I should have..."

And I reckon that (cough, wheeze) good people (cough cough hack) is crap. I love... you... all....... (sigh).

He breathed his last breath. Then we threw him in the bin.

Please send any condolences to his email address, mrskinnylegs@beimers.com.

these are the people in our neighbourhood...

James & Angie
Again, a super big thanks to these two Terrigalians. We ate all of your wraps, most of your smiley potatoes, and burnt chili to the bottom of your pot, but you kept us around anyway. Now that's Aussie hospitality! Miss you already!
James's Mates
Once a year, James and his buddies get together for a giant weekend of drinking, boozing, and adventuring. This year they hired a 4x4 and headed out all over the sand dunes. Don't worry, the drinking happened afterward. Party on, dudes!
Actually, his real name's Matthew, but we've known him as Snotty, Twinkie, Quirkie, Smarmie, and pretty much any other name that ends with "ie". He signs all of his emails from dwarves. That's kind of, um, Loopy.
The Ferries
This week, we've been off with the ferries, and we owe them big time for their help. Without them, we would have been on the freeway this whole time, but since we're just bikes, we can take the short cuts! Enjoy the ride.
wally's amazin' facts!
Jørn Utzon's architectural genius was inspired by an orange peel! If you cut an orange into triangles, you can build your own little Sydney Opera House right on your kitchen table! Ask mum to help with the knife!

This Week's Amazin' Fact: The Rugby World Cup was on last Saturday, which ended with a gutwrenching 3-point loss to England. In the long run, I guess it wasn't so bad since the largest winning margin in test rugby was 152 points! The heaviest player in test rugby was Joeli Veitayaki from Fiji, weighing in at 130kg! The tallest was Luke Gross a USA player looking down from 206cm, and the smallest was a Scot, Graham Beveridge, 168cm, 76kg. And here's a wildcard for you... Pope John Paul II once played rugby for Poland!

By the way, anyone out there know where rugby was invented?

Don't forget to look for Wally this week!
Distance this week: 152kmDistance since Day 1: 15356km

What is Bikeabout? Click here to find out!

Day 428: Kite Boarder
Distance Travelled: 0.0km Temperature: 22°
End Location: James & Angie's
come on, bombers!
Let's go fly a kite! Up in the air so ... right? Tight? High? Is it even supposed to rhyme? I can't remember that song to save Kev's life. And save Kev's life is practically what was required today. The four of us (James, Ang, Kev and myself) decided to test out James' new "stunt kite."
   By "stunt" they mean that it has the ability to dive bomb at 110km/hr. When used properly, it's a thing of beauty. When used improperly, it's scarier than anything Donald Rumsfeld was able to dig up. The only thing that saved Kev was his patented dive and roll technique. Normally used for tobogganing, avoiding magpies and stunt doubling for Indianna Johannes and the Temple of Foog, today it saved his ass when James' kite when haywire.
   (Kev's Note: For the record, it's "up to the highest height," in case the opportunity arises to save my life.)

"Lost or stolen? But I'm holding it in my hands!"
- Kevin.
Day 429: Smile like a potato!
Distance Travelled: 0.0km Temperature: 23°
End Location: James & Angie's
immigration day, yay!
It's that time again! The time when we get all dressed up, lick the tips of our blue or black pens, and cross our fingers. That's right kids, it's immigration day! There's nothing we like better than posting off our passports, signing over our credit cards and getting our photos taken at the Kwikie-Mart.
   Last time we worked with the immigration services, it took a 17-page document to convince them of our worthiness (or should I say, circumstances of exceptionalness?). I wonder what fun requests New Zealand Immigration will come up with...

"I admired the way Kev dove in, like a true Aussie. He runs up behind Aimee, gives her a 'how ya going mate', then straight into the waves with a 'HO HOOOOOOH!' and down he went."
- James.
Day 430: I pity the fool who don't like ketchup.
Distance Travelled: 0.0km Temperature: 23°
End Location: James & Angie's
see ya later, hot pertater
While we're waiting for the part to come in, we thought we'd play with our food. When's the last time we had 48 hours where we were forced to sit and wait? Have we got anything better to do than make smiley potato face celebrity impersonations? Maybe later we'll put on a concert with a French Fry Smiley Boy band. It's Scarey Smiley, Sporty Smiley and Posh Smiley performing their hit single, "I Just Wanna Catch Up to You."
   Now that I think of it, this is actually the second appearance for the French Fry Smileys on Beimers.com... We used them for the powers of evil way back in Canada on Day 207 to hide Darla's face from the cameras. Man, these things are multi-purpose! And yummy!

"I just bought the issue of RALPH with my niece in it. Nan should be pleased."
- Angie.
Day 431: Stomache Virus
Distance Travelled: 0.0km Temperature: 24°
End Location: James & Angie's
mishap day
First we're forced to wait for a part from America, then our credit card is reported stolen, now our computer has decided to conk out from an unknown virus. Could the week get any better? This was supposed to be a work day, but instead it's just a hassle day.
   Oh, I haven't told you the story about the credit card? Well, there we were, trying to book our tickets to New Zealand, when the card comes back Negative. So we phone the airline, and they tell me it's flagged as Code 155X - Card Reported Lost Or Stolen. Of course, as the Monday Quote of the Day stated, Kev was holding it in his hand. Turns out the company just suddenly decided to swap itself over from Visa to Mastercard, so they recalled all the Visas and mailed out new Mastercards. Kev's was mailed to Canada, where it does him zero good. And, of course, there's nothing better than trying to call an American credit card company from Australia and explain the situation to snarky rude customer service reps who are docked for spending too long on the phone. Unless it's trying to make a collect call to the Visa hotline from Australia, but that's a whole other hassle.
Kevin: "I just need to borrow a vice, a lock nut, and the biggest adjustable spanner you have."
Bike shop guy: "...right..."
Kevin: "Yeah, gee, my wife and I have been riding all the way around Australia!"
Bike shop guy: ".........uh huh..."
Kevin: "Yeah, and, um... yeah 15,000km!"
Bike shop guy: "........................"
Day 432: Here's me!
Distance Travelled: 0.0km Temperature: 24°
End Location: Mardi's, Terrigal
my trip to sydney
So the boys at FedEx inform me yesterday that the package is in the country. In fact, the package is in the city. Two gleaming silver Surly 16-Tooth track cogs within arms reach, and they tell me I can't have them until Monday. Why? Because the plane landed about 10 minutes after closing, nobody was around in the office to check the little red box, and by the time anyone did come back in the office, the Friday trucks would have already left. I had two choices: sit around in Terrigal with my thumb up my ass, or come in and get it myself. Since I was already into my fourth day of ass-thumbing, I chose number two.
   It wasn't so bad. In fact, it was nice to get out of the house. I got a 45 train ride, and one last chance to tour around the Parliament House Grounds, the Botanical Gardens, and a neat display at the Opera House about the building of the Opera House. Oh, and of course the FedEx Sydney Central Office. And I made it home in time for supper. What a great day!

"Smile like you like your job! Okay, this time smile like you're quitting! That's better."
- Kevin.
Day 433: Three People, Six Wheels
Distance Travelled: 83.6km Temperature: 26°
Time on Trikes: 8.5h Water Left: 3.5L
Terrain: Nice shoulder!
End Location: The Faulkners of Newcastle
little gal, little bike
Our pal Mardi is more talented than she appears at first glance.. this gal can ride a unicycle! She can also make a mean steak, but that doesn't photograph nearly as well.
   Today was one of those magical days where we get company for the ride. We loaded up Mardi's panniers with our heaviest gear (more to slow her down than speed us up) and off we went towards Newcastle. Even though we warned Mardi that we're a touch slow, I don't think she really realized how slow we were until she spent the entire day freewheeling beside us (Actually, we lost her on the downhills, but who cares about speed on downhills? I mean, they're downhill).
   If you're eager to learn more about Mardi, she's our interview this week!

"I think I just waved at a surfboard."
- Mardi.
Day 434: The Rock comes to Kevin & Aimee
Distance Travelled: 68.7km Temperature: 26°
Time on Trikes: 7.5h Water Left: 4.5L
Terrain: Bit of offroad, but not bad
End Location: Bulahdelah Rest Area
waaay off course
Remember last week when I told you that there were really only two Aussie icons that you need to snap your photo in front of? One is the Opera House. Been there, done that. The second is Uluru (Ayres Rock to you white fellas). As it's located smack-dab in the centre of Australia and we're making a game of going around the outside, chances were slim we'd get that second pic.
   However, Australia provided for us as she always has. Today we found a miniature version of Uluru plopped smack dab in the middle of ... um... nowhere, really. Just right here by the side of the road. And I have to tell you that it's a pretty good rendition, for painted fibreglass, and I'm sure the Japanese love it, being two and a half hours from Sydney but not so far off the track as to get your shoes dirty. I hear the real rock is a bit bigger, but I'm not complaining.

"What was the problem? Was the cog designed by Morton Thiokol?"
- Matthew Faulkner.

james from terrigal and snake from degrassi
...separated at birth?

jaffle: (n.) technique for making sandwiches or pies in a waffle-iron-like press. Build the sandwich/pie, place it in the jaffle iron, and squash it down. Just think of it as the George Foreman of pie makers.
(*Not to be confused with "jaffa", which is chocolate and orange.)

Join our mailing list!  
Enter your email address into the box above to get updates from us!
day 428
day 429
day 430
day 431
day 432
day 433
day 434
 australia.beimers.com proudly sponsored by:
last 1500km supported by:
look for our articles in:

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

© 2003 Kevin & Aimee Beimers. Who is the real Inspector Hound?