week 63...
makin' tracks

Taree to the Big Banana

Just when you think you're a battle hardened adventurer, and nothing can phase your iron-clad resolve, Australia jabs you with one more fist. This little bugger was enough to make us move our tent.

I shouldn't say little. She was actually pretty friggin' big. I mean, she casts a shadow, and the web was almost strong enough to take off Kevin's hat (yes, Kev discovered it by stumbling through the web).

By the way, can anyone out there identify this nasty mother? If you know what it is, tell us if it was worth moving. Give us all the dirt: poison, dripping fangs, huge gnashing teeth, the works.


(Forgive the poor quality of the photos: Flash, focus, distance, and direction was a little sketchy.)

We just got even more interactive!

say hi to me mum for me!
it's getting hot in here...
Spiders aren't the only things that are coming out of the woodwork. It's slowly dawning on us that we are truly approaching the tropics, and thus, the end of the trip. Here are some of the warning signs...

How to tell you're approaching Queensland
1. You spend most of the day sweating, and some of the night.
2. More shirtless backpackers shout "Loser!" out of their cars at you.
3. Your drinking water is warmer than your saliva.
4. Poppin' Fresh Bitumen!
5. You can't forget to leave a magazine on your seat, or you'll burn your ass when you sit down.
these are the people in our neighbourhood...

Beavertails!
Ah, a classic Canadian treat! Deep fried crunchy pancakes covered in melted butter and cinnamon! Believe it or not, they've opened up a Beavertails franchise in downtown Newcastle, and it's doing fantabulous. Maybe even better than Krispy Kreme!
The Forrests
Remember this crazy family from waaaay back before the bike trip actually started? John and Trish and Jamie and Leighanne and Tayla and Vickie and Brieanna and Teigan were thrilled to see us again (Braden, Simmy and Dean were thrilled to meet us for the first time).
Teigan's School
We always love to drop in on a school of eager Year Sixes. We took up their afternoon by answering a barrage of questions about Australia, the trikes, spiders, snakes, and a trick we taught Teigan last year where you twist up your hands and touch your nose.
The Port Macquarie Times
Here a publicity generating tip for anyone who would ever want to travel like us: You might not be big enough for Big-Smoke Newspaper News, but medium sized towns are always on the lookout for a good story. Forget the Sydney Morning Herald, call the Port Macquarie Times!
Lucinda, Casandra, Chloe, Damon, Kieran & Blake
Boy, sounds like a law firm, doesn't it? Just one family, though, who kept themselves entertained during a traffic jam by riding our bikes... at the same time!
Serena & Leslie
Two Canadians with matching bikes, vests and helmets had just set off from Surfers Paradise (of all places) on a bike trek to Melbourne! We were going to tell them, "You're doing it hard!" but we knew they'd hear it enough in weeks to come. Good luck, ladies!
meet dean, the bb4 housemate
Okay, so Big Brother 4 hasn't started yet, but Dean's taking notes and paying rapt attention to Gretel Killeen's tips on how to get in. The question is...
...does Dean have what it takes to get on Big Brother?
You bet!    Evict him!
wally's amazin' facts!
Rugby was invented in 1823 in the English town of Rugby. Should have seen that one coming! Ha! Another easy one: Who's the Webb Ellis Cup named after? Why, the schoolboy inventor of Rugby, William Webb Ellis. Yes! A schoolboy! I guess it's a good thing it wasn't a schoolgirl, because then we might be all watching the World Cup of Red Rover! Maybe then the All Blacks would have stood a chance! Hee!

This Week's Amazin' Fact: On Saturday, we cycled through Kempsey Shire, which contains the infamous country town of Tamworth. If you knew anything about Australian Country Music, you'd know that Tamworth is not only home to the largest annual country music festival in Australia, but is also the birthplace of Slim Dusty! And if you don't know who Slim Dusty is... well, there's no hope for you, is there? Go back to your Rage Against The Machine.

In other music news, who is the longest enduring music artist in both Australia, and the UK? Think I'm going to tell you now? You should be so lucky!

Don't forget to look for Wally this week!
Distance this week: 379kmDistance since Day 1: 15735km

What is Bikeabout? Click here to find out!

Day 435: Brisbane or Bust!
Distance Travelled: 84.7km Temperature: 33
Time on Trikes: 10h Water Left: 9.0L
Terrain: Stinkin' Hot
End Location: Taree Rest Area
pineapple, anyone?
Oooooooh! We ARE excited!!! You see that sign? Do you see IT? That's Brisbane, Baby. That means we're so close to the finish that it's on the sign! We haven't seen hide nor hare of Brisbane in fourteen months. For all we knew, they could have blown it up or moved it further north. But now that we've actually see it on the sign - WOWSERS. That really brings it home that we may actually do this thing.

"Where were you when I was Dionne Warwick?"
- Kevin.
Day 436: What's this doing here?
Distance Travelled: 82.0km Temperature: 32
Time on Trikes: 8.0h Water Left: 6.5L
Terrain: Sweaty
End Location: Paddy's Rest
and the thunder rolls
Sure enough, you're likely to meet people from your own country while you're riding around Australia, especially when you've got the flag from your country hanging off the back of your bike. You may even be lucky enough to meet someone from the same province. We're always a little surprised to find out that someone knows where Thunder Bay is, or that they've actually been there.
   Imagine our surprise when a cyclist pulls up beside us wearing a "Thunder Bay" t-shirt. Hang on, it gets better.
   I mean, here we are, on the road between Brisbane and Sydney, about as far away from Thunder Bay as you can get without going back, and who do we meet? Another cyclist who happens to work as an MNR Fire Fighter in our hometown! The freakiness continues: After a bit of interrogation, it turns out that his crew leader for the MNR is none other than Ryan Johnson! WUH!
   Who the heck is Ryan Johnson, you ask? Perhaps you'll be more familiar with the Beimers.com five timer, Dean Johnson? Ryan is Deaner's big brother! Holy Frickin' Frack!
   Why three nice kids from Thunder Bay are spending their time riding through Oz beats the heck out of me. (By the way, the previous freaky story occurred back in Week 6, when we met schoolmate Jamie Rodgers' cousin in Julia Creek. This tops it!)

"You've bugged me up every single hill today."
- Aimee.
Day 437: Seal of Approval.
Distance Travelled: 28.4km Temperature: 29
Time on Trikes: 3.0h Water Left: 3.0L
Terrain: Where's my damn shoulder?
End Location: John & Trish's, Port Macquarie
fond food memories
What's the first thing we do when we get back to Port MacQuarie? Do we go visit our friends, the Forrests? Nope. Do we see the sights of the town? Hah. We never do that anymore.
   We did what every self-respecting pie lover would do. We high-tailed it to the best pies in Australia. Ridgey Didge Pies!
   I have to admit that I was a little nervous about eating them again. I was afraid that my own mind may have elevated them to a level of yumminess that would have been impossible for them to actually maintain in the eighteen months since they last crossed my lips.
   All my worrying was for nought. In anything, they tasted better than ever. They truly are the best pies in Australia.
   Okay. Now I'm ready to go see our friends!

"So she asks me, 'Do you have a wife now?' and I told her, 'No, but I've got a boyfriend,' and she's like, 'Oh.'"
- Sim.
Day 438: Lip Lickin' Good!
Distance Travelled: 5.6km Temperature: 29
Time on Trikes: 1.0h Water Left: 3.0L
Terrain: Friendly honks
End Location: John & Trish's
blow on this!

Happy Birthday to You,
Happy Birthday to You,
Happy Birthday Dear Keviiiiin,
Happy Birthday to Yooooou!


Did you know that the Happy Birthday song is copyrighted until 2010? Theoretically, each time the song is used somewhere, such as on this website, we're supposed to pay royalties to whomever actually owns the song. Maybe that's what you're supposed to spend your birthday money on.

"You can't let tomato sauce ruin a good pie."
- John.
Day 439: These are mine. Where's yours?
Distance Travelled: 0.0km Temperature: 25
End Location: John & Trish's
not an emu in sight
Ahhhhh. Nothing changes in Port Macquarie. The Ridgey Didge Pies are the same, Brieanna is as silly as ever, and John is still brewing enough beer to quench the thirst of Ireland.
   You've got to love a man who likes his beer and likes to have other people enjoy his beer. Especially the latter part.

"Are you kidding? I eat everything now. Somebody gave us raw cauliflower on the Nullarbor and we ate that."
- Kevin.
Day 440: Passing Traffic Instead of Wind.
Distance Travelled: 92.2km Temperature: 24
Time on Trikes: 9.0h Water Left: 3.0L
Terrain: Bad road to Kempsey
End Location: Eungai Rest Area
we be jammin'
I'll let you in on a little secret. Today is actually Kevin's Birthday. The celebration the other day was preemptive to allow him to celebrate with friends. It was a good choice too. Today we've got a full day planned of riding the bikes as far as we can. Don't feel sorry for the boy... I think making some distance was his birthday wish anyway.
   Although today has certainly had its perks. All morning we watched cars ride past us in the rain and we could just tell that they were thinking comments like "Better them than us" and "They're doing it the hard way." Well, the tables were turned when a truck blocked off the highway and backed up the traffic for about 10 kilometres in both directions. This meant that yours truly could fly alongside the parked cars like a slippery eel through the fisherman's hands. (Where did that analogy come from?)
   Of course, this had the negative effect of giving the car-riders those few seconds to think of smarty-pants comments to yell at us as we drove by like "Better you than us" and "You're doing it the hard way."

"What did you do with my... um... night pants. Pyjamas, I mean."
- Kevin.
Day 441: Da croc usta da be a contenda.
Distance Travelled: 86.5km Temperature: 21
Time on Trikes: 10.5h Water Left: 3.5L
Terrain: One long miseable drizzle
End Location: Park Beach, Coffs Harbour
last time, i promise
This is what I don't understand. How can a pie company like Fredo Pies claim that it's the best in Australia when it's crap compared to Ridgey Didge Pies? Sure, Fredo has about a zillion different kinds of pie, but quantity doesn't substitute for quality.
   Has Ridgey Didge ever even entered the Great Aussie Pie Competition? Does it prefer to remain anonymous?
   I think it's time that I publicly offered my services to Ridgey Didge. With me as their PR Director, I would have the name Ridgey synonymous with Didgey synonymous with PIES! They would be famous everywhere in the world! We'd even introduce them to America! If the Americans could get over the idea that a pie can have something other than fruit in it. I mean, jeez, have you ever seen a New York Pizza? Just cheese. Maybe New York's not the place to start experimenting.

"Mmm, porterhouse! Now I can say I eat as well as Bill Catalano's dog."
- Kevin.
ridgey-didge: (adj.) fair dinkum, true blue, the real deal. If something is ridgey-didge, it's the pure 100% home grown Aussie truth. Also, a damn fine pie in North NSW.


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© 2003 Kevin & Aimee Beimers. Life's a Fredo Pie, let's take a bite.