week 64...
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Coffs to Queensland

It's five hundred kilometres to the Big Pineapple, we've got a full tank of water, half a bunch of bananas, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses. Hit it.
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what's big down under?
It's been a big ride, and we've had to climb over some big obstacles, make some big decisions, but we're finally within spitting distance of the Big Pineapple (and believe me, at this point, it deserves a big loogie).

So, to commemorate the penultimate week of the trip, let's test your knowledge of BIG Aussie landmarks... who knows? There may even be a big prize in it for you!
On which week did Kevin & Aimee see...
The Big Stubby
The Big Cane Toad
The Kronosaurus
The Big Bunyip
Rooey II
The Big Salt Pile
The Big Mango
The Big Koala
The Big Oyster
The Big Prawn
The Muttaburrasaurus

Type the number of the week we saw it into its corresponding box. Easy!
Your Name:  
Your Email:  

big winner!
scott & karen, 1 year later
Remember these two? Probably not. I mean, it was way back in Mount Isa when we met them the first time, and let's face it, they're pretty unmemorable people. I mean, look at them! Ugly, dumb, and vastly uninteresting.
Ha ha! All that stuff I was saying up above, I was just kidding! They're actually super fun, easy going, hilarious and damn cute. Let's see how much they've changed in a year...

First of all, what's the big idea inviting us to your house and making us climb that hill? Hey, if you don't want to climb it, you can always stay somewhere else, you ungrateful bastards.

Actually, climbing the hill was worth the view. Yeah, isn't it beautiful? The architect did an excellent job making the view the focus of the house. Lots of windows, the balcony... on a clear day you can see the ocean.

Brewer's Tale:
Home: Currumbin Waters
His Job: Shade Sail Installer
Her Job: Answer
Dog: Boey the Boxer
When I said "view" I was talking about the plasma screen? Ah, yes. The pride and joy. You should see Lord of the Rings on this thing.

Tell me, when you watch Lord of the Rings on here, can the neighbours watch also? Actually, yeah. You can see the screen from the street. Maybe we'll get some of those wooden blinds put in.

Have you got anything to eat around here? Sure, have some Rocky Road. Karen's mum made it.

Yummy! Do you have any more? You're done that bowl already?

Hey, I ask the questions here. Sorry. No, you can't have more. That was the last. Karen will have to call her mum.

these are the people in our neighbourhood...

Sue & Trevor
Hey, if you haven't already seen our stories in Australian Cyclist, why not run down to the Newsagency and pick one up! In fact, this is a good month to do it, because we're on the cover! Sue's the editor, by the way. We stayed with her and Trevor in Woolgoolga. Thanks guys!
The Hills of Woodburn
I've never met a Hill I didn't like. There was the Hill family in Mintaro who gave us Mr. Skinnylegs (rest his soul), and now the Hill family in Woodburn is letting us camp out on their lawn. Come to think of it, the only Hill I don't care for is Bust-Me-Gall Hill. Oh, and Faith Hill.
Anyone who's ever said to us, "It's good you're doing it while you're young," should take a leaf out of Nakagawa's book. If he can ride up the East Coast to Brisbane, then so can you! Have a look at Nakagawa's website when you get the chance. I haven't seen it yet, so don't blame me if it's in Japanese.
The Colombians
The first two people that we've ever met from Colombia. He builds bicycles, and I think he was looking to scarf some design secrets from Penninger's mechanical feat of engineering genius. Thanks for the Juan Valdez coffee candies! They were yum! Have a great tour of Australia!
Michael Cahill & Family
Michael's pub happened to be chockers when we arrived on his doorstep, so he took us home to his place. Don't let his youthful good looks fool you: he lives in retirement community with his fiancee, and fiancee's daughter, and his BMW Motorbike. Ask him to tell you about his adventures at the Normanton Hotel sometime.
Scott & Karen's Neighbours
The night we arrived at Scott & Karen's, it was nibbly night with the neighbours. We were visited by Kylie, Nandor, Mark, Julie, um... Chris, George? Too many people to remember all of them. I guess we should have written it down, but we took the night off. That's why there's no photo either. Hugs to Nandor!
wally's amazin' facts!
Last week's question about the most enduring artist in the country was way too easy, but for you dumb bricks out there, here's the answer: Kylie Minogue. Sure, over in America she did a remake of the Locomotion and then fell off the face of the earth, but in Australia and the UK, everyone's still got Kylie Fever!

This Week's Amazin' Fact: The city of Woolgoolga has the largest population of Indians in Australia. For some reason, Woolgoolga appealed to the people of the India so much that most of the population is made up of Indian immigrants! There's a Hindu temple on the top of the hill and everything! So, if you're looking for a good curry, here's your place!

Now, here's one to ask the other kids in the playground... Do pineapples grow on pine trees or apple trees? Come on, fifty fifty! We'll find out next week, if the Big Pineapple's still where it's supposed to be! Bye now!

Don't forget to look for Wally this week!
Distance this week: 364kmDistance since Day 1: 16098km

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Day 442: Take it, Blind Lemon Trevor!
Distance Travelled: 33.0km Temperature: 28
Time on Trikes: 4.5h Water Left: 3.0L
Terrain: More hills than lately
End Location: Sue & Trevor's, Woolgoolga
eclectic circus
It's a dance party at Sue & Trevor's, and we're partying like it's 1929. You'd think in the house of two modern, 21st century technocrats like these two, we'd be bumping and grinding to a kickin' sound system with full surround, a video wall, and a volume knob that goes to 11. Instead, Trevor pulls out... a grammaphone?
   I mean, no speakers, no chords, no lasers, no electricity... just a record (kids, go ask your dad what a record is), a crank, and a cumbersome steel pin as a needle. Turn the crank, and BLAMMO! Out blasts 80 decibels of Roberto Inglez's Orchestra. What'll they think of next?
   Maybe the grammaphone appeals to the environmentally-conscious, tofu-grilling, organic-food-eating, power-conserving cyclist side of them, rather than the technocrat side. After all, it's fully Y2K compliant, and by the time the Bush Administration has finished taking its toll on the planet, they'll be the only ones with a working sound system in the fallout shelter.

"I've been trying to hook up the grammaphone to the PC, but Windows keep telling me 'Driver Not Found'."
- Trevor.
Day 443: Into remission
Distance Travelled: 0.0km Temperature: 27
End Location: Woolgoolga
snotty strikes back
During this whole trip, we've crowed about the fact that (a) we've never gotten sick, and (b) our computer has never gotten sick. It seemed like a clear path to the finish, but then, disaster struck. Week 57, Aimee becomes deathly ill. She gets better. Thank goodness she did, because it was she who made the computer better when it became deathly ill, right here on Week 64.
   If anybody out there is suffering from a seriously slow-as-a-friggin-pig computer, it may be that you have the same problem we had. Here's how we solved it:
  • Download a couple of popular worm fixers. Symantec (the folks who make Norton) have little downloadable executables on their site. We recommend the Welchia.Worm, Blaster.Worm, and Klez.Worm removal tools.
  • Download TrojanHunter from hotfiles.com. A trojan sneaks onto your machine, not unlike the legendary horse, and basically eats all of your processor time, making your computer slow to a crawl. Scan and delete what you find.
  • If TrojanHunter finds a "suspicious" file, look it up on the internet to make sure it's something nasty, then delete it. We had wincffg.exe and winhlpp32.exe sitting in our system32 folder. Once deleted, our virus software worked again, and the computer was speedy again!
See? You CAN learn something at Beimers.com! Hope it helps!

"It's such a crushing blow to me not to be the genius in the family anymore."
- Kevin.
Day 444: Leaders of the pack
Distance Travelled: 85.9km Temperature: 33
Time on Trikes: 9.0h Water Left: 10L
Terrain: Rotten Bitumen
End Location: Lawrence
What a difference it makes to have company now and then. Mardi and Matthew rode along with us back on Week 62 and the kilometres just flew by! Suddenly, you've got different stuff to talk about, you get to swap bikes now and then for a bit and sit a decent distance above the road... it's great! Zip! We've done 10 km! An hour went by just like that!
   Of course, the distance probably DRAGS ON FOREVER for the folks joining us. Racing cyclists like Trevor and Sue pedalled once for every five we did. They we're likely home in ten minutes, and still needed a "real workout" before the end of the day.
   Well, we never said we were speedy, but damn it , we sure are entertaining.
Aimee: "I feel like the Hugh Hefner of cycling."
Kevin: "Okay, you're going to have to explain that one to me."
Day 445: The Silent Killer
Distance Travelled: 85.2km Temperature: 32
Time on Trikes: 9.5h Water Left: 10L
Terrain: Not so bad
End Location: The Hill Family, Woodburn
the last lazy stretch

From here to the end of the trip, this is the longest empty road we have to deal with. No fuel, water, or Paddle Pops for a whole FORTY KILOMETRES.

   Gee whiz, I hope there's a rest area half way so we can switch drivers.

"Pat Butcher? He's our Prime Minister now!"
- Kevin.
Day 446: Prawntastic
Distance Travelled: 74.7km Temperature: 33
Time on Trikes: 8.5h Water Left: 9.0L
Terrain: Long hot & hilly
End Location: Byron Bay
destination: byron bay
We're just about back in good old tourist infested Queensland. Know how we can tell? Because we got honked at today. And because I'm starting to feel self-conscious about my appearance again. Haven't felt that since, well, since Queensland.
   We arrived this evening at our old haunt, Byron Bay, and that's when it really hit us. Before the trip, we did a bit of bus touring, where we stopped in at Brisbane, Surfers Paradise, Byron Bay, and Port Macquarie. Technically, we'd been to Byron and Port before, but had never been between the two before.
   This (the thing that hit us that I mentioned earlier) is the difference between travelling by bike and travelling by car/bus. Even the Roadtrip, where we prided ourselves on "the journey is more important than the destination", was still made up of a long string of destinations. The 300km between Amish Country and Punxsutawney? Don't remember the journey. But on a bike? Oh ho ho, you'll remember the journey. You will.

"Too many chubby blonde girls in unmatching tops for my liking."
- Kevin.
Day 447: Biker Chick
Distance Travelled: 72.8km Temperature: 35
Time on Trikes: 9.0h Water Left: 11L
Terrain: Serious crap until freeway
End Location: Michael Cahill's, Tweed Heads
heads up, tweed heads
We all remember Michael Cahill, the motorcycle-driving maniac we met back on Week 7 who was zipping from Tweed Heads to Darwin in about four days? Well, the Tweed Heads part comes into play right about now, since we've just entered Tweed Heads.
   During our travels, we'd receive an email every few months from Michael, and a couple of times he offered us a room at his pub when we got to Tweed Heads. We wrote him back a few days ago, and asked two questions: 1) Is our room ready? 2) Where is the pub? He hadn't written back yet. No big deal, we thought, we'd find him.
   We came over a hill, and, in amongst a smattering of fast food chains, high rise resorts and name brand department stores was a "Welcome to Tweed Heads" sign. Eep.
   We pulled up to the first pub (the Tweed Tavern, I think), went inside and asked for Michael. Nobody named Michael worked there, but the "other pub" was owned by a guy named Mike. Wouldn't you know it? Two pubs. I guess the rest of the accommodations in town are technically "resorts".
   Did we find him at the next pub? Nope. Because technically, he found us. We were less than 100 metres from the front door of the Dolphin Pub, when guess who drove up behind us. Michael Cahill. All that detective work gone to pot.

"Are you telling me that all this time I've been eating chick bread?"
- Kevin.
Day 448: Border Patrol
Distance Travelled: 12.0km Temperature: 35
Time on Trikes: 1.5h Water Left: 3.5L
Terrain: One sneaky hill
End Location: Scott & Karen's, Currumbin Waters
umm... hooray?
I... think we may be in Queensland... maybe! Er... yay!
   Tweed Heads and Coolangatta are twin cities right on the NSW/Queensland border. We were keeping our eyes peeled for the huge WELCOME TO QUEENSLAND sign for the big glossy photo finish.
   No luck. Downtown Tweed Heads imperceptibly became downtown Coolangatta, and the best we could do was this sign that said Coolangatta Creek and the name of a beach that was most definitely on my Queensland map. I may not look that thrilled, but believe me, I'm celebrating on the inside. Gold Coast, here we come... or maybe we're already here!

"Let's ask that naked man!"
- Aimee.
choc-a-block: (adj.) completely and utterly full. Can be
shortened to "chockers."
"Can't stay at the pub tonight, we're chock-a-block with guests!"

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© 2003 Kevin & Aimee Beimers. A bunch of muscly budgerigars.