Friday, 8 April 2005

The weather is finally cooling down a little. The sky is currently overcast and rain has been forecast. Currently on our way from Coolgardie to Norseman. The cyclists are covering almost 170km today.

Had been feeling really sorry for them the last few days. Starting their journey at 5am everyday, cycling 12 hour days in that unbearable heat, then arriving in town only in time to have a quick shower and dinner before they have to go for their meetings. Not being able to sleep till almost 11pm and having to repeat everything all over again.

Those guys are incredible. To be able to push themselves so much to the limit and still maintain an amazing spirit of good cheer, joking and still having fun.

The towns have gotten fewer. Was driving at about 30km/h for close to 8 hours before we actually managed to stop in a service station for a quick toilet break. Well, for me at least. Throughout the ride, the others had simply pulled over and went into the bush.

I was in such a hurry that I didn’t even think to look which toilet I was going into. I saw an entryway and simply rushed in. There were some pretty embarrassed conversations going around when two of the cyclists nearly tore the door to my cubicle down thinking the door was stuck. I had dashed into the gents without thinking. And yes, I saw the urinals, but simply thought it was a unisex toilet.

Honestly, if you had to hold 2 litres of water in your bladder for 8 hours, you wouldn’t be looking hard as to whether you were entering the correct toilet.

Still having problems with internet access. We either had phone lines in our rooms that did not work, or no phones at all.

First night, we had to beg the use of the motel owner’s computer.
Second night, I struck gold while chatting with a girl staying and working in the motel – she had keys to the town’s telecentre which was closed. Amazingly, she very willingly handed me the key and gave me directions there.

Yesterday, we were all in such a rush that by the time we returned to our motel, everybody simply crashed on their beds.

We had actually done good time yesterday, arriving in Coolgardie at about 3.30pm. But the TV news crew were late and so the interviews did not finish till about an hour later.

Then the motel we stayed in last night stuffed up big time, and our rooms were not organised at all. We ended up having to unload the luggage into an unused kitchen, load up the bikes and drive 30mins into Kalgoorlie to make a photoshoot.

By the time we got into town and the photoshoot was done, it was past 6pm and the guys had not had dinner or showered. And they had to return to the motel only to make the trip back to Kalgoorlie for the town meeting at 7.30pm.

I ended up sitting in the car with 4 of the cyclists, driving at a speed that I shall not disclose, with pizzas and soft drinks being passed all around me. We made it to the meeting only about 30 mins late.

The cool weather is certainly helping the guys today. They’re actually going at 50km/h! At this rate, I’d be able to get into town and sort out more media stuff! Provided I get mobile coverage…

Check out the website for daily photos update and the cyclist’s journals!

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