We arrived in Melbourne on Wednesday and everything went really well. We had a list of things to do like assembling the bikes, getting connected to the internet, grocery shopping etc. Everything worked out well as we got an Optus SIM for the phone at the airports, a maxi-taxi dropped us at Josh’s house, the bikes went together fine and the shopping was easily done at the supermarket around the corner. The list of jobs seemed to disappear with ease.
On Wednesday night Josh and Lesley’s friends David and Joanne came around for dinner and we had a nice time chatting and catching up. It was a successful though very long day as we were up for 21 hours due to the early flight and late night.
On Thursday Will’s cousin James and his fiancée Merryn picked us up and we drove down to the family holiday home at Somers on the Mornington Peninsular. Cousin Alice arrived too and we celebrated with champagne then a nice lunch at the local restaurant. In the afternoon we watched the ANZAC day footy between Essendon and Collingwood (James was pleased because Essendon won), cooked, drank wine and hung out chatting. It was a fun afternoon evening and great to see the some family
Today we are relaxing and Josh, Lesley and kids will be arriving this afternoon for a couple of nights.
Sitting on the verandah, listening to the birds, surrounded by gum trees on a street called Koala Court all seems very Australian and is the perfect way to start our holiday.
The house is tidied and clean and we handed it over to our house-sitters Marilyn and Jan. We’ve loaded up the car with bikes, gear and curtain material for the Newtons, and we are driving to Christchurch.
Months of planning has gone into this day. All the buying of gear, bookings, lists, testing and packing is finally over and we are off on out adventure. It seems like this day would never come and seems surreal to be on the way.
Tomorrow we’ll spend in Christchurch picking up a few odds and ends, dropping off the curtain material, and maybe a wee bit of visiting if we get time.
Early early early on Wednesday we fly to Melbourne. Originally we booked mid morning flight but the time got changed and we now have 6am flights. That means checking in at 4am!!! I told Air NZ I wasn’t impressed by the change of flight time.
Exciting times ahead!
A long day of packing and sorting and getting the house ready for the house sitters. We had to take the bikes apart to get them in bike boxes. That meant removing carriors, mirrors, handle bars etc. We have a little list of things to get for the trip, but in general, we are happy with the big day.
To entertain you all, here is a photo of us in 1990 cycle touring from Christchurch to Picton, aged 21. No Instagram photo effects here, this is what the pre-digital world really looked like.
Most people thought we were mad cycling to Hanmer Springs, through the Rainbow road to St Arnaud, then down to Picton, when we could have driven to Picton in the car in 4 hours. Most people still think we are mad cycling from Melbourne to Brisbane.
We leave in 2 weeks and things are super busy getting ready. We have all our gear ready and the house is ready for the house sitters but there is still a lot of work to get done before we leave. Websites to finish and parent/teacher meetings for Jen.
Blog posts will come more often now as we pack, depart and start our journey. Getting excited!!
Cycle touring in 1990
For a while I’ve been looking at the weather forecasts for the state of Victoria and I need some advice from Melbourne friends, or other weather boffins.
It seems to me that most high pressure systems pass to the south of Australia. That means during a high, the predominant wind will be from the east. Only a low pressure system would provide a westerly wind along the south coast of Australia. Obviously if the high was further north then the south coast would get a westerly.
Why does this matter? We will be biking from Cowes on Philip Island to Bairnsdale before heading up the Snowy River to Jindabyne. If the predominant wind along the south coast is an easterly, we’ll be biking 450km into a headwind.
I’ve read that the predominant weather in Bass Straight is a westerly. I’m confused.
So can any of you confirm the predominant wind in Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsular, Gippsland or anywhere along the south coast?
I got chair envy.
I read a number of blogs of other cycle tourers on the website www.crazyguyonabike.com. A cyclists I’ve been following got a chair, a lightweight camping chair. One of the things that I get sick of after months of camping is always sitting on the ground. Sometimes after a hard day’s biking you just want to recline.
So I looked into them and found the Alite Designs Monarch Chair. The lightest off-the-ground chair I could find in the world. The unique thing about the Alite Monarch is that it only has two legs. It’s kind of like permanently swinging on a chair, something we all got told off for at school. Your legs act as the balance for the chair with little effort invloved.
Remarkably comfortable, light, compact and portable. I hope mine lasts as I’m near the top of the recommended weight range.
Light as a feather.
I’ve set it up so that updates on willnjen.com will appear on my Facebook wall.
Why? So I don’t have to do things twice plus it makes it easier for our Facebook friends to watch our trip.
Jen and I have been on many cycle tours before. Our first was in 1991 from Christchurch to Nelson via Molesworth Station. We’ve also cycled in France, the West Coast of NZ and Southland.
Here are some old and new photos.
Cycling through Molesworth Sation, 1991
Cycling in France in 1996.
A warm-up cycle to test the new gear.
Jen in Manapouri on our 5 day Southland warm-up ride.
This is the first post of our upcoming cycle touring trip from Melbourne to Brisbane.
Today I decided how we would keep you all informed of our trip. Many people have asked if we will reactivate willnjen.com, whether we will blog, podcast, video podcast or use Facebook. There are so many options that I had to give it some thought and decided I would use a mixture. Primarily we will post our adventure here. We’ll post blogs, video, photos and update a map. This will be visible to friends, family and the general public.
The other way we’ll keep in contact is the omnipresent Facebook. We’ll post the occasional photo and location, plus put links to our willnjen.com posts. The way Facebook pushes updates is great for letting you know what we are up to. As we have our Facebook accounts restricted to Friends, the general public won’t be able to see the posts. Don’t worry, Facebook can’t beat the detail that will be on this website.
So for now, that is why we are posting here. We’ll post more in the build-up to the trip and regular, sometimes daily updates during the trip.