A blog about cycling...especially the long distance stuff

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Melbourne to Sydney: Day 9

The day started looking like a good one for a ride. Lucky that! Word around the camp ground was that the local Mr Jones coffee shop was the best place in town to kick start your day. So after a small detour to the bakery to fuel up, I meet up there to say goodbye to the couple I'd met last night. They had some great info on the road ahead and it was especially nice to talk to people that 'got' what touring was about. 

Batemans Bay
Heading north out of Batemans Bay, my first waypoint of the day was a detour to 'Mystery Bay' – I'd heard a couple of people say this was a 'must visit'. Its only a small detour off the Princess Highway and, had it worked into my days better, this would have been a great place to camp – it had water and a 'long drop' toilet and nothing else. Also note there is nowhere to get food near here.

Mystery Bay

Mystery Bay

As for the bay...its a wild and beautiful spot. The bay has a golden sand beach with something of a reef out to sea of jagged rocks. The waves crash in here pretty hard you'd have to be careful if swimming. There were a few other people around...but hardly anyone really...just magic.

I spent a while here...but could have spent the day. Or two.

It was quite late when I left Mystery Bay so a fairly big afternoon session was on the cards to make my target for the day. And unfortunately, this also meant a long stint back on the highway. Near Tuross Head...I was reminded how small and fragile you are on a bike....

I was crossing a short narrow bridge, perhaps only 50m long. It was double white line – no passing, and had no shoulder. Behind me was about 100m or so of straight road – not a lot, but enough to be seen, so I thought. I was hugging the left hand white line and heard something big coming up behind me. At the same time, a ute was coming the other way in the opposite lane...I just had nowhere to go...but assumed the heavy thing behind me would slow down. It didn't. Suddenly it flashed by my right elbow...it felt only a cm or two away and was still accelerating to clear me before veering hard left into the 80cm or so of sideways space I had blocked, to not hit the ute. The backblast nearly threw me and I thought I heard something come off the bike. Veering to a barely controlled stop at the end of the bride and out the way...I tried to gather myself. OK check:limbs are still there...yup, I used them to brake. All the bags were still on the bike...phew. So what came off? I opened the handle bar bag...the lid was loose. No phone. Waiting for a gap in the traffic ran back along the bridge and found it on the road...very smashed. The backwash from the speeding truck had pulled the Velcro sealed lid open on the bag and sucked out the phone, but nothing else!!

At least it was just a material object...it felt like a very close call to me and I tried to fathom what the driver of the truck was thinking. Maybe be didn't see me till the last second? I have no clue what company it was and was far to busy trying not to crash to get the license plate. No choice but to keep pedalling.

Finally at Moruya I could turn off the bloody highway, onto the coastal tourist route and ride in relative peace. It was still 30kms from here and a bit of willpower was needed to keep going after a long single stint. At an IGA express I grabbed more water and a large chocolate bar to get me through the last section. A friendly local saw the loaded bike and came over for chat which was also nice. I wondered how my friends from this morning went, on the tricky but pretty hilly section to Tathra.

With weary legs and in a light shower, I arrived at Surf beach, just south of Batemans Bay and looked for a camp ground with wifi so I could let my wife know my phone had exploded and not have her worry if I missed our nightly call. I'd hoped to be able to update the blog here too and check conditions ahead but the wifi was so bad all we managed were a few Facebook chat messages.

I had a nightmare that night that the ute from today was on the other side of the road coming towards me. Not good!

Total Distance: 120 km
Route map

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