Unscripted – Part 2 – The Final Teaser

The old guy is driving an early 2000s 4WD Landcruiser. There are extra water jerry cans, recovery boards and a shovel on the roof rack. He stops beside me at the intersection of a logging road and the Princes Highway. I’m refolding my map after a long morning riding up and down the gravel roads in the hills. It’s been a morning of burnt and logged trees as far as the eye can see. 

The man asks me which tracks I’ve been on, their condition, and if the tracks seem like they’d get impassable after rain. I tell him what I know. He’s off to bushwalk up two of the peaks over the coming days, but he doesn’t want to get stuck if the coming rains are heavy.

I wish him luck on climbing those peaks, as I don’t think he’ll have any track to follow, even if there once was one. The fire regrowth is so thick that I’ve been stymied from riding some of the tracks I’d hoped. Some roads are still closed, and other roads that are open are so thick with vegetation that they are impassable.

Poor Verne, Kermit and I have been whacked by young vegetation on the road edge for kms upon kms the past six days. So I can’t imagine any bushwalk is going to be anything but a cross-country bushwhack and navigational nightmare. 

He’s not too fussed – it’s really just about getting out and going somewhere new. When he asks where I’ve been before the last few tracks, I name off a few roads and locales.

He replies, “Well, THAT is a very big undertaking. Good on you. You must be a very hardy soul, with a durable bum and a reliable bike.”

I laugh and say, “Well, I guess you could say that.”

And then we both head on our respective ways, trying to get somewhere else before the rain comes.

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Unscripted – Part 2 – 25th Anniversary

Twenty-five years ago, in the second week of March, I was on a collision course with Nigel. We would meet on my birthday on the Great Ocean Road, after I boarded his bus in Lorne. I didn’t know that the course of my life was about to change forever.

Now, 25 years on, I’ve lived half of my whole life in Oz and almost all of my adult life.

So, in the back of my mind, I was hoping that I would be able to camp at Jacobs River somewhere in the week before or after my birthday. It’s a very special place for Nigel and me – our favourite camping spot and a place of many good memories from long ago. I wanted to spend a day there reflecting on the past 25 years – the highs, the lows, the tragedies and triumphs.

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Unscripted – Part 2 – February Teaser

Crumple up a piece of paper tightly. Wad it up in your fist. Then flatten it back out. Now take a marker and draw a line along the crumpled ridges. Where one ridge ends, drop your marker down into a valley of the crumpled paper and then draw a line up to the next ridge. Repeat again and again on that crumpled mess of highs and lows.

And that is what riding the Eastern Uplands of Victoria is like. That’s been our life on the forested roads the past two months.

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Unscripted – Part 2 – January Teaser

Here is a teaser summary of life on the forest roads for January. I’ll write up the trip properly when the weather turns and I wrap up this part of the tour.

I’m currently in Bairnsdale where the super-knowledgeable and helpful staff at Bairnsdale Bikes are hooking me up with a new chain, spare tubes and a few other bits and pieces of maintenance. The vibe there is awesome and they even have a coffee bar if you need a caffeine fix. So give them a visit if you are in that town and need some bike love.

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