Sunday the 17th of May 2015 – Glen Innes to Tenterfield

Today it’s overcast and cold outside the tent. With great difficulties I get ready to leave. I chat with my girlfriend who reminds me that it’s Sunday and I should therefore take a rest day. I object. I’m not taking a rest day in that cold town. I will rest once I’ve gone far enough north to be warmer.
It’s another 100km on the highway, fortunately with little traffic to start with. I’m listening to some funny podcasts which make it less boring
Once it gets to the end of the morning, I want to pull over and lube my chain. I fall over. My front wheel stopped abruptly in the loose gravel of the shoulder of the road. My hand is soon covered in blood, coming from my thumb.

1010212 1010214

I’m trying to think of the best thing to do but I’m in shock. The bleeding slows down quickly which gives me time to think. I pull the first aid kit and clean the wound and apply a bandage. There is a fair bit of damage on my finger. The bike is all ok though. I stay there on the side of the road trying to put it back together. Drivers hesitate to stop, eventually someone makes a u turn and offer some helps. I decline as it looks like the bleeding is under control. For a few minutes I had thought about my options : hospital, ambulance. With that much blood I was sure I needed stitches.
I pack up and go again, slower. My other hand is sore too. Holding the bike and shifting gear has become a tad more challenging..
A good lunch break helps me feel better. But with all that time is running out. I must hurry to ride the next 50km.

I’m starting to make plans too to visit Brisbane where my girlfriend is flying over. I’m thinking of how much of the journey I’ve been enjoying lately. I hurry to go further north, but the more I rush, the less I rest, and in the end, I get a little bit depressed about the whole thing. I think I have spent too long out of the bush and it’s affecting me negatively. I’m quite moody. I skip huge chunks of the trail but I’m not enjoying the road riding . Something has to change. I need to enjoy myself a bit more.
Gladly there are some people on the way worth meeting. Like John who drove 60km to greet me and buy me dinner.
I think I’m mentally tired as much as physically. Time to slow down.

Track Map

Diary Map

3 thoughts on “Sunday the 17th of May 2015 – Glen Innes to Tenterfield

  1. Hi Vincent, I have been following your blog with interest. I rode south to north Tom Groggin to Killarney over 7.5 weeks Feb to April this year. Like you I skipped the hard part but rode dirt roads to the east of the NE Highway. I got back on the trail east of Tenterfield. I had car support and was only aiming for 50k a day. I suppose I only want to say is enjoy the trail don’t always think of getting to the destination. I had to change my mind set as well and it made a big difference. Please stay safe and enjoy yourself.
    Tanya Bosch

    • Thanks Tania. I thought it was important to write about the up and downs. And there are some Downs (just like with any lifestyle). I felt it was time to ask myself whether I was enjoying it, if not how can I remedy it. It can be simple things. Such as avoiding highway just like you did. Or improving the bike setup. Or maybe not having anymore deadlines. Maybe I need more compagnonship. Pondering at the moment.

  2. If its any consolation, I am pretty sure i’d be feeling much the same as you in the circumstances. I find when the weather is nice, the wind is not pushing against me, the scenery is pretty and my body is in good form, I’m happy. And of course, i think after a while on the road, we do tend to get run down a bit which makes us a bit miserable. And finally money worries always make life that bit harder to enjoy. I have been wondering though after reading the earlier part of your blog if the open desert areas feel less lonely than forest areas. I’m just wondering, I’ve had a lot of experience in the desert areas and never really felt lonely though i did get tired after uluru and so took a bus back to Alice rather than battle against the wind along the boring highway. Central Australia desert riding is really nice. And probably easier than a lot of what you went through, even if on dirt roads. One day i want to do the Tanami in winter. It should be beautiful and not too dusty from other traffic. Central australia is interesting because its so different from the east coast. The air is so clear and the colours so strong. And i like connecting with Aboriginal culture. You’ve probably solved your financial issues by now but maybe a job you’d like to try is working as a guide with a bicycle tour company. On one of my tours, i met one of these tour groups. The guides were earning good money they said but of course they had to work pretty hard but it looked like a fairly fun job. If you are good at bike mechanics and are personable, then you’d be the right sort of person. There were about 8 people on the tour and all were older professional guys. Most of the work involves driving the bus, organising the people and cooking the food. The guides took it in turns to either drive the bus or ride a bike. There are a lot of these bike tour companies in Australia now. One of the guides was an older woman from new zealand and the other was a guy in his 30s from Australia.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *