I'm on the St. John's van again. They picked me up after 56 kilometres of
an 83 kilometre day. Basically I started out ok except for not eating much
breakfast. The porridge was ok, but they were serving hard boiled eggs and
pita bread. I find that just a silly choice for a group of people
needing sustenance for an 80 kilometre ride. A lot of people were just refusing
the eggs and getting a bigger helping of porridge, but I didn't have the
appetite for more than the usual serve.
Out on the road the wind had died down and I was feeling fine. The open stretch
was mainly flat with a bit of a rise over a dirt section (which was supposed to
be sealed but some bush-fires intervened). Apparently the wind was picking up,
but the route was treed and I didn't notice until after morning tea.
Morning tea was at Illabo, which has a historic clock museum, not that we saw
anything of it. The stop was at the local primary school where the kids were
apparently putting on some sort of song and dance routine on the other side of
the building from where the food was.
Morning tea at Illabo
After Illabo, we crossed the Olympic Highway and the railroad and kept east for
a while, again through slightly rolling country. Then we turned north and away
from the tree-lined roads into a headwind. It must have been about 10 km/h
and really started taking my energy away, making my speed about 10km on the flat.
there was some bushfire damage evident, but sime regrowth, despite the dry
conditions. I pushed on for the remaining 10 km or so until lunch and then
collapsed there for a while. As at Goulburn last year, lunch was those crappy
vege rissoles, which I've never been able to eat. There was also an apple, a
yoghurt lollie on a stick and some juice, which went down all ok.
Road to Bethungra
The lunch stop was Bethungra - a little fly speck of a place with what appeared to
be no more than an RSL memorial park and an industrial shed of some sort. There
was also an old semi-decayed house with a "Keep out. private property" sign on it.
The northerly was kicking up dust everywhere and there were great big ants
crawling over any unattended food.
While I was eating I noticed a St. John van pull up over the road from me. It sat
there for a while and I figured that was their assigned location for a while. I
took off and carried on getting tireder and a bit of abdomen pain like a cramp
started to kick in. I had stopped to drink while resting off the bike when I
noticed the van drive by again. It stopped a bit up the road while the driver
got out and moved a bit of wire off the road side. I started off again and road
past them and then they drop up to me and asked how I was going, saying "we've
been talking about you".
I explained that I was getting tired an in a bit of pain and they suggested I ride
the 50 metres or so to the next water stop (which I had not noticed was there),
where we could decide if I wanted to carry on. The upshot was that I left my
bike for the sweep and could either get a ride back to Bethungra and wait there for
the bus, or the St John team could drive me straight to Cootamundra. Obviously
there was no choice in the matter and I did the latter.
At Coota, the resident volunteer went through my medical history again, but
couldn't suggest anything other than rest and re-hydration. My core temperature
was again quite high - 37° She got someone to and buy a sports drink for me
while I sat there and drank ice water for about half an hour. Then I went out
and set up my tent. Again I had to wait until about 5pm for the bike to arrive.
I wandered up to town and came across Lauren and Grant again (I had run into
them briefly at lunch). We had some food together. I had about half of a
plate of fish and chips and a couple of apple juice drinks. The greasy food
impulse from Junee was obviously still active.
Wandering back to camp, I came across James. We walked and talked for a while and
came across the Captains Walk - a series of busts of cricket captains - which is
part of Coota's celebration of itself as Don Bradman's birthplace. James is a bit
sick of the luggage truck detail. I think he started it as part of a way to
avoid some of the confusion at Holbrook, and it carried on. Today he started late,
instead of at the head of the pack, and just rode his own fast pace up the road,
talking to everyone he passed.
Later in the evening I felt nauseous again so I went to the St Johns location.
They had the services again of Dr. Simon Gallow who looked at my knee in 2003. He
suggested that the antibiotics could be causing it and, if I still had a problem in
Boorowa, I might have to stop taking them. I'm still planning to ride tomorrow,
even thought it's sure to be a shit of a day - 91.7 kilometres.
||56.87 km (out of 83.4)
Day 7 route map (from Google Earth)
Day 7 route profile