Chapter 11. Last 200km to Norseman

I had many dreams about my family, sisters and brothers. It seemed like I really missed them. I woke up at 6 am and in 20 minutes covered the last 15 km of the longest straight road in Australia. Despite the early morning many cars were on the road that day. I made my first 20 km easily. After 30km when the sun was already shining I made a stop for washing.

10km before Balladonia the road became hilly.

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When I arrived to Balladonia roadhouse two men immediately greeted me. They were traveling by car but with two road bikes attached to their pick-up. Andrew and Matt. They knew some Russian words because Andrew had travelled in Mongolia.

They shared with me some energy bars and some dried bananas. We made photos, I gave him my mail but still have not received a picture.

at-Balladonia

Balladonia roadhouse is famous by its spacelab museum and fine cappuccino. I ordered some pastry and a cup of coffee.

While I was sitting outside and having breakfast a guy called Peter asked me about my trip. He approved of my decision to travel through Australia in April. Many tourists arrive in summer time when it is incredibly hot, up to 40-50 degrees.

Это кусок обшивки космической станции SpaceLab
American space ship SpaceLab

Only 190km left to Norseman. I found out how to make a call abroad from Telstra phone but Xenia phone was switched off. It is night time in Russia now. I hoped to call from Fraser Range.

The whole road was hilly. My bike needed some repair as the rear speeds did not switched from handlebar.

I had some kind of mental disorder today. I remembered all my goals in office and what I have to do at home. All these problems returned in my mind and I started to think about it. Then I started to to look for useful stuff on roadside. I found a camera holder, a bright button, even headphones which worked. Every time a saw a CD on the road side I made a stop to have a look at it. My mind was doing something wrong. I tried to concentrate on the road but could not control my eyes that kept on looking to the roadside by themselves.

I made a stop because I had to relax my mind. I ate two chocolate bars, some dried apricot and sweet cola. I tried to stop thinking and soon felt myself better. I told  myself: now your only goal is the  mark 110km, then your goal is mark 100km. It’s enough for today because there should be a roadhouse there. So please, think about destination only and concentrate on the road.

It is working. After 5 minutes I could continue to cycle.

Обычный привал
Rest

I arrived at Fraser Range and ordered a dinner. I had no success with calling my family in Russia. They don’t have Telstra phone cabins here, only old-fashioned phone with coins. But at least I heard Xenia’s voice.

After pitching my tent under the trees on grass area I took a shower. The shower costs $1 for 5 minutes, you have to put a coin to make it work. To be honest it works well and I felt myself refreshed.

I saw a roadbike near the kitchen but I thought the bike belonged to someone from the roadhouse staff as a trailer was attached to the bike and it was full of empty plastic bottles. But when I entered the kitchen I met another cyclist. It was a 26 years old guy Tom from Norway who cycled from Perth to Brisbane. To be honest he cycled the same way as Mark Beaumont. He already made a big trip across New Zealand and is now heading to East in the opposite direction.

I told him about all good spots on the road and he put them on his map.

He has web-site www.runawayviking.com. So if you want to follow his journey – please visit. You can also helps with charity cause to support hospital entertainment teams.

Tom has a lot of food. He tries to cook on the morning and have good dinner in the end of day. He has a small stove with gas. I can expect such feeding only at home or from my parents.

We visited big dinner room and ate chicken with potato and vegetables.

Tom described me how people in Norway lives and told sad story about Brejvik massacre and how nation never expect to met with such terrible things.

Norway is expensive country but it also mean people have good salaries. Tom could travel abroad for months with money what he earned and saved.

Два велосипедиста на дорогах Австралии
Two cycist in Fraser Range

Usually I woke up early but we decided to start together at 8 am and to make some photos on next morning.

I think I fully satisfied my need in communication for today. And it is always great to meet other cyclist who made the same route as you.

When I was laying in my tent I tried to calculate which day Metallurg has last final game. Metallurg is ice hockey team from my town Magnitogorsk. They in final series for Gagarin Cup – best trophy in Russian hockey league KHL. Maybe today on 30th April or maybe tomorrow.

 

May 1, 2014.

Australia don’t celebrates Labor Day on 1st May.

I packed all my staff and decided to share at least one tube with Tom. Today my last day of cycling, but for him Nullarbor just begin. And once I did it I found first puncture on my from wheel. It is the first case for whole trip. I have changed it in few minutes and I was packed for cycling.

Made a breakfast and drank some hot tea. Have a long conversation on kitchen with guy Geoffrey. He had invested in bicoins two years ago and now have a good perfect. He is travelling with his wife to Sydney on Chinese Geely car. It’s funny man. He’s kind of people with I always like to be a friend. Never trusted to advertising, good knowledge in different areas especially in IT, make a decision based on lot of investigation of discuss boards and Youtube reviews. And the same time very positive.

Tom finished to cast his next video for blog and after that we started to cycle to highway. And when I was expecting to make pictures and start to ride in opposite directions, Tom realized that he also has a puncture in left trailer’s wheel. We explored tyre and tube and found out the reason was in tyre. Left one is always on gravel part of roadside. This tyre was almost vanished. While he not entered Nullarbor Tom made decision to return to Norseman and but new tyres and tubes for trailer. He knew one family in roadhouse whose just planned to ride Norseman.

Моей попе и ногам осталось потерпеть еще 100 км
Last 100km for my ass, legs and patience

I started to cycle my last 100km on Nullarbor. It was hilly but I have mostly downhills, so I was lucky here by cycling to West. For those cyclists who are planning to ride from West to East first pace from Norseman should be great testing of leg’s muscles.

I have north-western wind today. Not good if you cycle on open space. But today I cycled through forest area.

Это Питер - он едет через Наллабор с запада на восток
Peter just has started cross Nullarbor

I met another one cyclist on 70km to Norseman. He’s name Peter, he is 57 old german cyclist who lives in Australia. He asked me for some questions and was worried about water. I said him that situation with water quite good in autumn and all scary stories about Nullarbor related to summer season. I told him about Tom and I guessed it should be good for them both to cycle together.

We made some pictures and I continued my ride. Soon I was talking with police.

–          Did you see other cyclists?

–          Yes. Just now.

–          No. Other ones.

–          In Fraser Range stayed one cyclist. He’s 25 years old.

–          Did you see older cyclist?

–          What Are you looking for? Have you lost somebody?

–          Yes. 80’s years old man on bicycle.

–          Never seen. Nullarbor not full of cyclist this month.

 

I guessed – what kind of people you have here in Australia. 80 years old man is travelling on bicycle. My grandmother stayed at home when she turned to age of 80’s.

40km to Norseman start raining. I have no chances to cycle through hard rain. So I wear my jacket and made a stop under trees for 20 minutes. Soon rain finished but was very cold today. I continued to cycle to warm myself.

I cycled and start to think that maybe 20 or 10 km to Norseman I should catch a mobile coverage. I didn’t call to Xenia yesterday and was worried how she reached Pushgory. They were planned a trip from Moscow on may holidays. As I remember it also an area with bad mobile coverage in Russia.

20km to Norseman I turned on both my phones, but still no signal. I rode further and after 2-3km I started to receive messages. I checked my phone and first message was from Dmitry in Moscow.

“Alexey. My congradulations. Metallurg got Gagarin Cup. They are best hockey team in Russia. I was very nervous final series.”

Yes! They did it. So I also have to do it. I have to finish Nullarbor and only 10km left. Yes.

I pushed pedals like never pushed before. I was riding from hill and screaming: “Metallurg Champion!”. It was great feeling. I listened my voice and my scream. I understood that I kept silence riding for last 2 weeks. In such empty areas you could scream everything you want. Need to practice someday.

I made a call to Xenia and after couple unsuccessful calls a finally reached her. I was so happy. I miss everybody in Russia. I said: I’m finishing. Only 10 km left. Everything is fine. Wait for 4 days and I have to return home.

I made a call to mama. She was nervous because no call from me for last 10 days.

When I arrived to Norseman I looked on BP petrol station. No cars to ask someone to lift me up to Kalgoorlie. Time is 4:30 so even if someone take me on board I will arrive to Kalgoorlie in the dark.

I decided to stay for a night in Caravan park. It was a expensive stay for 35 AUD. I asked manager Larry about transport from here to Norseman and he replied that there is a bus, but he passed this place only 2 days in week. I need to check schedule in Tourist Information office.

Норсман - небольшой шахтерский городок
Norseman – small miner town

I pitched a tent and made light trip to Tourist Office. I was lucky three times. One – I arrived on time. Just 30 minutes before office closing. Two – Tomorrow on Friday morning there is a bus to Kalgoorlie. Three – nice manager- woman Evelyn kindly helps me to made a booking to the bus and paid only 10 AUD for bicycle in luggage.

Tomorrow morning I will pack my bike for long trip in bus and plane.

I bought chicken rolls, some milk and spent this evening in kitchen by eating, watching TV and drinking hot tea. Was cold outside so soon many people arrived here to kitchen to drink tea and play table games.