I was a little slow this morning after Calumn’s set up with the wine last night. I packed away my things while Calumn was over at the ruins taking photos in the morning light. Before we got on the bikes Calumn and I sat around the remannts of last nights fire. I sparked up some incense and while we ate breakfast we spent about 40 minutes talking about our emotions and feelings. It was so empowering to be open with each other.
During this chat I felt as though I had a flashback to a previous life or something I imagined men gathered around a fire talking about themselves openly, even though it was just my vivid imagination it made me think why not? Why don’t men get out and connect with eachother? The question is simple “ how are you doing mentally mate? “If the answer is fine “tell me more, I want to know how your doing?” It’s that simple and you have created a way to begin to process anything that is causing suffering in your life.
We hit the 4wd track just before 1000 hours. I was so stoked we had gone off the road, it had always been my intention to get Calumn off the road as I knew the prospect of actually leaving the perceived safety of the highway was something that would make him anxious it wasn’t that he couldn’t do it, he is perfectly capable, but the thing about anxiety is it can control your life if you don’t tackle the problem at its roots. By getting him off the road I was fulfilling my objective of helping him to overcome a barrier in his life I definitely wasn’t lifting him over it. The sand was deep and he was having a hard time balancing on the bike meanwhile I was doing zigzags in the sand because I wanted the next person who drove the road to see them and think... WHAT THE HECK IS THIS BIKER UP TO (also, life’s way to short to live in straight lines!)
Our first stop for the day was only 10km from our camp as we rounded a bend and crossed over the dry riverbed we came into view of a rangers station. We both needed to refill our water but when we pulled up to the front gate it had a big lock and said (private property DO NOT ENTER ) but my dyslexic brain totally read it as (NOT private DO ENTER property) we jumped over the fence, found a big watertank and filled both our belly’s and bottles. As we were walking back to the bikes Calumn turned to me and said “it feels like I just won the water lottery” we jumped back on the bikes and cruised the last few sand hills out to Larrpinta drive, this is the road to Alice. I stoped to put some air in both my bike and Calumn’s and then we were off. I was so excited to make it to Alice because it’s the biggest town I will have come across since the beginning of my journey.
I was really struggling to hold the pace I normally would on bike it felt like something was dragging me back, looked down and my rear tire had lost its pressure. I realised I must have forgotten to do the valve up properly so I put some more air in made sure it was closed and continued to ride. 5km later it was flat again.. I had a problem and We were still 40km from Alice Springs. Calumn and I pulled over to see what we could do, I looked for a hole but couldn’t seem to find anything. When I inflated it again it was pretty clear what was wrong, there were huge bulges in the tire and the air was leaking out of small cut in the sidewall. I made the decision to swap my rear tire for my spare, The only problem was I had never changed a tubeless tire before and I had no idea how it was going to go down, or up, or on once it was off! It came off fine, I pulled the new one out of the Burley trailer and pulled half of it onto the rim. I added my tubeless sealant them used my tire tool to put it back onto the rim. The moment of truth! I got one of my little gas cylinders out and screwed it into the valve. I looked to Calumn and said “here goes nothing” it worked perfectly the tire sealed itself and I was good to go again! It didn’t take more than 15 minutes.
The last 40km into Alice was long and hilly, the sun was also very hot as it was late in the afternoon by this stage. We cruised into the town centre on a cycling track and went straight to KFC for a big feed. I got a burger feast pack I had a voucher that I had downloaded on my phone so I got a really good deal and only payed $17 for my monster meal. I ate 2 chicken burgers 2 chicken wraps 1 salad 2 large chips 6 chicken nuggets and a box of popcorn chicken... My belly was very happy with the 3792 calories I had just consumed!
After we had eaten we both got back on our bikes and went to find Johns house. He is an Alice local who reached out to me on my website a few weeks ago and offered me a place to stay. When we arrived he welcomed us, gave us a tour of his wonderful home and showed us were we could set up in his sleep out. We enjoyed a few beers then shared some stories over the most delicious and large lamb shank with mash potatoes and root vegetables it’s been a good day in my world. I can say one thing for sure, I don’t know where I put all that food.