The day before we leave to ride bikes across Australia
I pushed my trip start date out a few days and my stress levels plummeted which was probably the best decision I have made at this point. I honestly had been feeling physically sick with stress! It didn’t feel right starting a journey like this one feeling not well physically and mentally. Everyone could tell I was stressed as I was running around like a manic headless chicken, but not really achieving anything. I used the extra time that I had since postponing the trip to do the final important preparations for the expedition. Lots of lists and writing for all the amazing sponsors that are supporting me.
We also had the opportunity to get out onto the bikes with just over half our gear loaded up. Our guide was an expat kiwi called James, who is a human cycling machine. He rode riding a single speed bamboo bike and it was sooo groovy! We were supposed to ride just for a few hours, but he spent the whole day with us. Together we rode 60kms, James showed us the sights of Perth and gave us some helpful cycling pointers. It was a great way to get to see the city and have a bit of a gauge for what the bikes are going to feel like on this trip.
I think one of the biggest struggles for me is asking others for help. But as people were noticing how stressed I was I finally managed to start asking and everything got easier upstairs in my head.
Loren and I have been staying with my third cousins Marija and Jason in Perth. I hadn’t met them before but it’s been an absolute blessing getting to know them. Marija is a fantastic cook, she’s been fattening me up and has made Loren vegan meals since we arrived. Her and Jason have been such wonderful hosts, they’ve gone above and beyond to welcome us into their home. It’s going to be sad to say farewell to them.
I find the hardest part of any big journey I go on is saying goodbye to everyone I love. Leaving my darling wife to be was heart wrenching but I take comfort knowing I can still contact her through my satellite device and that she can follow my progress on my tracker.
Loren has also found it very difficult to say goodbye to her friends and family, making phone calls with people most nights. It’s a new feeling for her being away from people for such a long time. It doesn’t make it any easier though no matter how many times you’ve done expeditions. Her best friend and practically little sister Maddy came to Perth to send her off on this journey and spent a couple of days with us helping us organise but also getting us excited. There were lots of tears shed when we dropped Maddy off to the airport, it was overwhelming for Loren knowing that Maddy was her last point of contact from her life back home in New Zealand before everything completely changes.
My last meal before we left Perth was a 22” New York style pizza, I ate so much I couldn’t even move, I just lay there making strange uncomfortable noises for a very long time. Loren did the same but with a 16” pizza. I stayed up until the early hours of the morning triple checking all the gear to make sure we had everything we would need for the unforeseen future, as we are about to venture into the unknown. Once we’re out there, there’s no going back if we’ve forgotten anything.
The drive from Perth to Denham is about 10 hours so we got up early to pack the truck with our gear and bikes. The drive began at around 0830. The city shrunk from its high rise buildings to industrial complex’s and then smaller into a residential matrix, I can guarantee if I had been behind the drivers wheel I would still be lost in the backstreets. Once we hit the highway it got more and more like what I imagined Australia would look like, big long straight flat roads, red dirt and lots of gum trees. There are lots of kangaroos and emu grazing the roadside as we get closer to Steep point.
The reality of this massive adventure is truly starting to set in. It all begins now!
Wildboy - Brando Yelavich