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Five hundred kilometres-Expedition Dust day 15

I woke to a large kangaroo jumping past my tent ‘Thud thud thud’ I wasn’t ready to start my day though so I rolled over and closed my eyes again. After 20 minutes I decided to make a move, I felt like I could have just stayed in my sleeping bag all day. I could hear the wind blowing and knew because of the way it was pushing my tent it was going to be a tough day.

I packed up and checked that my trailer tyre patch repair was holding air, then I was ready to go.

As I left I got my drone in the sky and took some photos and video of me riding. For about the first 40 minutes I sang at the top of my lungs... I didn’t see any kangaroos after that haha. The trail I was on took me to the Gum tree well, above most of the wells is a wind turbine and this one was spinning away pumping water into troughs for the animals. The route towards the next well was pretty straight forward (literally) I continued straight along a rough animal track until I reached Deep well. Deep well wasn’t in good shape, it’s wind turbine was a twisted pile of metal and the pit was dry. A flood came through in April and must have wiped it out. It also buried any signs of an old track, so now I was just riding in as straight a line as possible between the wells maeked on my map (hoping to come across some kind of track).

It wasn’t long until I could feel I had a flat trailer tyre again. I fixed it up and kept on riding, about 5 minutes later it was flat again with yet another thorn. This same process happened another 3 times, it’s so frustrating!

I hit a fenceline after about 40 minutes, I was so glad to see a very old trail down the other side I followed the fence until there was a gap between the wire I could squeeze my bike through, it wasn’t pretty, the wires got all tangled in everything and the bike fell over but I persevered and made it through. The going wasn’t much easier as the wind was still blowing straight in my face. At 16:23 I hit a dirt road, I was so relieved! I looked at the trip time for the day, 8 hours, I then checked my moving time against that and I had only moved for 4 hours and 49 minutes, I told myself that I would do a minimum of 5 hours moving every day. As I was looking at my tracker I noticed I was only 1km shy of my first 500km, I couldn’t believe it! I pushed on pretending I was in a race giving myself a commentary as I rode. “ look it’s Brando, he’s coming up to the 500km mark put your hands together for brandooooo.”

I stopped at 500km and set up my tent for the night. My bike tyres are tubeless but the trailer tyre isn’t! It was always going to be the weekest link but it’s just a challenge I have to overcome. I have 9 patches covering holes and only 4 more patches left, after that i’ll be stuffing grass in them..

I’m at the point emotionally where I’m really missing my fiancé and have started analyzing and replaying situations from the past in my head. This is all pretty normal 2 weeks into an expedition. It’s so healthy to know who you are and think about the things you do that make you the person you want to be! Nature gives you the chance to be the best version of yourself because it gives you the chance to see yourself for what you really are. I don’t expect to come out here and only find the good in myself I come out here to find myself in my most raw form so when I return I can be the human I want to be.

My friendly advice to take care of your own mental wellness. Go spend 3 days alone in nature take all your camping essentials, tasty food and plenty of water. Disconnect to reconnect!

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