My name is Brando Yelavich. I’m currently cycling self supported from the most western point to the most eastern cape across the centre of Australia to lead by example and empower others to take care of their own mental wellbeing.
It was another cold morning so I got the fire going for a hot breakfast. We packed up quickly today with the intentions of going at least 40km. Dylan was still putting the tent on his bike so I headed over to the pump to fill up our water for the day. He came over all excited saying ‘I just saw a Dingo, it walked right past the camp’! I spotted it a few moments later just on the tree line watching us, most likely hoping we would leave water for it witch we did. Just before we got properly set into riding for the day we headed over to Len Beadells gum tree. It’s one of the original markers on the track and had a plaque with distances to all the towns. The two of us climbed up into its branches to get a photo. I checked over my trailer fixing job and it looked like it was strong and would hold up atleast another 100km.
The first challenge of the day was riding a section of the road that had been eroded by flooding, it was tough going and I could really feel the trailer leaning to the right putting me off centre. It was going to be a scorcher, it was already so hot at 1000, no way near the hottest part of the day. We were both very appreciative of the nice shaded trees we were riding under.
Dylan got off his bike with a problem at the Heather Highway sign. His front breaks are rubbing on the pads even when the breaks aren’t on! I pulled the wheel off and tried my absolute best to fix it but only managed to make it a little better. This was the point I had to make the choice between using the heather Highway (121km) to Warburton or continue onto the much rougher but shorter (93km) route across essentially the unknown. I use my intuition to make decisions out here, it told me to go along the Heather Highway because if the trailer breaks I’m going to be in a whole new world of problems. Now a hard part for me was having Dylan’s opinion in a choice that I made from a feeling I had. He wanted to go the shorter way because on his map it had less elevation for us to climb. This option caused me to second guess my intuition and I decided to just go with the shorter route. Dylan was moving very slow at this point so I stopped to wait for him at the top of mount Samuel. I pulled out my nearly empty jar of peanut butter and the 7 dates I had left and ate that for lunch. Dylan had reached the top as I was just sitting down to eat. When I asked him if everything was ok he said his bike felt like it was going slower than before because of the front brakes. So before we set off again I pulled the pads out of his front brake so it wouldn’t rub anymore. Both of us had eaten and we were hydrated, Dylan’s bike was good and my trailer repair job still looked like it was doing what I wanted it to! Everything was great, off we went.
About 100m from our lunch spot along a very rough, rocky and bumpy track the trailer suddenly tilted on its side and started rubbing on my tire. The bumps had bent the aluminium trailer arm to the point it had ripped off. My brain started working in overtime trying to decide what to do. I was so annoyed at myself for not just going down the heather Highway because now we were in the middle of nowhere on a very rough 4X4 track. I emptied the trailer and strapped it to the back of my bike then filled it like a basket with all the things I could, anything that wouldn’t fit I put in the front of the bike. It took about an hour to fully set it up so I was happy with how it was attached, but once I got on to ride I discovered that everything was about to get really tough in my world and the 2 days to Warburton might have just turned into 3-4.
The track was near impossible to navigate. When I hit rocks the front of the bike bounces and I loose control and when I’m in the deep sand it’s all so wobbly I can’t even ride! My rear rack is now overloaded buy about 14kg and it’s only a matter of time utill it breaks. I’m in a bit of a pickle to tell you the truth.
I pushed my bike for the next 1 1/2 hours only being able to get on twice for about ten minutes each time. After the sun had gone down Dylan and I pulled off into the bush to make our camp for the night. I had a venison and leek Radix meal with deep fried polenta cakes, it was delightful way to end a emotional roller coaster of a day.
Who knows what tomorrow will bring.