Chris L circles Tasmania Chris L is spending a month riding around Tasmania. Follow his progress here

Day 27: Did they say "showers?"

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Old 01-09-04, 07:18 PM
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Day 27: Did they say "showers?"

The rain intensified through the night - as did the wind. Perhaps that would make life easier - it would be behind me this time - if only I could motivate myself to get out of that sleeping bag. An absolutely freezing night in Strathgordon - a few suggestions around that the temperature dropped below zero celcius (incidentally, my home town of the Gold Coast has never recorded temperatures that low, and I'm down here in summer?). Eventually the rain gave me a five minute break, so I packed up and left - hoping to at least generate some warmth before it set in again.

Having to backtrack can be a little frustrating, but I'd been hoping better weather might allow me a different perspective on what I'd seen. For the first 25km or so, that looked like a possibility, as the rain was only sweeping across in patches. I even managed to take a couple of photos during this time! After this, however, things went from bad to worse.

I paused at a picnic ground somewhere to have some lunch, hoping some food might provide a little extra warmth for the remainder of the ride. The rain was intensifying, and the temperature was dropping. I crossed the first couple of passes, and after lunch I was feeling pretty good. It was then I heard the snap. Oh @#$%! Is there a worse place in Tasmania to break a chain?

I started the task of performing the repair, but the freezing rain intensified to the point where my fingers were too frozen to be of any use whatsoever. Now what would I do? Fortunately I was able to flag down a passing car (sometimes tourist season isn't such a bad thing). Not going my way, but someone on board with unfrozen fingers who knew a bit about fixing bike chains.

He banged it together with my still broken chain tool but didn't sound confident. "I don't know how long this will last" he said. I still had another pass to cross before Maydena. Still, my options were either ride it and see, or stay there in the freezing cold. At least riding might provide some warmth - so I did. Incredibly, it survived the pass, and I then descended to Maydena.

Call me a wuss, but I'd had enough of camping in this weather. I needed a hot shower and a warm bed. Trouble was, all the accommodation in Maydena was booked out. I managed to get another 12km or so from the chain back to National Park (yes, that is the name of a town) and stay at the pub. It wasn't upmarket, but with hot showers, hot meals and warm beds (and reasonably priced) it would do nicely.

On arrival I got quite a surprise. My "rescuers" were staying in the same place. Seems they decided not to brave Strathgordon after seeing the conditions out there. Can't say I blame them really. I showed my appreciation by buying them dinner. I also got some lube onto the chain that night. It seems to be holding up alright, but I'm still some distance from the nearest bike shop.
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Old 02-01-04, 03:23 AM
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Campsite at Ted's Beach.
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Old 02-01-04, 03:24 AM
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The sun did try to come out.
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Old 02-01-04, 03:25 AM
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Occasionally, my fingers thawed enough to take a picture!
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Old 02-01-04, 03:26 AM
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Rain coming across Mt Wedge.
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Old 02-01-04, 03:27 AM
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It doesn't need any words.
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Old 02-01-04, 03:28 AM
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.....
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Old 02-01-04, 03:29 AM
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Now if the chain can hold together through this terrain.
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Old 02-01-04, 03:30 AM
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On a clear day I might actually see something!
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