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MediaCreations 11-15-02 04:49 PM

Race Around Australia - Goal # 1 Achieved!
Here's some info on a guy who's trying to break his own record time for riding around Australia.

Race Around Australia - Goal # 1 Achieved!

by Becky Leidy, Daily Peloton International Cycling News

Townsville, Queensland, Australia, November 15, 2002 - Canadian Perry Stone is currently doing the Race Around Australia. In a long race of this nature, it is imperative to set small goals. Perry’s first was to reach Townsville, 718 km from his starting point in Rockhampton, within 48 hours of his start. The call came in Friday morning at 8:15 am local (Queensland, Australia) time. Success!

Early on, in the wee hours of Friday, traffic was dense and winds were troublesome. Perry, who has a small cb hooked up to the bike for emergencies, actually heard the truckers talking about the “crazy cyclist” and some suggested that they put him out of his misery. During the night, however the winds shifted and Perry began to find his tempo. He was in very good spirits when I spoke with him. "God liked me" said Perry, in reference to the fact that the high temperature on the previous day was only about 30 C, a welcome relief.

The trip to Townsville is marked by the different landscapes that he passes through. Tracts of drought ridden sugarcane fields have been a major part of the scenery early on. He then moved into more lush green mango and cane fields. Highly traveled by trucks carrying the stuff, the ride from Yeppoon to Mackay was tedious because of the number of times he had done this route for training. Now that the left turn has been taken, he is heading into the outback, into the “abyss.” Now feeling like he is on the road, it is adventure time!

Keep in mind that Perry is dedicating this race to the victims of the Bali terrorist bombing just a short time ago. The Red Cross is accepting donations via the web. You can access their site by clicking here.

More information is available at the Daily Peloton, and at Perry's web site

MediaCreations 11-16-02 06:05 PM

Race Around Australia - Tough Day On Planet Earth
by Becky Leidy, Daily Peloton International Cycling News

Townsville, Queensland, Australia, November 17, 2002 - The next goal has been set, Mt. Isa in 48 hours from the time he left Townsville, which was 9 am local (Queensland, Australia) on the 15th. The mileage is more difficult, 886 kms, and Perry has confided that hauling the trailer has been more of a burden than expected because of the winds and heat. What’s worse than being on a bike 20 hours, in 40 C (104 F) degree heat and humidity? Ummm, having stomach problems? This isn’t to say that his spunk is gone, just dampened a bit. He is still joking around and teasing mercilessly.

As I mentioned, the thermometer has been reading 40 C (104 F) and at these temperatures, the road becomes soft, making riding and certainly hauling anything a hideous task. Sleeping in the heat has been difficult as well. When he tried to make up for this later, his alarm didn’t go off, so he is a bit behind

The locals seem to be “warming up” to Perry’s ride. While loading up his gear, the police showed up. They found it “curious” that a cyclist would ride through the outback in the middle of the night during the hot season. Even the truckers have made their peace with the “Canadian” on the bike. Mostly hauling coal, they light-heartedly joked about using a bicycle instead and throwing the rocks in a trailer, thereby saving on fuel!

threadend 11-16-02 08:47 PM

Did this guy's first trip get written up in Reader's Digest? I read something similar to this but couldn't find anything in the RD archives.

It was a good read and the name sounds familar.

MediaCreations 11-17-02 05:12 PM

Most probably. It's the 3rd or 4th time he's set off to break the record. I exchanged emails with him many years ago before his first attempt. He had never been to Australia so I gave him a fair bit of information. After a while we lost contact.

MediaCreations 11-17-02 05:13 PM

Race Around Australia - Mt. Isa Reached
by Becky Leidy, Daily Peloton International Cycling News

Townsville, Queensland, Australia, November 18, 2002 - Perry called at 8:30 am local (Queensland, Australia) time on the 17th from Julia Creek, 252 km shy of his goal of reaching Mt. Isa. With soaring temperatures, difficulties with tires, and a headlight that was acting up, bad luck seemed to be besieging our Canadian friend. The only thing going in his direction these days is the wind.

Inefficiency is part of the problem. With small towns usually having only two “roadhouses” (gas stations), one on each end of town, he rode to the farthest, only to find out that the phone was out and that it was closed, requiring him to backtrack to the previous one to make a call. When you are traveling the distances Perry is, every kilometer counts and these foul-ups can be extremely aggravating.

Another place he is loosing time is rest. Three hours off the bike might only equate to an hour and a half nap because he is having trouble getting to sleep. It is certainly not because he isn’t tired! Last evening, he was having so much trouble staying awake on the bike that he was racking his brain trying to think up army marching tunes to sing.

Between Cloncurry and Mt. Isa, Perry’s water supply became “tainted.” He described the problem as a rubber hose taste that made it impossible to drink without retching. He was left to hail motorists, obtaining about a liter or so at a time.

A second call came at 4 am local time. Riding through the hills in the dark, the roads were empty and smooth; the heat had subsided in the night, and there were cattle and kangaroos along the road. He turned a corner and the lights of the mining town of Mt. Isa sparkled below. While all of the roadhouses were closed, Perry found a meat pie company that graciously gave him a couple of days worth of pies and his fill of filtered water. He sounded like he had found nirvana.

Falchoon 11-18-02 08:39 PM

I can appreciate that this guy is raising money for charity and is trying to set a record but...why do it in the hottest part of the year in the hottest part of the country?:confused:

MediaCreations 11-18-02 10:09 PM

He's Canadian. What can I say?:D

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