March 25, 2018 Avalon Centre

As I threw the comfort of a blanket off me, making sure I didn’t disturb my cattle dog sleeping next to me I had that sense of adventure in my legs. I was setting out to cycle to Teesdale and back the following day. A round trip of 268 km.

Teesdale is a small little town, located 30 minutes by car from Geelong on the way to Ballarat. My friend’s live there and I couldn’t cycle past without calling in.

Teesdale is also the first overnight stop of my 11,000 km ride for the Avalon Centre.

What I will experience the day of my official departure (28th April) will have it all, from tears of joy to heart wrenching goodbyes. You see The Avalon Centre is more than a charity it’s a home and one I will miss dearly. This departure however was very subdued. Sneaking quietly out the door as the morning rays pieced the shutters and of course not to disturb my 4-legged friend or in this case my mate.

The following couple of days was to try things, make sure the ideas I have worked on over the last 12 months worked and to see how many hours it would it take to cycle there. The answer to that last one is 7 hrs.

Riding a fully loaded bicycle is very different to riding without load. The country, the roads and remoteness I will experience requires even more planning and thought than a typical cycle tour through towns. With that in mind I loaded everything up, my world, which I will take with me for 4-5 months on the road.

The good news, a bit of planning and preparation go a long way. Nearly everything worked, I could continue on to those outback tracks with great confidence.

Some things did not work as hoped, that bought a smile to my face. I still have time to attend to them. I like things to be right. One thing I will change are the handlebars. I have been riding the Curve Cycling GMX (bicycle) for a few months now, but this trip was the longest I have ridden the best. I have broad shoulders, so I decided to go one size up in bars.

Other things of note, don’t leave the GPS in battery conserve mode, it had a habit of switching off every now again. Time to read the manual again. Luckily, I knew where I was going, was so happy to be riding I didn’t notice till Werribee.

The open plains around the You Yangs are just that, open, the Federation Trail is great to safely navigate out of Melbourne and to cycle between industrial sites.

This small ride confirmed that preparation is on track, and I can look forward to goodbyes to my family, the Avalon Family and my 4-legged mate Tommy.