No mist this time this morning and a beautiful still morning as I set off east from Jerramungup at 7am to the sound of bagpipes from a nearby Anzac day ceremony at the war memorial in town...surreal!
The plan today was just to try and get within riding distance of Esperance by the end of tomorrow. But, there are big gaps between towns around here so that limits sleeping options.
The riding however was beautiful, and not easy...barely a flat section to be found, and in places the road just seemed to go on forever.
Supplies were also very scarce, which I had expected, so I was carrying enough food and water for 2 days. About 80km into the day I was on the lookout for a picnic spot for a lunch break but there wasn't much appealing so I ended up crawling into Ravensthorpe totally drained of energy, the only town all day, with 115km done in one hit. Far too much without a fuel stop!
The town was totally shut down for Anzac day anway, only the gas station open.
I got to talk to my wife while I stopped which was nice. She filled me in on some of the comments on social media I'd missed when off grid. A friend of ours who is from this very town had put a shout out to people she knew here, which may have explained the honking and waving around that area today...really nice.
After a late feed I was off again and bumped into another long distance cyclist heading the opposite way. Wow this is always so uplifting...and the vital info you get from the perspective you need is super useful. He looked shattered...but was on day 40 of his epic so that was understandable.
He had revealed that the next wee challenge ahead was the final set of roadworks repairing flood damage. It meant a detour and an extra 15km to Esperance which I really was not keen on as I was already riding to pretty much my maximum daily range. The sun was also getting low and I was pondering options as the place were the works started got closer. Either way I knew I'd be sleeping roadside tonight, as there is nothing close by.
At the turn off for the works detour, there seemed to be no one around...so, I made a break for it and rode straight on past the barrier...not fancying 15km extra!
This turned out to be the highlight of the day! The whole road traffic free, and some interesting sections through floodplains.
Once through to the other side I felt very much done. Another big day riding and it has been a while since I've tried riding 2 centurys (cyclist talk. A century is the cyclists marathon and is 100 miles, or 160km)in a row. But; great to get through the roadworks safely with no one around, and tomorrow if my legs are still working, Esperance should be the target.
Total distance: 172km