Roger’s Recumbent Cycling Adventure In Australia


Here’s what Bicycle Touring Pro reader, Roger Chandlerreader, had to say about his recent bicycle tour in Australia.

Where exactly did you go during your bicycle tour and how many days you were on the road for?

I rode from Cairns in Far North Queensland (Australia) through an Out-Back route to Longreach in central Queensland then southward to the capital, Brisbane in the south-east of the state. The trip covered 2500km and took me 20 days to complete. I camped out most of the time, but stayed in van parks and the occasional pub when I had the need for human contact.

What was your biggest fear when planning or preparing for your trip by bike?

I had never been to Australia before. There were long distances between towns. Surface water was scarce and the country was flat and open. There are huge 4-trailer ore trucks and cattle trains 50m long using this road. One learns a sincere respect for the long distance semi drivers! Feral pigs and dingoes are ever present in the scrub as well, so food supplies were stored above the ground at night. I am 65 and suffer chronic knee pain as well, so I did have abandonment plans should this pain overcome me. Luckily, this never happened!

What was the thing you liked most about your bicycle touring experience?

The feeling of freedom that greets me every morning and travels with me throughout the day, giving my routines of preparing a morning meal, breaking camp, packing up for the road, setting off on the next leg, stopping to stretch, taking photos of the scenery, having a meal by the roadside, choosing a campsite, setting up for the night, contacting home when possible, having a good night’s sleep. Seeing new places and meeting people at a leisurely pace is a very satisfying experience. Wow! Isn’t that everything?

What one piece of information from the website at helped you the most in planning for your bicycle tour?

I reviewed your gear planning checklist. Your planning is very thorough as mine is and this was helpful.

We have different styles of travel, but your enthusiasm for this lifestyle is infectious.

Name two things you learned from your bicycle tour:

1) I can accomplish anything I put my mind to. One day, I covered 240km in a 24 hr period, which included 8hrs of sleep. I thought 100km fully loaded would see me out!

2) Tail winds are marvelous! I hate headwinds 🙁

Do you think you’ll conduct more bicycle tours in the future? If so, where do you want to go? And why do you want to go there?

I’m going from strength to strength. In September 2014 I hope to ride across the southern part of the Australian continent solo from West to East. It’s part of my “Bucket List.” It’s wild, it’s challenging, it’s exciting, it’s there! I’ve begun my initial route planning investigating towns and distances, campsites, valleys and rivers to cross, mountains and headwinds to avoid.

What one piece of advice would you give to someone planning his or her first bicycle tour?

Go with someone with experience. Ask plenty of questions and make up your own mind as to how you will do things like cook your meals and set up your tent, etc. Plan carefully. Use the Internet to explore your journey virtually. Know what to expect. Nature can be very unforgiving. Practice your camp setup and break down routines and cook a couple of meals in your back yard before you depart and make adjustments. Carefully consider all your gear. If you won’t use it, don’t take it.


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