Yea to Creswick

Day Ten – Wednesday September 12 – 95km - Yea to Heathcote.
10-thedamageThe Damage

10-thedamage2 You can see in this photo how a trailer arm should look!

I set the alarm for 6 a.m., got up then, and took everything out of the trailer. I split stuff into what I definitely needed to take with me, and gear I could leave with the trailer. The hardware store opens at 6:30 in Yea so I was able to find out very quickly that I could get some octopus straps from them. The wonderful Ingrid at Yenckens Mitre 10 told me I might find a bag or backpack at a clothing store in the town, although that wasn't going to open until 9 am.

I packed the "definitely not coming with me" stuff into the bottom of the trailer and then rode into town to the hardware shop. Having seen what they had in the way of octopus straps and so forth, I went down to the clothing shop, where I bought a rather distinguished looking bag of the sort that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid might have used-- or Mary Poppins. It was certainly going to do better than the Tradies' Tool Bag I had found at Mitre 10!

I took the bag back to the hardware shop and got them to cut me a couple of bits of pine to make a base for it on top of the carrier on the bike. I bought zip ties to hold the wood in place, a pile of octopus straps,  and a heavy duty bin liner to act as a wet sack for the new bag.

After riding back to the caravan park, I put my two dry bags on each side of the bike for the bivvie bag, and the sleeping bag and inflatable mattress. I then packed the new bag, which turned out to be just big enough for what I needed, and was able to strap it solidly on top of the wood that I'd zip tied to the carrier. It all fitted very well, and it was still before 10a.m.

10-steponeStep One:  I put my bivvie and sleeping bag on the sides as I do when I am doing long-distance audax style rides. Then I attached the two pieces of pine; obviously the second one is not yet in place. (I appreciate the encouragement, Dave.)

10-seenworseThe Finished Product. I've seen a lot worse!

I then packed everything else down tight in trailer and began to try and arrange transport back to Adelaide. Toll IPEC make it really hard to talk to them on the phone, but eventually I found a human, and discovered that the trailer would have to be "boxed."

Back at Yenckens', Awesome Ingrid said that if I bought the trailer down there, she had heaps of used boxes, and that I was welcome to use their back area, to make something up. So I left the bike chained up to the post outside their front door, and walked back to the caravan park. I had to wheel the trailer back to the hardware shop. Imagine pushing a loaded wheelbarrow about half a mile without the handles and not very much to hold on to, and you have the sense of what that took!

At the back of the shop, I took off the wheel and mudguard, took the tyre off the rim and added them to the trailer. When it was all cinched down tight, I built a box around the thing, which is surprisingly hard work

I started on a large piece for the bottom and tacked on sides and top with packing tape. When I had "a sort of a box" I wrapped it in 30 metres of duct tape.  I was so tired, I forgot to take a photo! At around  1 p.m. I rang Toll to make the booking, a process which took until 2pm, mostly spent on hold.

At the end of all this may I say, "Yea for Yenckens' Hardware!"

Finally at about 2:30, after some lunch, I got back on the rail trail and did the last 27 km out to Tallarook. About 10 km out I received the most sustained bombing by magpies that I've ever experienced in my life. Once they had stopped I even had to adjust one of the rear tail lights on my helmet, which had been knocked skew whiff   by the constant crashing against it.

At one stage, while I was going across an old rail embankment, a magpie came in very low and fast from under my side—a bit like a Messerschmidt trying to get in under the tail gunner—and had a go at my ankle!  I've never had that happen before: I know things is crook in Tallarook, but if they are trying to fix them by crossing magpies with a blue-heelers, then it will be the end of us all.

10-outfromyea Out from Yea

10-milkingIt's a lovely path, but there were times I felt a bit like I was being taken in for milking!

I had a good fast trip to Tallarook and an even quicker trip across to Pyalong and up to Heathcote, although the last 20 km were ridden through one and two degrees.


The Large Map

Day Eleven – Thursday  September 13 – 127km - Heathcote to Creswick
I didn't take the direct route through Kyneton down to Creswick because this would have involved being on the A300 through Daylesford, which I can only imagine would be a very busy road indeed. So I pushed out a little bit further to the west and came down through Redesdale and Castlemaine, which meant I was on B and C roads all the way. It involved lots of 7 to 10% climbing, but it was a really nice sunny day with quiet roads, and absolutely beautiful scenery.

11-redesvalebridge The Redesdale Bridge over the Campaspe River

11-theruinsThe Ruins

11-andersnmillsmeaton Anderson's Mill at Smeaton

It was the best of bicycle touring that you could hope for, and I decided that I've had it with the trailer. I'll get the thing repaired when it gets back to Adelaide, and sell it. Frankly it's a whole lot easier and less messy to travel light and just use panniers. Tomorrow, Day Twelve, I'm will stay at Creswick having a rest day with friends, and then I start the long trip back to Adelaide.


The Large Map

Next: Creswick to Underbool


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