Riding long distances on heavily cambered roads means one side of the tyre wears faster. In countries where you drive on the left, this means the right side of the tyre (facing direction of travel).
One way to fix the problem is riding on the other side of the road – doable on long straights with plenty of visibility and no oncoming traffic. Another way is to ride so that you’re tipped over on to one side, constantly turning in one direction. Not always practical, especially when you want to get somewhere that isn’t the other end of a small circle. The idea is the same: even out contact areas.
The sun rose as it has all my life, and those first few rays woke me through my tent. I dug a hole for my morning business meeting and filled it in diligently, got my kit on, and was back on the road. The corrugations got worse, interspersed now with the red baby powder I have become less scared of.
Wolfe Creek Crater was absolutely beautiful: a majestic mark 3 km in diameter. 30,000 years ago, a meteorite decided to make this spot on Earth its final resting place.
I must mention that ‘Wolf Creek’, the movie is a poorly written and directed mishmash of fact and fiction – right from the protagonists’ inconsistent approach routes, to the fact that the Ivan Milat murders actually took place in the other side of the country in NSW. Its gaping plot holes are larger than the crater itself, and probably visible from outer space too. I watched it for the first time on the evening of the day I visited the crater. Ignore the locals sniggering as they try to scare you away.
Broome is a beautiful place, but I was only resting there long enough to recover from the 2142 km covered in 3 days. I was good to go a day and a half later. A friend living locally showed me the gorgeous beaches and cliffs. The aptly named Runway Bar is highly recommended: in the time it takes you to drink a cold beer on a hot day, at least one plane will fly over your head on its way to the airport tarmac just ahead!
I left there late the morning after, headed for Port Hedland. The wind was blowing from my right to left, exacerbating tyre wear on the wrong side because I had to counter steer and lean into the wind to keep from tipping over!
That was a long ride.
I hoped the wind would blow the opposite way the next day. I almost wish I didn’t get what I asked for.
It’s called ‘Blowvember’, because of the ridiculous winds. For 180 km coming off NH1 to Exmouth, I had all my weight on the left footpeg, craning my neck so my head was in line with my left mirror, my left buttcheek off the seat, distributing my body weight to that side of the bike. I felt like Rossi dragging through a corner, except I was travelling in straight lines! When the road kinked to the right, I’d adopt a normal riding position, and let the bike’s body catch the wind and blow me over. But when it went left… oh boy, I struggled.
I arrived in Exmouth completely shattered physically and mentally. At $64 and $37 for an unpowered campsite and a basic 6 dorm backpacker respectively, I decided on redirecting finances into my beer fund for the night. Then afterwards, somewhere near the beach, I went off road, into a bush, up a bank, and around a gravel mound.
That night, I slept like a dead man in my bivvy bag, and the first rays again hit my cruddy eyes the next morning.
Exmouth wasn’t on the agenda until yesterday afternoon. The reason: I’m off for a dive at the Ningaloo Reef today!