When I woke up this morning at 5:30A, I realized I had forgotten my routines. No water, Gatorade, nuts, gummi-bears, M&M Peanuts, Bananas, Orange Juice – no fuel. If there were any stores, they would be closed for the first couple hours and that would be a problem. However, the hotel manager directed me to a 24 hour Shell where I stocked up. Some wasted time later I headed out under very overcast skys. South of Fremantle I came along a network of bike trails – little roads with marked lanes, signage and intersections.
These trails, as opposed to bike lanes, have more hills and curves than roads. They are casually scenic – slower but more fun than roads. I rode on until they just dead ended at a bay (Woodman’s Point). I explored for an exit, even walking along a sand road, but there was no choice but to go back and head to the road. More wasted time.
That road was Cockburn Road – a huge industrial and ship building area that seemed to be prospering. Some of the shipbuilding factories, and there were maybe a dozen, had excess cars parked along the road. T the industry was raw materials processing and shipping. It was a dirty area interspersed by ‘clubs’ (motocross racing, model airplane flying, volunteer ocean rescue). Where Cockburn Road rejoined the Old Coast Highway (Rte 1), I came to the first mileage sign of the day. My minimum destination was Bunbury.
An hour later, 25km down the road, on the first full day back on the road, I got a flat.
More wasted time. I replace the tube, pumped it up and rode on. But there was still a slow leak! Every 5km or so I had to pump it up again. I didn’t want to use my last tube, and fortunately I was very close to Mandura. Just coming into town on the main road there was a bike shop. I walked in with my front tire, and the guy talked to me about ‘thorns’. He pulled out a thick 700×35 ‘thorn resistant’ tube that looked bigger than my tire and I asked him to put it on. It did the trick. Unfortunately he only had one, so until I find another bike shop, I now have only one spare tube.
In the Mandura the area things changed into botiqueish mass vacation area – many kilometers of new upscale developments. Many of the homes would be appropriate in Newport Beach. And at Dawes Cut, they had a cool bridge with a built in bike path underneath the road.
Things then were supposed to become more scenic. For 60 km or so I was riding on a narrow strip of land between the Indian Ocean and various other bodies of water on the east side (Pell Inlet, Harvey Esturary). You couldn’t see the water on either side though. All there was was a new, beautiful road, enjoyable once I got past the developments.
All around Australia there are warning signs about speeding, but in Harvey Shire they got a little creative. (And Lisa, a Black Spot area is where they have a lot of accidents.)
Later on they had another wrecked car in the middle of a round-about. I passed one Smash Repair Shop (that’s what they call them) called Wreck-a-Mended (cute, huh?) and another with a big sign that said “We Don’t Want Your Business.” The headline of the local Bunbury paper today is about all the evil speeders from ‘the urban area’ – Perth. They seem to have a problem around here, and I hope it never involves me!
A little after 3PM I got to what looked on the map to be a pretty big town, Australind. But I only saw a small shopping center there, and rode right through it along the 26km Australind-Bunbury Scenic Drive. At 3:30 I was on the outskirts of Bunbury, with 2-1/2 hours of good light left. Bunbury is on a peninsula a few km off to the side of the main road. I was going to ride on, but since Bunburry had some good tour book press, I headed into town to visit the tourist information center – a good choice, as the next town, Capel, has no accommodations. The first hotel/motel was 50+km away. Here’s a skyline photo and a shot of Bunbury from their tourist tower.
My hotel, the Lord Forest, is just to the right of the one tall (11 story) building in town. (2nd photo). Besides the tourist tower, the other sight is the Dolphin discovery center, where you can swim with Dolphins. This is a regional town with movie theaters and about 10 blocks of shops, surrounded by residential neighborhoods. It fit in with this unexciting day.
(1008 Bunbury, 7:40P)
(Guy – Unable to sight/veiw Norman’s boat – must still be in one of the big boat building buildings.)