More Melbourne: catching up

Now in Melbourne there’s heaps to do, socialisation included.

I catch up with Crazy Guy Peter for what turns into a tasty lunch on a splendid Melbourne day, he who provided me with something comfortable to perch on after my own Flyer saddle exploded near Lawn Hill National Park, ie, out Nowheresville, even without any nearby ‘ville, and sadly, on reflection, I do conclude that those 5 big bike boxes with multiple frames out on the back verandah may, indeed, represent a burgeoning big O Obsession with self propelled transportation of the bicycle variety, considering the frame from last year’s frame building course is yet to arrive.

There’s even a matching KHS Nomad frame similar to my own, his a more correct sizing for me but without the stuck seat post issue that will render my frame obsolete in due course.

I have, in fact, run into a couple of other Crazy Guys in my travels: the first, Warren, for a few cups of tea and a scone or two back in Carnarvon, and a whole lot of discussion about riding in the marvellous Gascoyne.

Us blokes could talk all day about the merits of dirt road riding.

Sebastien, my mate from the Tanami Desert days, has always been able to suggest a more demanding route, that my mind contemplates but my ageing body resists, the Wiluna-Carnegie-Warburton section of the Gunbarrel, just the 500 km of sandy, mostly, or rocky, occasionally, ruts to follow between the last isolated cattle station and the Great Central Road, water 40 m down 150 mm diameter plastic pipes somewhere in the Gibson Desert, or his last suggestion Croagingalong , all too much for my near terminally exhausted physique.

Then, at the opposite end of my path back in Jindabyne was the more than hospitable Syd, bike touring obsessive and Luddite photographer with self built large format cameras, a 5 × 7 to begin, how’s this image and, now, a 8 × 10, all you need is some robust cardboard, Gaffer tape and a method to load the film sheets, with bulk ideas about how to present travels, or photography, in printed form, and, also, how to eat a healthy and delicious diet, I’ve almost forgotten the possibilities there, beyond porridge and spaghetti, the porridge will stay, you need a decent breakfast, but everything else on my standard nutritional schedule will be ditched, including those daily vitamin pills which have filled in the gaps where nutrition, vege, fruit have been mostly lacking in recent months.

Syd inspired me with the yummy food, it’s 4.5 years since I had a decent kitchen, and the possibilities of further documenting my travels.

I’m amazed at the warmth of the Crazy Guy community, the support at times of catastrophe, the encouragement when spirits were fading towards the end and just that feeling that there are some others out there, actually all corners of the globe, who have an understanding as to why long distance bike touring is worthwhile: the minor adventures, meeting new people, extending horizons, getting an understanding about nature and how the natural world works, full moon slipping over the horizon, feeling the wind in your hair, removing the veils of anticipation or nostalgia, just feeling in the moment, alive …

My journey was about stripping back the extraneous aspects of modern life to just the essentials and working out the way I want to live my life in the future, being creative, staying healthy, immersing myself into a sustainable community of positive, caring people.

I’m going to make it happen.