Ahead of the big move there's been a lot of packing (and disposal) of things. It's amazing the amount of stuff you accumulate over the course of a few years in Canberra. Most of it is being sold off, but things like books and the music collection are going into storage. So it's meant packing a whole lot of stuff to put in the garage at my parents' place interstate.
In a fortunate coincidence, my brother Simon and our friend Paddy decided that it would be a great idea to ride single-speed bicycles from Canberra to Melbourne in order to race in the Melburn-Roobaix this coming Sunday. It's about 700km of riding spread over 4 days. Since Simon was driving up to Canberra ahead of the ride, I offered to take his car back to Melbourne on the proviso that I could use it to move my stuff. Despite him having a 4 wheel drive, my gear barely fit in the car. So many boxes... added to by Simon's decision to appropriate my espresso machine for his own use.
It's turned into a last road trip in Australia before heading over to Dallas, me cruising down the highway whilst they ride up and down the hills. Not a bad deal actually.
Today was the first and longest day of the ride, 205km from Canberra to Tarcutta. The weather in the morning was foggy in Canberra which changed by afternoon into hailstorms. Thankfully the nasty weather held off long enough for Simon and Paddy to get well clear of it.
Tonight we're staying in Tarcutta, a small town that is notable only for a large truck parking lot and a police force that concerns itself primarily with issuing speeding tickets to travellers on the highway. A bypass was built around the town some years ago, and the place has been quietly turning into a ghost town ever since. The once busy pub stands virtually empty, and only a few cars sit in the motel parking lot.
The owner of the motel is a lovely Hungarian lady (and Puccini fan) who was more than happy to make us all giant dinners of steak, calamari, chips, vegies and rice. For Simon and Paddy all the carbs are part of the recovery process. For me it's preparation for Texan portion sizes.
We're recovering from dinner in the room, watching the Australia vs Iraq World Cup qualifier and planning tomorrow's ride over a couple of beers. From here it's about 150km to the town of Chiltern. It's much flatter terrain, so it should be an easier day for Simon and Paddy.
Observations on music, coffee, and the occasional controversial thought.
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