10/3/16. Yesterday afternoon, by the time we arrived in Bermagui, a few clouds appeared in the sky which, along with a stiff breeze, took the edge off the heat, but this morning when we woke there was wall-to-wall grey cloud cover and it has stayed that way all day. It has been a perfect temperature for cycling – somewhere in the the low to mid twenties.
We were very grateful for this as it has been quite a hilly day heading through the Mimosa Rocks National Park to Tathra. We haven’t really mentioned the national parks in this blog. There seem to be an awful lot of them in this part of Australia (perhaps because it is extraordinarily beautiful) but they tend to be smaller than the ones in the UK (at least until you get into The Outback) as some days we pass 2 or 3 of them.
As Stephen ground his way slowly up the hills he heard an occasional ominous creak or groan from the bottom bracket (the bit where the pedals connect to the frame for you non-bikey types) which is an area of the bike where he has neither the tools or the competence to maintain. Our initial thought was that we would be keeping our fingers crossed that it was nothing serious all the way to Melbourne but, amazingly, as we entered Tathra we passed the first proper bike shop we had seen for several days so, after setting up camp, it was off to see the friendly mechanic there. An investigation revealed nothing too serious (some rust and a slightly loose pedal) but we took the opportunity to replace the rusty component (which has done over 18,000 km) with a nice shiny new one while it was all taken apart, for peace of mind as much as anything.