A Bike Adventure Challenge

Reaching Wilpena Campsite on the Mawson Trail (Image by Walter Casu)

I’m a bit impulsive and sometimes I agree to challenges or just dive in without thinking them through.

Metaphorically speaking, I like to push myself to the edge. Occasionally I throw caution to the wind and jump off it. Paul, my hubby, is the pragmatic planner who thinks about the soft landing for me, or turns up mid air with a spare parachute and asks me if I forgot something.

I don’t remember exactly when I agreed to cycle the 900 kilometre Mawson Trail with our hardcore tour cycling friends, but somewhere between a bottle of plonk and oblivion I faintly remember slurring “Letzzz do it”.

The off road track, named after the Antarctic explorer, Douglas Mawson, starts in the South Australian outback where the rugged flinders ranges first sparked Mawson’s fascination for exploration.

It’s known as one of Australia’s great bike adventures and it’s my most ambitious arthritic bike venture yet.

With no towns or settlement of any description on the first two days of the trail, there will be no softie option for me to wimp out.

We’ll have to be self sufficient with tent, spare parts, food, water  emergency comms and compression bandages in case our slithery friends decide to snack on us.

While Paul takes care of the real stuff, I’m already dreaming of the time changed landscapes and the divine vineyards of the Claire and Barossa Valleys where we’ll sink a few of South Australia’s finest.

It’s set for September and the training starts now. While i’m not new to cycling, it’s going to take some time to get my scrapheap spine used to the day after day off-road grind. My only taster of multi-day cycling was a few days dabbling in Tasmania. It was a slackers supported version and a mere toe dip compared to the two-week off-road challenge of the mighty Mawson.

Paul’s on a research and recce mission of mountain bike trailers, water filters and the best air mattress available on the planet. It looks like another ass-saving soft landing is already in the planning for yours truly.

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9 Responses to A Bike Adventure Challenge

  1. iamONE March 27, 2012 at 2:27 am #

    Go for it T – very inspiring!

  2. Tracey March 27, 2012 at 11:32 pm #

    Thanks I’ll give it my best shot

  3. Char March 28, 2012 at 1:05 am #

    “Letzzz do it” Sounds so exciting Tracey! You are such an inspiration and I can’t wait to read about this adventure! Plus, you’ve gotta share how the air mattress works out for you:)

  4. Tracey March 28, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

    Thanks Char, I sure will. I’ll also have to pick your nutritional brain beforehand. We will need some non-perishable lightweight food that packs a big nutritional punch.

  5. Mike April 2, 2012 at 5:08 am #

    I’m looking forward to seeing what your whole kit ends up looking like. I’d love to do some overnight biking/camping, but right now I wouldn’t even know where to start. All I have is a bike and a couple of paniers (sp?)!

    • Tracey April 2, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

      Ha! That’s more than I’ve got so far Mike. Cardio man will be pulling a trailer with the tent, sleeping bags etc and I’m just in the process of working out the best way to get a couple of panniers on my mountain bike. I plan to travel light and smell more.

  6. Johanna April 4, 2012 at 7:13 pm #

    Fantastic! Good on you! What a wonderful trip. I would love to do it. Really admire you for taking on the challenge, and as long as you don’t over do it each day, I’m sure you’ll be fine. Heard lots about this trail. Very exciting. Can’t wait to hear about it on the blog. Go for it!

    • Tracey April 5, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

      Thanks Jo. Have you heard about the extension to the Munda Biddi trail over your way? It currently runs from Perth to Manjimup – I think around 600kms – but a section being developed will eventually see it wind all the way down to Albany. When it’s finished it will be the among the longest continuous off road cycling trails in the world. Would love to do it if I get through Mawson.

  7. debs December 20, 2013 at 9:13 pm #

    Impressive! What more is there to say?

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