Bike-Ride to Australia-and-Beyond 21st-May-2012

Garry McGivern’s bike-ride to Australia-and-beyond Monday, 21st-May-2012. Jackson to Kirkwood. 57 miles. That’s the hardest ride I’ve had in a while. It’s been uphill nearly all day. I’ve been cycling through the Sierra Nevada mountains, which have been spectacular. And for a while, I thought I was back in Laos, apart from the snow and smooth roads.

The day started off by cycling up through pine trees, but as I climbed, they fizzled out and were replaced with rocks and boulders. I even reached some snow, which was mainly in the shaded areas. I got as high as 8000ft. (there was a sign saying so), but I’ve now dropped to 7800ft.

Rocks snow and trees
The stunning Sierra Nevada

I stopped at a bar this morning. It was the only place I could find to buy a drink. But I was well behaved and only had a coke. It was just like the bars you see in films, where a country and western band is playing. Then for whatever reason, some fight breaks out. The only thing that was missing was a pool table.

I’ve seen some bizarre signs on my travels, but today’s sign takes the biscuit. I’ve seen plenty of signs saying, “last shop for 100 miles.” Or “no fuel for the next 100 miles”, but it’s the first time I’ve seen a sign saying “last chance of a haircut, for the next 100 miles!” I think somebody’s taking the mick.

I Hope I’m Alone

I’m staying in a huge hostel tonight, but thankfully I’m the only one here. If I had to share a room or sleep in a dormitory, I would have sooner camped wild! I was cycling along when a guy on a bike came along. I asked him if there was anywhere to stay. He said his name was Bob and this was his town! And because it was his town, of course, he knew of somewhere. And he brought me to this hostel.

There wasn’t anybody here when we arrived, just a note on the door giving a phone number to call. Don’t worry said Bob this is my town. I’ll give them a call. Really! After calling the number on the note. They told Bob that there was a key under a rock next to the door. Finding the key, we let ourselves in. No sooner had we let ourselves in when the owner’s daughter turned up. Thank god for that. I didn’t fancy getting stuck with BOB!

The hostel owner’s daughter put the water and heating on for me. And after a while, they both left, leaving me all alone in this vast place. I just hope there’s no caretaker around! It reminds me a bit of the film “The Shining” here.

Please Donate

Don’t forget the main reason behind my ride. I want to raise as much money for cancer research charities as possible. After my wife, Josie, died of breast cancer in 2007, aged only 42. Even the smallest donation helps. You can donate to Cancer Research UK or the Australian National Breast Cancer Foundation. Click on either one to donate. Every little bit helps to rid the world of this cruel disease.

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