Garry McGivern’s bike-ride to Australia-and-beyond Saturday, 16th-June-2012 Bethany to Lancaster. 86 miles. The wind was back today, but behind me, blowing me along. It’s also been extremely hot and humid. It felt more humid than when I was in Asia, but maybe I’m not used to it anymore.
Cycling along today, I got pulled over by a state trooper. Great, now what, I thought. I’ve been good and have been cycling inside the white line, so he can’t be stopping me for that. He’d been seeing me on and off all day, but now he had to warn me! Warn me of a severe storm that was following me! And that I’d best find somewhere to stop.
He showed me the laptop that he had in the car. Because this area is in “Tornado Alley”, they monitor weather conditions. On the laptop, he had a satellite image of the area. There was a lot of red on it, which even I could see wasn’t good.
I asked him if there were any motels nearby. Being a bit unsure himself, he made a phone call to try and find out the nearest one, which was over thirty miles away. He didn’t think there was enough time to reach the motel, which might not have even been on my route. He suggested that maybe I should wait out the storm in the next town, ten miles ahead.
You Never Know What You’ll Find
I arrived at the next town, or rather a garage just outside. As I stood under the garage canopy, awaiting the storm’s arrival, I noticed a campsite just behind it. I ummed and ahhed whether to continue and try and reach the next town or stay here and camp. Eventually, I decided to stay and found a nice little spot underneath a corrugated steel lean-to and tree. I was worried about hailstones, but the lean-to would protect me from them. Luckily they never came!
I had just managed to pitch my tent when the storm hit. It got dark, the wind got up, and the temperature dropped! There was loads of thunder and lightning with heavy rain. Thankfully I’d put my guy ropes out, which I don’t usually bother with. It was pretty hairy stuff for a while, and I think that maybe we were on the edge of the main storm.
There are no facilities at this campsite, so I had to wash with wet wipes. It’s a long time since I’ve had to do that. But for two dollars a night, who cares. And besides, the garage has a little café, so I don’t even have to worry about cooking. I can also buy a beer in there!
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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