Bike-Ride to Australia Tuesday 10th-April-2012 Port Augusta to Crystal Brook. 72 miles. I left the campsite this morning and headed up the road. As I came to a set of traffic lights, I could see a police car waiting at the red light on the opposite side of the road. Balls, what do I do? I still haven’t bought a helmet, and I certainly don’t want another fine! Or worse! I know I’ll slow down and stick behind a car, then hopefully, the lights will change, and they’ll have gone before I reach the lights. A bit late for that, I was already on top of the lights! There was nothing I could do. I had to keep cycling. As I cycled across the lights, I pretended that I was looking at something in the opposite direction to them to avoid any eye contact!
After crossing the lights and getting past the police, I saw a Mcdonald’s. I was worried that they may have seen me and would turn around and find me. So I went and hid in the McDonald’s. After all, I could check my emails at the same time. The police car only pulled into the car park as I sat there! That’s it. They’ve seen me, which will mean another fine. And I’ll have to wait until the shops open to buy a helmet which would be even more annoying! In walked one of the police officers, I tried to keep a low profile, but it’s not easy in a bright luminous yellow top! Thankfully he wasn’t looking for me. He just ordered two coffees and left!
That Was Close
I’ve seen a lot of police cars now I’m back near civilisation. All I kept doing was what worked at the traffic lights first thing this morning. Look the other way and avoid any eye contact! I wasn’t enjoying all this ducking and diving and just wanted to get to my destination and buy a helmet. I’d rather wear a helmet than be on edge all the time!
My luck finally ran out, or maybe I got lucky! Riding up a hill this afternoon, I heard this short blast of a siren, which made me jump. At the same time, an artic went past on the other side of the road. I just thought it was him and carried on. It went off again, this time I turned around, and there was a police car right behind me! Who was signalling me to pull over. Needless to say, I did. I wasn’t going to outrun them, was I!
The two police officers couldn’t believe that I’d cycled all the way from Perth without a helmet. I explained that I had been trying to buy one for a while now (really?). But there was nowhere to buy one on the Nullarbor. Then it was Easter, and all the shops were closed. But I was hoping to stop early today and buy one, honestly, guv!
After a conflab between themselves, they gave me three options.
1; Walk to Crystal Book, which was about 10km away. They wouldn’t let me ride because they’d be responsible if anything happened to me. But there was no shop in Crystal where I could buy a helmet!
2; I could walk back to Port Pirie, the town I’d just come through, 15km away. But at least there was a cycle shop there!
Both options were never really going to happen. They Knew as much as I knew that once they’d gone, I would cycle! And they told me so. They would then have to shadow me all the way to whichever option I chose. And possibly fine me for wasting their time! I didn’t tell them I’d already been fined! Or option 3; Leave my bike here in the middle of nowhere, and they would drive me to Port Pirie to get a helmet. And drop me back at my bike after. I wasn’t keen on any of their ideas! But there really wasn’t much of a choice. I had to leave my bike!
I’m In A Police Car
I found a bush away from the road, stashed the bike behind that, and hoped for the best. The police took me to the shop where I quickly bought a helmet. I wasn’t going to look around; I was too worried about my bike. Thankfully when the police dropped me back at my bike, everything was okay, and it was still there.
I’ve got to be honest. I couldn’t have wanted a better pair of police to pull me over. They could have just fined me and still made me walk. At least I can relax a bit more tomorrow and not worry about being pulled over by the police.
I spent the evening polishing my helmet!
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