Fun on Wheels 2004

I got invited to cycle in Australia from a friend of mine. I had been home for 6 months from my first walk through Sweden and I was eager to get out on another adventure. I took the offer and my mountainbike and I landed in Bamaga in the beginning of December 2004. My highlight on this bike adventure would definitely be the ride from the tip of Cape York down towards Cairns. Sand, jungle, heat and prober wild camping! Can’t be any more adventurous. I also loved The Rocks in Sydney, the highest point Mt Kosciuszko, the gravel roads and Wilson’s Promontory in the South, just to mention a few. It was my first long cycling adventure abroad and it was a true experience in every way imaginable. I biked around 5,600km (3480 miles) on that continent and I spent 115 days on the road before going home again.

Notes from my field journal

“Cycling is a nice way to see thing. When you walk you see more of less and you have to choose more carefully. On a bicycle you can afford yourself a little more detours from time to time.”

“Today I poked at what I thought was acne on my left arm. It burst open and out came many small white larvae. I was cooking when I did this, but I quickly lost my appetite. I washed and cleaned for a long time and then put on a patch and cycled on. Took a nice photo afterwards.”

“During the days we sit down in the creeks we pass by, clothes and everything in an attempt to cool down. We pitched the tents a bit from a waterfall this evening. We had cycled all day and now we wanted to swim. This evening we washed ourselves just before the waterfall where it was really shallow as a safety precaution. Later in the camp we heard how the crocodile kids talked and splashed in the water. This evening we also had dingos in camp. There is always something.. falling branches from so-called widow makers, animals, people, heat and the lack of water.”

“Today I have a new speed record on my bicycle. 84km/h (52mph) with panniers. Wohoo!”

“We have decided to buy 50cent ice cream cones every time we pass a McDonald’s or Burger King (Hungry Jacks). Sometimes we eat 8 ice cream cones in one day other times we can be without for several days.”

“I did see a lot of “dangerous” animals. In the beginning I didn’t walk or cycled in high gras, had my shoes inside the tent etc but during the trip I cared less everyday and after a while I didn’t think about it that much. Snakes, spiders, sharks, humans, they can all be both lovely and dangerous.”

“I started my trip from Bamaga in the beginning of december. I had 35-40Celsius in the shade and sometimes we were out in the sun for hours in a row and the water on the bike become piss-warm and unpleasant to drink. I sat down for 10-15min in every river crossing and the afternoon rain felt like a lifesaver. Drink water and Powerade to keep hydrated.”

“I planned my route in general from my computer back home. I used maps from internet and different forums to gather information. I looked at the continent and the most northern point looked interesting. I made a big X on the most eastern, the highest and the most southern point as well and then I focused on the first stretch to Cairns and wrote all my questions down on paper. Distance, places to see, places were I could stay, highlights and the possibilities to resupply and more.”

“Overall during travels like this I don’t really trust people when we talk about distance and time, but you can have an idea about the road ahead.”

“5600km and 115 days with my MTB. Hell of an adventure! Lets go home…”

Route