Katherine to Darwin
Once again an early morning start and Reid heads out in the dark. Sometime crew members will go back to bed after Reid leaves, however, we always all get up and see him off. Most importantly we pray together as we send him off.
Graham F and Dan are in the car today with Reid. Dan travels with Reid most days. Dan is a cyclist and can help with Reid’s bike. Dan also rode with Reid on his trip across Africa (see Headwinds of Poverty) so he can anticipate his needs. Graham is a photographer. While his role on this ride is not The Photographer, he is still keeping a photographic record of the ride. Dan and Graham are struggling from the heat and humidity. Graham has hardly taken a single photo today. In reflection, he does not have a single photo of Darwin. As Reid sets off this morning he asks which way do I go. Out the gate, turn left and turn left at the end of the road. Right says Reid and goes out of the gate and turns right. He does turn around and is back on the right road again. When Dan and Graham catch up with him he has been an hour on the road and has only traveled 13km from his starting point. Dan is concerned until he learns the truth. A few extra kilometers have been added to todays ride.
We are tagging Reid every 25km today. Dan and Graham drive forward 25km and wait for Reid where he will get a new water bottle and someting to eat. Sometimes he only stops for a moment for a quick cold drink and then goes. Other times he may stop for 10 - 15 minutes. Always on the go, goal in mind, never stopping longer than necessary. When Dan and Graham drive to the next stop they have found that if they drive slowly they spend longer in the air conditioned car. Waiting on the side if the road can be hard if there is no shade. Sometimes you try to snooze and wake up covered in sweat. We stopped at the Hayes Creek Roadhouse. Dan found a shady patch on the grass and fell asleep sitting in a deck chair. Well earned as we both had been on the road since early morning. Graham sat on the cool verandah watching the road for Reid. Graham soon found himself nodding off and quickly sat up straight. Reid said he did not see the car and if no one was there to stop him, he would have rode on past. Later Dan and Graham would be wondering where Reid was. They would think he had not passed by and would have gone back to look for him. Pay attention gentlemen.
Reid’s New Nemesis
Reid has a new nemesis over headwinds. The road surface of Northern Territory roads. The road base is course, however, the gravel is small. Great for cars and trucks but for Reid’s bike, it sets up a vibration and slows him down. He sometimes has to peddle down hill just to maintain his speed. Such hard work under the trying conditions. Reid keeps on going, pushing on to Darwin
Graham H, Lynda and Daun drive ahead to Darwin with a list of chores. Graham sends the girls off to do the shopping at Coles. Here girls, here is some money, you can go shopping! At Darwin we meet the lovely people at the Discovery Holiday Park. The generous people there offered us free accommodation. They gave us an air conditioned cabin and a powered site for Flo. They made a Welcome Sign for Reid and the Team and came out onto the road to cheer Reid in. The manager, Mercia, said they have not had anyone famous stay at there park before.
A Steak at the End of the Day
Today is a shorter day and Reid rode in before the sun had set. Tonight, we drove into the city and had dinner at Hogs Breath Cafe. Reid has lost several kilos since he set off on his bike. The over day he put on a pair of shorts after a shower and his pants nearly fell down. He is hankering for a steak. And why not. A celebration as we reach our first capital city. Some protein for our man of the moment and an opportune time for the team to relax together. One of our supporters from home bought Reid’s stake for him. Reid was also able to take time out and read through the multitude of Facebook massages for him. One very important message, some photos of his daughter.
Soon the celebration is over and it is back to camp and to bed. Up early again tomorrow. Reid actually falls asleep during his massage. Good night Darwin. Thank you for your steak and thank you for your warm welcome.