Distance travelled – 96.3 km
Avg speed – 21.5 kph
Max speed – 45.8 kph
Katherine to Pine Creek
As we rode off this morning I found that my gears were autoshifting as I put pressure on the pedals going uphill. Two days ago as I checked over the bikes I discovered that my chain had stretched beyond the recommended specifications so I replaced it with our spare and then rode and checked the gear changes and all appeared normal. Before I left home I had similar problems and it took a long time to sort out and we eventually changed the rear derailleur, rear cluster and the chain before we could tune it all up. I, therefore, started today rather tense as I made adjustments every kilometre or so. I had fears of having to ride to Darwin on a bike that would suddenly change a gear as I was halfway up an incline, and was beginning to regret changing the chain. However, after a tense 20 kilometres I seemed to get it back to normal which I must say was a great relief.
Today’s ride to Pine Creek was very much up and down and it was extremely hot and the flies were very ‘sticky’ enjoying a walk across our faces as we slowed to ride up each of the hills. We found that we needed to ride at about 25kph to keep the flies on our backs and away from our faces.
Good solid shade was also hard to find today making it hard to have a good rest throughout the day. As a result we both arrived at Pine Creek rather knackered. On the plus side we saw our first clouds today in a long time. We did not notice them at first but in the mid afternoon the sun went behind a cloud which had both of us looking to find out what had happened as it suddenly got cooler, but this was not to last.
Since we joined the Stuart Highway at Threeways both of us and other cyclists have commented about how the traffic seems to be in more of a rush and the drivers less patient with each other. As we get closer to Darwin the Stuart Highway has also been getting busier and the motorists seem to be more in a rush than ever. We will be interested to see if the more relaxed and friendly way of travel we experienced on the Barkly Highway returns when we eventually turn west on the Victoria Highway.
Zoom into the map and use the 'Satellite' layer
to see our new location.
Burnt country on the way to Pine Creek
Pine Creek Water Gardens