June 11: Rolling On

Had my third 100+ km day in a row today. I'm closing in on Melbourne; tomorrow may have to be a huge day and I'm well past "just starting to feel it".

I woke up to a cold, cold tent in a little trailer park. There was actually frost on the ground and a thick fog covered the area. I decided it was too cold to leave early, so I waited for my tent to dry and left at 10:00. I still rode through fog with my heaviest layers on, even wrapping my hands in bandanas to keep my fingers from freezing! It warmed up after about an hour and the sun cut the fog.

Today definitely wasn't my favorite ride. I aimed to avoid the princes highway, which I did successfully, but I can't say that the alternative was much better. The backroads were all two-lane, 80-100 km/hr limit roads with gravel shoulders. I was forced to ride on the edge of the pavement for most of the first 2/3 of the day. Traffic wasn't light, either - lots of pickup trucks, many with trailers, coming back home from the long weekend. Not the comfortable of situations.

Scenery-wise, it was again mostly similar to the past two days. Lots of farmland, the majority of it pretty flat but silhouetted mountains all around on the horizon.

My legs were holding up alright except for some intermittent knee pain. At mile 40, though, I had the most discouraging stretch out of the past couple of days. On a jaunt up around a town and the highway, the road entered the foothills of one of the mountains. My legs had just about had it at that point and so a couple of breaks were required. The next 10 miles were moderately hilly and went through a somewhat busy and confusing interchange around a power plant. I made it through but it set me back a little while - I'd started to take the flat roads for granted.

The last 15 miles were good, following lightly-trafficked roads alongside the highway as it got dark. I hit my destination of Yarragon, as far as I had planned out my day's row, at 6 pm, having completely lost the battle for daylight. I got a sandwich and checked into a motel, which now feels like a five-star resort compared to all of the trip's hostels and campsites! I have a TV, an electric blanket, and a water boiler that ISN'T moldy among other amenities. Feeling like a king, I made a light meal and fell asleep in my hot pocket of a bed with the TV on until 4 am. I'm heading back to sleep now for a couple of hours, big day tomorrow! I have about 120 km left until my friend's apartment. It feels unreal that I've come this far and had some unforgettable experiences over the past two weeks. I can't wait to get to Melbourne and recap it all. Thanks to everyone who's been reading and supporting me so far! The rest of my plans in the country are still somewhat up in the air but I'll be sure to write about it. Wish me luck on the final push to the finish!


Today's stats:
Total dist: 65.72 mph
Total time: 4 hours 57 mins
Avg speed: 13.29 mph
Max speed: 31.79 mph

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