The answer to the question is just a little further down, but it is worth reading on...
Another absolute scorcher on the road today. You know it's hot when the bitumen on the side of the road is tacky to ride on!
Not a bad day though, as we spent the day doing a fair bit of downhill work, and finally got to put the bike back into 2nd gear! Continued to push our recovery skills by staying in harder gears for the smaller slopes today so we could build up our endurance. Hayden was even feeling the heat today, and we took regular rests in the shade to bring the body temperatures down and reapply sunscreen to our already burnt bodies.
Just outside of Tolga a lovely fellow mentioned that our back tyre was a little low. Thought that was weird cos I had pumped it up before leaving, but pulled over about 2km from the rest stop to inspect the tyre - there was a sweeping downhill that I didn't want to risk a blown tyre on.
Sure enough, on inspection the tyre appeared to have a slow leak - not completely flat, but slowly losing pressure as we rode along. Tried to pump it up to get us to the rest stop, but could hear it slowly hissing and knew we would need to change the tube. That was when Hayden noticed a good 2cm tear in the tyre - there was shredding around the tear and that was where the tube had punctured.
At this point the BQ truck pulled up and asked if we needed a hand. Never one to accept assistance (I like to be independent), I told them flat tyre and hole in tyre, but I would change the tube and get to rest stop for assistance. That's when four very chivalrous gentlemen parked their car and came and helped with the change!
First stop, plugging the hole in the tyre to prevent further punctures. Now I've heard of this before but have never seen it in practice - fold a $5 note inside the tyre and then insert tube and inflate as usual! Voila - worked a treat. Limped the bike into the rest stop and another lovely fellow replaced the tyre, tightened up a few loose bits and pieces and we were good as new. The four fellows all found us at some point during the day to check up on us and make sure we were travelling ok. talk about feeling the love! If that was the worst Friday the 13th had in store for us we felt pretty good.
The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful, as we travelled to Mareeba. There are some pretty awesome infrastructure items along the way - kilometres and kilometres of canals carrying water to farms across NQ. The ones we followed were so enticing, and if it weren't for the "No Swimming" signs, we may have even stopped for a paddle.
The scenery has also begun to change along the ride. Mareeba is considered the door to the Outback, and the land changes dramatically from lush rolling green dairy farming properties to parched, brown tobacco and coffee plantations.
We stopped at Mt Uncle Distillery for lunch. I forewent the liqueur tasting (we were back riding after lunch after all!) but did buy a few of the snack products for the folk at home.
Arrived at camp, set up, showered, put the phone on charge and left Hayden to rest in the tent while I explored town. Mareeba has the longest Main Street I have ever walked along. Lots of interesting shops and finally the Woolworths hoodoo was broken by a Coles supermarket. Brought a few little knickknack and found my way back to camp. 4.15pm and it felt like I was walking in the midday sun. Absolute shocker! Temps peaked here at 32 degrees at 3.17pm - unbelievable as you would think it would be cooling down by then.
Escorted Hayden for his massage and am now just chilling out in my tent, preparing for our last two days of riding. Can't believe how fast the time has gone and how many km we have under our belts. Hayden is already looking forward to next year, so it looks like we will be bike shopping sooner rather than later. Me, I'm looking forward to Monday when I can get back on my roadie and see how much difference this week has made to my strength.
So until tomorrow when we arrive in Mossman, I bid you all good night.