Decision made for 2021: An Indian Pacific adventure!

by Stephen

*** Due to the re-imposition of border controls by the Western Australian government against New South Wales, I’m now delaying the start of this ride until around July ***

Several months ago, when I first decided to make use of my long service leave next year, I had my heart set on cycling around 3,500 km through New South Wales and Victoria. A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about three route options I planned. I knew that, one day (probably the last leg of my upcoming round the world bicycle trip), I’d want to ride from Perth to Melbourne. Now that I’ve allocated the time for a long ride next year, why wait until the end of this decade to cross the country? With the necessary route modifications, due to living in Sydney, I’ve now made a firm decision to cycle from Fremantle to Bondi Beach – a total of around 5,000 km in the space of around 85 days (12 weeks).

Early last week, I made the first step: I bought my ticket, from Sydney to Perth, just so I could lock in an airfare – not bad at $264! I will be flying to Perth on the afternoon of Friday the 5th of March. The Saturday will be spent rebuilding my bike (if not by the end of Friday), and making sure everything works properly. On Sunday, the 7th of May, after dipping my tyres in the Indian Ocean at Fremantle, I will hop on my bike and start riding east towards Sydney’s Bondi Beach (via Adelaide and Melbourne).

The last time I flew to Perth was back in 1990. I stayed there for about 8 hours, before catching the Indian Pacific back to Sydney later that evening. It was a 21st birthday present to myself, as I’d been dreaming about it ever since early high school. It will be interesting to see how much the city has changed in that time. The suburban railways definitely will have. In 1990, it was all diesel powered. Now it’s all electrified, and a much larger network. I will probably spend a few hours riding trains, and photographing & filming them. What else can you expect from an unreformed trainspotter?

Speaking of filming, I need to pick up another drone battery or two, and maybe a new action camera, and a microphone. There are few other things I need to buy, including a satellite tracker so people can track my progress. And then I will need to set up my fundraising page for FightMND, the charity I’ll be riding for – I’ll probably do that in January.

After 12 weeks of crossing the country, I intend to arrive at Bondi Beach, at 16:00 AEST, on the 23rd of May – dipping the tyres in the Pacific Ocean to close the journey. There is always the chance that the Western Australia border will still be closed by March. But I think that will be highly unlikely.

I am looking forward to my slower Indian Pacific adventure! I’ve no doubt that it will be tough and challenging (there will be some easy days and some tough days), but that’s the whole point.

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