Tour Day 15 and 17 Old Legs Munda Biddi Trail Cycle Ride

Day 15


We have finally arrived in Albany! I was last here with Cate, about 30 years ago. I remembered not much from that visit and was amazed at how big it is. This is where all the Australian troops left for World War One.

It was also the centre of whaling operations, and had to re adapt once they were banned. There is now a whaling museum and you can go on whale watching tours from here. Migrating whales pass off the coast, at Tordinup National Park. What I do recall is, how similar this part of Western Australia is to the southern most tip of Africa. The flora and rock formations make you think of the area around Cape Town. Not hard to see that they were once connected!

We covered the last 75kms in 4hrs 29min and where VERY grateful that there were no real hills to speak of – only 429m of climbing.

The first bit of humour for the day started when John Thomson put on his red bandanna and I was struck on how he looked just like one of Santa’s little helpers. Paul immediately saw the resemblance and we were both reduced to tears. John did not seem to see the humour.

I will let you decide, when Paul posts the photographic evidence! At the 25km mark Paul, who was suffering with a sore bottom, offered his bike to Vic who has been recovering, as you know. He snapped up the opportunity, and I decided he should ride in front so he could set a gentle pace.

Mistake!!! He took off like a Jack rabbit and we next saw him about 10kms further on waiting for us, grinning from ear to ear. I told him to slow down or he would burn himself out in reality he was burning me out. Vic completed the ride and was super excited to have completed 50km.

Alas his euphoria was short lived with a phone call from the Police, asking if he owned a Peugeot 308 ?? He did, “What is the problem, Officer?”

Where is it, he was asked? Parked at Pete’s house on the verge! Why??

I quickly phoned Cate who said, “No it’s not here, I reported it because I didn’t know whose it was and the rangers have taken it!” Ooops. I had forgotten to mention to Cate, that Vic would be leaving his car there. Instant DoD!!

I told Vic, who told the police. Vic was relieved it had not been on a joy ride and trashed. But then he police phoned back – it was not in the Council pound, it was on bricks in a random car park in Balcatta???? Vic asked the question “Can I have it back” which sent John into fits of laughter, Detective Inspector Kelly said, “No, it’s on bricks!!”

Paul’s comment was “At least you have bricks!!” That was not so funny for Vic. We thought it was. The first call, when the cops asked where the car was, Vic told them his home address. Then they called back and he amended that to say, it was at our house, Cate was on the phone with me at the time, Vic starts telling them, THAT address, but completely wrong.

I don’t even hear him but Cate’s yelling down the phone “No, tell him its number 2!” I correct him, he then says the wrong suburb. Again, Cate hears and yell “No, it’s Stirling!” What a comedy show! The policeman must have thought we were a bunch of meth heads. Or just Oldies

Well, that put a dampener on the day, the car had been tagged by the rangers and before it was collected it was actually stolen. Vic has not had much luck so far. Fortunately, he has insurance, so, once the cops have finished with going through it for forensics, Vic can look for a new model.

The rest day was fantastic! We had a great meal at Rustlers where we met two ex Zimbabwean farmers from Banket who now live in Albany, which was wonderful. Thanks to them for coming and meeting us!

Monday, I start the return leg John and Paul have left for now and Charlie Lenegan arrived from Perth. Charlie will ride with me back to Perth, Welcome Charlie, my new best friend. Sorry, John!.

Please help us raise money by donating to our GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/f/old-legs-tour-down-under…

Day 17

From Cate:

I travelled down to Albany, to meet up with my beloved and Vic. Paul and John having left that day. I found Pete and Vic resting up in a motel.

It was so good to see Pete again, as we have not been apart for more than 2 weeks, ever, so it was about time!
In the morning, I got to meet Charlie Lenegan & the guys set off with some groaning from Pete. I think the rest day was good but it also took a while to get the legs moving again!

Vic and I took the opportunity to do some sight seeing in Albany, before setting off to meet the guys for a snack on the road. Vic had seen this Leaning Tower of Pizza, as he called it, in someone’s backyard! So we went to capture a photo.

Albany is steeped in history and has a beautiful ANZAC memorial, up above the city, at Princess Royal Fort, overlooking both the the bay and the city. We got to see the huge naval guns that are still in situ, as well as various anti aircraft guns and anti submarine torpedoes.

We reflected on the very young servicemen, many of whom, this was their last sight of Australia, as they left on 1st November 1914. There are the original barracks and lots of memorabilia that have been curated, where you can immerse yourself in the lives of the soldiers and nurses, many of whom gave their lives for Australia to be the amazing country that it now is.

It was an easy drive to Denmark, where we stayed at a gorgeous caravan park nestled between the river mouth and Pelican Bay and Wilson Inlet.

Charlie easily took out DoD! He went to boil the kettle, after I had just boiled it. It would not start! So, full of righteous indignation at being made to wait for his 4th cup of tea, he marched over to the office and told the nice lady that the kettle wasn’t working and we need another one! She took out a backup and then she, of course, plugged in the kettle to test it and…..low and behold, it worked!

Charlie blustered that maybe the plug at our chalet wasn’t working! Ok, she said, lets’ go and see! They marched over to us, plugged in the offending kettle…. and IT WORKED! Did we laugh at Charlie’s sheepishness?? Of course we did. Oh, and by the way, the kettle does not switch on again, if its too hot (we proved it the next day) But Charlie didn’t want to go back to her!


From Pete:


Well, after the rest day, it was good to get going again, along with my new best friend Charlie. (sorry, JT!) I was a little concerned as the first 4 hills we encountered, he flew up leaving me plodding on behind. I have put this down to youthful exuberance (he is only just 70) and hope that this trend will not continue.

The sun was out for most of the day. That was great to see, as we have not seen it much on this trip. We have been so lucky with the weather so far, conditions being perfect for riding.

I have been joined by Cate, who came down on Sunday and will go back Tuesday morning. I would like to thank her for her continued support on this ride, as well as writing these blogs and correcting my grammar. I actually don’t believe in punctuation but she is a pedant!

We’d like to salute Garth Steinbach, who has put together the route that we are taking home and so far, it has been great, with a mixture of gravel roads, bitumen and single track thrown in. Our average speed has moved up from 13kmh to 19kmh, which should make a difference, with time in the saddle. We were in the saddle for 4 hrs 36min yesterday and covered 85km.

The rest has done my bottom some good although there were a few complaints coming through, towards the end. This might have triggered an in usual conversation about the different dungs we saw on our travels Horse, Cow, Emu and Kangaroo. Fresh Emu was voted the most disgusting Day 1, on the return trip was dubbed The Dung Day!

Thank you for continuing to read our missives, as well as the many contributions that have been made, to a very worthy cause.

Please help us raise money by donating to our GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/f/old-legs-tour-down-under…


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Donations made to ZANE in Australia, are tax-deductible.

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