Katherine to Pine Creek
Up = 563m - Down = 466m - Highest Point = 207m
KATHERINE TO PINE CREEK - 15th September 2017
Up early to prepare for another 6:30 am start to get in before the real heat of the day. Unfortunately it doesn’t get light until 6:15 am. Pat unlocked Finn from the tree he had been attached to for the night – and wouldn’t you know it the back wheel was flat!!!!! Grrrrrrrrrrrrr – I am well and truly over this bad run of punctures!! Thankfully Des fitted yet another new tube and we were able to leave on time as planned. It was nice to spot water in the Katherine River as we crossed it, and also fascinating to see the metre markers on the railway bridge indicating depth. Hard to believe that about 10 years ago the town of Katherine was flooded – so right up and over the bridge!!
All was going well and 10 kms out a truck overtook us and I heard a “bang” then a “hiss” – it gave me quite a fright and I thought why did the truck need to do that? But then, that horrible feeling through the back tyre – it was my backwheel that made the bang and hiss!!
With time being of essence to get todays 92 kms done before mid 30’s temperatures – I sent Annie and Liz on while Pat arrived to help me change the blasted tyre – again!!! By now – I am down to borrowing tubes from Annie (thanks!!).
On the road again pretty quickly and my mission was to try and catch the others. Des passed me and a brief conversation while riding and driving along conveyed that I had punctured yet again. Not too long after that Bette and Barry passed heading to the first planned rest stop. I kept my head down and pedalled furiously!! I pressed on and on – and luckily by the time I got to a scheduled 30 km rest stop they were just ready to head off again. I suspect you guys hung back for me – so thanks!! I rode on through the stop to be with them as we headed to our second scheduled stop at 46 kms – the Fergusson River Crossing Rest Area. The “thinking” time while trying to catch them convinced me that I must have a bad batch of tubes!! I’ve never had a run this bad, and both Des and I had been extra careful fixing previous punctures checking both the rim tape and the tyre carefully. We had also (apart from the first puncture in Snowtown) found a reason for the "hole" - but they all seemed to be on the inside on a tiny seem in the tube.
There were a couple of hills in todays ride - I had been a bit concerned that it did show more ups and downs than most of our days - but again - with fitness now pretty good, none of them were a real worry and we maintained a pretty good average throughout the day.
We divided the last 50 kms of the ride into 2 x 25 kms and it was about 11:00 am when we all rolled into Pine Creek Railway Resort. Phew!! What a lovely tidy and clean camp this is!!!! We actually have GRASS under and around our vans – fabulous. Annie has a cute little “cabin”, and the shower and toilet facilities for the campers are really great and super clean!! They are actually the same as the room Annie has - but no bed! Sadly their restaurant was closed tonight - so we decided to dine at the “Lazy Lizzard Tavern” tonight (just across the road) and then those who wanted to could watch the Bronco's play!
Barry and Des are as mystified about my punctures as I am – so once we were “set up” they “set to” studying the punctured tubes, ripped off my back wheel and now every precaution has been taken to prevent any further occurrences – hopefully!! They have added a layer of electrical tape over the rim tape (although we all agreed the rim tape looked fine) refitted the new tube I got off Annie and I’ve patched 2 tubes I have used previously that are NOT the ones that we all agree are VERY suss!!! So 2 days riding is all you have to behave for Finn!!!!
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