I originally came to Oztralia to have a look around, the idea being to work for a while and meet people, so I could get an idea of what's worth seeing and maybe find people to take me there and show me the sights. After a bit of work I was going to be a bum for a while, wandering round looking at things.
Great plans and all that, but finally in June I wandered off to start the tourist part of being in Australia. The first part of 2000 I spent working and building a tandem trike. This was a major effort, and soaked up basically all my time for the six months or so it took. I arranged to finish work at the end of June (ha, work finally agreed to release me then), and organised to join the Cycle Against the Nuclear Cycle Two in Broome (Western Australia).
CANC2 actually started in Darwin in early June, but I was working and I hadn't finished the trike. So I had to sit it out. This led to the first trauma of the ride: would I be ready in time? The plan called for a month of painting and testing before leaving Sydney for a 4000km bike ride, but as it turned out the thing was pained just in time to go in the box for the ride. We must have done a good 40km on it in preparation, and no riding at all in the solo (single seater) mode.
Critical Mass the week before I left was the major official public viewing, and the trike was ridable and ready. Or at least, I managed to ride it to Critical Mass. On the ride I discovered that the seat covers we're not really up to the task. I used cheap material from Reverse Garbage and it ripped. Being a fool I simply repaired the rip and assumed the problem would not recur. Later in the ride I had to beg Ken to make me some proper covers and post them to me.
Packing the trike was interesting. Because it breaks apart for shipping I had hoped it would fit into bike boxes, or at least pack down reasonably small. After a few hours of taking things off the frames and re-packing, I had everything into two bike boxes and an extra bundle (the middle frame tube is 2.2m long, too long for a bike box). That also meant it was too big for the bus company (1.5m max, but they often take up to 2m long pole-shaped bits). So I had to take it out to a trucking company and pay exorbitant rates for E-&W shipping ($500 to Broome).
Trauma number two was wondering where the ride was. I had asked Ken to ring me, as well as Evan, to let me know where they were before I left. When Ken left they were about three days behind schedule, but several messages on peoples voice mail left me none the wiser. I had to leave for Broome not knowing where the ride was. Oh well.