Cycling Adelaide to Melbourne: Day 2 – Strathalbyn to Wellington

We woke up on the second day with incredibly sore bums, and Rich with incredibly painful quads, and broken cleats. As he had had to walk up several hills through gravel, grass, and tarmac yesterday, his cleats took a lot of damage, and Rich was no longer able to properly clip into his pedals.

After talking to the manager of the campsite we were staying, we found that there was a bike shop not far from camp. This was pretty amazing as this was the first and last bike shop we saw throughout the trip. So after a quick breakfast and packing of the tent, we were able to get Rich some brand new cleats.

Unfortunately, though, there was no way we were sticking to schedule and making it to Meningie today. By the time Rich had new cleats it was already noon, and he was in a lot of pain. Meningie was 93.7 km away, and though it was meant to be reasonably flat, we didn’t know that we could trust Google’s calculations anymore. Instead, we discovered that there was another town on the way to Meningie. Wellington was only 49.2 km away from Strathalbyn, and though the town was tiny, it did have a camp site and pub access.

Riding was a struggle from the get-go. The wind was coming at us from both the front and the side, making any momentum gain nearly impossible, especially for Rich as our trailer was far from aerodynamic. I had to stay ahead of him, pedaling slowly enough that I could be close to him and help dampen the wind, but quickly enough to keep me upright. At least here we were cycling through wine country. To be honest, the area was a bit bleak, but the green of the vineyards was a nice way to brighten up the scenery. It took us 2.5 hours to get to Wellington.

Arriving in Wellington, we realized how little there actually was in this town. At first sight there was a part of me that wanted to keep going, but we both knew that between the soreness in Rich’s legs and the wind conditions, Rich was not going to be able to handle it.  Apart from the caravan park that we were going to be spending the night in, there were a few houses, a service station (or what the Aussies call a “servo”), and a pub.

The pub would suit us for dinner, but there was nowhere to go for lunch except the servo. The camp manager assured us that the servo would at the very least have meat pies and sausage rolls. Since coming to Australia, I’ve developed a love of meat pies, so this sounded somewhat promising to me.

Sadly, upon entering the servo we knew that we were definitely not getting any real food there. The servo looked like it had been gutted. It was a decent sized shop, but half of it looked like it had been taken apart a few years ago and that the owners had forgotten to put anything back in. What was left were a few drinks in an emptied out refrigerator, some gummy candies, chocolate bars, and fat-free crisps. The pies that the campsite manager had referred to looked as if they had been sitting in that display for a good two weeks, sad, shriveled and deflated. Not appealing in food. Knowing we were going to have to get enough here for today’s lunch and tomorrow’s breakfast we began circling the one shelf in the store. Eventually we walked out of there with Pringles to eat for lunch now, and Starburst gummies and fat-free crackers for breakfast.

Breakfast of Champions, if you will.


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