When you look at my 30:thirty hit list, you may notice the few things I’ve had to, or still have to, achieve to succeed. A handful of these are somewhat physical feats and some I have not really been looking that forward to.
Let me back pedal a little…
There’s been some physical items on my list which are out to test my fears of heights and such, but there’s also one which is out to test my absolute hatred of cycling, bikes, and everything to do with pedalling around on 2 wheels.
I asked a handful of my favourite people to help me out by adding something to my list which THEY would like to see me achieve. I understand it can be tricky to give someone else a goal to achieve. My sister had a particularly hard time thinking something up. Then out of the blue she’s added fat biking to my list. She had done it down in Margaret River and said it was pretty cool. My fit, sports fanatical sister had loved fat biking, and I am in many ways quite the opposite to her… So as I am sure you can imagine, I have been ECSTATIC to go fat biking.
Anyone not know what a fat bike is? No it is not an overweight bike. It is a mountain bike with super fat tyres. Essentially it is the bicycle equivalent of a four wheel drive car. All terrain. I’ll show you a picture soon.
With my many many trips to the Margaret River region to smash out the cape to cape track, I started checking out whether there were other really cool places that I could do it. And you know what? A great mate of mine just recently moved to Broome, and it only took a quick Google search to realise they have fat bikes, and you can hire them without the commitment to a organised tour… Lock it in Eddie, I’m going to Broome and am gonna fat bike like a crazy lady. Ever checked out the weather in Broome? Yeah, it’s hot, always, just sometimes more humid than other times. Awesome.
Flights get booked and my mate has organised the bikes. I rock up to her place one Friday night and there they are, ready to go, all weekend. Did I mention my ‘love’ of cycling? With the exception of an exercise bike, this ass hasn’t met the seat of a push bike in a very, very long time.
We fill Saturday with fun explorey things to do in Broome, and start making Sunday plans over a bottle of wine and some cheese! The fat biking I being the Sunday plan. How confident will we be, considering it has been ages since we’ve both biked? Where shall we go? How far? Will it be hot?
On that note we make the best (hrmm) decision to helmet up, drag the bikes down the stairs of her apartment and give it a crack. Here I was expecting to roll around the paths for a few kilometres before cementing in Sunday bike plans. Nope, next you know, we’re off the path and ascending some sand dunes as if we’ve been doing this for years… Except… Well, we haven’t, and so after not too long we are shining a lovely sweat face and walking the bikes up the dunes. Yes, walking. Don’t worry, at the top of the hill we jump back on and isn’t it a motivating sight to see the waves of Cable beach beyond the last of the dunes. Like a little baby giraffe walking for the first time, we snake our way through the soft sand and on to the low tide at the beach. At sunset. Pretty damn cool.
The sand closer to the wave breaks is by far the easiest to ride on and I am not gonna lie, I walk the bike back through the softer stuff until we’re back on a bit more of a track. Problem is, by the time we reach that track it is well past sunset and there isn’t much of a path. Hi shrubs, hi mosquitos, hi darkness, where the hell is the road thanks? At this point I am happy to pedal like I am Lance Armstrong in his ‘peak’ because all that is going through my head is CROCODILES! Apparently no crocodiles in there but hey, I’d rather be freaking about crocodiles and keep my legs, than think I am fine as a stumble in to a swampy mangrove.
So the taste tester is complete and to say the least I am buggered. We’ve got a night ahead of us though and there is no rest for the wicked.
Plans made. The proper tick will happen tomorrow morning. The idea is to wake up at the crack of dawn… Awesome…
My alarm goes off at stupid o’clock and I am pretty sure I won’t be getting out of bed. We got home close to midnight last night after many many wines and missing dinner because of said wine. It is now just after 5am and we were planning to leave in about half an hour. Problem is, we need to leave now, we’re up this early because we’re planning to bike our way to Gantheaume Point to find the dinosaur footprints. You can only see them at low tide though, and of course low tide is at this ungodly hour.
“On yer bike” is what the adventurous one inside my head says.
“Fuck off” says the rest.
Adventurous one won. On my bike.
We’ve packed breakfast so we can sit back and enjoy our efforts after we’ve become palientologists for the morning. The other bonus is it is lovely and cool outside, which will pretty much only last an hour..
The bikes get dragged back down the stairs again and we’re ready to go. I am happy we have a destination in mind because if we didn’t, I would not be keen to stay on this bike for very long at all. It’s 6km to reach the point. Most of it is just road, the last couple kms is off road.
We set off on our adventure, but there is 1 problem. Neither of us ride very often. Anyone ever sat on a bike after having rarely sat on a bike, and then felt parts of their backside they didn’t even know existed? Yeah. Problem. Our 5-6km adventure last night has left us feeling very, erm, tender, and wondering how the hell any man can ever sit on a bike? There’s a whole new element to this adventure now.
I learn very quickly that I cannot stand the pain in my ass (ha) and find different ways to tackle this: sitting on one ass cheek and then swapping; standing up; powering a few pedals and just gliding; sitting down but angling my pelvis forward so I am not sat on the same spot… Either way it is all very hard work. All this being said, I did enjoy this mornings ride. It felt quick, it was cool and we were about to embark on a mission to hunt dinosaur [prints].
I’ll keep the dinosaur hunting part brief as this isn’t a find dinosaur prints part of my bucket list, it’s about the biking, but where’s the fun in that? A few things: a) we wouldn’t have found the prints if there weren’t other people out there making it damn obvious where they are; b) they’re a hell of a lot smaller than my imagination had well, imagined; c) the area down under the rocks at Gantheaume point is actually really cool and diverse. We were getting spat water on by a small octopus for goodness sake! Who does that!? Silly octopus. Cool octopus. So many little creatures left behind in the rock pools as the tide went out. Little fish, crabs, prawns, octopus and obviously many corals and sea insects.
We got as far away from the spitting creatures and set up shop on a rock for breakfast. Our hunting had earned us some Prosecco too. No, we had not climbed back up the rocks. We sat and talked shit, laughed, and relaxed incredibly at the peaceful, deserted place we were left in. I was mesmerised as the tide slowly crept closer and closer. Before I knew it, the big rock out at sea was gone, the rock pools were just part of the sea again and had we have given it another half hour our ankles would’ve been lapping in ocean. Problem is, it is so damn relaxing down there with the waves, and the peace and massive respect for Mother Nature and the sea. If we didn’t leave, well, we would’ve become part of it though. Time to climb.
Prosecco adds a new element to a lot of things: conversation, climbing giant rocks, riding fat bikes. Yes we got through a bottle of it.
We had tentatively planned to ride back along the beach. I squashed that idea. Luckily we had beach ridden the night before. My ass needed anything but a bike seat right now, and my weary head needed not to have a helmet on it. Laughing Prosecco filled Erin was left behind at the rocks and now it was annoyed at the world and ready to get off this bike Erin.
The ride back was long but hey, it was done! The whole lot was done. As much as I struggled the way home, sun and bubbly wine being a big factor here, I still got back with this huge sense of achievement. Another tick bites the dust and another opportunity to be tested beyond my comfort zone.
Thanks to my awesome sister Rach for the test, and thanks to my mate Bree for the company and pushing for me. I am glad I did this in Broome with the vastness of the red rocks and bluest of blue oceans. The dinosaurs may have been somewhat underwhelming, but the whole experience was fantastic.
Ps. Still go and see the dinosaur prints. Where else can you do that?
PPS. If I am to get a bike ever, I’ll be getting a fat seated granny bike. I don’t care how fat them tyres are, give me a fat seat!
Have a good week folks xx