Day 4 – Broken Hill to Wilpena
Just as I was about to get on the bike to ride out of Eldee Station, I noticed the front tyre was almost flat. Mick, who was driving the support vehicle, got the compressor out and pumped it up. So far so good.
Riding a kilometre further down the road, I noticed the rear of the bike feeling a bit spongy and moving around. Lo and behold, the rear tyre was way down. Put some air in this tyre. Decided to ride back into Broken Hill and get both tyres looked at. No point in trusting luck any further.
The tyre repair shop found a pinched tube in the front, and a self-tapper style of screw embedded in the back tyre. The repair shop took about an hour or so to do the repairs, as they were fitting me in between other booked jobs.
Once that was out of the way, headed south west across the NSW/SA border towards the town of Yunta. Just before coming into Yunta, I was pulled over by the police for doing 119 km/hr along the Barrier Highway. They didn’t book me, but gave me an ‘official warning’. Even wrote out a piece of paper to make it truly official. The story goes that if I had been caught exceeding a speed limit again in South Australia, the official warning would have become a fine, and then fined for the second offence. Rode a little more carefully after that.
Turned off the sealed road at Yunta, and went onto 170 kms of unsealed roads. Because I spent the extra time in Broken Hill I was hours behind the other riders. Billy rode part of the way with me, but I basically had the desert to myself. It was without doubt, the highlight of the entire tour for me. The vastness, and beauty of it all.
I rode into Rawnsley Park Station about 5:00pm feeling pretty good, despite the earlier delays. Stopped for a brief break at the old Waukaringa ruins. Testimony to why it is never good to take this country for granted.
There is a really great restaurant at Rawnsley Park Station, and that night all gathered there. Indulged in some great wines, probably a bit too much; but what else do you do at the end of the day in the outback?