Adelaide, the capital of South Australia, boasts a population of over 1.2 million and represents civilization's final foothold before my journey turns northward towards the Outback.
As was the case yesterday afternoon when I first arrived here, it's raining.
In fact, the forecast predicts that the next four days will see enough rain and wind to warrant severe weather warnings for the entire area. This, despite Adelaide supposedly being the driest of Australia's capital cities.
I might be here a bit longer than the expected one day off.
Turns out that “a bit longer” means ten days.
Despite this break being nearly as long as the total number of days I've spent pedaling, I've managed to make the most of my time in Australia's fifth-most populous city.
I consume near vomit-inducing quantities of pizza and burritos (stocking up for winter), I get a shave (got bored with the beard), and I redesign Halfway Anywhere (something I've been putting off for a while now).
I also do some shopping.
The following items have been officially added my bicycling outfit:
- A ten liter Sea to Summit water bladder (because the Outback)
- A Petzl Spatha Knife (because I need to cut my cheese somehow)
- A box of Clif Bars (surprisingly difficult to find in Australia – and expensive)
- A replacement rear tire (because holy hell, so many flats)
Why have I replaced my rear tire? Simple. Because punctures.
Why have I not replaced my front tire? Simple. Because money.
When I bought my bike in Melbourne, I looked at the tires and thought, “These don't look like they're ready for touring the Outback.”
Agreeing with my rookie assessment, my salesman and found suitable replacements. So I bought new tires (I even bought a third since a spare sounded like a good idea).
Satisfied with the level of rugged-looking exhibited by my new bicycle rubber, I was confident in my chances of making it out the other side of the Australia.
However, the number of flats I got over the course of the last two weeks has proved to me that my initial assumptions about my tires were uneducated at best.
At this point I've changed and patched close to twenty tubes and punctures.
I also managed to get a shard of glass through one of my tires which means that there's now a permanent hole in it (this is the front tire which I have left unchanged for some reason – I'll just wait until it becomes a problem).
Hopefully this new rear tire (the rear being where all but two of my punctures have occurred) will bring better fortune on the debris-filled highways of Australia.
Now if only it would stop raining.