Today is Anzac Day in Australia which means a couple of things according to my understanding:
- It's a national holiday.
- A gambling game called two-up is temporarily legalized (sadly, I did not play this).
- Restaurants and the like increase their prices to cover the cost of having to pay employees more on holidays (am I the only one who finds this outrageous?).
What is Anzac Day? Well, for those of you familiar with American holidays, it's basically Memorial Day and Veterans Day rolled into one.
The last few towns I've passed all seem to harbor a military cemetery or a military memorial at the very least.
I can't say if this enthusiasm holds true across the entire country, but after passing literally miles of evenly spaced trees, all marked with the names of people who died in the line of duty (I'm guessing), I am officially aware of Australia's awareness of its military history.
Unbeknownst to me, the town I happen to be riding through, Ballarat, is holding an Anzac Day parade in their city center – and I am about to become a part of it.
Because I'm on a bicycle, I assume that the traffic cones erected to detour cars have no authority over me. Turns out I should have listened.
Entering the parade, I quickly realize my mistake. It's too late.
I am blocked on either side by cheering, flag-waving onlookers, and do not have enough space to turn my boat of a bike around.
The only thing to do was continue to the next cross-street.
Fortunately for me, between where I haphazardly decided to enter and my opportunity to escape I had to pass not only hundreds of confused attendees but also a podium with four important looking people all saluting and wearing sashes (probably the mayor and the local war heroes).
Feeling like the fly everyone's waiting to make its way out the car window, I keep my head down and hurriedly take my time to exit. The last thing I want is to risk running over an overexcited child parade participant.
That's all I need, “Drunk American cyclist kills three in Anzac Day parade tragedy.”
Did I mention I am hammered?
Eventually I make my escape and to reward myself for all the hard work I celebrate with some Subway.
Remember that guy Jared lost all that weight eating Subway and then started molesting children? No? You should look it up.
I never did like that guy.
But I guess Subway's alright.
- START: Clarendon, Victoria
- END: Red Kangaroo Roadhouse, Victoria
- DAY'S DISTANCE: 46.52 mi / 74.87 km
- TOTAL DISTANCE: 136.88 mi / 220.29 km