Gra Nomad Wanderings

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Really great to make it to Heckenberg Public School today and meet Principal Kathy Powzun, her team and some of the beaut kids there. Unbelievable! To think I taught there in 1965 - my first year of teaching.

Kathy showed us around and introduced us to heaps of people. Wish I could remember more from my year at the school back 45 years ago.

Hey... hadn't seen these guys for 2 months. Was great to see them again. Here they are pretending to be Fa and Nan! What characters! God was sure clever to invent grandchildren.
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We did 1070 km. Thanks Beth and Browny for being my domestics/domestiques and a very special thanks to Fay for being our support person. What a great job she did!

Monday, May 24, 2010


One of the reasons for this ride was to visit the schools where I taught eg Mittagong 1974-77. It was good to visit and see quite a different school to the one I left when I headed for Goodooga.

We had to farewell Beth before leaving from Steve and Cindy's. Thanks guys. Look after Matilda!!

This is the classroom where I taught. Yep... still there. Heaps of other buildings now. The new library replaced the one we used back then. (Fay was librarian for a while.)
Remember WHILE I LIVE I'LL GROW? Bill will remember I know. On top of Razorback. We rode up there easy. We must be fit I guess.
Had a bit of a snack there before hooning down the mountain. Good stuff. We did miss Beth though.
Tomorrow, Tuesday we head to Heckenberg Public School. That's where I started my career back in 1965. Amazing eh? Thanks Stu and Bec for looking after us on our last night.
Seeya tomorrow.


On our leg from Goulburn to Mittagong, we caught up with (wrong phrasing actually) Jim Blaxland (BFB coordinator) and his bunch as they were DRIVING back to Sydney after a BFB trip Syd-Melb. They did morning tea for us. Thanks Lyn and Lorraine.

Alan Peter and Jim with us enroute to Mittagong. Actually just before Marulan turn-off.

We have arrived!!!! Here we are at Steve and Cindy Powers' place in Mittagong. We rode 95 km.
Met up with GP at Bundanoon and then called on Keith and Betty Jones in Bowral before arriving in Mittagong where I taught in 1974-77. Two of our kids were born while we were there.

Even the bikes look relaxed!!

Matilda will stay with Steve and Cindy for a bit. Like respite care.

Monday - visit to Mittagong school and then head to Camden ready for a short ride to Heckenberg on Tuesday. That's where I started teaching in 1965.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


GRAHAM BROWN: A highlight of today's ride has been cycling beside the rather barren but beautiful Lake George. [See photos 4 and 5]. The heavy Saturday morning traffic detracted somewhat from the otherwise delightful ambience and we were not graced, as we were yesterday, by the sight of soaring wedge-tailed eagles. Instead, another raptor, a recently knocked brown hawk, rared its wing forlornly as a car swished by at speed. A sobering moment was morning tea-ing at the Rawdon Middleton VC memorial parking bay and remembering that his picture was a feature in my now closed-down and removed school at Yarrabandai and also at Parkes High.

BETH ROBERTSON: Hi guys and gals - after 6 days and about 600km of riding, today we arrived at my old home town of Goulburn from which I retired about 15 months ago - forgot how cold it can get here after coastal Sussex Inlet.
Have had a great ride but wimped out of the 6 km of winding road up Talbingo Hill and ran out of daylight into Providence Portal so I missed 30km there to give Fay time to pick the guys up before they froze in the fading light.

FAY KEAST: Now, how many days can there be left to spend driving at 20 km per hour? Seems like we've done about 25 days on this 13 day ride. However the end is near and I've got less than 200 k's to go - or 10 hours at 20 k's. Grocery shopping is all done, car fueled and riders convinced that we shouldn't get out on the road until it hits at least 1 degree Celsius in the morning, so I can sleep with a clear mind tonight (and hopefully a bit longer than usual).
My worst fear - we are heading for the Southern Highlands and I think there is a cloud in the sky so rain is a definite possibility. I'd hate to refuse to pick up wet riders at the end of the ride!!!!

GRAHAME KEAST: We started out today at 6 degrees from Canberra. (Thanks Roger and Edna for lending us your house last night. We were VERY comfortable, and did the club thing for dinner.) Temps warmed up fairly quickly today and we had plenty of long downhills (which made up for that enormous uphill which Browny reckoned was 8 km.) I figure today was one of the best team riding we've done. Even Kay Moore - a roadie from Gymea - would've been proud of us. Thanks Browny for encouraging us to whack a bit more air in the tyres.... up to 110. We did roll pretty well. Thanks Fay for pumping some pills into me also. Lucky we didn't get drug tested I guess. Today was probably one of my best days. Tomorrow - off to Mittagong via Tallong, Penrose, Bundanoon, Moss Vale etc. What do you think? About 80 km? Maybe 90!

This is the well oiled machine. How does it look to you?
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We've just learnt that Jim Blaxland has completed another Sydney to Melbourne ride. He's now on his way back to Sydney. He tells me he'll be cycling beside Lake George next weekend! No rest for the wicked!
Hey Kerrie, hope you appreciate a few new authors!!

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Friday, May 21, 2010


Day 8 was the best day! Day 8 was the REST DAY!!! I really like those days.
We rested in Cooma, and gave the bikes a well-deserved clean.

Gotta be careful we don't get any cat-heads in our tyres during the meticulous operation.

Rod and Fay Bevan opened up their home to us while we were in Cooma. They also invited a bunch of folk to join us for a party on Wednesday night. It was good fun as we shared a bit about the ride and the concept of Bike for Bibles. Thanks Rod and Fay (we even hated to leave them on Thursday morning) and to the folk who joined us on Wednesday night.

Morning tea by the side of the road, near Kangaroo grass. It was pretty cool for the first couple of hours... only warming up about 1 pm. There were a couple of LONG downhills that we really enjoyed, even if my computer didn't register half the time. Our bikes appreciated having been cleaned on Thursday. Sorry about all the muck we left in the paddock behind Rod's place.

Soup and noodles for lunch. Bit rubbery, but they went down OK. Beth tried to buy hot chips at the servo, but the Williamsdale service station didn't stretch to anything quite that fancy.
The team arrived in Canberra about 3 pm - in time to get to Holt where we broke into Roger and Edna's place and also took Browny's bike to ONYA BIKE where they identified his gear problem and rectified it promptly. Unfortunately that may mean he'll be faster tomorrow!!! 95 km for the day. An enjoyable day in the saddle. Tomorrow? Off to Beth and Fay's home town - Goulburn. About 105 km.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


It was the worst of days!
It was the best of days!
Riding from Tumut through to Providence Portal was a challenge to say the least. Jim reckoned I wouldn't ride up the hill at Talbingo... well he was right. I did get off a few times and do some walking. Browny got off for a comfort break (or two). But we got there! Then we rode on from there. No way could I have done it without the support and encouragement of Beth and Browny. And the ever vigilant Fay with her flashing light behind us.
We rode 93 km at a very dismal average speed of 14 kph. Yep, it was tough going for this aging team. There were some downhills too though...... great fun! And the lodge at Providence Portal was just excellent..... food and accommodation. Thanks Chris.
We actually ran out of daylight and warmth. I started to get hypothermia.... not pretty. So we had to be picked up just 13 km from our target. A great move!!! Temps dropped down towards single figures and beyond.

The following day we rode Providence Portal to Cooma - just 74 km. That was enough after the big day Tumut to Providence Portal.

Here we are enjoying our comfortable cabin at Providence Lodge.

Can you see us on the hill? We're there somewehere.

Adaminaby is not too far from Cooma. We got in to Cooma about an hour later than estimated time of arrival. Tomorrow (Thursday) we'll visit Cooma Public School - my old school from 1986-1998.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Days 4 and 5: LOCKHART - WAGGA and WAGGA - TUMUT

Look how our small group has grown! Beth has joined as expected. We've also been joined by Jonathon, John, Simon and Daniel. Here we are departing Lockhart at 10:30 am. Only had to do 83 km to Wagga.

Here's Beth helping at Padgetts'. It's good to have this Sussex Sportsgirl join us. Thanks John and Sally for taking good care of us while in Wagga. And also to Jonathon and Catherine for shouting us dinner.

What a specimen! Eat your heart out Kelly!! This guy, Simon, rode out from Wagga to Lockhart with his mate John and then rode back to Wagga with us. This gave them about 150 km for the day. Then Simon (gluton for punishment) rode with us to Tumut the next day!!! Unreal.

Keasty, Fay, Beth, Simon and Browny! It was a big day to Tumut with a bunch of decent hills and a whole bunch of semis going both ways. 115 km. We got in at 4:20 pm. Fortunately we are staying with Phil and Pam Crocker and we're very comfortable. Tomorrow we're off to Providence Portal... Fay reckons 105 km. IT'S GONNA BE TOUGH!!!! [Jim said so!]


Saturday, May 15, 2010


Damn! Bike computer won't go! Kel Robertson of Kel's Computers to the rescue. 5 mins later, new battery in the VDO bike computer. Thanks Kel.

Here's one half of our hosts last night - Kel. Jacqui, his wife, looked after us admirably. Thanks guys. Sorry Max that you missed out a bit.

6 degrees and foggy as all get out! Stayed pretty cool for first hour! We were sure glad when we noticed the temp had increased - Fay announced confirmation of that when she told us it was now 7 degrees!!! (Big deal!)

Soup and sangas for lunch at (of all places) Urana. Ta Fay. That made us feel much better, and we cruised forward to Lockhart. 105 km today at an average of 24.9 - very satisfactory. There were even some "rises" at the end of the day. (Certainly wouldn't call them hills.)
Tomorrow we head to Wagga Wagga, but with extra riders!!!
Next Tues another (bigger) BFB team led by Jim B will be coming to Lockhart enroute to Melbourne... provided they stop getting punctures and throwing up!!! [Neither Browny nor I have thrown up OR got a puncture. Beauty mate!!!]

Friday, May 14, 2010


Sure was cool when we woke this morning - 7 degrees at 7am. (Jim would've been underway at 7:30 am). We got away at 9 am today and arrived Jerilderie 2:22 pm. We'd done 95 km at the same average speed - 24.2 kph.
We handled the wind a bit better than we did yesterday... maybe it wasn't as breezy today as yesterday. When we stopped for lunch we just had 18 km to go.
Browny is handling the role of domestique very well. He seldom allows me to wander out in front, but instead, powers forward regardless of the situation. Our bikes are very similar, and we're contemplating swapping one day to see how they compare. They're both carbon fibre bikes and both black (or dark grey).
Tonight we're being looked after by Jacqui and Kel Robertson here in Jerilderie. Tomorrow we head to Lockhart where we'll meet up with Nola and Graham Cox. It is there in Lockhart that Beth will arrive (our 3rd rider) and also that we'll be joined by Simon and his mates from Wagga.
Locusts again today at about noon. Maybe not quite as thick as yesterday where we were getting hit in the face with the blighters.
Max speed yesterday was 31 and today 33.
Both Browny and I are feeling pretty good so far.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


We (Graham Brown and I) started out at 9:45 am - a bit later than Jim's rides start, that's for sure.
Temps 10 - 16, some wind against us and later with us. NO TRAFFIC! A good ride for day 1. 109 km at an average of 24.2.

Paddy came along to the start to make sure we didn't cheat! We checked out the building which used to be Niemur Public School where I was teacher-in-charge in 1966-67. I had ten students.

Roads are straight out here... and you can see the heavy traffic!!

Fay did a beaut job of supporting us today. Thanks Honey. Here we've stopped for a bite of lunch.
Very comfortable at RIVERSIDE CARAVAN PARK in DENI. Thanks Andrew and Shelley.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


The Keasty's Border to Border Bike for Bibles Ride commences Thursday 13 May.
Everybody looks pretty happy in these pix. Beth Robertson (above) will join Graham Brown and I at Lockhart after missing the first three days.

Fay is a very important part of the operation. She drives the Pajero which tows the avan. She will follow us each day with flashing lights and signage. She's also got the tucker and MY BED!

Graham and Beth have each done quite an amount of long distance cycling. Their resumes are very impressive. I've done 18 BFB rides, each one being a weeklong journey except for Perth to Sydney. I'm raising money for projects selected by the Bible Society:
  • Bibles for Aussie school kids
  • Bibles for the Australian Defence Forces
  • Audio Scriptures for Indigenous Australians
  • Ethiopian Pastors' Book Sets
My goal is $5,000. (I have another ride scheduled for October.... but more about that later.)
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If you want to sponsor me, send me an email...
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So, on Thursday, Browny and I will "set sail" from Niemur where I taught back in 1966-67. It's 20 miles out of Moula (Moulamein) which is about 100 km west of Deni (Deniliquin). I figured we should leave the place at 9 am for the start of our ride. The night before we're staying at "Farnley" where the Redfearns live, just outa Moula. Thanks George and Linley and Peter. Hopefully I'll post some pix when we reach Deni.

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Wednesday, May 05, 2010


If you're down Warradale way (in Adelaide) and you want a coffee or some grub, you won't do better than LENNIE'S. We met Lennie X (that means he's the tenth Lennie there!!??!!??) and the team are fabulous! Coffee I LOVED!!! Thanks girls. [Maybe it's just off Diagonal Road.] Fay thinks it's on OAKLANDS ROAD, just west of Diagonal Rd. It might actually be in the suburb of Somerton. Lennie's Snack Bar was next to Somerton IGA.
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Why were we there.... at LENNIE'S? Because Julian at Beaurepaires was putting 2 new tyres - DUNLOP GRANDTREKS - on the Pajero. That's Julian hard at work on the right.

He was also manning the office. Thanks Julian and the bossman Kahn and the young bloke who did the bulk of the work.

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