We knew we had to ride on the Sturt Highway again for a bit this morning. The Visitor’s Centre staff member had told us this. What she didn’t tell us, was that to get out of town we needed to ride across two narrow bridges that had two-way traffic going to and fro at a frenetic pace. She also didn’t tell us that these two bridges formed part of the Highway, so massive great B-doubles drove across these bridges and didn’t care about tiny cycle tourers who may already happen to be on the bridge already!
Thankfully only one truck crossed as we were crossing, nearly cleaning us up in the process, but it left us a little wary, particularly as the shoulder became a little less noticeable the further we rode.
20 kilometres up the highway, we still hadn’t seen the turn-off for Monash that we were desperately hoping for. The road got quieter then, according to the Visitor’s Centre, and although trucks still used the road and it had no shoulder,it was nothing like the highway and fairly quiet.
When we finally turned at the big green sign saying ‘Monash’, we noticed it also said ‘Sturt Highway’. This morning’s ride was not getting any better. Had we been given a ‘bum steer’?
The general store at Monash fed us reasonable coffee and sandwiches, and we quizzed the man about the road to Morgan.
“Oh yes,” he said, “you turn off the Sturt Highway in about 2kms, then the next 90kms to Morgan is the road the trucks going to Western Australia use”.
We stumbled out into the street to put on our helmets feeling stunned and woebegone. We didn’t need this! A road with no shoulder, on a busy truck route, and no further towns to stop at until Morgan, 90kms away. This was going to be a long, hard day.
True enough, 2kms up the road we turned off the Sturt Highway to Morgan. We rode anxiously for the first few kilometres then began to relax as fears of being overrun by trucks faded beautifully. There were hardly any trucks and we got off the road for each one in the interests of self preservation.
Along the road a bit, Rolly and his dog Max stopped after passing us in his ute, and gave us oranges off his tree. He liked stopping to help cycle tourers, he said, although he seemed disappointed we weren’t European.
The historic Overland Corner Pub was up the road a bit further, and it was lovely to look at and looked like a great place for a meal. We particularly enjoyed the descent into Overland Corner, without realising the sharp ascent that would greet us once we passed the pub!
After this, we still had about 70km to go and we trudged along, grateful for fairly minimal traffic.
After what seemed liked hours, just after 1pm and only 10kms from our day’s final destination of Morgan, it happened…a truck snuck up on us and as the Captain rapidly steered us off the road, the tandem’s front wheel hit the deep gravel (right next to the white line), and…we crashed!
No harm was done, but the Captain suggested we have a drink and something to eat in the shade of a nearby tree and the Stoker shed some tears of shock.
Half an hour later we arrived in Morgan, starving hungry, thirsty, hot, weary and ready for a sleep. Unfortunately the big biting ants in the grass kept us from an afternoon nap, but our other needs were met and we spent the rest of the afternoon doing not much!
Tomorrow we aim for Eudunda, only 60kms away, before the forecasted 44 degrees kicks into gear!
N.B. We have been having some problems putting the photos in the posts, so have published the last two days as is. We will add the photos later.