Category Archives: misc

Visiting The Sydney Lab

sydney-lab

BVT = Bicycle Velocity Tracker / Butt Verification Tour

My colleagues in the Sydney Lab have established a live tracking system and dashboard displaying my progress towards Sydney. The BVT column indicates 100% completion of my bicycle tour on the 19th.
Note: Even on the 18th they already knew I am going to make it to the finish line! Winking smile

- With Laurence, Matt, Will, Chris, Graham and students

Victoria’s Secrets

As we are currently riding through the State of Victoria in Australia it wasn’t for long that we were searching to uncover the secrets of Victoria, also known as Victoria’s Secrets.

This morning we were surprised to find 3 remarkable ‘Top Models’ in our camp. Obviously TdA managed to get us some of Victoria’s secret models (not to be mistaken with Victoria’s Secret Models).

The secret models are usually those, who are no longer eligible for the Catwalk, and hidden from public in a dark room, only released for very special services.

Source: Wikileaks 2014

dish-duty-beautiesDish Duty Beauties

The 3 immediately proved their real qualities and are now on dish duty for the remaining days of the trip.

DSC_0742_01    DSC_0741_01    DSC_0739_01

Dry Weather Road Only!

DSC_0622_01You often find this kind of road sign in South Australia.

Why do you think a road in some parts of Australia is only passable during the dry season and not recommended to be used, once it has rained? 

Sure, the road might be flooded, but most 4×4 can run though it, if not too deep. Usually there are depth marker in flood areas, which indicated the water level. So there must be some other reason.

Well, it was all dry when I cycled passed it, thus I could not check it myself.

DSC_0551_01_01However the following road sign, which I saw soon after, may explain why it is dangerous to enter the road in the rainy season!

Can you see from what the motorists are being warned?hammerheadSo better don’t leave the car, when you get stuck in water on a flooded road  Winking smile

“Er hat einen Vogel”

DSC_0451_02Yesterday I stopped at a nature resort between Apollo Bay and Torquay. It was supposed to be a Coke Stop at the ‘Koala Café’. As the name suggested, there must be some of my friends. Thus I never got a Coke, but turned instead to the other side of the road and into the caravan park. There were many parrots of different kind and colors, cockatoos and some of my koala friends around. So I picked my camera to take photos, when all of a sudden I felt something lDSC_0388_01touched down on my helmet. I turned the camera around to take a selfie and I found this ‘Kings Parrot’ wrestling with my tarantula, which lost an eye in the unequal battle, but continued to stay attached and the bird left into the trees to meet its companions and talk about the ‘bad food’ I carry.

Koala and Parrots

Feels like Home

The day out of Adelaide I cycled through the town of ‘Hahndorf’, an old German settlement founded in 1838.

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Hahndorf is classified as Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement and each year thousands of people, young and old, enjoy its charm and the hospitality.  Hahndorf is the jewel of the Adelaide Hills and one of South Australia’s most popular towns.

It was as being back to home. German and Bavarian flags, Hofbräu Bier, roads and buildings like in the old days at home. I stopped to take some photos for my German friends & for a special Bavarian friend with wife, who may now regret that they did not come to visit me on this tour, like they did in 2008, when they traveled to South Africa, to meet me in Cape Town. I went to Otto’s Bakery, 3-DSC_01464-DSC_01511-DSC_01408-DSC_01606-DSC_01557-DSC_0157to see if I could get a Brezel, but was immediately sure, it wasn’t a German baker at work anymore, when I saw the display of breads and cakes in the shop. However I got an ‘apple swirl’ (Apfelschnecke), which I saved for a later breakfast in the fields.2-DSC_01445-DSC_0153 The French seem to invade this territory, too. However in a friendly manner, how else could a Brasserie and the Hofbräuhaus go together?!

Tailwind? Negative!

Did you ever ask yourself why you always have to ride into the blowing headwind on Trans-Oceania and there is never a day without wind?

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Take a closer look at the road signs and you will find the answer:

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TdA runs his own Wind Farm. However, instead of ‘harvesting’ wind to generate electricity, their great Chief Wind Engineer (CWE)  Cristiano W.  reverse-engineered the turbines and turned them into big blowers. The proof of concept phase is now finished and the system can go into full deployment around the globe to ‘enrich’ any TdA tour.

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iWind

The new iSomething application. With a little extra technical effort the CWE can now turn the blades (from any place in the world) into the perfect direction to ensure you will always face the wind, no matter in which direction you turn your bicycle.1-G0677146

Cristiano demonstrating the tool to Andreas, the tour director in Australia. They both seem to really enjoy this new torturing tool!

7 Epics Promotion Video

The 7epics promotion video, featuring Brett has been published on YouTube.

7epics promotion

A nice introduction to the 7epics. the idea behind it, his motivation, by fellow Trans-Oceania cyclist Brett Lanham combined with an assembly of video footage and photos from the current Trans-Oceania tour, past Tour d’Afrique and other TdA epic tours.

Sharing Roads

Cycling on the Stuart Highway in the Northern Territory is quite an experience. Not only the heat and wind can make your day and cycling a challenge, but also the so-called Road Trains, some longer as 50 meters and with up to  3 trailers. Definitely not easy to drive and handle.  So far most of the drivers were very respectful with us and passed us in a safe distance. Nevertheless, one must be awake all day and listen to the approaching trucks to not be too surprised, of the roaring sound that would take you out of your day dreams.

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It is also very important to stay as far left as possible and don’t make unexpected moves, as there is almost no way for the drivers to correct any errors. A too fast change of directions would cause the trailers to swing out wide and bounce for a while, if not completely getting out of control and knocking you and the truck off the road.

The 6th Island Bracelet

I finally received my 6th Island bracelet, to complete the set of bracelets from each of the islands we have cycled so far – Sumatra, Java, Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa and Flores .DSC_6441 It was hard work; I had to climb 6646m from sea level (Labuan Bajo) to sea level (Ende) to complete my mission! In Ende I eventually went out with Gerald to inspect the top attraction of the town, a small, battery powered, portable carousel with two young kids riding proud their carts.  On the way back we stopped at a small shop with all kind of ‘Chinese jewelry’ and lots of wooden statues, batik and other  things. There were a few items, that looked nice and different than the Chinese ‘plastic art’. Nobody was in the shop so we called for assistance. Two young girls were obviously attractedbracelet by the strange male voices and came over from the associated house. Very shy they entered the shop to find us two. A few words exchanged and I was ‘engaged’ with Sri, when sheDSC_6450 tied the bracelet to my wrist, amusedly watched by her friend Isra. To me it is always a surprise how relaxed and open minded everything is in this country and how easy you make contact and friends. A few words Bahasa Indonesia combined with English and all doors are wide open. After a final group photo Gerald and I were back out into the darkness to return to our hotel.