Armadale to Pinjarra 1991

Armadale to Pinjarra, day 1, Monday 21 October 1991. I took the train to Armadale railway station and left there at 10.05, with the odometer reading 21939. The 5km pegs showed that the odometer was reading about 4% low. This remained constant throughout the trip.




This road was etched into my memory with trauma after the 1978 experience, when I set out from home at 4.30 am with no hotel booking and no definite objective for the day, except to see how far I could get in one day.

In those days I was inexperienced and less fit, I had a heavy old bike and not much idea of how to maintain it properly. The headwind became stronger hourly – I later heard that it was gusting up to 38 knots, a record for a ‘sea breeze’.

I reached Pinjarra in the early afternoon, having crawled 6 km in the previous hour. I had cramp in both legs and could barely walk. The Pinjarra Hotel was booked out – unusual for a Monday. There was nowhere else to stay in the town.

I rested for a while, then rang up the old Waroona Hotel, booked a room and set off. I couldn’t ride much – it was only 24 km. but 4km south of Pinjarra, with the wind laying the grass flat, I was limping along with the bike and trying to get a lift. A man towing a horse float picked me up, I put my bike in the float among the horse poo and he dropped me off near Harvey.

The next day’s ride to Bunbury was barely manageable.

BACK TO 1991

This time I laid down a better memory. There was a light headwind, and I and the bike were much improved from 13 years before. I stopped for a drink at 21954, 21969 and 21984. There were shops (for future reference) at 21956, 21962 and 21979. The country was green and many flowers were out. Large trucks were more numerous than I remembered.

I reached Pinjarra (21995) at 1:27. The motel was about 1km south of the town centre. The radio was on, the bell was working, all the doors were open with locked flyscreens, a dog barked wildly but there were no people around. I rode back to the town centre to get some drinks and food for the next day, then went back to the motel. Still no-one. I lay on the grass beside the pool and eventually the proprietor showed up, a young pregnant woman who had been kept waiting in the doctor’s surgery. Presumably she couldn’t afford to employ someone to be around the motel all day. This is common now.

This motel was the best value for money of the trip. $40 single included the pool, all facilities, toast and cereal and fruit juice for breakfast. The pool was surrounded with small palm trees and a carefully built and maintained garden and lawn, with tables and chairs and a little wooden platform to jump off.

I looked at the town’s historic buildings and the river and the bridge. There is a suspension footbridge over the river built by army engineers as part of a walk trail. I took a pizza back to the motel for tea.

Reading at Pinjarra: 21997km. Corrected day’s ride: 60km. Speed to Pinjarra: 17.2 kph.

Charles A. Pierce

Other Days on this Tour:

  1. Armadale to Permberton Tour 1991 - The Great Loop
  2. Armadale to Pinjarra 1991
  3. Pinjarra to Harvey 1991
  4. Harvey to Donnybrook 1991
  5. Donnybrook to Bridgetown 1991
  6. Bridgetown to Kin Kin Retreat 1991
  7. Kin Kin Retreat to Pemberton 1991
  8. Pemberton to Nannup 1991
  9. Nannup to Busselton 1991
  10. Busselton to Bunbury 1991
  11. Bunbury to Mandurah 1991
  12. Mandurah to Cottesloe 1991

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