Kelmscott to Pinjarra 1996

Kelmscott to Pinjarra, day 1, Tuesday 15 October 1996. I left Kelmscott at 7.12 on a cool morning with very light southerly winds. The odometer read 864.7. This was to be the first ride using the new ‘cyclocomputer’ that works through magnetic pulses from sensors on the fork and spoke of the front wheel – no contact, nothing to get worn or broken, only a battery to go flat eventually.



I rested and took a drink at 882. At 892 I stopped at a shop to buy a bottle of the new, rich chocolate milk, that I hadn’t seen before. I was to have many of these during the ride. I stopped again and drank this at 898.

A headwind was developing but I and the bike were in fine form and this first day seemed very easy. I rested again at 915 and reached the Pinjarra Motel at 927.7, at 10.50. The 5km pegs showed that the odometer was reading about 1-2% high. This remained constant throughout the trip and I didn’t make corrections for it, since it wasn’t enough to cause errors. Calibrating the odometer is an important first-day job. By the end of the ride, there would have been about 10-15 km on it that weren’t really travelled – about 1 km a day.

I turned into the wide motel entrance, dismounted and was immediately set upon by two dogs. I kicked at them and yelled at them to get away. I am always a bit irritable when I have just finished a long ride. The woman came out and told me that that was the worst thing I could do with a dog. I retorted that it wasn’t up to me to do the right thing with the dog, I didn’t have to cope with dogs at all. It was her job to keep the dogs under control. She chased them into the back of the office and I paid and filled in the register without any further discussion about dogs.

After this testy beginning we strove to be nice to each other as she showed me my unit and got me my milk, cereal and bread for the next morning.

I wrote about this motel in 1991. It was just as good in 1996, and the price was the same, so I am now inserting, unchanged, my paragraph describing it, written five years ago. What a contrast to the eighties, when in so many cases, rapid deterioration went hand-in-hand with rapid price escalation.

“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.”

Of course, in five years the palm trees had grown and other trees had also been put in place, making a nice cool glade.

There was also a line and pegs to hang washing on. On a ride, I wash my riding clothes every day and my evening clothes whenever I get the chance.

I used the bike to go shopping and get a cheese sausage and a sausage roll for lunch and ate them in the unit before having a sleep. This greasy lunch was to cause indigestion later. I was more careful about lunch on subsequent days. While shopping at Foodland I bought three packets of dried pasta foods because they were on special and I would need them at Nyamup. They would add a little extra bulk to the luggage but didn’t weigh much, being entirely dry and needing to be cooked with water and milk.

I went for a walk back through the town, along the river and over the footbridge. I took a Chinese take-away meal back to the motel for tea. The southwesterly was now quite fresh and my clothes were dry.

Final reading at Pinjarra: 930.8km. Day’s ride: 66km. Speed to Pinjarra: 17.4 kph (1991: 17.2 kph).

Charles A. Pierce

Other Days on this Tour:

  1. Kelmscott to Rocky Gully Tour 1996
  2. Kelmscott to Pinjarra 1996
  3. Pinjarra to Harvey 1996
  4. Harvey to Donnybrook 1996
  5. Donnybrook to Bridgetown 1996
  6. Bridgetown to Nyamup 1996
  7. Nyamup to Rocky Gully 1996
  8. Rocky Gully to Kojonup 1996
  9. Kojonup to Boscabel 1996
  10. Boscabel to Darkan 1996
  11. Darkan to Collie 1996
  12. Collie to Waroona 1996
  13. Waroona to Mandurah 1996
  14. Mandurah to Cottesloe 1996

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