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It breaks the heart to think of all the green room opportunity we’re going to miss today.

Start – Stop: Sydney – Wollongong

Distance: 64.6 mi.

Elevation Gain: 2441 ft.

Riding Time: 5:04:32

Time Awake Spent in Pursuit of The Trip, Roughly: 8:00:00

Weather: T-shirt sunny in Sydney then blustery rain showers as we approached Wollongong, it got cold.

Day 01 Points of Interest & Objectives

  1. Ride the Princes Highway from Sydney to Wollongong.
  2. Eat a nifty little breakfast with a healthy dose of coffee.
  3. Take photos of and with the unbelievably picturesque Sydney Opera House.
  4. Enjoy the serenity of the Royal National Park.
  5. Find lodging in Wollongong.

A Brief Timeline of Our Ride to Wollongong*

  1. 8:00am: Meet Lachlan. He sets up his bike with a plumb bob and everything. He shoves a pair of running shoes and an extra shirt into his fanny pack. Boy knows how to pack.
  2. 8:01am: The weather in Sydney is #BeachPerfect. It breaks the heart to just think of all the green room opportunity we’re going to miss today… or are we?
  3. 9:05am: Breakfast at Brown Sugar with Greg and Stevan. Trip-Hop, Eggs, and Amusement.
  4. 10:17am: Apparently the Sydney Harbour Bridge is more famous than the Sydney Opera House. At least that’s what we were told. If you ask me it looks like a bridge while that opera house looks like a regatta or a battle tortoise or stack of toe nail clippings.
  5. 10:55am: We stopped by Greg’s shop, Wheelhaus Bicycle Boutique, and had a Coke.
  6. 11:00am: To the best of our knowledge we had entered Sydney’s Industrial Sprawl.
  7. 11:05am: Stevan & Greg were surging, maybe it was because they were fitter than us, maybe it was because they knew the terrain—or maybe it was because they weren’t damaged by jetleg and carrying an additional forty pounds? The best possible answer is that they were Fartlek Training and just trying to do right by their regimens.
  8. 11:47am: We are decidedly on the Princes Highway. The Princes Highway is decidedly a highway.
  9. 12:45pm: The first of what will be many, many roadside convenience store stops. Popsicles are the out and out favorite among the Normcore crew at this stop.
  10. 2:07pm: Dropping into the Royal National Park on a road colloquially known as “Waterfall”. The locals tell us it’s here, where the riding gets good and relatively traffic-free, that most group rides turn around. Which is to say they just want to ride in the industrial wastelands. Which is to say they are savages.
  11. 2:08pm to 1:45pm: Insanely pleasant riding on quiet roads in the Royal National Park. It was jungle raining but so what!
  12. 2:47pm: A small mechanical forces us to really appreciate a vista over the South Pacific.
  13. 3:10pm: Stop into a cafe on the coast for a middy11Midday beer, typically 10oz/285ml or some coffee. They’re closed for the afternoon.
  14. 3:45pm: Stop at a the RSL Club in Coledale and doff our caps. Engage in some light flirtation with a saucy cadre of local cougars.
  15. 4:15pm: Make a brief pit stop at a bike shop to finalize repairs. Nothing doing.
  16. 4:16pm: Bid Farewell to Greg & Stevan, they’ll be catching the train back to Sydney.
  17. 4:17pm: It’s still raining.
  18. 4:18pm: We’re back on Princes Highway, it’s still a highway and has all that highway stuff, but sometimes it’s by the coast which is cool.
  19. 5:04pm to 5:55pm: Turns out that there is both a Judo Tournament and and Tennis Competition happening in Wollongong this weekend and the town is booked, like really booked.
  20. 5:04pm to 5:55pm: It’s raining and starting to get dark. We’re huddled around Lachlan’s phone on a sidewalk in Wollongong.
  21. 5:56pm: The Wollongong Surf Leisure Resort has room for us!!!!
  22. 6:46pm: Order delivery from Manjit’s. If you find yourself in Wollongong do your body a favor and eat at Manjit’s.
  23. 7:15pm to Z:ZZpm: Eat Manjit’s, watch TV, pass out.

Communication is a KEY component to an effective and efficient investigation of a culture. In order to 1) understand what people are saying, 2) fit in, 3) keep your foot out of your mouth [You won’t make the mistake of telling your wife you’re looking forward to sharing a coupla sluzzas with friends after dinner because you assumed a sluzza was a mixed ice drink not unlike a blended margarita.], and 4) demonstrate respect via a willingness and excitement to learn, Yonder Journal collaborated with a team of Australian Linguists and Cultural Anthropologists to create an interactive glossary module of common expressions. Especially those which we’d be likely to hear and/or use in the context of a Normcore Bicycle Tour in the Australian In-and-Outback.

SERVO: gas station

BONZER: remarkable

PUTTING ON THE DISH LICKERS: betting on dogs in a dog race.

UTE MUSTER: an Australian festival which brings together large numbers of utes and their owners.

UTE: a car/pickup truck hybrid, sort of like a Subaru Brat or El Camino but not quite; short for utility vehicle.

B&S BALL: redneck prom.

Sydney

The concierge at Ravesi’s wanted our Koala Amulet. Sorry lady, we know they’re cute but they’re not for sale. Or are they..?
Beards, who wore it better: Stevan (L) or Kyle (R)? Send your vote to holler@yonderjournal.com!
Greg Chalberg practicing to become what the world would call a “lensman”.
Blue Room… who's heard of the blue room? Oh hey look that fantastic toenail clipping building—and WOW, what a bridge!!!
Lachlan is a pro, isn't it obvious? Just look at this image. All the amateurs have their feet on the ground, but not Lachy. Pros don’t fux with that tripod game.

Depressing Industrial Ride

This is a Carla. She owns six condos in a beachfront complex in South Sydney and she’s recently taken up collecting curios. She has two Cocker Spaniels: one named Trixie the other named Flinga (because she flings spit in every direction when she’s excited). Carla is recently divorced from a man whose name she’d prefer not to say. For the past 12 years she’s been battling a particularly virulent strain of toenail fungus she picked up while vacationing in Bali. She won’t wear open-toed shoes and she thinks having tennis shoes on at the beach is a major reason she hasn’t been able to meet a new man.
Foxes are a menace in Australia and in addition to that it seems that they have yet to really get a hang of the whole “playing in traffic” thing.
Hey, Kevin Franks is a boss. Not just a boss back in the States in real life, he’s actually a boss in Australia on vacation. Here he is making deals, calling shots and coordinating assets on the side of a highway in the middle of a ride just before we drop into “Waterfall.”

The Royal National Park

It wouldn’t be a Dead Reckoning adventure with out a little shake-up on the first day. It was only a slight bummer (in the end we found a solution), and looking back this was a great team-building experience. Just look at that Koala, does he seem worried?
You’ve got to watch out for the sun down here, especially if you have pale skin. Gingers beware. #SlipSlopSlap
I haven’t done any research on these pools built into the landscape, but I reckon they're designed to trap tiger sharks for training purposes. They must be for locals to get into a controlled and known environment where they can familiarize themselves with nuances of the tiger shark's predatory movements before graduating to the tiger’s natural environment, the ocean.
Sunset, anytime.
This is what the Diverge is all about, its about re-imagining what can be done on a road bike. Grass? ✓

Wollongong

Would yah look at this Don right here?
Marshmallow-flavored Tevas with that Red Hots trim.
We called Manjit's with pangs of hunger running through our bodies. We needed to eat and when the ordering was done the tally included seven curries, four sides of rice, two tandoori chickens, and like three or four other things. We asked the lady at the other end of the line, "Hey do you think that’s enough for four people?" To which she said, 'You’ve ordered seven curries sir?" We didn’t need the guff but maybe she was right, maybe we were ordering too much.
In the end we finished it all, even all of the rice. We weren’t out to prove anything, it wasn’t like we going to call up Manjit’s and say, “Hey just so you know, like an FYI, we finished all seven of those curries, and we finished all the other shit too, so maybe you should stop it with the haughty attitude. But please don’t stop what you’re doing to those curries!"
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