Seized by a sudden desire for adventure, I decided to pedal ‘Pubtruck’, my faithful pushbike, to Tannum Sands. I told Long Suffering Wife, who immediately phoned the Merry Widow Life Insurance Agency and increased my policy.
I set off for the beach, hoping to enjoy a feed of fish and chips (and possibly an ice block), before pedalling home again. Twenty terrifying minutes later, I was whimpering as cars and 4WD’s flew past with millimetres to spare, even though I was riding on the dirt verge. Several unintentional, and alarming, forays were made into the long grass as trucks hurtled by.
The road widened slightly on the downhill run to the 11 Mile Creek, and just as I was finally picking up some speed, my rear tyre went flat. Pulling up before the bridge, I flipped Pubtruck over and discovered that a piece of wire had pierced the tyre wall, and punctured the tube in four places. Opening my repair kit I was underwhelmed to see three small patches. Marvellous.
I managed to stretch them over the holes, and breathed a sigh of relief when the tyre stayed inflated. I was soon back on the road, and could just about taste those fish and chips when the tyre went flat again. This time it was a rusty screw. I was up the 11 Mile Creek without a patch.
Spying a road gang in the distance I waddled onwards, and as I neared them, some wag yelled out, “Didja lose a bet mate?!” When they grew tired of making fun of me, one of them kindly loaned me his phone, and Long Suffering Wife came winging to my rescue.
Keen to try again, I asked Long Suffering Wife to follow me in the car, like they do on the Tour de France, but she refused outright. I thought this was a bit inconsiderate of her! Honestly, how hard could it be holding back fifteen kilometres of infuriated motorists, while I happily pedalled down the road, indifferent to the pandemonium behind me?
So, the Tannum road remains unconquered by Pubtruck and I, as the call of the wild has been temporarily put on hold. But it’s still on my list of things to do, because not only is it good for me to get out of my comfort zone occasionally, it’s also given me a deeper appreciation for the term, ‘Death by Misadventure’.