Mar 14, 2016

I’m now back from my cycling trip around the Mudgee and Gulgong region. I would normally have done a bit of a sprint session this morning, but thought the better of it after a minor crash on the bike on Saturday afternoon.

There had been a rain shower after a period of drought, which always makes for a very slippery road. And then, as I turned right at a round-about that was cambered badly the wrong way, I suddenly found myself sliding along the road on my elbow and hip. I lost a bit of skin here and there, but nothing too worrying. The main thing, however, was the bruising on the point of my elbow, and especially on the point of my femur near the hip. I can still run, but it’s quite sore, so I decided I’d take it easier today.

It will be another lower mileage week, as I have to go to Tasmania tomorrow for a couple of days of meetings, preventing me from doing too much running. However, I will certainly be out on the road for some running while I’m down there. I always love running in Tasmania.

Here’s a photo of me running down a hill toward the town of Avila in Spain. It’s an old walled town, but it’s hard to see the wall nowadays, with so much industry and residential suburbs set up around it.




On This Day


Mar 14, 2012

Distance today = 49.23 km; Total distance = 3465.17 km; Location = Phoenix (Peoria), Arizona – 33 38.272′ N, 112 14.485′ W; Start time = 0853, Finish time = 1607


I am writing this blog after returning from a stunning dinner at Walter’s. A very big thank you to he and wife Nancy, along with Tania and Neng and the kids for a great evening – both for the company and the food.

Today I ran into the outskirts of Phoenix along the road from Wickenburg. Around the 15 km mark I noticed how there were no cars approaching me on my side of the highway. I even started running down the middle of the north bound side of the divided road. A few kms later I realised why. There was a serious road accident ahead and the police had blocked all traffic in that direction. I noticed helicopters departing just before I reached the accident.

I passed the accident – a car and an RV had collided and the RV had rolled. I ran on ahead for about 100 metres to the point where the police had stopped the traffic.A person had been killed. The Highway Patrol guys said the injured had been airlifted to hospital and the investigation was underway. They expected to re-open one lane “soon”.

I then ran on, past all the stopped cars and trucks. People were milling around, standing, sitting, even lying down. It reminded me of REM’s video clip for Everybody Hurts. And suddenly I had become “the messenger”. I spent the next while stopping and filling people in on what had occurred up ahead of them. Many of them were too far back to know anything about it. The queue was about 3 km long. I took some video of me running through the procession of stationary cars, but refrained from filming individuals. This video should be up soon, but sorry about the apparent “poor filming” when I was talking to the motorists. I felt it would have been poor form to be pointing a camera in people’s faces at a time like that.

I made it into town with 49 km under my belt, feeling very thirsty. The dehydration creeps up on you in such a dry climate. I am going to have to drink more fluids during the day.


Mar 14, 2013

Distance today = 50.57 km; Total distance = 17,925.50 km; Location = Prisse, France – 46 19.287′ N, 04 44.676′ E; Start time = 0839, Finish time = 1705


This was possibly the coldest day of the world run so far. I have felt colder at times, but that was because I was wet. Today it was simply cold. My Garmin, with the benefit of being cradled in my hand, still recorded a temperature of minus 1.2 C. The air temperature must have been at least five degrees lower. I’m glad I had gloves on, or I would have suffered frostbitten fingers.

It was a tough day, but not really because of the cold. It was because of the bone-chilling headwind, which I reckon slowed my pace by ten per cent or more. It was also a weird day of weather. The afternoon entailed the equivalent of sun showers, but with snow. One moment there was a blizzard, and ten minutes later there was bright sunshine and the conditions were very pleasant. This sequence repeated itself several times.

A highlight of the day was passing Chez Marie, a B&B we stayed at in 2007 and 2009. Marie, the host, recognized Carmel as soon as she saw her, exclaiming “Australie”! I only stopped in briefly, but Carmel stayed for about an hour. The two of them have never been able to communicate via their respective languages, but have always gotten along famously, regardless.

I then crossed the Saone River, which later joins the Rhone. Both rivers are about the same width until they merge. It was flowing very swiftly after the recent snow.

Another high point of the day was watching the passing TGVs. Just before Chez Marie, I stopped on a bridge where we watched TGVs passing when we were cycling in previous years. It’s amazing to see them passing at 300 km per hour – some of the fastest trains in the world. I also saw many of them later in the day, and I will tomorrow too.

I was pleased to finish the day and get out of the wind. It was coming from the north, and I can vouch for all they say about “that old north wind”. It’s brutal!!!

We are at a cafe using their internet to upload this information. Our hotel didn’t know their own password.