Ditch plans and ped­dle

Tour de Cen­tral Queens­land: Kin­garoy to Glad­stone bike ride

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Emily Smith emily.smith@cnbtimes.com.au

TROY Kip­pen doesn’t worry about signs.

Signs of rain, 40 de­gree heat and the 11 warn­ing signs that mark the de­scent down the Dawes Range all failed to de­ter the Cen­tral and North Bur­nett Times as­sis­tant ed­i­tor on his bi­cy­cle jour­ney from Kin­garoy to Glad­stone.

“I don’t plan. If you only think about all the trou­bles you are go­ing to have, you’ll miss out,” he said.

Mr Kip­pen started the mam­moth jour­ney with a 120km slog from Kin­garoy to Ban Ban Springs last Wed­nes­day.

But he soon found the three litres of wa­ter he packed wasn’t go­ing to be enough to sur­vive in the 40 de­gree heat.

“I didn’t think I was go­ing to make it. I was so de­hy­drated that I stopped sweat­ing and started over­heat­ing,” he said.

“I knew I was in a bit of trou­ble, so I took off my t-shirt and soaked it in some wa­ter in a ditch by the road. I tried to look for clearer wa­ter. Then I squeezed it out and drunk that.

“I would sug­gest no one does that.”

But the drink was enough to push him along the last 20km to Ban Ban Springs.

The next morn­ing the ex­hausted jour­nal­ist only rode 30km be­fore hitch­ing a lift through Biggen­den, Mun­dub­bera and up to Monto with fel­low Cen­tral and North Bur­nett Times staff.

But that was when the heavens opened up, cut­ting off all ac­cess from Monto to Glad­stone for three days.

“I ac­tu­ally liked see­ing just how much rain­fall can change a com­mu­nity,” Mr Kip­pen said.

“Rain lifts spir­its. Peo­ple were chatty and happy when you saw them in the shops.

“And I think by the Sun­day morn­ing in Monto I had fi­nally re­cov­ered from the first day. I was a bit sick on Satur­day, after drink­ing that ditch wa­ter.”

But the fi­nal stint on the bike on Sun­day still had its chal­lenges.

Mr Kip­pen pulled into Many Peaks pub in the early af­ter­noon, only to find the pub­li­cans were go­ing away for the night and he couldn’t stay there.

“I was ex­hausted. Dur­ing the last 20km to Glad­stone I was so tired that I couldn’t pedal any­more, and a guy pulled over and gave me a lift,” he said.

He also lost his front brakes and had to push the bike over a cou­ple of flooded creeks.

“When it gets tough like that you just have to re­alise you are still mov­ing, you’re still knock­ing off kilo­me­tres,” he said.

He pulled into Glad­stone on Sun­day in time for din­ner with for­mer Cen­tral and North Bur­nett Times ed­i­tor Rowan Hun­nam.

“I wouldn’t do the trip again and I’ve got no plans in the near fu­ture for long dis­tance rides,” he said.

“But I’m happy I did it.”


ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Cen­tral and North Bur­nett Times as­sis­tant ed­i­tor Troy Kip­pen and his bike.

Troy Kip­pen made it through to Glad­stone by bike.

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