Le Tour de Food!

This is the third story is a series about my first overnight bicycle tour. This tour, which revealed the delights of Billinudgel’s bushy belly and the dilemma of tour planning, is now affectionately remembered as Le Tour de Food!

We might have travelled slowly, but there was no risk of us running out of food.

We carried vegemite and cheese sandwiches made on sourdough bread, bananas, a tube of vegemite, chocolate coated sweets called Wallaby bites, cut carrots, blueberries and a block of dark chocolate.  We each carried a thermos of green tea, which was excellent for staying hydrated and I transported a neatly packaged, brick-shaped (and almost brick weight) Pecan and Date Loaf lovingly baked by Jane.

Added to that were clothes, shoes, toiletries and a first aid kit. With both panniers full to the brim, I wondered how we’d manage if we had to carry camping equipment as well!

But of course, this was the first tour. And we designed it to be an easy ‘first try’ at bicycle touring. For this first trip, we were ‘plastic card’ tourers, staying two nights in a comfortable apartment by the Brunswick River. If it rained, it didn’t matter. We had a clean, dry place as our destination.

At 63kms (39 miles), this was the longest ride I’d attempted. About nine years earlier I rode with a Sunday morning cycling group and clocked the occasional 60km ride. But that was on a flat bar road bike and I was nine years younger. In March 2015, I rode 45kms with my brother through the canefields on my touring bike but completely free of any luggage. Even during my year of cycling through the seasons in 2014-2015, most of my longer journeys had been around 20 to 30kms and usually not with a full load.

Mentally I’d divided the trip into three main sections each of roughly 20kms:

  1. Currumbin to Kingscliff,
  2. Kingscliff to Pottsville, and finally
  3. Pottsville to Brunswick Heads.

This helped me stay focused on where I was, and allowed me to acknowledge what I’d completed and what I still had to ride. It’s like that well-worn management quip of: ‘how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.’ It’s might be overused but it works.

So while my mind was taking the trip in bite size pieces, my stomach was too. Snack by snack we rode our way through each leg of the journey.

I know we carried far too much food. It wasn’t like we were going into the wilderness or away from access to shops for long lengths of time, but somehow the carrying of food, despite its weight, gave me some comfort. It meant that if I needed refuelling, at any time, I could simply pull over and eat! And that would keep my wheels turning.

Viva la Tour de Food!


20160104 1 ready to leave IMG_0970

Panniers filled to the brim!

20160104 3 Cabarita headland IMG_1033

View north from Cabarita Headland between Kingscliff and Pottsville.

20160104 5 wooyung watch for bikes IMG_1057

The Wooyung stretch – flat, hot and fast, but considerate, cars.

20160104 New Brighton snack IMG_1117

New Brighton snack spot with a beach view – see next photo.

20160104 17 new brighton IMG_1109

New Brighton beach – with rain looming.

20160104 20 signpost IMG_1137

Arriving at Brunswick Heads – just before the rain fell.

20160106 Bruns river IMG_1207

Brunswick River on our return trip under sunny skies.

20160106 Pottsville general store IMG_1266

Snack spot #424 – The Pottsville General Store.

20160106 swim at Cudgen IMG_1291

Gorgeous Cudgen Creek at Kingscliff for a SwimSnack Combo 🙂

20160106 home again IMG_1305

Viva la Tour de Food!

23 Comments on “Le Tour de Food!

  1. lovely to see these with sunshine!! sadly lacking in our part of the world. I always have plenty of food as you never know when you will need it – even to give away

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Gail. So pleased you are venturing a little further in your rides enjoying the beautiful scenery en route. Gail instead of taking the grocery store with you for snacks you may want to try Endura sports energy gel . A instant and sustained energy source. Good boost when needed to get you through. Enjoy the rides. Bevan .

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a good idea Bevan. I’ve heard those energy gels are great for refuelling during a ride. They’re light to carry and energy packed. I’ve seen them at the bike shop so I’ll add some to my kit for the next adventure. Now I think about it, they’re probably good just to have on board anytime really.
      Good riding to you to! 🙂


  3. Gosh Gail, I hadn’t thought about the planning that had to go into this trip. Throw out the clothes – more food! You certainly went well prepared for a wonderful adventure.
    I love the photos too. It made me feel a vicarious satisfaction for a trip well executed! And much enjoyed judging by your lovely smile.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thanks for making me hungry again. I was just about to go to bed! 🙂 Sounds like a wonderful trip, Gail. I’m with you on bringing more food than necessary – on a walk or ride. It’s a great motivator to keep going further when you know you’ve got plenty of munchies to keep you refueled. My personal preference is for relaxed pace rather than race speed and yummy snack breaks mean it stays that way. 😉 Like you and Dayna, I’m a wallaby bite fan too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right, there’s something about having plenty of food that makes the trip – be it cycling or walking – more enjoyable. It keeps the pace slow and makes you stop to take in what’s there rather than it whizzing by. Taking photographs does that too – as you’d know. Glad to hear you’re a Wallaby Bite fan too Jane 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

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