Munda Biddi – we have done months of obsessive preparation. We have painstakingly researched every piece of equipment available in the known universe, and thoughtfully purchased gear that we never knew would be so essential to our very survival, but has been languishing in the commercial world just waiting for our fit of conspicuous consumption. We have formed lasting bonds with the many retailers who have shown such great interest in our venture, going above and beyond expectations to lay before us equipment that is irresistibly critical to our comfort and safety.
And we have lovingly constructed (apart from the “ah-shit” moments) gear that the universe has never seen before. For weeks, our home has been filled with the gentle whirring of the sewing machine, and the snipping of scissors, and the off-cuts and cottons and pins and bits of stuffing, and the bits that look like rubbish but you can’t throw out yet. We comfort ourselves each day in a blanket of lists, safe in the knowledge that each task is itemised, organised, allocated and scheduled, before being recorded multiple times on various bits of scrap envelope and pinned on the fridge.
We have exhaustively consumed every written word about the Munda Biddi trail, knowing that each fragment of information gained prior to this epic could be vital to the success of our venture. We have scanned maps, plotted courses, programmed the GPS, notified the authorities and packed enough breadcrumbs to leave a trail that a herd of seagulls could follow to Mars and back.
We have examined in minute detail the intricate workings of our metabolic beings, selecting with great care our daily sustenance. This sustenance has been prepared, preserved and packaged with meticulous attention to our every nutritional need. Each mouth-watering parcel has been duly collated into its correct weekly bundle, sorted and labelled, before winging its way independently to its final destination, where it will await our hungry arrival.
Each piece of gear has been thoroughly field tested, with valuable learning occurring at every step. We have learned that a waterproof camera isn’t always, and no-tear-um trousers sometimes do, and rechargeable batteries sometimes don’t. And that the precious budgetary resources of our National Parks Department weren’t being flagrantly wasted on those signs warning about white tailed rats that eat through cooking utensils. We have rehearsed every aspect of our functioning until we can move through our daily routine (sleep, eat, pack, ride, eat, ride, unpack, eat, sleep, repeat) with drilled precision.
Every step of our path has been pre-ordained with the order of operations programmed to run like clockwork – from the airport parking, to the plane, to the hire car, to the B&B and to the trail. And just a small matter of 1000km or so of pedalling before this clockwork operation reverses its orbit to see us return safely home.
And the Munda Biddi – 20 days of pedalling on mountain bikes that shine with the newness of servicing and the replacement of most moving parts. We marked their dismantling and solemn placement into their travelling cartons with a dignified re-naming ceremony, confident in the knowledge that “Donquita” and “Pokey” will be prepared for their weeks of journeying in body and soul.
Our preparations have filled the hearts and minds of our friends with joy, and they have listened intently to our plans and preparations. And listened, and listened, and…… are anxiously awaiting the celebration of silence that will accompany our long-awaited departure.
Munda Biddi – we are ready. (19 August 2016)