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The Nullabor Epic, aka that time Jack rode 2,800 km in the scorching heat with his dad BT in our brand new T Equipe Evo bib shorts. It’s a good story.
What is it that motivates each of us to ride? To find adventure? For fitness? The desire to push ourselves or relieve stress? Or is to experience the sort of camaraderie that comes from fellow riders? Whatever it might be, Jack Thompson knows how to get his fill of it.
Without it sounding like a cliche, his ultra-long-distance rides can certainly be classed as epic.
A recent addition as an ASSOS Ambassador, Jack embodies everything we hold dear about cycling, both philosophically and physically. His first long ride of 2018 was a major confirmation to us about how the products that we tirelessly strive to engineer have been created to allow you to ride further in more comfort. Jack and his dad BT embarked on 2,800 km across the Nullabor Plain in Australia, testing our latest T Equipe Evo bibshorts in a climate very unlike what we have at our HQ in Switzerland. It was hard at times, and even so hot that roads were melting.
Here’s how it went:
“The risk with adventure is that things will and do go wrong…the key is to minimize the impact.”
Day 1: Good first day on the pedals: 215km, 2,000m elevation. Hot conditions at 38˚C and strong headwinds (The Nullabor Curse!) Old man (BT) had some difficulties getting into the swing of it. Couple of super friendly farmers welcomed us into their home for a refuel stop about 150km in. Lifesavers–BT badly needed the sugar. Ate our weight in food at our first night stop in Kelleberin.
Day 2: Another great day on the bike, but very warm at 42˚C. Sections of the road were melting today so you had to keep your wits about which line you were taking on the road. 200km with more headwinds (love it!). Polished off 6 meat pies today and 4 ice creams. Topped the day off with a chicken parmigiana for dinner and an icy cold beer with the old man under the stars. No resupply points tomorrow — could be interesting.
Day 3: Brutal conditions today, 48.8˚C. Unfortunately we couldn’t get going until 6.30am, as the roadhouse we stayed at wouldn’t open up for breakfast. We left with 7 bottles of water each, but by 100km we were bone dry. The folk on the road here are fantastic: we had one driver drop off a bag of ice and a big box of water. Lifesaver.
Day 4: Early start this morning to take advantage of the ‘cooler’ weather, so on the road by 3.30am. All was going well until BT snapped his rear derailleur cable. Bush mechanics 101 had him back up and running (as a single speed) and we reached Norseman just as the midday heat began to set in.
Day 5: 2.30am departure. We both love riding through the night and doing so under the full moon was incredible. Long rolling hills, a light headwind and the morning sun made for beautiful riding conditions. Sublime.
Day 6: Beautiful day on the bike with cooler conditions and a light headwind. We hit ‘Australia’s Longest Straight Road’ at the 30km mark and punted on for 150 km in a dead straight line. Would have been unreal with a tailwind!! Quick food stop at Caiguna before the final 60km on towards Cocklebiddy.
Day 7: Wind, wind, wind…in the wrong direction too! Howling 30 km/hr from the East, which resulted in a tough 220km. BT was not loving life today, fatigued from yesterday’s 246 km. A good night’s rest is needed.
Day 8: Shorter ‘recovery’ day today at 120 km. Enjoyed a sleep-in until 5.30am before eating our weight in cereal and departing from Mundrabilla en route for the State Border. Enter the new time zone tomorrow. Big country. We’ll depart from State Border at midnight (local time) towards the Nullabor Roadhouse.
Day 9: Midnight departure in an attempt to beat the wind but unfortunately it appears we’re destined for strong headwinds! Rolling along the coast we caught glimpses of the ocean and the crashing waves along the cliffs of the Great Australian Bight. Now well and truly in the thick of the Nullabor with large expanses of ‘tree-less’ plains. Having a blast
Day 10: Great start to the day with calm conditions for the first 145 km. The rolling terrain between the Nullabor and Nundro was a welcome change. A smoking car engine and a crowd of native Aborigines on the roadside in the wee hours of the morning caught us by surprise as we were still half asleep!
Day 11: Both us boys were a little dusty when the alarm went off at 2am this morning… A box of cereal each and we were on the road by 3am. With thunderstorms in the hinterland, the roads were lit up with lightening and loud thunder bellowed from above. 250 km later we arrived in Minnipa, a small farming town 30 km further up the road then planned. Locals told us that the Chicken Schnitzel in Minnipa is the best going around and so we figured we’d be up for testing this local offering!
Day 12: Awoke to rain and strong winds from the right direction. I donned the Sturmprinz rain jacket and hit the road. I don’t believe a better jacket can exist. Rolling terrain was the flavor of the day and we reached Kimba by 2pm.
Day 13: What a day. 160 km from Kimba to Port Augusta, blue skies, a cool morning and a howling tailwind. Rolling terrain for the first 80km before hitting the flat plains in the lead in to Port Augusta. 34 km/hr for 160 km had BT smiling from ear to ear.
Day 14: Toughest day yet. Awoke to a 40 km/hr block headwind and battled into it for 10 hours straight. The AIRhub made for a seriously tough ride and BT battled right through to the end. Super impressive ride by him on really poor roads, which made it difficult for him to hide from the wind on my wheel. In a way, a little sad it’s almost over.
Final Day: Great day. 85 km to the outskirts of Adelaide for a snack and a coffee before we tapped into Adelaide and enjoyed the welcome from ASSOS Australia, Bicycle Express, our friends and supporters. The beers are flowing and we’re about to tuck into a rump steak before we wander up the road to watch the local criterium series. Brilliant two weeks on the bike with the old man helping him to realize his around the world circumnavigation. Memories to last a lifetime.
Thanks Jack. We’re looking forward to more of the same. Share your stories with us on our instagram under #MyShortsMyRide
Jack was riding in —
T.Equipe Evo shorts ProfBlack edition
Equipe Jersey Evo8
NS skinFoil hot summer
Monogram EVO8 socks