Day 51 | off to Melrose: brings back some childhood memories

47 km | Heading west total: 1,979 km

With 650,000 words in the English language it’s remarkable how some words have considerably more resonance to us than others.

Melrose is one for me, and not from Melrose Place, that 1990s TV show.

Playing around Melrose House, prerenovation days when the large house was semi-derelict, when we lived just up the hill in Melrose Terrace, or, later, wagging church there along with a dozen others as a boarder at Nelson College (before I realised that I didn’t even need to go that far). Then, of course, it appears in the last scene in the film The Piano, just after the final words ‘Let’s go to Nelson, things will be so much better there’, or the words to that effect that traumatised me so much I didn’t go and see another film for 12 years. (Well, I’m a sensitive soul at heart.)

Melrose, in this instance, South Australia, is a beautiful town nestled in the shadow of the 995m Mount Remarkable and is famous for some purpose built downhill mountain bike tracks on the way up the hill.

It also has a great bike shop (Off the Edge) where the owner, Alistair, spent a couple of hours fixing a number of issues with the bike, like giving me brakes that work. His business partner Richard is from round where I grew up. But it was mostly sorting out the chain and drive issues. There’s some new parts and I’ve got sufficient spares to see me through. (By the way that middle ring wasn’t on back to front after all. It’s not possible to fit it that way.)

Having just gone through the 2000k mark since leaving Melbourne it was time either here or in Port Augusta to have these issues resolved. There’s been some ‘Slime’ put in each of my tyres. This green goo is supposed to avoid having to patch punctures by filling the hole from the inside. There is a problem with some industrial strength bindis along the trail. I had an issue with my trailer tyre a couple of days ago when it was severely punctured by these nasties.

I’m staying 2 nights here in Melrose to climb the afore mentioned ‘mountain’. There’s apparently some good views to be had.

In the afternoon I might try one of the intermediate downhill trails if there’s any gas left in the tank.