The term “Long Paddock” is a remnant of a happy childhood spent on a farm in South Australia where my father (raised during the Great Depression) would spin romantic tales of hardy stockmen, in time of drought, living off the land while letting their cattle and sheep graze the narrow strips of vegetation that existed alongside our quiet country corridors.
The practice still occurs today, but my “Long Paddocks” are the quiet back-waters where I can cycle with hardly a soul to disturb my wandering thoughts. Where I can feel the sun on my face and dream of adventures yet to experience to the sound of bicycle tyres carrying me forward.
My bicycle touring victories may be few, with Snowfields to Sandhills being the biggest, but there are others on my cycling bucket list needing my attention and given half a chance, if I can escape for a day or two, or even a week or two, I will take the opportunity to cross another off that growing list of challenges.
One of my biggest challenges was to be in October 2016, when I rode some of the backroads of the Nullarbor Plain in what I intended to be a 600km, a two week battle with Desert Dust and Dingoes.
It certainly was a battle, but differently to what I expected.