|Douglas Mawson (right) and companions at the South Magnetic Pole, 1909|
|William Mawson (sitting on ground, left) with Chinese miners, Otago Goldfields, 1890s.|
|Rush hour in Melrose|
Local enthusiasts have developed a network of mountain bike tracks on the side of the mountain which attracted Simon, Patrick and Graeme. But I decided the Mawson connection was close enough that I'd give the Tern origami bike a workout by following the section of the Mawson trail that ran through the town.
|Bike sculpture, central Melrose|
|Mawson trail marker and typical backroad|
|Rosslyn Road, Mawson Trail|
|Mud on the Mawson Trail!|
A cellphone call established that the others were on their way to pick me up, so I stopped at a water hole and, with the strains of Waltzing Matilda ("...camped by billabong/ Under the shade of collibah tree") running through my head, attempted to get the worst of the mud off the bike before loading it into the pristine interior of the rental car.
|Emerging from a waterhole with a (sort of) clean bike [photo courtesy of Patrick Morgan]|
I'm not sure what the 1800's Mawsons would have made of this brief adventure: probably too tame for Douglas (although post-Antarctica he spent time researching the geology of the Flinders Ranges) and too frivolous for William. But it provided a good chance to explore rural Australia at bike pace: next time I'll try to do it in a drier season!