I woke to the beautiful sound of bell birds and rain on the tent, relaxing but not fun to pack up. The combination of condensation and seams in need of a reseal meant everything was kind of wet inside the tent as well, better than outside but not the nice warm, dry feeling I was after!

After making a coffee and then stuffing around for about an hour the rain had eased a little – no more avoiding it, I packed up my saturated tent and headed into town for a warm breakfast.

This area, inland from the Ballina/ Byron Bay area is really lush, lots of rainforest, fresh fruit and delicious food.

It looked like there is a fire trail connecting Brunswick Heads down to Byron Bay, if so it would be much nicer and quicker than going back to the freeway, a friend found it looked closed on Google Street view but it was worth a look. Ends up it is open for bikes – but it is very, very, very, sandy.

Soonish my front disc brake started making some ominous crunching sounds, probably sand I thought and easy to fix. Reaching down to my toolkit to remove the through axle……. No toolkit! It was in a bottle cage under the down tube, I thought securely; obviously I was wrong. Not only tools, but spare tubes, air bottles….No way to fix a puncture was pretty much a guarantee to get one! No problem I thought, I have a GPS track of exactly where I rode, some playing with the Garmin to reverse the route it should be there! In theory anyway.

After no luck finding my toolkit I found there is no bike shop at Brunswick Heads, the closest is in Mullimbiby.

Thanks for helping me out True Wheel Cyclery, good range and really great service, I absolutely recommend him. I rode out with some new tools, good stories, and a blissfully quiet front disc break (the pads needed resetting).

The football club at Mullumbimby ended up being a great place to camp. The bartender was a keen cyclist and give me some good tips for the trip North. There is a new bike path from Pottsville all the way up to Kingscliffe. From there I just cross the Tweed back into QLD and then across to Varsity Lakes for the train home, BEFORE any COVID border closures!

The whole trip is only a little over 100 km and pretty flat (including a side trip most of the way to Byron Bay), quite easy.

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