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Dead Reckoning: Syd 2 Mel Normcore Bicycle Tour Day 03

DEAD RECKONING, Syd 2 Mel Normcore Bicycle Tour

Dead Reckoning: Syd 2 Mel Normcore Bicycle Tour Day 03

November 15, 2015 | Bowral to Moss Vale

We were able to destroy some juniors in a bout of velodrome racing, and we almost got into a fight with a horde of feral sheilas.

Dead Reckoning: Syd 2 Mel Normcore Bicycle Tour Day 03


I Day 03 Stats & Intro

START – FINISH: Bowral – Moss Vale


DISTANCE: 7.12 miles




RIDING TIME: 0:57:23




POINTS OF INTEREST/OBJECTIVES: Take a train from Bowral to Yass Junction and continue our ride.


CUE SHEET: KML File Download


WEATHER: Cloudy in the morning, but it got really pleasant by the afternoon, but then it got misty. Moss Vale is a sensible name.


In Australia they speak English. Sure it has its accent and colloquialisms but on paper it’s English. Kinda like how rock bands from all over the world, when singing in English, sound all sound like they’re from Fresno, CA.11Is this yet another flagrant example of our ethnocentrism? So what if it is? My point is that we should’ve been able to figure out the train schedule. It’s a train schedule, not advanced Game Theory, at least that’s what we thought. But we couldn’t, and in true blue do-or-die, all-or-nothing, give-it-one-hundred-and-ten-percent style we went whole hog and missed not one but two trains. Still, we were able to destroy some juniors in a bout of velodrome racing, and almost got into a fight with a horde of feral sheilas.


  • 9:00am: Up and ready to catch the 10:00am train leaving Bowral for Yass Junction.
  • 10:00am: Discover that the 10:00am train doesn’t leave from Bowral. The station is basically a ghost town, and the ghosts whispered, “You are fools.”
  • 10:15am: Discover there is a train leaving from Moss Vale for Canberra around 2pm.
  • 10:20am: Figure that if we can get to Canberra we can adjust our route accordingly and get back on track.
  • 10:53am: We have breakfast at the No. 325 Cafe, where they don’t serve butter with your toast. Dry as the Sahara in a sun storm.
  • 11:45am: Take off towards Moss Vale.
  • 11:57am: See a sign for the Bowral Velodrome.
  • 11:59am: Arrive at the Bowral Velodrome and proceed to utterly destroy some young up-and-comers on the track.
  • 12:45pm: Reach the Moss Vale train station.
  • 12:46pm: Find out that the tickets for the train we needed to catch have just sold out. (See destroying up-and-comers at the Bowral Velodrome.)
  • 12:48pm: Buy tickets for the 10:00am train to Yass Junction that leaves from Moss Vale the following morning.
  • 1:26pm: Head to Bernie’s Diner to enjoy a 1950s Americana meal experience. Just what we needed after two failed attempts to get on a train.
  • 1:26pm – 2:05pm: Get into a flip-off fight with a family of blonde mulleted lady badgers. Or rather, have a fight picked with us. We just looked up from our burgers and fries and there, across the street, was a pack of these critters miming intercourse in our direction. From what we can tell we didn’t do anything wrong outside of being three-quarters American and riding bikes. I guess that could constitute grounds for profane body gesticulations, but if that’s the case, frankly we’re surprised it didn’t happen much more often throughout our trip.
  • 1:45pm: Lachlan wonders aloud if one of these badgers is going to grab a machete. To which Franks remarks, “A machete is basically a knife-bat.” Somehow this makes our situation a bit more unsettling.
  • 2:06pm: The horde of mulleted lady badgers pack into their ute and speed off. Our group believes this was only a warning, and we push our security level to Code Orange for the remainder of our time in Moss Vale.
  • 2:15pm: Find a couple of rooms in the Bong Bong Motel. Turns out the owner had a daughter who spent a year of high school studying abroad in Portland, OR, Yonder Journal’s home base. Kinda cool, but just because we had something to share didn’t mean we got any kind of discount.
  • 2:35pm: The sun comes out for the first time in 48 hours.
  • 2:36pm: We set our clothes out on plastic lawn chairs and miscellaneous yard ornaments to dry.
  • 2:45pm: “The Cricket” is on. A test match between Australia and New Zealand. When the camera pans to the crowd it’s pretty obvious that the majority of them are heavily pissed up. Which is to be expected when the matches go on for hours and all you’re doing is sitting in the sun drinking.
  • 3:51pm: The sun once again takes a vacation behind some dark and heavy clouds.
  • 4:53pm: Our crew takes a stroll through the town of Moss Vale looking for dinner.
  • 5:10pm: We decide on Tooses Wine Bar & Lounge, but we get spooked by the vacant-eyed waiter and the model home decor. In order to not raise any suspicion we order appetizers—remember we are still in Code Orange.
  • 5:15pm: It starts to rain.
  • 6:37pm: While walking in the rain back to the Bong Bong, we stop in to the Moss Vale Hotel (this is one of those hotels without hotel rooms) for a round of parmis and fries.
  • 7:45pm: Turns out that Bowral is where all the action happens. Moss Vale is dead dead dead. The only sound audible in the town is the slight rasping of needle and thread as the population collectively works on a community quilt.
  • 8:30pm to Z:ZZ: Nacho Libre is on. Hey, this movie is FUNNY. We know that collectively we may be tired of Jack Black, we’re with you. But Nacho Libre is so GOOD.

II Yonder Journo's Dingo Lingo
Presented by Attaquer and narrated by Zoe Jones!

Communication is a KEY component to an effective and efficient investigation of a culture. In order to 1) understand what people are saying, 2) fit in, 3) keep your foot out of your mouth22You won’t make the mistake of telling your wife you’re looking forward to sharing a coupla sluzzas with friends after dinner because you assumed a sluzza was a mixed ice drink not unlike a blended margarita., and 4) demonstrate respect via a willingness and excitement to learn, Yonder Journal collaborated with a team of Australian Linguists and Cultural Anthropologists to create an interactive glossary module of common expressions. Especially those which we’d be likely to hear and/or use in the context of a Normcore Bicycle Tour in the Australian In-and-Outback.


Click the interactive glossary entries below to hear Dingo Lingo in use.

KOOKED IT : behaving crazily or making stupid mistakes in a funny, mostly harmless manner.


SEPPO : derogatory term meaning American, coming from Cockney rhyming slang; American Yank, Septic Tank.


ARVO : afternoon.

III Missing Trains in Bowral

We missed the Tulip Time festival just like we missed our train. Thanks Bowral, this is all your fault.
Empty ute store.
Empty road.
Empty town. Not sure who these cars belong to. This town is empty, desolate, and unforgiving like the desert, or the sea, or just a huge slab of granite.
Easy there Robin Hood, you’ve already robbed us of our train ride. Now you’re trying to rob us of our well-earned dollars with a fancy advertisement for your fancy stores? Well we’re not buying… at least not all of it. Maybe we bought some breakfast snacks, and maybe we bought a full blown breakfast, and maybe we even thought about buying tickets to see James Bond in Spectre, but we got a hold of ourselves. And we’re happy we did because that movie is just not good. There’s absolutely no tension and the plot plods along like a tractor in the mud. It’s also not fun. Sorry Daniel Craig, you were a good Bond and you were saddled with this POS as your last hurrah.
Yeah, nope. Not going to happen.
Did you know that the term 'trainspotting' in contemporary culture is a reference to electronic music aficionados who are on the look out for hit tracks? As in, the train is a hit track yet to blow-up, and you’re there watching the train come down the track like a meteorite on rails. And you know the party is going to light up when it hits. Well, I can tell you there were no hit tracks coming down the line today, it may as well have been muzak on the tracks.
Kyle: “Hey these crumpets are real great, this jam, ummm soooooo good.”

Lachlan: “Ah shit, I think we’re fucked here mates, like proper fucked.”
“Yep, were proper fucked.” Hey Lachlan, at least you’ve got yellow going for you!
Goddamn this town is desolate.

IV Velodrome Domination

Obviously an experienced Six Day racer, Franks performs the famed Danish drop in Corner #3, perhaps the most dangerous corner in the velodrome. And the dude makes it look easy.
To be competitive in this day and age, athletes must start young and their coaches must enforce a rigorous schedule. Coaches must be ever vigilant and must never allow themselves a lapse of judgement—a single mistake can alter an entire career. And that’s not how you win gold medals.
In order to perform at the highest level, one must utilize the best equipment. Even at a young age, having access to pro-caliber resources is essential. You want gold, you have to spend some gold.
Try as she might, this pipsqueak just didn’t have what it takes to outsmart the old man. This is match sprint racing, ladies and gentlemen. In the end Kyle was able to pip young Madeleine at the line. But a sea change is coming folks, and Kyle’s days of taking pink slips are surely numbered.
Dad: “ My little girl is a ripper, she’s about to tear the legs off your boy there.”

Lachlan: “She’s four, mate.”
Victory Parade!
Analog allowances in full flight under an overpass.
We found out that showing up early to the Strongman tryouts doesn’t guarantee you a spot in the tent.

V Bangin' Rays at the Bong Bong

God, can you imagine what this place would look like if String Cheese Incident toured through Moss Vale?
A pro with tight hips. So natural. So in control.
An amateur with tight hips. So forced. So contrived.
Some people just know how to live.
Hey Jeremy, check it out, a pair of your socks!!!

VI Trip Tricks: Day 03
Information & Reviews to Help Make Your Trip Magical

Address: Station St, Bowral NSW 2576, Australia | Phone Number: +61 2 4861 2045 | Hours of Operation: Whenever there are trains | Email: n/a | Price: $$$ | Key Words: Deserted, Desolate, Unhelpful


This is the train station that does not have a train that goes to Yass Junction. This is a let down when you’re counting on this train station to be the train station that stations that train for Yass Junction when you want to go to Yass Junction.


“The train wasn’t here, we were in the wrong place, this station was despair.”—Kyle von Hoetzendorff


“I love this station. I’ve caught plenty of trains here, there are tons of places to sit and the electronic ticket teller is fantastic.”—Mac Murdoch


“It’s a train station.”—Lizzy Barwin

Address: 325 Bong Bong St, Bowral NSW 2576, Australia | Phone Number: +61 2 4861 2370 | Hours of Operation: Mon-Sat 7am -5pm, Sun 8am -4pm | Email: n/a | Price: $$ | Key Words: Dry as the Desert, Butter Phobia, Cafe


The No. 325 is a cafe. We don’t say that we don’t use butter, but we really don’t use butter. We’ll toast your toast, cook your egg, cut your avocado. But butter, nah, not our deal.


“We had just missed our train and we entered the No. 325 in a state of despair. We needed comfort, we needed food, we needed indulgence, we needed butter. But butter was not to be had. Dry eggs, on dry toast, with dry avocado. Even the coffee tasted dry, as if it were stuck in some nebulous region between liquid and gas form. We ate it anyway, it did not alleviate our sorrows. ”—Kyle von Hoetzendorff


“The name may have changed but clearly the stodgy food and atrocious service have not. In fact this diner has a reputation far and wide for its slow service. The staff definitely have an attitude problem – they resent your presence. Why should it take 20 minutes to heat some frittata in a microwave? They get the cinema crowd – they need to provide swift service.”—Elizabeth Wyndham

Address: 402 Argyle St, Moss Vale NSW 2577, Australia | Phone Number: +61 2 4869 1502 | Hours of Operation: 6am – 10pm | Email: [email protected] | Price: $$ | Key Words: AMERICA, BOGAN HEDGEHOGS, CONFLICT


Bernie’s Diner is an authentic American pastrami forward diner located in the heart of downtown Moss Vale. In addition to our famous pastrami we serve fries, burgers, milkshakes and more. Don’t forget to check out our dill pickles, they’ve got bite!


“Happy Days! This place felt a like Happy Days meets In-N-Out except in our case the Fonz was a pair of mulleted female honey badgers, a trio of tykes in tow, giving us the finger and pantomiming aggressive and lascivious gestures in our direction from across the street. Hey we know we’re nobody’s angels but we couldn’t, for the life of us, figure out what we did to bring on this vitriol. It’s a testament to just how delicious the food from Bernie’s is that we still truly enjoyed it, despite the imminent and continual threats happening outside. Did you see the movie Green Zone, when it seems that all the Army is having a pool party at Saddam’s palace despite the fact that the Iraq war is happening outside the gates? Get what I mean?”—Kyle von Hoetzendorff


“Needed a quick and easy meal stop with my two “fussy” sons en route from Bowral to Melbourne and Bernie’s striking exterior caught our eye as we drove past. How glad we were that we stopped! Easy to read blackboard menu above the chrome counter and friendly counter staff (no waiters) made it an easy task to order. We went for the “Dirty Dogs” – the boys with a slightly altered Mr Wang and myself with a Chili Dog with one strawberry milkshake (real fruit!) so substantial that it satisfied the three of us. Upon being ready, our name was called and the chef slid the fine looking baskets of goodness to me on the counter (50s cool!!). Boys demolished their customised dogs in record time stating they were the best they’ve ever had (and I say customised because the staff were more than happy to change things around from what was stated on the menu). My chili dog was seriously good although a little light on for heat which probably wasn’t a bad thing given the long road trip ahead! Also, being a fifties lover, I appreciated the effort gone into the place to make it look the authentic without being over the top or tacky (as is often the case with these types of places). My only disappointment – living 750km away and not being able to make this a regular haunt…”—Sim Thomas

Address: 490-494 Argyle St, Moss Vale NSW 2577, Australia | Phone Number: +61 2 4868 3164 | Hours of Operation: Th-Su, 5:00–11:00pm | Email: n/a | Price: $$$ | Key Words: Blah, Blah, Blah


An unusually eclectic mix of continental and Southeast Asian cuisine. Plus a wine bar!


“It was open so we went in. Also, we didn’t know where else to eat. It’s not like any of us are from Moss Vale. There was piano and what appeared to be a bookshelf of fake books (is it still a bookshelf?). The space was interesting and if I had to guess I’d say that this place was probably a furniture showroom before it was a restaurant. It felt more like a sitcom’s idea of a restaurant than a restaurant. The food selection is a curious blend of different ethnic plates. There was also this waiter with crazy eyes; you know how people say the eyes are the window into the soul? Well this dude’s soul had some 1+1=Purple shit going on. Maybe he couldn’t help it, and in fact it added to the overall Lynchian vibe. Would I recommend it? You read the review, what do you think?”—Kyle von Hoetzendorff


“Sophisticated Lounge Atmosphere! It has a relaxed Parisian vibe. The service is fantastic and the food! Well I suggest that you check it out for yourself, you will not be disappointed”—Brooke Feltham

Address: 340 Argyle St, Moss Vale NSW 2577, Australia | Phone Number: +61 2 4868 1007 | Hours of Operation: 10am til Late | Email: [email protected] | Price: $$ | Key Words: Blah, Blah, Blah


We’re not a hotel, we’re a pub. We’ve got beer, parmis, and one of those urinals that covers two walls, taking a corner, and reaches all the way to the floor. You either get it or you don’t.


“After the David Lynch eating experience down the street, the Moss Vale Hotel was a welcome slice of normality. They had a nice selection of parmis and beer to drink. Looking around you just got that vibe that this was a comfortable kind of place. There were a few old dudes half-dozing over their empty parmi plates and a couple groups of Shelias catching up on the news. Exactly the kind of joint we were looking for.”—Kyle von Hoetzendorff


“I come here at least 4 times a month. The salmon is always delicious and just good clean fresh food . The lady chef with brown hair is very welcoming .. I love this place. Thank you guys”—Nic Counsell

Address: 238 Argyle St, Moss Vale NSW 2577, Australia | Phone Number: +61 2 4868 1033 | Hours of Operation: n/a | Email: n/a | Price: $$ | Key Words: Empty, Convenient, Sleep-able


If you’ve missed your train because you thought it left from Bowral but it leaves from Moss Vale and you need a room or two for the night, STAY WITH US. We’ve got plenty of rooms and gravel parking lot to boot.


“The check in was the WEIRDEST ever. Russell the older man suggested by other reviews was there but wasn’t rude. He was kooky and not in an endearing way. The man is very ODD. The room is ok. Bed ok clean bathroom but terrible tv reception. We went for a walk and found the door ajar on our return. nothing was taken but made our experience here more creepy. I wouldn’t stay here again and would drive further to find better accom.”—Annie Adams


“Had I looked up the reviews of this place before checking in I might not have stayed here, but I didn’t, and you know what? It’s nowhere near as bad as the reviews would lead you to believe. It’s quiet, the TVs work, the beds are quite comfortable, and the concierge (who appeared to have been more than a century old) also had a daughter who had spent a year of high school studying in Portland, OR. Which happens to be Yonder Journal’s home base. I’d have a cold dead heart if that didn’t put points in the plus column. If you’re in Moss Vale stay at the Bong Bong. If you’re a hater, sleep in your car.”—Kyle von Hoetzendorff

VII Bonus: Too Easy

In Australia they have a saying: Too Easy. What’s Too Easy you might ask? Well, in the land down under just about everything. It’s a universal rejoinder, acknowledgement, and affirmation. Ordering a coffee, Too Easy. Riding your scooter to the pie shop, Too Easy. Chilling against a wall, Too Easy. Everything in OZ is TOO EASY.


But what’s Too Easy all about? I’ll tell you, Too Easy is all about confidence. Australia is the land of sun and fun, of venomous critters and toothy predators, of “Neighbors” and Bondi Beach. If you don’t have confidence in this country, you’ll be eaten up and spit out.


As conscientious travelers we try our best to assimilate the accepted cultural norms of the countries we visit. In Australia that meant trying on a heightened level of confidence. But let me tell you: confidence is not without its nuances, and it’s “Too Easy” to be over confident. Take, for example, our idea of catching a train in Bowral. Too Easy we thought. We didn’t do a thorough check of our sources, we didn’t check in ahead of time, and you know what? We got stranded.


Despite this minor setback Yonder Journal has stuck with the Too Easy lifestyle because confidence is addictive, it’s a sly confidence, a subtle confidence, it’s—dare I say it—a COOL confidence. Too Easy isn’t aggro Monster Energy confidence. There’s no need to get in anyone’s face about it. This confidence is a bit FU, a bit come join the party. It’s a vibe man, je ne sais quoi. It’s just Too Easy.

Too Easy Tee

Obviously we had to celebrate Too Easy. What could be a better representation of the idea than a chilled out Croc smoking a cigarette? The answer is nothing, there is no better representation of Too Easy. Thomas Slater, Mr. Too Easy England 2014/2015, drew it up for us and we put it on t-shirt. It looks amaze. Now it’s time to get that amaze on your body! Screenprinted on white American Apparel t-shirts in Portland, OR.


VIII Day 03 Route

Syd 2 Mel Normcore Bicycle Tour
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