'What I knew about Australia's Highway One: it was long, more than 16,000 kilometres around if you included Tasmania; and it was full of trucks, missiles of destruction half the length of a soccer pitch with 62 wheels so that if one didn't get me, the other 61 might. What I knew about cycling: nothing.'
After two-and-a-half years fulfilling their backpacking "tour of duty" in Europe, and on the eve of a forced return to Australia, self-confessed cycling "frauds" Andrew and Janette Bain decided to embark on the ultimate adventure: to explore their own "backyard" and cycle around Australia - the wrong way.
Equipped with their weight in chocolate, panniers overpacked with All the Wrong Things and a solitary "bike tool", Andrew and Janette redefine the "Aussie Crawl", plagued by murderous trucks, psychotic cassowaries and aching limbs, they survive bushfires, food poisoning, Billy Joel songs and unwelcoming wildlife, to emerge saner than they thought they ever would.
Along the way, they meet the eccentric "Mad Phil"; Yoshi, the deepsleeping Japanese cyclist; Surf nazis; Grey Nomads; wallaby Mafia; and Adrian, the bible-thumping cyclist from Geraldton who was inspired to ride around Australia by - of all things - a bush-tucker book.
'Headwinds' is as much a story of determination, adventure and chocolate as it is about life on the verges of roads in the Sunburnt Country. Not to mention what can go wrong when you get the wrong advice.
* It is recommended that you cycle counter-clockwise around Australia, to minimise riding into headwinds.