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Old 07-05-2017, 04:40 PM   #1
nev
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Default Lightning yes, rain no.

FarRider are having a meetup for lunch at Lightning Ridge, and it's been years since I've been to Lightning Ridge, so sounds like a good excuse for a ride. I had a quick squiz at the map a few months ago and figured on a 3 day round trip, so i booked Accommodation for the Friday night in Cobar and the Saturday night near Bathurst, which will allow for a 1000km ride from motel to motel via the lunch stop. As the day got closer I decided to cancel the Saturday night accommodation, and play by ear, maybe riding a bit further towards home, and have a shorter ride on the Sunday.

Friday morning I was up at 6:30 and bike packed and at the petrol station for fuel by 7am. The morning was a run north, up the Hume to Seymour, up the Goulburn valley hwy to Shep then out to Katamatite where I had my first break, a tuna pack and a stretch in a rest area. Then onward north to Jerilderie for fuel.

The Jerilderie Hotel from where Ned Kelly's gang mounted their raid on the town, robbing the bank, locking up the police and penned his famous "Jerilderie Letter".





Harvest time



Turn off the Newell and onto the Kidman way, to Griffith for a quick bike to eat for lunch, then east through Yenda and up the Erigolia Rd, through Rankin's Springs and Lake Cargelligo for next fuel stop.

It's been a long time since these shops in Naradhan traded.



Lake Cargelligo is a real green oasis in the middle of flat monotonous almost desert scrub and cotton fields.



Further up the road is Euabalong then onto the Tipping Way, which is recently sealed all the way out to Mount Hope, back on the Kidman Way.









From here its about 100km to Cobar.



I knew a FarRide couple who were also staying in Cobar for the night, and had a bit of a look around town in the evenings at the motels and pubs but couldn't locate their bike.
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Old 07-05-2017, 04:43 PM   #2
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Default Re: Lightning yes, rain no.

Saturday morning i woke up around 3:30. Alarm was set for 5:30 but I don't think I managed to get back to sleep. About 5:40 I was loading my bag on my bike when I heard another bike go down the main street. I figured that was Mick and Lynne. A few minutes later I was on my own way out of town, heading north on the Kidman way. Started with the cruise control set on 80kph and scanned the road and verges for wildlife. Not much about at this hour, and I gradually upped the pace. After a while I saw I taillight up ahead. After 30km or so i caught up. It was mick and lynne on their Beemer. I made myself known then sat in behind them and their superior lights for the next 100km or so. As the sun started to rise, so did the wildlife make themselves apparent. A few roos, plenty of emus and goats, and even mumma pig and two piglets who made a mad dash across the road.

Sunrise on the outskirts of Bourke



In Bourke i stopped for fuel while the others continued. Lots more emus along the roadway on the way out of Bourke but their numbers thinned out once the sun rose higher.





Caught the others in Brewarrina where they'd stopped for coffee so I stopped there for a chat. Then it was further east to Walgett



then north to Lightning Ridge. Lots of bikeson this section of road, all heading to Lightning Ridge.






I'd started the day with thermals and liners but the sun was starting to beat down so I lost a few layers. At the Bowling Club I reckon about 70 bikes were assembled for lunch. I caught up with a few people I knew, and some I didn't know. After about 1.5hrs I geared up again and set off. Mick had told me about a different road from Walgett, via Corumbah, which showed as unsealed on my map (ok it's almost 15 years old, probably time to update) so I took that. Lots of cattle grids. Mostly single lane for the first 30km.

From Walgett I decided to ignore the Castlereagh Hwy and I headed south west to Carinda.



Another mostly single lane poor quality sealed road. Past Carinda the road went through various terrains, all flat.





The odd swamp.



Lots of vast plains with not much going on, just the odd cow grazing. Some shire counciller must have lived on this road because it really had no right to be sealed. It was about 170km from Carinda down to Warren and not very much going on. In the first 100km I saw just one car and only a couple of driveways and sideroads heading to homesteads.





The southern end of this road went through many km of cotton crops which disappeared into the distance.




After refuelling in Warren I hit the Barrier Hwy there were a couple of clouds and the odd shower but nothing to stop for or avoid.



Narromine, where Glenn McGrath is remembered in bronze.




Rather than taking the road to Tomingley from here, I followed my GPS which suggested some backroads to Peak Hill. I'm game. The sun was very low in the sky. The road was narrow and the light was fading.



I stopped at one stage to put my liner back in my jacket and my thermals back under my riding gear. By the time I got to the Newell Hwy in Peak hill it was dark. Not long after I was in Parkes. More fuel here and a couple of dimsims. This was the 1000km mark, the minimum distance for a successful FarRide. It's only 6:30pm and I'm enjoying the ride. Forbes passes by, and 100km later i get to the Goldfields Hwy turnoff at Wyalong.

Barmedman is a quiet little town. Too quiet for a Saturday night. It's only 830pm and the pub is dark.



Temora comes and goes.



The sky is still clear, plenty of moonlight and full of stars. I stop in Wagga Wagga for fuel, and a sandwich. I haven't seen any wildlife aside from a couple of rabbits and a fox near Peak Hill. Not much traffic on the Olympic way, and then onto the Hume at Albury. The Hume Hwy is quiet. I roll into the Glenrowan service centre right on Midnight for fuel. From here it's all downhill. There's not much traffic on the road. The temps are down to about 7 or 8 degrees. One more stop at a rest area near Seymour just to walk around for a few minutes. Amazing what a difference a few minutes off the bike can make. I crank up the ACDC on the headphones and cruise into Melbourne. Last stop for the night was at the local servo to top up the tank and then rolled into the garage at 2:30am.
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Old 07-05-2017, 05:03 PM   #3
twowheeler
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Default Re: Lightning yes, rain no.


There's so much empty space out there, nicely captured. I think it's ironic that despite the great visibility and no traffic, serious speed is dangerous due to the wildlife gamble.
Turn Back Jimmy Creek was a regular 'spotto' for our little kids when we used to do the Newell twice a year to visit family in Brisbane.

Don't know how you do those massive distances though, I'm done after 8-9 hours !
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Old 07-05-2017, 05:43 PM   #4
nev
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Default Re: Lightning yes, rain no.

I forgot the GPX track of the trip

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1GJ...rM&usp=sharing
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Old 07-05-2017, 05:49 PM   #5
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Default Re: Lightning yes, rain no.

Hats off to ya Nev!
Thanks to you I don't need to travel over half of Australia...
I've seen the pic's and read all about it.
Fantastic! Love this ride report.
Keep it up!
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