Black Dog Ride 2011 – Day 13

Augathella to Dalby QLD

Main St, Augathella

Today was a reversal of riding from yesterday, with Daryl deciding to sleep in and make his way to Dalby after the rest of us. Dave joined us for the ride, which got underway under gloriously blue skies. After filling up at the local servo we were off for the morning’s ride through grazing country. We would be riding the last 91km of the Landsborough Highway (which runs from Cloncurry to Morven). James couldn’t get off this highway quick enough, remembering that it was the bumpiest road we’d ridden in 2010!  The Landsborough is the central part of a tourist route known as the Matilda Highway which stretches from Kurumba, QLD to Bourke, NSW. When we hit Morven, we’d travel along the Warrego Highway, which stretches from Charleville to Ipswich.

Morning tea in Morven

We’d happened to stop in Morven at morning tea time, where the local CWA ladies has setup a morning tea stall to raise money for the Cancer Council (as part of Daffodil Day). Dulcie was undoubtedly the leader of this quartet of baking goddesses as she commanded her tribe with great enthusiasm and energy. She chatted with us and the locals who’d turned out to support her venture. I donated all the gold coins I had on me (approx $7) and had a cup of tea and a lamington. I’ve often been misquoted (my statement is ‘meat pies are the breakfast of champions’), but today I’ll state that the lamington is the cake of champions. YUM!

Mitchell, QLD

Onwards to Mitchell, where we enjoyed a dip in the hot-springs pool at the local community centre in 2010 – except today we had more brilliant blue skies and not a drop of rain. Riding in the rain is OK when you have to do it, but after a while it becomes unpleasant and lowers your enthusiasm for riding. Usually because it’s cold as well, and once the water gets into your clothes AND you’re cold, it’s just miserable. No such malady for us this year! Whilst the others filled up, I was telling jokes to a couple of young kids on BMX bikes. They particularly enjoyed the jokes, aimed squarely at 8-10 year old boys. Here are the favourites from the trip (plagiarised 100% from “The Bad Book” by Andy Griffiths/Terry Denton):

  • Q: What’s brown and sticky?
  • A: A stick
  • Q: What’s yellow and smells of bananas?
  • A: Monkey vomit
  • Q: What’s brown and yellow and sticky and smells of bananas?
  • A: Monkey vomit on a stick
Roma, QLD

We’d decided to make Roma our major stop for the day, as we’d all had a couple of things to do. It seems James got greedy and picked up the lurgy from me so needed to find a chemist, whilst I needed to find a loo, fill my backpack and eat! I set myself up in the Bakearoma with a pie and milkshake and proceeded to upload photos, bang out a blog post and tweet with people who’d sent me questions during the ride. Roma has a big country town feel to it, reminding me of Bathurst. After all the to-ing and fro-ing around town, today was shaping up to be another day where we’d get into our destination after sunset. We’d briefly seen Daryl in town and Dave had gone on ahead.

A quick stop in Miles to stretch before I decided to push on as it was getting late (I don’t particularly like riding when my circadian rhythms are telling my body to sleep. Energy drinks certainly help me stay alert and awake, but it took it’s toll – more on that in a separate blog post). So I rode on, and in some way I must have blinked and missed the town of Chinchilla as I don’t remember it at all!

Dalby sunset

If we thought we’d had the bumpiest road on our journey so far, we were mistaken – the roadwork and flood-damaged road from Chinchilla to Dalby was the worst we’d come across. Some of the bumps were so bad you felt like you were getting airborne, and others had me thanking many things that the Airhawk was protecting me from some of the nastiest bumps. Coupled with an inexplicable number of drivers traveling well below the speed limit (70km/h on a 100km/h road) and the afternoon setting sun in my mirrors, this stretch of road was the most dangerous we’d traveled. Once into Dalby, I quickly checked in, dumped my gear and went back out to try and catch the last few rays of sunshine as the sunset descended. I would have liked 5 more mins of sunset, but like in life, you take what you can when you can 🙂

Daryl had chosen a great motel in Dalby, right across the road from a pub! Daryl, Dave, Kim & I had wandered over there and had a drink before James & Sharon showed up. It felt good to have a meal with real vegies! The meals were great value too, not too large and pretty reasonably priced. After many discussions, the journey home was changed, which wold see us all arrive home a day earlier than originally planned. This way, I’d arrive home on Father’s Day instead of Monday. This years’ Black Dog Ride was moved earlier to avoid the complications we had in 2010 (we departed on Father’s Day).

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