I have left the original post intact and unchanged that I made using the iPhone in Dalby. I was so busy with the ride it was three days before I even thought of making a post.
Well, they lied! At the briefing the night before the weather forecast was for light north east to south east winds. The man doing the briefing said that we probably would have a head wind all the way as the morning ride was north east, followed by a westerly ride, followed by a south easterly ride. The wind was the strongest of the trip. I’d guess it was doing up to 50 kmh. And to make things worse the first part of the ride was up hill to climb a little over 100 meters, before some lumps and bumps on the westerly leg.
In the morning, I passed the sea queen. I’d seen this trailer on the first day and they had been leaving just before me out of Kaimkillenbun. With the fierce wind I slowly rode past. Adrian pulled in behind me and followed me into the wind for quite some time. Normally people do not use me for drafting as I do not provide much assistance. But maybe the trailer meant that I provided more assistance. We continued like this for perhaps a kilometre or two before Adrian dropped off the back.
Later I was passed. Geoff and Marian would make a habit of this. They left after I did and arrived hours before I did. Though I passed them a couple of times, maybe when they were having extended rest breaks or stopping to see other things. Never while they were riding. Also, John who I had shared a room with on the first night passed me.
As we neared Bell, along one final steeper climb, a strange cloud formation marched across the plains. It was the first sign of the forecast rain for the afternoon.
I arrived in Bell, after the long exhausting ride into the strong wind, and then a climb up into Bell itself, we passed the school. The school children were all lined along the front fence. When I waved, I got a cheer from the kids. I then stopped at the official morning tea break and took some pictures. They also had a small railway exhibit, but as far as I could see you could not go in.
The night before they had a raffle. It was for tickets to have a free morning tea at the Cowbells Reststop and Cafe. I was the last winner of a ticket. After asking around, we worked out that the cafe was up the hill away from the course. I headed up there. Only a few ventured up the extra hill climb. The cafe was nice and the cake and coffee welcome. I think they had hoped we would bring some people up the hill with us, but they were after the rest stop and I think ,with the wind, people were too tired to ride up another hill.
The next section of ride was eventful in that there was a fierce cross wind, and it was the first time we had encountered trucks. In fact we encountered a few road trains along one section of road. This sparked some discussion from the our police man that night about the need to only ride two wide and to ride in single file when there was a double line. Apparently the truck drivers were less than impressed and were saying things like “They are fucking riding 10 wide” over their CB channels. I know I saw 4 wide riding. It occurred when a set of two wide riders passed another set of two wide riders. I also guess that the truck drivers were not expecting to come across a thousand bike riders stretched over many kilometres of road.
At Jimbour we headed up a side road to Jimbour Station. At the entrance was the first cattle grid we had to cross. I approached it wondering what approach I should take. In the moment I had to decide, I decided to take it at a moderate speed, maybe 10 kmh. This turned out to be too fast! I bounced up and down as I hit each bar and lost a lot of speed. But I had enough momentum to get over the grid. The CQ officials were in hysterics by the time I had crossed.
Here there was a water tower.Hugh parked his GT3 beside mine. He arrived after I did and left before I did. At first I quite forgot about the homestead until Hugh reminded me of it. Apparently Jimbour Station is now important in the National Party. If I remember correctly, it is owned by the head of the party. The water tower had been enclosed to form a house a long time ago. The owners used to let squatters stay there for a few days before making them move on.
The house was built in the period 1874 to 1876. It is a grand old stone house built in a French style. I wandered around the gardens (we were not allowed inside). They had kept the kitchen garden, though I’d think that most of the plants growing there now are not edible. It would be good if they put it back to it’s original state. There was also a private airfield and expensive twin engined aircraft.
After lunch there was a down hill followed by a long long gentle down hill on a straight road. Now that we were heading south the wind was behind and the pace fast. It was the fastest leg of the trip. I moved along at either 29 odd kmh or 35kmh depending on if I was pushing my speed. Kate, form the bus up and dinner that night, passed me, stopped for a drink and then passed me again. We were all making good speed. According to the GPS my average speed on the straight sections was 29.4 kmh over a period of 45 minutes and a distance of 22.4 km. This lifted my speed to the highest of the trip so far at an average of 18.82 kmh.
Arriving in Dalby we got off the main highway as soon as we could. We crossed the railway line and then the Warrego Highway before getting to the camp site. I could take it easy as the rain was still an hour or two away. At the camp site I spent some time looking for my bags before I realised I was looking in the wrong place. After that I grabbed my bags and went looking for a camp site. The show ground/race track place was a warren of buildings and I was careful not to pick a place that looked like it was a drainage ditch. Many people had put their tents up on the concrete in the horse pavilion and any other place they could find. Though one man complained that there was still a flood and they were in a pool of water on their bit of concrete. This is one of the advantages of new tent designs, is that you can put them up with out pegs. I put my tent up next to a grand stand. With the strong winds I was a little worried that something might fly free, but decided to risk it.
While I was waiting, I went to the Epic Cycles, (one of the sponsors) presentation on how to fix a flat tyre. The man was good at showing this and he also showed the method where you do not use tyre leavers. I had seen Macca do this in Marrickville and it was good to have it explained how to do it in step by step fashion. I will try it next time a change the tyre. I really need to change the rear tyre as it is on backwards. The feedback from this was so good they ran it at least one more time over the event.
Just before dinner time the rain arrived. It was a band a few hours across. So it would rain for a while. I was very tired. It took me three goes, in the rain to get to dinner. The first time I forgot my plates. The second, my cutlery and the third my ID pass which is also the dinner ticket. But I got there in the end. The entrance to the food serving area was a mud pie by the time I got there and the cardboard they had put on the ground only improved things a little. I would recommend that they get some planks or similar to put on the ground on days like these. The famous black soils were at their sticky muddy best after only a small amount of rain.
Max speed: 46