Day 1: Biggenden to Gayndah 18/06/2021

To get an early start this morning and to leave our car somewhere safe, we stayed overnight in a great cabin in the Mountain View caravan park in Biggenden. We enjoyed dinner in the Grand Hotel. After I had disposed of the mummified fly that was sitting on the window sill (didn't really like the thought of a fly watching us eat, even if it was dead and sitting up as large as life), we completed a not bad meal and checked out the cafes for breakfast.

Unfortunately no cafes were open for breakfast, so we made do with a coffee and bun from the bakery, eaten whilst basking in the sun. It was cool at 5 degrees this morning. It didn't take long to warm up as the road was basically uphill for much of the morning. I just have to say, and you'll probably never read this again from me, that the ride was quite enjoyable for the first 50 kms. We were on quiet backroads and the hills were not steep. It was bitumen all the way and there wasn't much wind. And we didn't get lost.

It couldn't last. The map reader took a wrong turn, and instead of the quiet back roads, we found ourselves on the main highway 15 kms early. As luck would have it, the wind also strengthened to 37 kph , directly into our path. Lots of traffic passing us at a minimum of 100 kph wasn't much fun either. And the hills got hillier. The map reader was not happy and proceeded to shout at himself for quite some time. However, we survived the extra long 69 kms and are now ensconced in luxury at the Rocky Road Motel (I prefer this name to the real one of Country Road).

After our breakfast debacle this morning, we decided to have breakfast at the motel. Not a great decision, when, after a walk downtown, we discovered two cafes that will be open tomorrow. Oh well, already paid for. Ray disappeared for an hour, to adjust the gears on his bike, after realising that he couldn't change to the smallest cog, not that he needed to today. But maybe tomorrow... he spent ages fixing the problem, only to finally work out that one of his drink holders was causing the gears to stick.

We have just ordered a Thai takeaway, that won't be ready for another two hours (8pm). Who knew that Gayndah would have such exotic tastes? What Gayndah does have is the orange festival next weekend. We are going to miss out on the state of oranges rugby league match, as well as other fun things like the orange bowling competition, the orange throwing competition and the orange eating competition. I don't think tomorrow will be as fun as that!

 

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Looking out the window it appeared that it was going to be a good day. The unusual sight of a vapour trail belies the covid times.

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A Quiet road between Biggenden and Gooroolba. Gooroolba you ask?

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It looks dry but there has been recent rain. A full dam provides the evidence. And water in creeks.

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The bustling metropolis of Didcot.

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The pack horse.

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No big hills here, just rolling hills. Mountains worn down by time.

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Hills is hills. You still have to go up to come down.

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Note the bottles on the empty bike. it was one of the bottle holders that prevented my bike from changing down to the smallest chain ring. Grinding half the day in the bigger gears wasn't great.

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The aforementioned Gooroolba. This was as good as it got in this town. The ubiquitous War Memorial always conflicts me. Are we glorifying conflict or are we just celebrating those whose lives were cut short by something completely senseless. We have learned a little, but men in grey suits and blue ties are all too quick to send others off to die. But i digress... When we looked around and saw only a couple of houses Brenda assured me that the main town was just around the corner. It wasn't.

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White fields on the left hand side of the road and green-brown fields on the right. I don't have an explanation.

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The golden bean trees of Byrnestown. Look on Google maps and you will see quite a few streets mapped out there. It seems they are still waiting for the people to arrive.

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Big cactus though.

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Normally on a single lane road there is dirt on each side of the road where cars coming in the opposite direction have to go off the bitumen to pass. Not this road. One motor cycle and no cars in about 15klms. Grass at the sides of the road seem untouched. They have to employ bobcats with cutting heads on them to keep the grass down.

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We went left. Big Mistake.

Technical Section

Yes, an innovation.

Here is the map:

 

Ride Notes

  • All roads were bitumen, some single lane,but all in good condition.
  • Make sure you have food and water for the entire trip as the small towns do not have shops
  • It took just over 5 hours including almost 4.5 hours of riding at around 16klms per hour.
  • The last 90 mins were into a 30klm/hr headwind (mainly on the Burnett highway)
  • Make sure you turn right onto Wetheron Road (via Bon-Accord) as it means 10klms less on the main Burnett Highway (5klms instead of 15) and probably around 5klms less in distance
  • Google maps show a road directly from Gooroolba to Byrnestown, but the start of the road says "No Through Road". We didn't take the road.
  • Our odometer measured 69.2 klms which included the short ride from the caravan park into town for breakfast.

 

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