Sunday, November 22, 2009

Nyngan to Bourke - 200km

  • Impatiently I rode out from Nyngan half past six, seeing some vast and flat farming land before the twilight. Arrived at the town of 'Coolabah', so named because there are Coolabah trees around there, at about midnight and slept on a picnic table in the rest area.

  • Could not find drinkable water when I woke up, even when I snuck into the Pub's backyard where a large white purification vat was imbibing water from the town well and piping it into the Pub. Waited for the general store to open where a lady in her early 70's was stubbornly hobbling about packing the shelves. She offered to fill up my water bottles after some exclamation about the heat and road trains, and a shrug of stern apathy. Later I was packing my bike when she brought out a bag of oranges and lemons to 'flavour the water' so I was lording it up with fresh OJ that day.

  • Camped that night in the camping area out the back of the Mulga Creek Hotel in the town of Byrock, about 50km up from Coolabah. At first, the camping area seemed perfect with neat and flat red sandy soil on which to roll out a sleeping mat. However, the ants were the most ferocious and numerous that I have ever seen, attacking everything in great armies. When I tried a rescue a floundering moth beset by these frenzied killers, I saw two ants straddling the moth's back and biting into its head.

  • The next day I rode to the rest area 20km South of Bourke and camped overnight as Sunday evening in Bourke would not have any facilities. Arrived at the Bourke supermarket 8:30am where a big bloke, a staff member, was having a smoke outside. He looked at me and the bike, did a great big fart, took a couple of pensive puffs on his smoke, and asked how many kilometres I would do in a day. I knew I had arrived in the Aussie outback.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Getting there: daylight in Nyngan

  • Waiting in the air-conditioned library while it is in the mid-40's Centigrade outside. Expecting a Southerly wind in the evening to boost me up the Mitchell Highway on the way to Bourke and its post office.

  • Bourke is on the planned route down the Darling River which means a highway trip to Brewarrina (the start of the route) and then the unsealed road back to Bourke. Or I may start the route at Bourke if the weather stays at these extremes...

Where is Nyngan? (Google Maps)

Darling River Trip

View Trip Route in a larger map

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Random Tip

Never ride into the sun early morning or late afternoon.

Getting there: Narromine to Nyngan - 130km

  • Departed Narromine at dusk and rode until midnight, reaching the intersection town of 'Nevertire' where I rolled out my sleeping mat on a bench in the main street and fell asleep straight away. Across the road was a truck parking area where the truckies were resting. Nobody else seemed around.
  • Woke to see the first streams of blue light over the Eastern horizon. Jumped on the bike in a panic about reaching Nyngan 50km away before a predicted 43 degrees Centigrade for the day. Made Nyngan 9:30am.
  • Am eager to pick up two ebay shipments of a camera and some film at Bourke Post Office. The camera is a classic Olympus Trip 35 that is solar powered and has a very good lens. The film is some professional class Fuji Velvia 50 slide film. All this for much less than a digital camera. It will take a bit longer to get the photos onto the internet though.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Equipment List

  • Panniers - Super C (front and rear) by Carradice of Nelson (hand-made in UK ).
  • Tent - Akto by Hilleberg (made in Estonia).
  • Water - 1 Canvas water bag, plastic bottles.
  • Stove - Whisperlite Internationale multi-fuel by MSR (made in USA).
  • Cooking - Alpine stainless steel saucepans, plastic ladel, by MSR.
  • Knife - Folding knife by Leatherman (made in USA).
  • Allen Keys - Bondhus (made in USA).
  • Adjustable Wrench - very old Stanley.
  • Spare tubes.
  • Tyre levers.
  • Pump.
  • Shorts by Cactus Climbing (made in New Zealand).
  • Shirt long sleeved organic cotton by Certton (made in Australia).
  • Layers superfine merino.
  • Jumper merino by Tarcutta Textiles (made in Australia).
  • Non-inflatable Sleeping Mat by Thermarest (made in USA).
  • Headlights by Niteflux (made in Australia).

Bike Photos

Bike Components

  • Frame - old chromoly mountain bike frame.
  • Rims - Deep V 26 inch 36 hole by Velocity (made in Australia).
  • Spokes - straight gauge 2 mm by DT Swiss (made in Switzerland).
  • Rear Hub - Eric's ENO Eccentric 135mm by White Industries (made in USA).
  • Front Hub - M15 by White Industries (made in USA).
  • Bottom Bracket - 113mm square taper by White Industries (made in USA).
  • Crankset - ENO with 38 tooth chainring, by White Industries (made in USA).
  • Pedals - Urban Platform Pedals by White Industries (made in USA).
  • Tyres - Travelcontact (rear) by Continental.
  • Racks - Cold Springs (front) and Red Rock (rear), by Old Man Mountain (made in USA).
  • Saddle - B17 by Brooks (made in UK).