Gra Nomad Wanderings

Thursday, April 30, 2009


Wow! All that swine flu in Mexico! And we jokingly say we've just made it to Mexico.... (south of the border!)

We only had to ride 88 km today in great riding conditions (even though we started in 2 degrees!) The Goodies took 3:37 and the Gladiators did it in 3:22. Averaging just over 22 and 24 respectively.
They even have snow in Victoria! We got a few glimpses of it to the east.

Ned Kelly was sure a big bloke eh? Here are a few of his henchmen (and Ladies!!)

Party mix helps to keep the driver awake when he's travelling at 20 kph or thereabouts! Can you see the riders in the distance? Revs not too high. Fuel quite good. Still 5 lollies left.
Two days to go before this ride finishes in Mill Park (Melbourne). Over 3,000 km completed now. I can't really imagine we've nearly done Cairns to Melbourne!! Can you?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Some absolutely beautiful scenery as we travelled Temora to Lockhart and then Lockhart to Corowa.
Carlo, Paul and John. They had the pedal down. Normally the tandem is in this group, labelled The Gladiators!

Lindy was taking precautions to ensure her tootsies didn't get wet! They are sitting round a campfire. Thanks Trent and food roadies for looking after our needs.

The Goodies about to depart from Lockhart for Corowa. The previous afternoon we encouraged about 8 or 9 youngsters who rode round the block in order to raise money for the Bible Society. They rode a total of 62 km between them. Fabulous effort. I was lucky enough to be allowed to ride Lindy's paralympic tandem with an assortment of stokers! Man what a beautiful bike!! Thanks Lindy.

My team today began with Carlo and Paul. Here I am checking the route with them. And you wouldn't believe it... we actually took a wrong turn! They are both experienced riders. They also have youth on their side!

One of the many beautiful scenes we saw as we travelled today.
We only have three days left. Sadly John leaves the team tomorrow morning. That will leave 11 riders and 7 support crew. I'd better get cracking on those missing stats too eh?
At least we know Heather reads the blog!!! Enjoy your travels Heather.

Monday, April 27, 2009


Here is the team charging along from Grenfell to Temora (107 km). We started at 5 degrees the riders told me. John and Paul in the lead. John always takes the lead when there's a camera around, and Paul wants to impress Heather in Europe! Paul said he likes the short days! They took 4:30 on the road today.

Our food roadies do a great job and are really appreciated... especially at meal time! Note the camp fire in the foreground.

Now Trent, Sylvia, Lyn and Fay can relax before the swarm of cyclists arrive to devour the tucker!

This is Trungley Provisional School. It operated between 1954 and 1959. Sure doesn't look like there's been many kids round for awhile... or does it?

This shearing shed had seen better days. A good photographer could spend quite a bit of time around this one.

We're staying at the Anglican Church in Temora, but across the road is this Catholic Church. They are both fine buildings.

Showers were down at the sports stadium. Great showers. Lyn asked where there was a power point so she could get the blow dryer into action. Yep, there's one by the scoring table!

After showers and coffee (or milkshakes), some of the riders (Diana and Eris) veg out till dinner time.
Hopefully it won't snow tomorrow as we head to Lockhart. Think it's over 130 km tomorrow.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Trent, our new roadie, has impressed all by having a fire on the go when the cyclists arrived at morning tea and lunch. Sure has set a precedent! Long legs and arms and coats were prominent today as we did the 135 km from Molong to Grenfell.

Paul assured us that HE NEVER GETS FLATS! Well, today his number came up! Sorry about that Paul. Trouble is when you don't get flats you get out of the habit of changing them quickly. Maybe some training for him tonight.

A little cottage on the way today.

Here is the team ready to head off after morning tea break.

Rolling along despite the ordinary weather. Here John and Paul lead the team.

Our gals were all rugged up today.

Getting closer to Grenfell. Then they copped another batch of rain and a drop in temp. Sorry about that.
Tomorrow we head to Temora! About 105 km. Keep the woolies on I reckon.

Friday, April 24, 2009


On the way to Narrabri the Goodies took time out to check out a locality.

Our team has dwindled a smidgen since we lost Stuey. In Dubbo Mary, Geoff and Sarah P headed back to Sydney. We have picked up Trent as a support roadie. Good to have you on board Trent.

Maybe this is Mt Kaputar Range????

Jim leads the Goodies with Kevin behind him.

Eris tows Diana along. The two girls have developed a strong friendship on this ride. That happens. Eris was surprised by her hubby Glenn and little Gabrielle. What a thrill that was! Wonder how she'll ride on Saturday as we head to Molong? Do you want more stats?

Kevin is our resident astronomer. He had his work cut out for him checking out all the displays around Coonabarabran, like this huge model of Saturn.
It was great to have Emily, Jeff and Evan (all from Dubbo) come out to Coona and ride back to Dubbo with us on Thursday. Sorry, no photo! They were obviously too quick! There were also 11 folk from Dubbo Baptist Church who came along to have fellowship with the team over a pizza or two. Thanks Lyn, Mary and Fay for putting a beaut meal together.
That rest day in Dubbo was great the team reckoned. Heaps of thanks to Jeff for his efforts in organising stuff including a bus tour of the city.
Molong Saturday. Then to Grenfell on Sunday.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Stuart and Emma have left the team (as planned.). They will be missed. Stuart led us into Moree... well the last 25 km. Emma was a food roadie and looked after our needs admirably.

St George Uniting Church building has only been there for 5 years. We enjoyed the grand hospitality from the family of this church. Alan and I stayed on to participate in the service on Sunday morning allowing the rest of the team to head off to Mungindi. Thanks St Geo folk.

Moree Anglican Church was also a comfortable spot for us to "hang our bikes up". We really enjoyed the hot pools in Moree. Very relaxing and therapeutic.

Myself, Kerry and Alan on Kerry's triple tandem. What a bike!

At Mungindi Central school, some folk relaxed in the library. We enjoyed our sojourn there.

We had a quiz on Sunday night. The winners were this group.... forgotten what they were called. Think they got chocolates for a prize.
Tuesday we made it to Narrabri (neat 102 km) despite strong headwinds and heaps of semis. Two more days and we'll be in Dubbo (my home town.)
Bit of trivia - Diana's heart rate today was 111. Pretty sedate really for somebody who reckons she did it tough into the wind all day!! Four and a half hours of cycling. Poor backside eh?

Saturday, April 18, 2009


By the time we arrived in St George we had ridden for two weeks. Two weeks to go! More than half the kms so the daily rate will drop off a bit. The above two kids Jack (left) and Tom (right) rode with Sarah and Jim and others for a decent chunk of the day. Our riders did 195 km.

Lindy and Rosemary enjoyed the day today - they powered along.

Upon arrival, the green lawn was most welcome. We are staying at the Uniting Church at St George, Qld.

They even advertised our coming! Thanks Robyn and Michael and other church folk.

Here is our full team of cyclists and most of the St George/Surat mob that rode part of the way with us. Check out the little guys! Ben and Jake are in there as well.... they are young schoolkids.
Great BBQ tonight. The riders really enjoyed the huge range of dishes. Tomorrow we head to Mungindi.

Friday, April 17, 2009


OK, Here are the stats so far. Bear in mind I'm with (sometimes even cycling) the Goodies team. The quicker team have less time in the saddle, often arrive sooner and have a higher average. Maybe I can incorporate two sets from here on....
Thanks Paulfor helping me put this table into the blog.








Avg. Speed
5-AprCairnsRavenshoe1431436:335:00Comm Cent21.0
6-AprRavenshoeUndara1432866:222:55Wilderness L26.3
7-AprUndaraGreenvale1784647:304:503 Rivers H24.3
8-AprGreenvaleCharters T2016659:466:25Columba 22.4
11-AprCharters TBelyando C2018668:074:30Roadhouse24.7
12-ApBelyando CClermont17210387:504:18Commercial H22.8
13-ApClermontEmerald10711454:461:30Uniting Ch22.5
14-ApEmeraldRolleston13812835:513:00Sports Shed24.7
15-ApRollestonInjune16914527:264:50Community H23.6
16-ApInjuneRoma9215444:4112:00Anglican H25.2

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Barry & Jean from Armidale (top photo) joined us on a couple of days. They are experienced BFB riders having ridden Perth to Sydney in 2006 amongst their other rides.
Lindy & Rosemary make a formidable team on the green and gold tandem. Lindy is blind (she rides the back in case you were worried) and has a number of medals from international cycling events including two from the Paralympics in Beijing. Lindy is from Sydney and Rosemary from Queanbeyan.

Bedlam reigned supreme when a cane toad was found by Mary amongst the bedding right on lights out! There wasn't much sleep for a while after that. Here Nigel (dark blue PJs) takes the offensive against the invader. How did he get into our luggage? Surely he didn't come from Charters Towers? Nigel is from England.

He seems a bit put out (excuse the pun.) I'm sure he'd have rather travelled with Mary and Lyn. You can see how easily the cane toads spread from one area to another.

A bit of tyre trouble for Barra. He NEVER gets a puncture he reckoned. Well, Kev, you're now in the real world... a world of flats etc. Notice the men are the ones to help fix the tyre.

Paul and John Gardiner lead their group - looking very neat and compact. Well done fellas & girls.

Carnarvon Range is magnificent. We really enjoyed seeing this on Wednesday as we cycled from Rolleston to Injune (169 km).

Eris took a bit of a car ride part way on Wednesday - a very hilly and somewhat nasty day. It paid dividends as she did extremely well today (Thursday) over a series of rolling hills. Some were even steepish!

Paul, Carlo and Ross roll into Roma where we'll have a rest day. Next rest day is Dubbo! Two of our team have booked themselves in for massages here tomorrow. There will be some bike repairs done as well.
When we were in Emerald a lovely builder bloke named Peter Vine arranged for the local bike shop to be opened to allow our riders to get bikes fixed and buy a few necessary bike bits. After it was done the bike manager told us that there would be no charge because Peter was going to pay for it! Awesome. Unreal. Then at night we went to the local sports club for a meal and found that our meal - food and drink - were going to be paid for. Just amazing the goodness of God's people.
When we reached Injune, the information place (lovely log building) gave us free coffee when we got in after a tough day in the saddle (Rolleston to Injune 169 km). Here in Roma Ken Jonsson at the Roma Health and Fitness Centre let us have free showers. Thanks Ken. What a lovely facility.

Labels: , , , , , ,