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The bridges of Lincoln County

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' started by XJ6N, Nov 16, 2015.

  1. After five months I was able to take up Martha MayMartha May's suggestion of a short, two hundred-kilometre local central NSW loop ride route on Saturday afternoon:


    I left home at lunch time. A perfect twenty-four degrees after thunderstorms overnight, blue skies with ragged cumulus moving from the south-west.


    The bends of Arthurville Road were covered with small eucalypt branches and leaves as I made my way around Bald Hill and over the Macquarie River. A four wheel drive vehicle swept up a storm of leaves in its wake as it went by. A farmhouse near the road had a mass of roses spilling over the fence in a mass of yellow, pink and red. It was a good afternoon to be on a motorcycle.

    Turning west on to Terrabella Road I let the bike open up a little down straights of exceptionally good asphalt. Past Peach Trees river reserve, past river red gums fringing wheat crops. The disappointing smell of wet wheat told half the story that the sight of ploughed-in crop completed.


    Near the confluence of the Little and Macquarie rivers the road has a short section of gravel as it approaches a small bridge over the Little River.


    Martha MayMartha May remembered this bridge in particular and so I stopped here to take a few photos.


    The river doesn't run all the time and so I was surprised to see a large carp swimming lazily in a pool just below the bridge.


    It was very warm in the sun and I had taken off my helmet. Three four wheel drive vehicles approached from the other side of the river and sat grim-faced while I put my helmet and gloves back on, started the bike and moved past them, all of which had taken less than thirty seconds.

    Now back on asphalt I accelerated hard around the next corner and almost immediately began emergency braking to slow before a causeway filled with coffee-coloured water. As one of my favourite characters Captain Mainwaring would say, 'You stupid boy!'. I went through the half-foot of water okay.

    Terrabella Road proved to be a good exercise in swerving to avoid debris and potholes from the storms. Another bridge over the Little River, this one with the name 'Benelong Bridge'.


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  2. #2 XJ6N, Nov 16, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2015
    Nearby cattle took an interest in me as I stopped and photographed the bridge.


    As we sat there looking at each other in the sun with a of gulf of peaceful incomprehension, thunder rumbled loudly and I could see dark cumulonimbus looming over the trees.

    So I went on. Turning north on to Obley Road following the abandoned railway line, past the high barbed wire and scrub surrounding Western Plains Zoo and into Dubbo.

    Jacarandas are blooming everywhere and I could see purple dotted across the city from the western side.


    Crossing the Macquarie River again, I went down the main street:


    I was beginning to be bitterly disappointed with the lack of attention I was receiving, being an intensely interesting and attractive P-plate motorcyclist parading along the high street. Just then two women stared at me from a hatchback in a side street. This was much better. They also appeared to be in their eighties.

    Aaand back out of town again on the Golden Highway that links Dubbo to Newcastle. The ride was becoming all about rivers and bridges; I turned off the highway a few kilometres out of Dubbo and went to have a quick look at the Talbragar River.


    Last time I went to see the Talbragar in flood there was a concrete crossing that went down through the river itself. I'd watched several four wheel drive vehicles struggle to cross the flood. Now, about five years later I was surprised to see a concrete bridge high above the muddy flow. I managed to get a rooster tail of gravel going as I pulled away from the road side.

    Back on the highway, I went along its gentle rises, curves and long straights east another twenty kilometres before turning off over the railway line into the quiet village of Ballimore with its ironbark-lined gravel streets. The pub is a good place to stop for a meal.


    I said g'day to the lady sitting out the front and went inside to the deserted bar. After a minute or two went by the lady appeared through the door and said 'Sorry...he's supposed to be manning the bar...'. I ordered a burger and coffee. The publican appeared from the back and sat down in one of the fawn velvet armchairs nearby. After interrogating me to find out who I was and what brought me into town, we settled in to watch a weekend fishing show on television while I had lunch.


    As I finished there was another rumble of thunder outside. I paid and said goodbye, wanting to stay ahead of the storms. Leaving the highway another few kilometres east on to the Gollan Road and heading south. I looked to the west and rain showers were all across the western horizon. The start of the Gollan road is, well, atrocious. Regional B-roads are usually poor in places but this has been bad for years - pock-marked asphalt patching, heaving, seeping, pressure ridges, strewn gravel on curves, potholes - it's got it all in spades for the first five kilometres. I kept an eye on that western horizon and it didn't seem to be getting any better, worse in fact. I pulled over at the locality of Gollan and made a large and meaningful contribution to a mud-puddle on the side of the road.


    And while I'm on the subject, why is it that people seem to have taken to peeing towards the traffic when stopped at the roadside? It used to be that you'd go and find a bush or a tree but now, no let's let 'em have the whole inglorious scene. I mean, really.

    Lightning began to get closer. I closed all the vents on my leather jacket and helmet and went on. Soon the sun was completely gone, the temperature down and gusts of wind started to snatch at the bike. It was fairly clear I was going to get wet. When I saw a monster of a gust-front cloud coming over the hill to my left I stopped again to take a few photos. I am something of a weather nerd. There was a green tinge to the upper reaches of the cloud. Oh, goody:


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  3. By the time I'd reached the next village, Goolma, it was properly cold. I put on a polar fleece vest underneath my jacket and watched a few horses play wildly, excited by the approaching storm.


    The first drops fell as I closed my visor. I turned left without going into the village proper and headed towards Wellington. Well, by the time I'd gone a kilometre it was bucketing down.

    I'd like to have taken a photo but I would have ruined my iPhone in the process. It was truly torrential. The few oncoming cars had their hazard lights on. There was two inches of water on the road. I'd ridden in rain as heavy for just a few minutes last Summer. Lightning was close, one bolt hit the middle of a paddock to my left, much less than a kilometre away. I was seeing the road reasonably clearly through a layer of water pouring over my visor.

    Then it started hailing. The rattle of it hitting my helmet was impressive. The sensation of it hitting me was invigorating to say the least. I have to say that Michelin Pilot Road 4 tyres perform very, very well in these conditions - not once did I feel a loss of traction, excellent. The wind was gusting up to ninety kilometres per hour I learnt later, thankfully a head wind now and not from the side.

    I had planned a photo stop at the dismantled railway line bridge at Spicers Creek. I did pull over and sat in the downpour for a minute or two hoping for a sign of clearing but no. I rode another ten minutes before the rain, hail and lightning were behind me.


    Water was streaming off paddocks and every shade of blue and grey were in the clouds over the Macquarie Valley.


    A colleague had once attended an outdoor concert in Sydney where it had hailed during the performance. He'd said, 'It was the best and worst experience!' and I tended to agree with those sentiments now. By the time I went over the Tin Bridge at Wellington I was beginning to tire of the water in my boots. I pulled over at the intersection with the Mitchell Highway and took off each boot, pouring the water out. A young L-plate rider on a Kawasaki Ninja 300 and in a tank top went past giving me funny looks.

    It rained yet again on the highway ride home with a rainbow over the Twelve Mile hills. Already wet through it didn't matter much - I was heading home to a hot shower.

    But what about (another) gratuitous motorcycle photo you say? Alright, alright. From earlier when it was still sunny and my boots didn't making obscene sucking noises when I walked:

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  4. Love the guy in the armchair!
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  5. Awesome pics! Have to admit hail hurts like hell.....!!!
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  6. Yet another fascinating read, stunning photos and exciting riding adventure (y)! Brilliant XJ6NXJ6N, thank you for sharing!
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  7. He looks quite comfortable, doesn't he. After lunch I could've fallen asleep in one of those armchairs very easily but no, I had a thunderstorm to ride through which makes for a much better ride report!

    Yes, large rain drops can get my attention at highway speed sometimes so this was a new experience in soft tissue massage.

    Thank you for reading and responding, Fr33dmFr33dm!
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  8. What a great read. Very well done.
    Stellar photos too.
    Good stuff.
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  9. #9 chillibutton, Nov 17, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2015
    You do write for a living, right.....?

    If not, a career change is required.
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  10. An Excellent Post and great photos.. Thank you XJ6NXJ6N
    We need more posts like this.
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  11. I tell you what, the quality of photos you and others put into the Photo(s) from your ride thread give me a fairly high aiming point! Thanks very much BitSarBitSar.

    I sometimes write procedural documentation for things like remotely re-building a Windows installation. It's a lot of 'Click Next > Click OK > OK > Close' so going out for a ride, making a few mental notes about this and that and then typing it out is good for the soul and my memory. Thanks again for your kind words chillibuttonchillibutton.

    Thank you for reading and commenting, Wheres me BoikeWheres me Boike! I'd better get out on my boike again soon... Oh, and did you see I'd rated one of your photos DISLIKE in the Photo(s) from your ride thread? Unbelievable! I must've been on my phone when I did it in error. I went back some time later and corrected the outrage.
  12. Excellent write up with photos to match, you certainly have the gift of the gab
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  13. #13 Wheres me Boike, Nov 17, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2015
    Lol, No big deal. I understand it's an easy thing to do on a Smart phone. Fat Finger syndrome.
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  14. "This " being an adult" thing just isn't working out"

    I do so like this.
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  15. Champion post! I actually look forward to reading new ones of yours XJ6N. Am feeling a bit crook and off all vehicles at the moment so this was a lovely bit of diversion. You certainly can tell a story, both with words and behind the lens. You have a great talent.

    THIS is precisely what drew me to motorcycles though. My choice of LAMS steed would attest to that. I lived in Canowindra for a while and am planning for a few lovely riding weekends out that way soon too.

    Thanks for whetting my appetite!

    Keep up the great work.
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  16. +1. Seems to be the best way to live my life anyway!
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  17. Thanks Rus Ler! I don't often get the chance to ride with other people at the moment so there's a lot to be said for sharing the ride here.

    I read you, loud and clear. For years I'd been thinking about it but finances or other priorities got in the way. It's every bit as good as I thought it would be. Sorry that you're not able to ride at the moment. I've enjoyed others' posts here about their touring all the more too when I haven't been able to ride.

    I've got a few more years of supposedly being a fully-qualified adult ahead of me. Then all bets are strictly off! Someone said to me recently, 'Your bike is the sign of a slightly early mid-life crisis'. I replied, 'No, this is just a motorcycle. Mid-life crisis? You haven't seen anything yet...'.
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  18. I'm trying not to grow up but my toys are getting more expensive :wacky: (y)
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  19. When do we officially enter "middle age? I just need to justify another purchase :D:D
  20. I suppose you could use juxtapositioning: 'I promise I won't get a girlfriend on the side for my mid-life crisis if you let me buy another motorcycle'...yeah, that's not going to work is it...
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