So I managed to con my employer to let me ride my bike up to the Rural Health Medical School at Orange (and surrounds) for a week of rural problem based learning in population health. First time riding with luggage and to my dismay I found that being short and fat was not compatible with hoisting one's leg gracefully onto to said bike. So I found that the only way was to find something to let me gain a little height like a gutter then no probs. Prayed hard for no GI upsets lol or maybe no so much lol if it happened... Anyway i was sooooo excited to be doing my first big road trip and riding alone. The other trainees were driving up together and the thought of 3-4 hours in a car when you get to spend a week together...well i just whistled Wasabi and there she was! So going up I could have poked my eyes out with the nearset sharp object- bloody run through the mountains...sheeeeeeit will they ever stop working on the roads up there... they have been at it since the 1960s....seriously. i should've gone Bells but let myself get talked out of it. Anyway once past Mt Vic it was okay. So the fun part of my trip was going out to Lake Cargelligo. Holy Dooley. Once I got over those hills from Orange it was like nirvana had just appeared in front of me (not the grunge group...) it was so lovely and peaceful, The vista, whilst looking a bit too dry, was superb. I felt such a thrill and was beside myself to take it all in and just enjoy the ride. The road had enough action for me in the way of twistys and nearly everyone gave me a nod or raised three fingers off their steering wheel. Maybe they thought the village idiot had escaped because I am sure I was grinning like a loon from the pleasure. Ducked up Mt Canobolas after a long day to blow some steam...great views but a lot of antennae up there. Coming gingerly back down the dirt part of the road I was worried about roos. Bloody rabbits were the problem they scatter like marbles dropped on a concrete floor... bastard animals! Scarred the living daylights out of me. So through Condobolin or Condo out to Lake Cargelligo. We were going to meet with a local Aborignal Elder to discuss local health issues then out to Murrin Bridge,(to their Aboriginal Medcial Service), which is an Aboriginal Community about 45 mins out of the Lake. Good lordy...now that was an adventurous ride. Truck wash from a road train....eeeeeee har...thank goodness I had gained a bit of 'wind' experience even so nearly shat myself (the drivers also said they got one hell of a fright from the backwash). Lake Cargelligo Then in an almost biblical scenario, I started getting this pelting feeling on my legs and bonks on my helmet...WTF...moths...no bloody locusts. Not considered a swarm by locals but was akin to paintball pellets in the nude. Shit they hurt and this is my helmet and bike afterwards...locust bums smeared from one end of me to the other and bruises on my legs! At least it didn't rain frogs... Locust bum city...couldn't see anything but locust guts... Best part of the ride was the super long straights...I really gave it to Wasabi and bless her yoshi tail pipe we hit $1.56..elation all round but there was a mighty fierce cross wind. Sat on about $1.20 to $1.30 most of the time. The day was full of many ups and downs the downs of which are not really valid discussing on a bike forum. So back to Condo for the night and i had quite a few beers with the locals at the Railway Hotel was a great time! Bit dusty the next morning back to Orange. A highlight for me was Mt Panorama. I clicked over 9000km on little Wasabi up on Brock's Skyline. I did that track about 10 times and was getting the Esses going nicely in the end. Funny thing was, I just couldn't bring myself to do the track clockwise- it is a 2 way suburban road. First and only time i will be in pole position but hey I have the photograph ha! Wasabi on pole pos ha! Pit Lane Of course mixing business and pleasure is a rare working commodity these days and to have been able to do this ride plus the Bathurst Black Dog has been a real life changer for me. I have self diagnosed that I have incurable touringitis. The only treatment is to keep touring...I have found my new vice. PS if your bike gets smeared with locust bums I discovered that if you park your bike near to a flowering tree , the European Wasps happily cannabilise their relatives with indecent haste!!! I was lamenting how to clean my bike but I went into to study at Orange came out 8 hours later to a pristine bike go figure ... mother nature at her best!