Mudgee, Budgee Budgee and Pipeclay Road

Got on The Shrink on Sunday. Great difficulty walking on Monday! No, nothing broken. Nothing much working either.

One of the most difficult rides I reckon I’ve done. Must be I’m getting old(er). Twenty two hours sitting on the bike. Just on twenty four hours in total including all the “stopped” time. Quadriceps feel like they’ve walked 1000 miles. And all they’ve done is sit, albeit stretched, on the Shrink for most of the twenty four. Oh! Guess they did walk from the bike to the cashier and back at each servo but not much more than that.

I was thinking that maybe I was becoming a failure for these things. After all, I failed to clean up a kangaroo, failed to run down a rabbit, failed to wobble over a wombat, failed to get a goat as a mascot. But worse than all that, I failed to remember what I needed to do after or at every scheduled stop. And it all started at the initial servo.

Just like one of the other IBA riders, I thought I had everything covered at the start location. Full tank? Check! One full jerry can? Check! Receipts? Check! Skid lid on? Oooops, gotta get the specs off first. Bother! Specs off, skid lid on, specs back on, gloves on. Check. Oh no! Bike key is still in the pocket. Try to get that out with the gloves on … nigh on impossible. Ok, key in the slot, engine’s ticking over nicely and I’m outta there. Hmmm … feels a bit cool on the chest. Oh bummer! Zip’s not completely done up. A quick stop – the first of many as it happened - I’d scheduled just four each way – zip done up and I’m on my way. A couple of K down the road … Oh no (again)! I’d forgotten to note down the starting Km from the odometer. And that was just the start of it all.

But what was the destination. Aaaah … just out of Mudgee (NSW) to collect the Ozzi FarRiders' FarTreasure. I reckoned them New South Welshmen had hung onto it long enough. Didn’t seem to be much interest. So … ride on up, old boy, nick the treasure and return it to south of the border. A quickly modified ride plan – yeah, I started getting a ride plan together very soon after the treasure was planted up near Mudgee. I had been hoping that I might get a chance to go over the top, Bairnsdale, Mount Hotham, Wangaratta, the long way to Mudgee. Ended up sitting on that one with too many other commitments to allow the extra time. So, if it was going to be it had to be a one day, 24 hour ride.

The route

The destination

So there you go, I’m on the road and off to Yea around the “back road” to Benalla, then up the doom to Coolac (with a fuel stop at Coles Express on the Wagga Road at Lavington), then across to the Olympic Way via the old Gundagai Road to Young (scheduled fuel stop), onto Cowra, then through Bathurst up the Sofala road to Mudgee and Budgie Budgie. There and back, the jaunt would qualify for a SS1600 with just over 1800 km.

But I digress. Just before Yea my next troubles started making themselves known. The temperature was dropping. Some would say “as it is want” around Yea. Leaving home the temp was very nice and mild. Temperature and weather forecasts indicated minimums around 15/16C with nice warm days up to 30C. But Yea was not living up to expectations. BTW there are no specific weather forecasts for Yea nor is there current weather info issued by the BOM . So this drop in temp was most unexpected. Another stop to rectify the situation … and I’d only just left home! Pit stop, adjust the polar fleece jacket so that the collar was sealing the neck of my riding jacket, and pull on my wet weather over-strides. All done. Climb aboard the bike and get going. Oh no! Get up to speed and … the zip on my wet weather over-stride’s leg – both legs – was undone. And they’re flapping around in the breeze creating an annoying distraction! Managed to get the left leg done up – with gloves on – and then had a go with the right leg. Impossible to keep the bike cruising these days with their new-fangled acceleration cables. Can’t leave the throttle open – no hands, like – as one was able to do when we was younger. Pull the clutch lever in and coast. The bike is getting slower … and slower ... and slower. And I’m wrestling with the pant leg and the zip. Eventually, must have been just before the bike fell over from going too slowly, the zip closes the zipper. Catch the handle bar, open the throttle, and I’m on my way again.

Next … rounding one of the first bends in the road out of Yea I was greeted by a brilliant sun rise … beaming directly into my eyes with no polarising sunnies and with a few scratches on the visor … nigh on impossible to see. Guess work and fog lines come in handy at times. This “on and off” affair with the sun continued until the turn off just after Bonnie Doon. But then … Lake Nillahcootie looms. And Ox, it wasn’t that long back when it was full and running over the spillway. But now? You rightly observe that there is not much water covering the mud flats of its bottom. But there are public loos there. To be used only if you have to. And I had to … Another one of those unscheduled stops. Darn! I’m getting exasperated with all these unscheduled stops. Should I continue? The thought crossed my mind and … no! I gotta get that FarTreasure. Determination? Or is it just plain stubbornness.

Lake Nillahcootie with The Paps in the far background

And so the ride continued. Pit stops, fuel stops, inconvenience stops – those stops done to adjust something that should have been done correctly in the first place, and the just plain “necessarium” stops. I just must be afflicted with the onset of those senior years, just hope it’s not Alzheimer’s.

Done pumpin'

The bike went like the wind . Had the help of a tail wind for much of the way. Ended up getting 324 km on one tank (15.87 litres of 17 capacity, and the bike was still running), fuel consumption of down to near 4.5 litres per hundred. Bike must be getting run in (or worn out) and loosening up. Betcha if I wasn’t carry the can/s (of fuel) I would have run out much earlier.

Came across some nice sections of road. The first part of the Old Gundagai Road just out of Coolac and the road between Bathurst and Mudgee. Could be very exciting stuff. One person (dressed in blue) described the Sofala road as being great for bikes. Wonder how many he has nicked on that road. The road from Cowra to Bathurst, the Mid-western Highway, can be interesting also. Up and down, in and out reaching an elevation of just over 3000 feet. Any wonder they get snow up there and the folk in Bathurst sometimes “freeze”. And there’s historic Carcoar and the various towns along the route. Last time I travelled this section of the road was in the early 1970s when we lived in Sydney. Came across some interesting road engineering as well … concrete road barriers down the middle of the road dividing the traffic flow. (The Mid-western Highway coming out of Blayney, and the Sofala road.)

Two days later
Legs have recovered. New ride plan has been constructed. Now to get the FarTreasure “lost” for another to find. … and yes, its further south, but not by much.

Just need to lodge now and have the ride certified, but with the Ozzie dollar where it is atm, certification may just have to wait awhile.


Enjoyed the read. Thanks for posting up and sharing this ride. Let us know how you go with the verification process so we can move the report across.:)


Premier Member
Enjoyed the read Eliot, you made it look easy even with all the little things that happened, well done!