Renmark-able Ride

Biggles

Premier Member
#1
The annual challenge was issued- since you're an Ironbut rider, get your butt along to the Muster, but don't shame yourself by having a casual stroll. The distance from home made the straight shot the simple choice. The only consideration left was the timing. The arrival window was generously wide. I booked into the destination hotel, The Renmark, asking for early check-in. "How early?" asked the receptionist. Midday seemed ambitious, but I lobbied for it (geddit?) and received no promises.
So a midday departure would get me there with my margins intact and I could nap in the lounge if I was needing to pass the time. Out of the servo at 12:08 I immediately realised my usual middle of the night departures are the way to go. Even hours before "rush hour" the traffic was a solid phalanx moving at times like the original army. Out of the Legacy tunnel the traffic finally flowed smoothly at the limit. The next road block was one of our favourites- the light-controlled roadworks. I think we all prefer the detectably more intelligent traffic controller, because they often respond to the actual traffic conditions rather than dumbly timing their decisions.



My bike sometimes has a better range than me, so the brick outhouse here served the additional purpose of a short walk to stretch the legs. The real point of the pic is the quite unusual sundial- spherical in design.



My first refuel on this road has moved from the Goondiwindi roadhouse to Boggabilla because it has a Coles Shell and I can get my discount- and it's generally cheaper than the BP anyway. And the nearest bowser is right at the door and I like to be able to keep an eye on my helmet.
Back on the road I caught up with a B-double and passed him with fresh exuberance, only to see the Big Tap at the farm gate on the left that I've been wanting to photograph. But you can't stop now you've just overtaken someone, can you? Well it doesn't sit well with me, so that bonus photo is still waiting to be taken.
The next stop wasn't on the runsheet:



You know the Moree Bypass, how there is a set of lights that are programmed to favour the rural road east rather than the Newell Highway? And the fact its limit is 60 kph despite there being no properties, other cross-roads, entrances etc? Well I was toodling along chafing at the bit at maybe 63 kph and the elaborately lit vehicle you see approached, appearing to be celebrating my arrival- red Hondas do that to people. He wheeled in behind and came over for a chinwag. I said, "What have you got?" meaning, of course, his readout. I was ready to bemoan the idiocy of the legislators for his entertainment, but he pulled out a breathalyser and asked about my recent indulgences. I passed the counting test and he asked me my destination to which I offered, "Oh, Renmark, eventually." No need for timeframes to spoil the relationship.

It was soon dark making star gazing and planet watching interesting ways to pass the time.



The celestial spheres were all on display, steering my course.



A bit further down the road I was getting a bit too casual about my milieu having seen no live wildlife when there was a very solid "thump-thump" as I ran over something. Too soft to have been timber or rock, but hard enough to be immobile flesh and bone. A timely recall to the task of careful scanning. Thankfully no wombats up that way.

A bit north of Wyalong I passed a slow moving poorly lit bike and wondered how far that rider was reckoning on going at that speed. While refuelling in Wyalong and snacking on roasted almonds, the little 250 Yammy rolled in and the helmet came off to reveal a lady of a certain age who commented, "You look like you're mad enough to be going where I am!" I was in the presence of Margaret Peart, holder of IBA Gold with 28 rides on 5 continents. Happy to plug along at 80 kph, and there at the finish with the rest of us.

By the time I got to Hay I was ready for a power nap and pulled off where the sign said there were picnic tables. The road in had a sign saying "Dry Weather Road" and I followed the dirt for about 100 metres wondering why it was so far off the highway. Then I realised I was heading for the Murrumbidgee River. Time to make a multi-point turn. I had a deja-vu of the lonely track on Mitchell's Island in the quest for a church graveyard at 2:00 AM on a certain Rally. If I dropped the behemoth here my rescuing angels had better be keen to be on this road. Feat achieved and with the lights pointed in the opposite direction, I soon found the table and bench- only 2 star IBA hotel, lacking a roof and parking nearby. You know how you put your head down and think about every weird thing and finally give up after ten minutes on trying to sleep, check the watch and find out you've been there 40 minutes? OK then, maybe not you, but I sure did!

Stiff with the cold, I mounted up spurred on by the knowledge I was past the three-quarter mark and soon headed into territory that was new to me. I'd only seen five roos through the night, two were metre maids, and one maybe 400mm, all standing up paying attention to the warning roo whistles. The fourth was playing dead in the middle of the road and the fifth young one was leaning over possibly a sibling saying "Get up or you're gonna get run over!" Seeing discretion was the better part of valour, it departed left leaving its sleeping mate to his own devices.

Diesel Dave had told me about his amazing FarRide to Euston which I think was the first time I'd heard of the disease (the riding, not the town). So it put a face to the name to see it. Then on to that beautiful old Paringa bridge and finally Renmark. I arrived there at 9:00 local and figured I'd check-in and then go for a wander until my room was ready, but the lovely Sheila (yep, that's her name) gave me a key card and I was through the shower and in the cot for a good two hour nap.

By the time I was ready with my documentation, the IBA staff were at their posts and accepting paperwork and hearing excuses.

 

TripleTreat

Well-Known Member
#5
My heart sank when I saw the photo of what turned out to be an RBT. Dunno why, those vehicles just make me feel guilty.
Thanks for the ride report. It's always interesting read about the different ways folk achieve the same task.
 

tj189

Administrator
#7
Thanks for posting up your ride Biggles, nice photo's and I think the red and blue lights work in nicely with your bike ;)
 

kwaka

Premier Member
#9
Fantastic RR Biggles, thoroughly enjoyed.

As we arrived at 7am local, I'm assuming when you were at Hay we were only a couple of hours ahead of you.

Oh, and yes. How in the hell does 10mins turn into 40?
One of those funny little mind tricks I've had many a time power napping on an LD ride and still a mystery to me too.
 

Rusjel

Premier Member
#11
Nicely written Biggles, thanks.

I think I'm similar to you in the IBA nap department. Set the alarm for 45 minutes, 5 minutes getting comfortable, 10-15 minutes lying awake thinking about stuff I should/shouldn't have done, eyes finally close and an instant later beep beep beep.

I haven't cracked the secret of the ten minute power nap yet, it's either the 'walk around the bike and ten pushups' or the 45 minute nap described above.
 

Vlad

Premier Member
#12
Great report Bill thoroughly enjoyed it. I find those kind of naps to be the most rejuvenating of all ,you feel great afterwards.
 

Marls

Well-Known Member
#13
Yeah!, nice read, nice shots, shame about the wildlife eh! A face I saw, but didn't get to give much time. But I got there also without doing the ride/drive of shame as could've been the outcome. Thanks.