Dan Simmonds, the Cobar Drought Breaker!

#1
Cobar in western NSW haven’t had much rain in 2 years, that is until ‘Dan the Drought Breaker’ arrived in town!

So, it all started we heard that Dan Simmonds was popping over to Australia from the USA and doing an IBA ride, 100CCC, from Brisbane to Perth and then turn around and go back to Brisbane, just a mere 8,700kms or so. I contacted Dan and got a rough schedule from him on his planned route. Dan advised that he’d decide at Port Augusta SA on the return leg if he was going return to Brisbane or go to the closer option of Coogee NSW. A plan was then hatched by Fatman on how we could intercept him. The only thing was we didn’t know which way he was going and that meant we had two destinations that we could intercept him.

Plan A was to ride to Balranald or Hay NSW and ride with him through to Narrandera NSW then head home if he did the route to Coogee NSW.

Plan B was ride to Cobar NSW and ride through to Gilgandra NSW with him then head home from there, if he did the route to Brisbane QLD.

This was all good, but we needed to know what he did at Ceduna SA, would he have a rest for a few hours as he did on the ride west or not, so Fatman worked out a rough ETA at Ceduna for him then set his alarm so he could check on his route. Oh, dear that all sounds fine and dandy BUT Dan didn’t stop for a rest! Alarm didn’t go off but Fatman woke up at 1.30am and checked Dan’s SPOT, well he hasn’t stopped for a rest so if we leave now, we can get to Yarroweyah VIC then check again to see what route he was taking from Port Augusta. Then that puts us only 276kms from our intercept at Balranald if he takes the Coogee finish option and 574kms from Cobar if he chooses that route. Off we went arriving at Yarroweyah where we stopped for a break and to check on Dan’s progress, well it looks like he’s taking the Brisbane route. On the bike we got and headed to Cobar for an intercept.

What great weather for a ride, mid 30’s until we got about 30kms south of Cobar and it started to rain. We didn’t think much of it, but as we neared Cobar the sides of the roads were starting to flood, and the rain was getting heavier. By the time we arrived at Cobar the skies opened, the rain was getting heavier and heavier then the thunder and lightning started. It rained hard for a good hour and a half, we looked at each other and reminisced on a ride we did and remembered that the floodways fill up pretty damn quick.







Dan was not far away by his SPOT approx. 10km west of Cobar, so we geared up ready to intercept and ride with till Gilgandra which was his next fuel stop, then I received a photo from Dan of the road flooded in front of him.



We jumped on the bike and started heading out towards him and then he appeared, so we did a u turn and followed him to the servo where we introduced ourselves. Dan did what he needed to do, just before we left Fatman informed him of how quick the floodways fill around here then we were off following Dan. All good so far then we came across water across the road, we all got through it then another and another then another! It was a the 4th floodway we decided it was a tad too deep for us and we told Dan to continue his mission, we didn’t want to hold him up.

A few pics of the floodways.








We said goodbye and returned to Cobar where we booked into a Motel and dried out for the night. Not only were we wet but our phones also got wet & decided to shut down, it continued to rain most of the night. During the night Fatman continued to check on Dan’s progress, he did it! He made it to Brisbane, geez this guy has some stamina we thought.

CONGRATULATIONS Dan on an awesome ride, you certainly covered some territory as well as experienced different weather here all in 4 days! You are a machine!

You can’t say that we Aussies aren’t friendly, Dan had Clint, Tabledrain, TJ meet him at the start & finish of the ride at Brisbane, Skidoo intercepted him along the way, Ron, Reg and Daisy also intercepted him on the way over and the return trip. Kwaka got wind of it so he met him at the servo in Broken Hill on the return trip and Fatman & I met him briefly at Cobar on his return trip. And we can’t forget our ‘Gateman of the West’ Gus along with Lindsay who were there to greet him on his arrival and then escorted him out to ensure he left. So, all in all he was met by 12 people, some went out twice. A big thankyou goes out to ALL (sorry if I’ve missed anyone) who met him throughout the ride, it would have given him some great encouragement seeing how we all support each other.

Morning came around and it was a balmy 24 degrees at 7am and everything had dried out nicely. We started to head home going via the ‘Utes in the Paddock’ at Condobolin NSW where they have been moved to.





Plus, there was a road to get to Condo that use to be dirt that had been bitumenized, so we had to test it out, of course. We stopped briefly at the Utes took a few snaps and decided our next stop would be Narrandera NSW for a late lunch, the temp was now up to 34 degrees. Everything was going well, blue sky and sunshine and then would you believe the wind picked up, I noticed a dust storm happening then we got thunder and lightning and down came the rain, again we got drowned and the temp dropped down to 19 degrees!










The wind was so strong it was blowing us to the wrong side of the road, Fatman had slowed down to 70kmh but it was still blowing us everywhere so we pulled up at Beckom NSW to dry off and put our jacket liners in as well as have a bite to eat, hoping the storm would pass by whilst we were off the road, which it did. So, with that we made the decision that we’d ride through to Yarroweyah VIC where we’d refuel then continue home. By the time we got there the temp had risen back up to 30 degrees and we were melting with our jacket liners in so out they came again and off we went. We had planned on going direct down the highway but then decided it was such a glorious night for ride that we detoured and went via Seymour VIC stopping to pay our respects to a friend Rod Rodda (We were at Rod’s ashes scattering while on the clock for the Armistice SS1600km last year) at the Vietnam War Memorial in town,



the largest one in the southern hemisphere so I’m told. Back on the bike then we aimed for home finally arriving around 10.30pm.

What a hectic 2 days, we had rain, thunder, lightning, floods, dust storms, temps in the mid to high 30’s as well as down to 19 degrees! I think the only thing missing was snow!

Now to get things sorted to head off for Bermagui NSW for the FarRide next weekend.

All up we did a round trip of approx 2,000kms just to meet Dan Simmonds for 5 minutes and to witness the drought break in Cobar!

But it was worth it!
 
Last edited:
#5
Honestly. You and Fatman are quintessential riders in every way!! And yes, encouragement you did provide.

Enjoyed every word & every piccie...you're a much better ride report writer than me, Lynne!!

In the states, we aren't accustomed to having people meet you like this so often (or at all, really) whilst on the road. It's most welcoming. Trust me when I say I wanted to spend more time and talk over a coffee, because I can certainly appreciate what you went through to catch me in Cobar.

Dan Simmonds
 

Biggles

Premier Member
#6
A great testimony to the willingness of LD riders to support each other! It helps no end that you have those photos. I deduce your phones dried out so you could retrieve the pix.
The first floodway with the obviously deeper, faster water in the middle is a worry, but the second that is very wide would have been most disconcerting.
 

Gatey

Premier Member
#12
Gateman Himself was on a mission to western Vic to check out a property purchase and enjoyed 38 to 42 degree temps. The return trip I watched to meteoritical turmoil in my north and north west for te bulk of the day from Echuca on up.
Not knowing that a distance game was unfolding within that dark abis.
I have studied those photos and its possible FM and LTP and myself crossed paths on their return journey just south of Ardlethan.
I say possible as I was spotting bike I was sure I knew.
Two rides for me five weeks apart on 10,000k services. Just dumped that oil yesterday.
Boy oh boy those water crossings are goodly full guys.
Well done to you all for completing those missions. Bloody great effort.
Cheers
 

Fatman

Well-Known Member
#13
Not knowing that a distance game was unfolding within that dark abis.
I have studied those photos and its possible FM and LTP and myself crossed paths on their return journey just south of Ardlethan.
I say possible as I was spotting bike I was sure I knew.
Cheers
Quite possible Gateman, the wind was unbelievable for around 30 minutes, it certainly put the wind up me ..o_O