Nev - lunch in Lightning Ridge


Premier Member
As many Australian IBA members will be aware, 6th May was a FarRide to Lightning Ridge. As I usually do when I learn of an upcoming ride opportunity, whether it be an IBA Muster or a FarRide, I look at the map, choose a possible route which covers the required km and gets me to the destination on time, and then I book some accommodation in advance. This way, if I forget about it until later, I have my accommodation bookings already confirmed, and I don't have to worry about all the available beds already being booked if it becomes a last minute affair.

My plan for this ride was simple. Friday, all day to ride from Melbourne to Cobar. Leave Cobar and get a start receipt about 6am Saturday, about 470km to lunch and then about 550 after lunch to Parkes would see me with 1000km under my belt around sunset, the FarRide completed and me having a nice sitdown meal and a few beers and a warm bed somewhere before riding the last 700km or so back to Melbourne on Sunday.

That WAS my plan. Then a whole bunch of big dogs in this forum started knocking over some epic rides. Round the Paddocks, Dusty Butts. I know I am capable of a 1000km day with little effort. I decided I needed to push myself a little harder. I decided to cancel my Saturday night accommodation booking and carry the swag instead.. a little later I decided that I was still being soft.. so I decided against carrying the swag too...

Having recently become a premier IBA member, I am also eligible to submit IBA applications without requiring witness forms, so I would be relying on my ability to photograph a receipt with my dashboard and my Spot tracker for verification purposes if I completed an IBA ride.


Premier Member
Friday morning I was up at 6:30 and bike packed and at the petrol station for fuel by 7am. The morning was a run north, up the Hume to Seymour, up the Goulburn valley hwy to Shep then out to Katamatite where I had my first break, a can of tuna and beans and a stretch in a rest area. Then onward north to Jerilderie for fuel.

The Jerilderie Hotel from where Ned Kelly's gang mounted their raid on the town, robbing the bank, locking up the police and penned his famous "Jerilderie Letter".

Harvest time

Turn off the Newell and onto the Kidman way, to Griffith for a quick bike to eat for lunch, then east through Yenda and up the Erigolia Rd, through Rankin's Springs and Lake Cargelligo for next fuel stop.

It's been a long time since these shops in Naradhan traded.

Lake Cargelligo is a real green oasis in the middle of flat monotonous almost desert scrub and cotton fields.

Further up the road is Euabalong then onto the Tipping Way, which is recently sealed all the way out to Mount Hope, back on the Kidman Way.

From here its about 100km to Cobar.

When I logged on and checked the forum at Cobar I read that Fatman and LynneTP were also staying in Cobar for the night, and had a bit of a look around town in the evenings at the motels and pubs but couldn't locate their bike.


Premier Member
Saturday morning i woke up around 3:30. Alarm was set for 5:30 but I don't think I managed to get back to sleep.

Cobar 05:35 odo 53369 -
I walked to the petrol station next to my motel and bought a packet of lollies for my start docket.

About 5:40 I was loading my bag on my bike when I heard another bike go down the main street. I figured that was Mick and Lynne. A few minutes later I was on my own way out of town, heading north on the Kidman way. Started with the cruise control set on 80kph and scanned the road and verges for wildlife. Not much about at this hour, and I gradually upped the pace to the 110 limit. After a while I saw I taillight up ahead. After 30km or so I caught up. It was Fatman and LTP on their Beemer. I made myself known then sat in behind them for the next 100km or so. As the sun started to rise, so did the wildlife make themselves apparent. A few roos, plenty of emus and goats, and even mumma pig and two piglets who made a mad dash across the road. Fortunately for me, they were doing a great job of sweeping the road of wildlife for me and I didn't get many frights myself.

Sunrise on the outskirts of Bourke

Bourke 0723 odo 53535 I stopped for fuel while they others continued.

Lots more emus along the roadway on the way out of Bourke but their numbers thinned out once the sun rose higher.

Caught the others in Brewarrina where they'd stopped for coffee so I stopped there for a chat and another tuna and bean can. Then it was further east to Walgett.

Then north to Lightning Ridge. Lots of bikeson this section of road, all heading to Lightning Ridge.

Lightning Ridge 11:03 odo 53853

I'd started the day with thermals and liners but the sun was starting to beat down so I lost a few layers. At the Bowling Club I reckon about 70 bikes were assembled for lunch. I caught up with a few people I knew, and met a few FarRiders who I didn't previously know.
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Premier Member
12:30 on the dot I was geared up again and set off. Fatman had told me about a different road from Walgett, via Corumbah, which showed as unsealed on my map (ok it's almost 15 years old, probably time to update) so I took that. Lots of cattle grids. Mostly single lane for the first 30km.

From Walgett I decided to ignore the Castlereagh Hwy and I headed south west to Carinda.

Another mostly single lane poor quality sealed road. Past Carinda the road went through various terrains, all flat.

The odd swamp.

Lots of vast plains with not much going on, just the odd cow grazing. Another stop for tuna and beans. Some shire counciller must have lived on this road because it really had no right to be sealed. It was about 170km from Carinda down to Warren and not very much going on. In the first 100km I saw just one car and only a couple of driveways and sideroads heading to homesteads.

The southern end of this road went through many km of cotton crops which disappeared into the distance.

Warren 16:09 odo 54210

After refuelling I hit the Barrier Hwy there were a couple of clouds and the odd shower but nothing to stop for or avoid.

Narromine, where Glenn McGrath is remembered in bronze.


Rather than taking the road to Tomingley from here, I followed my GPS which suggested some backroads to Peak Hill. I'm game. The sun was very low in the sky. The road was narrow and the light was fading.

I stopped at one stage to put my liner back in my jacket and my thermals back under my riding gear. By the time I got to the Newell Hwy in Peak hill it was dark.

Parkes 18:35 odo 54419

More fuel here and a couple of dimsims. This was the 1000km mark, the minimum distance for a successful FarRide. It's only 6:30pm and I'm enjoying the ride. Forbes passes by, and 100km later i get to the Goldfields Hwy turnoff at Wyalong.

Barmedman is a quiet little town. Too quiet for a Saturday night. It's only 830pm and the pub is dark.

Temora comes and goes.

The sky is still clear, plenty of moonlight and full of stars.

Wagga Wagga 21:38 odo 54711

Stop for fuel, and a sandwich. I haven't seen any wildlife aside from a couple of rabbits and a fox near Peak Hill. Not much traffic on the Olympic way, and then onto the Hume at Albury. The Hume Hwy is quiet.

Glenrowan 00:01 odo 54929

I roll into the service centre right on Midnight for fuel. From here it's all downhill. There's not much traffic on the road. The temps are down to about 7 or 8 degrees. One more stop at a rest area near Seymour just to walk around for a few minutes. Amazing what a difference a few minutes off the bike can make. I crank up the ACDC on the headphones and cruise into Melbourne.

Greensborough 02:23 odo 55161

Last stop for the night was at the local servo to top up the tank and get a final receipt and then the last couple of clicks back to my home for a shower and crawl into bed just before 3am.

GPS distance 1736km
ODO distance 1794km

GPX Track of the total ride
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Premier Member
I was very pleased with the Premier member certification process. I emailed the photos of my dash/receipts to the IBA on 10 May and received the certificate in my mailbox in Melbourne on 26 May. Postmark on the envelope was 13 May, so that's a superfast certification turnaround time. Great work by Mike Kneebone and the whole the certification team.


Premier Member
Well ridden Nev and your usual standard of photography and ride reporting remains at the "top shelf" level :) Great ride and report. I'm pleased we had the chance to at least shake hands as you walked out of the room :D


Premier Member
Well ridden Nev and your usual standard of photography and ride reporting remains at the "top shelf" level :) Great ride and report. I'm pleased we had the chance to at least shake hands as you walked out of the room :D
Yeah, although I was on the clock I did stay an hour and a half at lunch to have some time out of the saddle and also to at least catch up with a few people. One thing I like about the IBA muster format is the relaxed setting where most people stay for 24 -36 hrs, so you really have time to sit down and chat to just about everyone without being too rushed.