Day 14: Mitchell to Moree

Black Dog Ride 2010


After soaking in the wonderfully warm Great Artesian Spa (inside Mitchell’s aquatic complex) the night before, we were greeted by a cold, wet morning. It turned out to be a great idea to park the bikes undercover overnight, and we all chuckled at Rob who’d washed and polished his bike the night before, however he was reprieved as the rain stayed away for the start of the ride. Breakfast at the local Cafe before fueling up (me included, I know, after haranguing the others to fill up when you enter the town, I broke my own rule!) Tony decided to stay back to film the local school band belting out a tune after the rest of us had ridden off!

St George Weir

First {scheduled} stop was 210km away in St George, QLD. The road we took was the narrowest and bumpiest road we’d traveled on so far – and it didn’t take long for us to meet our first road train. Passing these things on the main roads is OK, as long as you keep your buffer zone, but on a (barely) one-lane backroad, this becomes a challenge. This road is in existence to service the multitude of local farms and probably only sees local traffic in its usual life. Interestingly, half-way along this road, there was a coffee shop! Thankfully none of the others wanted to stop at this place so we continued onto St George, crossing the iconic St George Weir. This was our designated ‘lunch’ stop (as I have mentioned before, it’s generally better to eat small snacks/meals frequently than having a big lunch). As has been the case on many stops, we found the local bakery, where they stock the breakfast/lunch of champions, meat pies! A pie and chocolate milk seem to have been my ‘lunch’ of champions throughout this trip.

Garah pit-stop

St George to Mungindi was an uneventful trip – a funny sign near Nindigully read “FREE BEER yesterday” – I’ve been taking pictures of funny signs through the trip and will include them in a later post. Mungindi is just over the NSW border but everything was labeled QLD (QLD Police, QLD Health, etc). Oh, and the border crossing was completely underwhelming…the sign to say you’ve crossed the border is visible once you’re on a bridge crossing the Barwon River! From Mungindi we paused for a stop at Garah, when it was noticed that Rob’s rear tyre was shagged (official term  ) Rob trundled slowly into Moree whilst James & I stuck around a bit longer and chatted about the life, universe, and everything. Mungindi to Moree was 120km of not much at all, BUT great to think about things and ponder what we’ve achieved so far.

Please don’t misunderstand me when I say a road was straight, boring or uneventful: it means there’s not much to keep you engaged and at one with the road (hence the reason many motorcyclists love the ‘twisties’ (a twisty road with lots of bends and curves). Straight roads with little to experience lack ‘engagement’ as a rider – you are traversing a large distance, and with little to engage the mind, it’s very easy to let your mind wander or lose concentration on the job at hand. You can read more about this challenge in my earlier blog post My biggest challenge.

Soaking it up!

Moree is famous for it’s Moree Hot Artesian Pool Complex, one of our must-experience destinations! Even though we visited one in Mitchell, you can’t have too many hot pools to soak in after a days’ riding! Rob had found a local motorcycle shop (Thomas Lee Motorcycles), where the son of the owner came in to replace Rob’s tyre! Simply outstanding service from a dealer at 4:15 pm on a Saturday afternoon – Thanks, Adam!  I stayed with Rob & we chatted about bikes, life, the universe, and almost everything whilst the others settled into the accommodation – the hot pools were beckoning and were tantalisingly close now!

Dinner was also from the “…of Champions” book and consisted of Pizza and beer. Yes, a truly ‘champion’ way to end the day – hot pools, pizza, and beer

Day 14 Photos: