Tucker Tours - Dunedoo September 2016

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Photos by Irene

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After a long scenic drive from the Central Coast, 14 keen members (including Sue) arrived at the very characterful Dunedoo Hotel during the late afternoon on Tuesday. Azzi was expected to turn up by 9am the following morning. So we had 5 girls and 9 boys altogether, ready for this adventure. The first evening meal at Dunedoo Hotel was a huge one with big plates filled full of our chosen foods. Then some of us had the cakes for dessert with cream - wondering if we would be able to move the next day!
So despite the gloomy forecast of heaps of rain, we woke to a mixed sky with lots of cloud interspersed with blue sky and sunshine. Our aim today was to cycle to Binnaway stopping at Coolah for lunch - a distance of 97klms. Doug did a briefing and Simon volunteered for the sweeping position. Initially we cycled along the Golden Highway for 10klms until turning left onto a quieter road. At the 17klm mark in Leadville, Sue had set up a grand morning tea for us in a nice park and Mrs Jan Fowler had made some yummy cakes for us share - which just about lasted the two days - perfect energy food for hungry cyclists - thank you Jan! Sue had also thought of everything else ie snakes, biscuits, tea & coffee.
As we continued, the terrain was fairly flat and we dealt with some head wind. Dark clouds all around us but still we managed to dodge the rain. Marshall got attacked by a magpie but it turns out he didn't even know about it! Reaching Coolah at about the 48klm mark, we had started a gentle climb. Sue had driven through some heavy rain and felt sorry for us but we didn't get it - amazing! After lunch there was a big long steady climb which everyone managed really well. After that, it was all fun over undulating terrain, generally down with some ups as well. Someone told Tess she would never be able to overtake the tandem on a downhill leg. So she rose to the challenge and sneaked past. This move was like a red rag to a bull so you can imagine what happened next! [You passed her again?]
Along the way, we saw lots of terrapins, fat cows and bulls, sheep, llamas, full dams, overflowing creeks, and plenty of green pastures - just delightful. Local cars drivers actually waved to us in a friendly manner and gave us plenty of room - more than a metre. With about 5klms to reach Binnaway, we hit our first flooded causeway which was about 4-5inches deep then suddenly the heavens opened and we got drenched. Another 15mins and we would have all been under shelter.
However, not to worry, the accommodation here was brilliant with our own huge kitchen and everyone in their own private rooms and access to nice hot showers - all beautifully renovated. Would you believe Doug got a puncture just as we arrived at our accommodation. Some of us had a further challenge to do another 18klms because of a Strava thing - who's idea was that John??? So Chris, John and myself set off on a lonely trek, out in the rain to complete this crazy challenge.
When we got back, Lyn had thought we'd been for a "Nanna Nap"!! I forgot to mention that when we arrived in Binnaway, the whole town was shut except for IGA. So no pub meals or pizza or whatever else anyone had in mind. Super sleuth Sue soon had everything in hand and whipped down to the supermarket to buy dinner for 15 people, including apple pie and icecream - what a trooper! Thanks to Sue, we did not starve - we were all so grateful. Lyn and Linda taught Azzi and me a new game of cards which gave us plenty of laughs - thanks girls. So, 97klms done at an average temperature of 15°C and a good bed for the night.
Thursday morning rose with a cooler temperature, blue skies and keen legs. Josie managed to find a puncture each morning but was quickly fixed and soon on her way. Only 87klms to go today and we started with a head wind on a steady climb, then a side wind and finally a tail wind. Scenery was just wonderful - so green, lots of cows, more terrapins, horses, plenty of undulating terrain. Doug gave us instructions to re-group every 10klms which was a great idea - allowed us all to stick together and gave us rests between the morning tea and lunch spots. Sue had set up a picnic table at the side of the road with hot drinks and food to feed our hungry bodies and then again for lunch at Mendooran. After a bit more side wind, we finally made it back to Dunedoo. It was Simon's turn to get attacked by the one magpie today. Well done to Doug for not losing anyone, expertly guiding our way and also to Simon for hemming us in at the back.
We can't thank Sue enough for all the support, feeding us on our tea breaks, carrying our luggage and with Doug as Chief Manager, what a team! Without these two, this wonderful adventure for 15 members, would never have happened - a really enjoyable experience. Everyone who rode with us on this adventure, "DUNGOOD"!! By the way, did anyone find my 5 cents???
Irene - Hope you like the photos.

Binnaway Barracks

Coolah lunch spot

Coolah Lunch

The Three Amigos - Dunedoo Hotel

Tess chases the tandem


Rolf's ready to go!

Up on the balcony

First morning

Mendooran Road

Ready to start

Riding to Leadville

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