Day 9: Cattle herding.

by Stephen

Cycle Against the Beast – 2022

6th March, 2022

Temora (07:10)
22.01 km
18.0 km/h
Mimosa (08:46)
1:13:34
209.45 km
Coolamon (12:23)
10.60 km
17.4 km/h
The Gap (13:01)
0:36:33
220.05 km

It was an early start to the day and spirits were high. The tyre felt fine, with no loss of pressure overnight, and I felt ready to roll. Like two years ago, I set off early ahead of all the others – they’d soon catch up to me! It was an easy ride out of Temora. Before I knew it, I was out on the open road again. It felt good. Just as I was taking the first turn-off of the morning, barely 13 km into the day, the rear wheel felt a bit funny. Sure enough, the tyre was getting flat again. So, I gave it a quick pump up. I carried on. 5 km later, the same.

Another flat in the middle of nowhere

Pumping up a tyre, with a little hand pump, certainly tires you out. However, I had very little choice. But I didn’t want to have to do this all day. Still, I carried on. On the third such instance, I clumsily got my foot in the way and broke the pump’s rubber tube. No chance of pumping it up now. All I could do is wait for one of the SAG vehicles. In the meantime, having stopped by a farm, I got to witness some cattle herding. A large herd of cows were being moved from one paddock to another. It was very interesting to watch. Cows don’t seem the smartest of creatures.

Cattle herding

It took a while for the first group of riders to pass by. They’d all done a photo shoot with one of the local sponsors of the ride, so did a circuit of Temora. The accompanying SAG vehicle was unable to help, as there was not enough room. So, I waited for the next group to pass by. That was fine. I was enjoying myself watching the cattle herding, as I’d not seen it for many a year. One of the motorcyclists, who was escorting us, stopped and lent me a pump. There was no point using it, as my spare tubes were in my rackpack (in the back of a truck). Before long, Pat came along with a SAG vehicle following the next group. I hopped in the pickup and drove on to Coolamon – the first scheduled break for the day.

Once at Coolamon, work got started to find and repair the leak. After about 15 minutes, the new hole was patched and I was ready to get back on the bike. The morning break was almost over, and I wanted to get along as quickly as possible. Having already cycled from Coolamon to Lockhart two years ago, I knew exactly which way to go. Ten kilometres in, guess what? Another flat! So, I gave Pat a call (who’d given me his number earlier) and he picked me up. I remained in the vehicle for the rest of the day. The tube was replaced after arriving in Lockhart. In the evening, we had a function at the Ex-Servicemen’s Club where we heard from Prof. Aaron Russell, of Deakin University, sharing his own line of research into MND.

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