Cycle Against the Beast – 2019
Day 3 – 7th October, 2019
After an unscheduled night’s stay, at the Lithgow Valley Motel, I got going again just before 09:00. The location of the motel was quite convenient, to be honest! It was right on the road that I was planning to take, anyhow. Before I got too far, I wanted to stop to take a photograph of some railway viaducts – one old (and no longer in use), and one less old (which still carries the main western line, from Sydney to points west).
Today I knew there would be a lot of climbing – expecting almost 900 metres of ascent. Given my lack of fitness, I knew it was going to be a tough one. I also knew that the payoff would be some nice downhill, just after passing the halfway mark.
Early in the afternoon, I received a call from Bradley Jurd, a journalist from the Western Advocate – the local newspaper for Bathurst. They wanted to do an interview with me, once I got to Bathurst! The thought of this was a welcome distraction from a little knee pain that had cropped up earlier in the day.
In the mid-afternoon, I stopped by a roadside fruit and veg store, and picked up an orange. It wasn’t quite the end of the uphill. Just a little further down the road, I stopped by the guardrail on the side of the road. I misjudged my foot placing, and found myself falling halfway over the railing. For a moment, I thought I was trapped. But I managed to wriggle my way out. A passer by saw what happened, and asked whether I was ok. I replied, stating that only my dignity was bruised. 🙂 A little cap, though, which conceals the gear cable, did come off. Thankfully, that was the only damage sustained to my bike. So, I put it in my handlebar bag and carried on.
Not long after, Bradley called again, stating that they’d meet me on the road, as they wanted to get some action shots of me cycling. The rewarded downhill finally presented itself, and it was an easy coast to Raglan, which are on the outskirts of Bathurst. It was here where I was interviewed. It was published in the paper the next day (though there are a few errors in it).
With the interview done, I continued on to Bathurst, passing by the Big Gold Panner. Bathurst is the oldest inland settlement in Australia, and is a byproduct of the gold rush times.
As I was intending to spend last night in Bathurst, rather than Lithgow, I called up the Couchsurfing host who offered to put me up the previous night. Thankfully, he was more than happy to extend the offer to tonight as well! Thanks John! All that was required was to ride another 7, or so, kilometres, to nearby Eglinton.