RTA Big Ride 2005 diary

Day 2: Jindabyne -> Dalgety (73KM)
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I left camp at about 7:30. The storm hadn't rained itself out, but the rain was quite light and I felt that it might stop before long. Still, I wore my raincoat and booties. There was a nice 10km climb out from the base of the dam where they are re-aligning the road. At the bottom, while waiting for the traffic lights around the road work, I took off the raincoat. By the top, I had put it back on again as the rain has come back more heavily.

View from East Jindabyne
View from East Jindabyne

Road to Rocky Plains
Road to Rocky Plains

Morning tea was at the disused Rocky Plains school, which consisted of a single school room, a play shelter and an outside toilet. It appeared to be in the middle of nowhere - flat empty land for miles around - and reminded me a lot of the original Wilson's Creek school in its style. After morning tea, the land was more undulating and the rain grew more steadily. We had lunch in Berridale where I caught up with Ed and Glen from last year. Ed looked a bit like he was doing it tough. It was good to sit for a while as my bum was getting sore. Maybe more pre-ride training would have been a good idea.

Morning tea at Rocky Plains school
Morning tea at Rocky Plains school

I finally got to Dalgety before 1pm. The town basically consists of a single block with the pub at one corner and the show-ground diagonally opposite, nestled against the Snowy River. The road running from the pub past the show-ground crosses the river on the historic Dalgety Bridge, erected in 1888. The trees along the street remind me strongly of the property which used to belong to my great uncle and aunt - Clarrie and Sal - near Tenterfield.

Buckleys Crossing Hotel
Buckleys Crossing Hotel

Childhood memories
Childhood memories

The Snowy River upstream from the crossing has a weir producing a nice looking little dam. They even have a small beach with surf lifesaving flags. If the weather had been nice it would have been a great little place to swim. Each year the town also hosts a festival, and there were girls on horseback handing out leaflets for it.

Buckleys Crossing
Buckleys Crossing

Snowy River
Snowy River

Nice horses
Nice horses

I grabbed a camping spot under the shelter of a few pine trees as it was obvious that the rain had set in. The main camp was in the middle of the show-ground and looking very bedraggled. I wandered up to the pub and found James from last year and a few others, and joined them in a few beers. Then I wandered up the road where there was the rumour of a great steak sandwich available at the town shop/post-office.

Dalgety campsite
Dalgety campsite

View from the tent
View from the tent

The rumour was correct; I had a steak sandwich followed by a sausage sandwich. That almost killed my appetite for dinner which was in really heavy rain. I think most people stayed in the pub and had whatever was on offer there. There was a guitar player in Cafe Big (name change from last year) who persisted in singing all the songs he knew about sunshine and rain. It was a bit annoying at first, but he was a good player and the the fact that he was out there with us counted for something as well. There was definitely a 70's feel: Doobies, Dragon, James Taylor etc. By the time the briefing came around we were all quite enjoying his show.

The briefing was moved into the memorial hall up the road as it was dry. By this stage I had decided that wearing jeans, long sleeve shirt, jumper, raincoat, shoes and a beanie was a good idea. The hall was filled with the smell of wet stinky people - sort of like wet dog but more familiar. As soon as possible afterwards I trekked back across to camp, which had become a sort of bog in places, and had an early night - trying to keep my wet clothes as separate as possible from everything else in a small tent. Music tonight is the soundtrack from Donnie Darko.

In the morning, they apparently had to haul a truck out through the mud, as everything had become slightly bogged.

Ride Statistics

DST  74.44 km 
TM  4:07:01 
Avg. speed  18.0 km/h 
Max.  62 km/h 
Avg. RPM  69 
Max. RPM  109 

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