Dubbo to Cowra

The last couple of days have not gone quite to plan. I visited a bike shop in Dubbo in response to a clicking noise in the drive train that sounded like it could have been in the bottom bracket bearing. This is the bearing for the pedal crankshaft. It is notoriously difficult to track down these clicks, so we agreed to change the bearing, just to be on the safe side. This meant I did not leave Dubbo until just before 11am. The clicking did stop, although it may have been dislodging a grain of sand under the bearing cups, or anyone of a number of things.  I was happy regardless.I was also also armed with a new tire to fit when I reached Ros’s farm at Ariah Park, as I thought my rear tire was wearing so fast that a mere rotation of front to back would be inadequate.

Despite being late in leaving I thought I would still have time to reach Cudal (between Molong and Canowindra) which was my planned camp for the night. I made good time to Wellington and then discovered that after the first 10km, the entire trip to Molong was up hill. This was 55km following the Fox Creek, except that we took short cuts up some ridges. It was getting dark by the time I reached Molong, and looking like rain. The one motel was booked out so I pitched a tent in the caravan park, grateful for a shower. This left me around 30km short, and very tired.

Old abandoned church

What future the  church? Pushing uphill on the road to Molong.

Molong evening clouds

Evening clouds at Molong

This morning I inspected my back tire which has been taking a bashing on the sharp fine flinty metal they use for road repairs on the NSW roads. It was evident that the tire would not last the next two days. After taking it off I found the entire rubber coating was floating free from the Kevlar belt underneath. The front tire, which is the same age, still has the central injection line visible, which gives some indication of the wear the back receives under load.

Front Tire 2090km

This front tire has done 2090km. As well as the tread grooves you  can just see the line running down the middle of the tire, which is an artefact of the injection mould.

Rear Tire 2090km

This is one of the better sections on the rear tire. The entire tread was lifting off. Kilometerage is exactly the same.  To be fair, despite all this, the kevlar belting under the rubber let nothing through. I'd have to be desperate to use this as my front tire to get home! I have a folding tire for emergencies, but the one bought in Dubbo from The Bike Shoppe has a super hard casing and is kevlar belted like my Armadillos. It's so hard I had trouble getting it on!

By the time I changed the tires, placing the new tire (a brand I don’t know) on the front and rotating the front to the back it was 10.15.  At least this gave time for the tent to dry out. There was no rain, in the end, but everything was saturated from heavy dew.

Molong, Many  Rocks

Molong means Place of Many Rocks

Molong, Many  Rocks

One thing that struck me about the beautiful and apparently rich farming land between Molong and Cowra was the high number of properties for sale. I must have seen at least twenty.

Today  was now a long 160 km trip to Young, if I stayed on schedule.  It has been a good ride, but composed of long 5- 10km climbs and steep drops.  It was so cloudy I lost all sense of direction, and had to follow the map against my ‘better’ judgment, which told me I had turned through 180 degrees.

The route was Molong, Boree (turning off before Cudal), Cargo, Canowindra and Cowra. By taking the  Cargo road I avoided some very hilly country on the main road to Canowindra. At Cargo it began to rain  heavily, which meant pulling out all the pannier covers, the wet weather booties and the rain jacket. I spent the next hour in quite heavy rain, and then slowly began to stink the rest of the way into Cowra. This has been a trip of just over 100km, and I have decided the last 60km to Young is too much.

I have a rest day with free accommodation at Ariah Park, which will now be too far to do sensibly tomorrow. I guess I’ll stop part way and have a short run into Ariah Park. I don’t fancy finding a farmhouse in the dark!

I stopped at the Cowra War Cemetery on the way into town. There was a POW camp here in WW11 which had a mass breakout one night, with much loss of life. It is a quiet, sobering place.

Burial after the escape (Interpretative Sign)

Japanese Cemetery

Some of the Japanese Graves

Fifty Six

Fresh Flowers

People still come from Japan. The flowers were fresh today.

Australian Cemetry

Part of the Australian Cemetry. Our casualties were much lighter. We also get proper tombstones. Other burials apart from the loss of life during the breakout must have taken place in this cemetery.

 

From Wikipedia: During the breakout and subsequent rounding up of POWs, four Australian soldiers and 231 Japanese soldiers died and 108 prisoners were wounded. The leaders of the breakout commanded their escapees not to attack Australian civilians, and none were killed or injured.

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