Day 59: West Wyalong

Day 60: Wednesday 7th September
West Wyalong 138km

A fast trip to Forbes (40km) was followed by quick shop for breakfast cereal and fruit, and then a couple of pies for second breakfast.


The country between Forbes and West Wyalong can be described in two words: under water. The Forbes Lake (Lachlan River) was coming over the foot paths as I left town. Kilometres of table drain were full of water; enough water to fill Sydney Harbour, as the say. Farms were cut off by Bundaburrah Creek. Back Creek, 25 kilometres short of West Wyalong, was creeping over the road as I watched.

The water running up to the middle top of this picture is actually the road!

At Back Creek, was one of those huge modern wheat paddocks you can't estimate the size of, because you can't see the fences. But I'd say 500 acres of 2 foot wheat crop was underwater. More rain is due on Friday, but no one here wants it, I should think.

It was a wheat crop

So was this

At Marsden I was chatting with a biker couple, when we were joined by a wild looking and ancient looking cyclist.
He asked where I was going. "Wyalong," I said, "and then onto Adelaide."
"I'm going to Coober Pedy," he said with just the slightest superiority.
For shame, I said, "Yes I went through there. It's a good ride."

But he won the exchange on points because he was riding those platform mountain bike pedals with the little grommets to stop your shoes slipping... in bare feet! At a a good clip, too.
"I can't imagine why people wear shoes," he said. "I get my energy through my feet," and rode off.

The exchange gave me much to think about, especially my effortless put down. And also the effort we go to to create an image. As he rode off the biker woman commented on how old he was... even ancient. I suggested that although he coud be anywhere between 40 and 70, I thought he was on the short side of 50. She was convinced he was over 70, but then she also thought I was only 45!

In the know, I could see that the old hippie, a study in carefree, was pushing a very expensive carbon fibre frame. His creatively bungeed together bags -- a study in apparent ramshackle -- were made of the sort of expensive cordura fabric I can't afford.

Today the bike passed its 5,5000 kilometre mark, and on Friday, I will pass, or finally catch up with, my desired average of 100 kilometres per day for the trip-- including the rest days. What image am I constructing?

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