(October 4, 2020 – written by Dave)
Today and last night was all about riders and the Central West Trail. We weren’t sure that would see many fellow riders out here but if last night is any indication, well the trail is off to a great start. There no fewer than 5 separate groups and at least 20 riders in Dunedoo last night. The pub certainly got a revenue boost from all the riders. And we think all of the hotel rooms in town were booked. It is really great to see “if you build it, they will come” working out for the trail developers.
It was super quiet in the Dunedoo caravan park overnight. All three of us slept well. We were up early but an hour later as daylight savings time has started here in Australia – we turned our watches ahead an hour at 2AM.
In one of the local papers, dated 28 September, Nancy spotted a brekkie special that sounded too good to pass up so we headed there to give ourselves a treat this morning. When Nancy tried to order, none of the 5 people working in the cafe had ever heard of the special and best they could come up with was that it must have ended on October 1st. They are clearly still working out how to handle the new tourist boom in Dunedoo.
Most of the various riding groups were bunched up around the cafe. The largest group was heading clockwise but the rest of us were riding counter-clockwise. That put at least 13 riders out on the trail with us today. We saw a few of them on and off throughout the day but it we had near zero cars and cows clearly still outnumber cyclists.
The scenery of yesterday continued toady with things looking a little drier as we worked our way west. We had a super strong headwind for the first 5k but gradually all day we veered off on a big arch to the west. By the end of the day, the wind was trying to come around from behind us. Roman has just checked tomorrow’s forecast and we are supposed to have tailwinds for the day tomorrow, but we won’t hold our breath.
A little less than half of today was on gravel but it was generally very smooth and easy riding. There were almost no turns and those that there we encountered were well stickered. We rolled into Mendooran about 12:30, our earliest stop of the trip so far.
Mendooran used to be a lot bigger but today it seems like it is nothing more than a pub. There was a cafe advertised out on the rode into town but it was boarded up, along with a good number of other businesses on a disserted main street. They didn’t have too long a run here, mains power didn’t arrive until 1953. No matter how hard we try, I don’t think that there will be enough cyclists riding the trail to turn the town’s fortunes around. Having said that, the other town business, a distillery, had all of their afternoon tours fully booked out so who knows, maybe a boom is just around the corner.
We had lunch at the pub and we are having dinner at the pub. If lunch is any indication of the quality, dinner will be mostly meat and probably not worthy of including details here. You get what you can in a one horse town.
Tomorrow were off to another pub and one horse town called Ballimore. The pub there is rumoured to be a little friendlier, the town smaller. Shoot us a note if your interesting in putting an offer into any to the main street businesses. No reasonable offers will be refused.