(October 7, 2020 – written by Dave)
We had a quiet night in the old wool shed at Billy ‘Os. It really was a wonderful stop and for sure a place we will go back to. You wouldn’t absolutely need a car but it is a good 20k to the shops. If you go out on a bike with the intention of staying a few days, come stocked up and settle in. Mark says that he’s happy to ferry folks into the Wongarbon pub (4km) for meals if you like.
We had our shortest planned day of the CWC so we lingered over a longer brekkie with porridge and farm fresh eggs (purchased from Mark). Roman finally got his second coffee as well. I had trouble setting off with the others as Billy ‘O has so many old photogenic things. One man’s stuff, the next man’s art – I’m on the art side.
We had side and tailwinds for most of the day. It looked like it would be headwinds but we sort of got turned around at Billy ‘Os. It was a relief, even with the short day, not to fight the winds. The weather has turned but we didn’t get any rain today. The distant sky was threatening but that just made a few of the photos turn out better. All’s well that ends dry.
We backtracked to Wongarbon but this morning we were a bit early for tea so we didn’t stop. We had nice rolling hills with some dirt roads through to Geurie. We’d been told that there was nothing open but managed to find a snack and get a few photos. A kind-of odd looking guy tethered his dog to a phone booth in front of the cafe – so we were completely entertained. Roman was still buzzing from his morning double and passed on the coffee – he’s getting soft.
After tea we only had 28km to ride to reach Wellington. It was mostly super cruise out River Road. Pavement eventually gave way to dirt – where we noticed the tire tracks of at least 3 other bikes. We weren’t sure that they were riders from today or yesterday. That is until we came upon a rear riding safety light in the middle of the road. It had clearly fallen off one of the cyclists bikes and it confirmed that the riders were on the road today – how’s that you say? Well, the light was still flashing – had they passed yesterday, the batteries would have been flat.
We had a good climb up and over Mt Arthur on this section. The climb topped out in a field of poppies which made for some nice photos. From the top it was almost all downhill into Wellington where Roman guided us hill favourite highway stop cafe – Wellington is on Roman and Helen’s route when they head west to the in-laws’ property.
After lunch we headed across the street to our pre-booked room at the Cow and Calf Hotel. We were too early however and had to ride around town looking at the sites to kill an hour. Wellington is great old colonial town with plenty of well-preserved brick buildings. I’m not sure what one would do for a living here but a good number of the old buildings had for sale signs on them – they would be fun to restore, but what then? Lots of possibilities.
Eventually they let us into the hotel. We got another shared room, also with a shared bathroom. It seems clean and the folks working here are nice. The clouds outside have continued to build but we are still rainless. There are heaps for places for dinner – even a Thai restaurant. Roman is keen for a 2km walk out to the famous Lion of Waterloo pub. That’s probably at the edge of our walking distance. We are now settled into the Cow and Calf for happy hour – how long we drink will probably influence how far we walk for dinner.
Tomorrow we have about 80km to ride to reach Gulgong and the end of the CWC loop. It will be our 10th day in a row of riding, Roman’s 11th, so we are planning a day off. There is a nearly parallel quiet country road that is sealed, so if it rains, we can avoid the mud. Today’s ride would have been a mucky mess had it been wet. Game day decision will be made tomorrow. We still have yet to determine how or where we store the bikes here overnight. They are currently in a locked function room but there appears to be some confusion as to when we can get access in the morning so they may be moved eventually.