Pingrup to Needilup - A Short Ride? - CycleBlaze

May 14, 2011

Pingrup to Needilup

Last night's meal was memorable, as was tonight's. I sat at the bar and had a meal alongside a Kununurra (someone check that spelling) cowboy. He's down here working on a farm helping with the seeding. He rides in rodeos. He used to do broncs and bulls, but he got pretty messed up in an accident with a bronc ride and now he sticks to the bulls - he says they are less dangerous. He reckons coming off of a horse is worse because you come off with more speed and from higher up - I'll take his word on that. He was good fun to talk to and told some good stories about chasing wild cows and bulls in Arnhem Land. We were served by an 18 yr old French girl on her "gap year" who wanted to see Australia and got a job in a country pub to see what the country was really like. Smart Girl!!

Today's ride was from Pingrup to Ongerup and then on to Jeramungerup. And I had a TAILWIND.... woo hooo!! Well for the first 60 km anyhow. The winds shifted from easterlies to north north-easterly. I nailed the ride to Ongerup by noon and as it is Sunday today, I had the whole road to myself. I think I saw only 3, maybe 4 cars on that stretch and it was a really interesting ride through the farmland, scrub bush and salt lakes. Loved it.

Ongerup has a general store, a community centre, a caravan park and a petrol station - and all bar the caravan park are closed on Sunday. Had a nice chat with some of the locals and asked what the road ahead was like and if there were any good places to pitch a tent between there and Jerramungup. They mentioned Needilup and their Community Hall and the Cricket Club - about 25 km down the track.

When I got there, no one was around the Hall, but it looked like there were a few people at the Cricket Club, so I pedalled up and asked if I could pitch a tent. Well it had been Billy's 21st birthday (Happy Birthday Billy!!) and Billy's dad Stuart and a couple of the locals (Cam, Col and Colleen) were sitting around a fire out the back. I think they were suppose to be cleaning up, but were happier sitting around the fire sinking a few beers. To get to the point, I'm the temporary overnight caretaker of the Needilup Cricket Club and I have permission to drink and eat as much as I can manage between now and tomorrow morning when I pedal off on my treadly. How good is that!! I had a beer with the crew, they staggered off into the sunset (vowing to return tomorrow morning to start cleaning up) and I've got the place to myself.

Today's total was a new personal best: 85 km. 60 of it was with a tail wind, but the last 25 was into the north easterly (knees please forgive me).

Highlights: * Fantastic tailwinds for the first 3 hrs * All those nice people in Pingrup/Ongerup/Needilup.

There was a big ring around the moon last night, a sign that the weather is about to change in the next 48 hrs. It's warmed up a bit at night and the shift in the winds means some wet weather is coming. I'd rather it stayed dry, but you can't begrudge anyone here the rain.

Next goal is Ravensthorpe - a two and a half day ride with no towns or water. I'll have to load up with supplies in Jerramungup and hope the rains aren't too ugly.

update: rained last night and showers today.... let's ride!!

Jerrimungup GPS
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Stirling Ranges in the distance - How did they just pop up out of nowhere?
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The Needidlup Cricket Club and my saviours for the night. Thanks Stuart and Billy!
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No more fly muggings for me - it actually works!
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Wow! It's the Rabbit Proof Fence - I should have taken a shot of the road. The fence is long gone (come to think of it, haven't seen a rabbit on this ride yet either). But the road stretched off through the scrub as far as the eye could see.
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Turn right to Ongerup - 60 km of road to myself and almost all of it with a tailwind... woo hoo!!
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Today's ride: 85 km (53 miles)
Total: 482 km (299 miles)

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