Blog – Pollie Pedal 2016 Day 4: West Wyalong to Forbes

Pollie Pedal 2016 Day 4: West Wyalong to Forbes

It was great to visit the GrainCorp Development at Caleen.
It was great to visit the GrainCorp Development at Caleen.

The township of West Wyalong stands at the crossroads of the Newell and Mid Western highways, linking Melbourne to Brisbane, and Sydney to Adelaide. The huge semi-trailers and B Doubles that service the eastern seaboard thunder past the town day and night, often stopping at the roadhouses and service stations nearby.

The centre of a vast cereal growing region, the town was the site of gold discoveries in the 1890s.

Our route to Forbes took us via the small villages of Quandiala and Caragabal to avoid the busy Newell Highway. After three days in the saddle, my legs were feeling weary.

The night before, we had dinner in the recently restored Royal Hotel, where the food and wine complimented the beautiful setting. The local member, Michael McCormack, welcomed us to his electorate.

Early morning breakfast in the park was followed by a visit to Grain Corp’s handling and storage at Caleen. The company is currently spending some $16 million to install bulk grain train loaders. With storage for up to 230,000 tonnes of grain, this is one of Grain Corp’s major facilities. Chairman, Don Taylor, and members of his team showed us around the development.

Our 147 kilometre journey today took us over the vast, flat windy plains of the Riverina. With temperatures of 35 degrees and strong cross-winds, it was the toughest day of the ride so far.

Thanks for having us at your school today Quandiala.
Thanks for having us at your school today Quandiala.

We met the 18 children and their teachers and parents at our first stop, the Quandiala Public School. A similar warm welcome greeted the peloton at the Caragabal Public School where we had lunch.

The village of Caragabal is home to just over 200 people, many of whom were there to say hello and discuss topical issues.

Forbes was a welcome sight after a long day in the saddle. It has been very flat, which means constant cycling, kilometre after kilometre, into hot cross-winds.

Located at the centre of a rich farming region, Forbes is a bustling town on the Lachlan River, the home of some 7,500 people.

We were greeted at Victoria Park by the Mayor, Cr Phyllis Miller, local residents, and children from the Forbes North Public School, who came out for a discussion.

Great to meet students from Forbes North Public School.
Great to meet students from Forbes North Public School.

The park in the centre of Forbes is surrounded by wonderfully preserved historic buildings – the Town Hall, Public Library, Court House, Post Office, two churches and the Vandenberg Hotel.

It was a welcome respite from the day on the road and another opportunity to talk about the work of carers throughout Australia.

Tomorrow, we ride to Orange.