Blog – Pollie Pedal 2016 Day 5: Forbes to Orange

Pollie Pedal 2016 Day 5: Forbes to Orange

One of the tough climbs today (photo courtesy of Alex Ellinghausen Fairfax Media)
One of the tough climbs today (photo courtesy of Alex Ellinghausen Fairfax Media)

Today’s Pollie Pedal ride for Carer’s Australia was a 130 km journey from Forbes to Orange, via Canowindra.

There was a sense of relief on the faces of the riders as they assembled in Victoria Park this morning, having survived a torturous day on the road yesterday. The long day in hot temperatures and strong cross-winds was not just physically taxing, but mentally challenging. Missed concentration for a nano-second can result in clipping wheels, broken bones and broken bikes. Luckily, the only incident that involved bike wheels being caught in the cracks of a bridge surface, resulted in no injuries.

The town square in Forbes represents the aspirations and confidence of the people who settled there over a century ago. A sense of industry and civic pride resonates to local residents and visitors alike.

Soon we were cycling across the flat flood plains between Forbes and Eugowra, which was our first stop. We visited St Joseph’s Primary School, to meet with the pupils, teachers and parents.

Students at St Joseph's Primary School, Eugowra, asking fellow Pollie Pedal participant Yvette questions.
Students at St Joseph’s Primary School, Eugowra, asking fellow Pollie Pedal participant Yvette questions.

Sr Helen, a Josephite, recalled how she had been posted to the school 65 years ago as a young nun. She recounted how the town and the district had changed over that period, with properties growing in size, farmers using modern technology, and requiring fewer workers.

Our next stop is Canowindra. This small rural farming town has developed as a niche tourist destination. Sitting in the Deli Lama – where I succumbed to the temptation of feasting on a home made meat and vegetable pie – the proprietor, Tom, told us how there is an event in the town almost every week. This coming weekend, some 10 – 15,000 people will visit for the annual international ballooning festival. It was a quaint town with lace iron verandas, craft shops and galleries.

The final 58 kilometres was a testing ride, as the hills appeared more frequently, and were steeper. Mt. Canabolas could be seen in the distance, marking the end of the day’s ride at Orange, but there were many hills to climb first.

We were finally welcomed into this fast growing regional hub by the local MP, John Cobb, and the Deputy Mayor, Chris Gryllis, along with a throng of locals.

The turning autumn leaves were a picturesque sight after another long day on the road.

However, there were more community functions to attend before Friday’s 128 km leg to Oberon.