After today's BUGs ride, I rode out through Beni Forest with Paul. He was going out to the MTB track at Geurie to help with a working bee, and I felt like a bigger ride, so I rode out halfway with him.
It's quite a windy day, with a strong westerly blowing, and I knew the ride back would be hard work. Ordinarily I'd have gone straight home, but I was in a good mood after an easy 30km ride, a cup of coffee and a chat, so I made the decision to keep going. After a couple of stops, to tell partners where we were going, and for me to buy some jelly snakes for fuel, off we went. The 30km/h tailwind had us at Beni in no time, and last night's rain packed down the sand on the road through the forest, so it was an easy ride. We saw a few grey kangaroos, one with a joey, and a flock of apostle birds. After the forest, on the road into Wongarbon, a couple of rabbits crossed the road in front of us - a big day for wildlife.
At Wongarbon I left Paul to continue along the highway, and I took the dirt road by the railway line back to Firgrove. I was getting tired by this point (about 60km - seems to be a magic number for me) and stopped for a rest at the Eulomogo fire station. I was full on into the headwind now, but the trees by the road and the general downhill slope helped here. I was still in a great mood - even an enthusiastic magpie tapping on my helmet couldn't take the smile from my face.
The last few kilometres into Dubbo were hard work - uphill and a stronger wind, but I used the granny ring and took it easy.
Total distance (including the BUGs ride) 84km - not bad considering I was planning on 30! In contrast to other recent long rides, I paced myself and enjoyed the ride more as a result.