14th July 2013 – Urunga to Coffs Jetty (Coffs Coast Challenge Training Ride)


Our first stage of training for the Coffs Coast Cycle Challenge in August, went well on Sunday 14.07.13.  Ten enthusiastic riders signed on at Urunga at 8 a.m. undeterred by the temperature and greatly impressed by the efficiency of our Ride Leader, Mr Phillip Jones.  Detailed handwritten Ride Descriptions were made available to all participants, but I believe that they were designed primarily with Michele in mind!

Our ride up to Sawtell, along the old Pacific Highway where possible, went without a hitch.  It was not until we had turned into Lyons Road that our President fell victim to a pothole the size of a crater!  He was lucky to get away with a mere puncture, as opposed to a heavy fall.  After a lightning fast repair (all part of the Coffs Coast Cycle Challenge prep) we were off to a banquet of culinary delights prepared by Ann!  Both she and her husband Bruce, a fellow rider, opened their magnificent Sawtell home, and more important kitchen, to us.  Eating alfresco surrounded by a landscaped Asian influenced garden, seemed a far cry from the tough yards assumed to be fundamental to hard training!  Anyway, after some had filled their zipper Gladbags for nibbles along the way, we set forth for the Jetty!

Another great training opportunity presented itself with Michele’s dramatic puncture, at the beginning of the Hogbin Drive Bicycle Track.  Don is becoming highly practised in the art.  We barely had time to chat before the “orange spotted” tube was restored.  Off we set again, feeling less and less like we were preparing for anything that involved cardio fitness.  In fact one rider was rude enough to ask if we were attending “a mothers’ meeting” or participating in a riders’ group.  Since males outnumbered females by 8 to 2 on this ride, it seemed a very strange allusion.

Having circled the Jetty, our ride back to Urunga was uneventful, but into a headwind.  We arrived home feeling that we had done justice to the first and last legs of the Challenge.  However, our time of close to five hours perhaps needs a little tweaking!

Next week we will attack the full course but begin in Urunga, ride to the Jetty via Sawtell and then return to the Kalang Motel for coffee before completing the Southarm/Northbank loop.  I heard one of our older members mutter that he was afraid that we might peak too early with this rigorous training program but I feel confident that we are right on target, for our desired result!