Sunday’s ride – Missabotti from Nambucca Heads and return was a round-trip of about 64km, which is a good, solid ride, especially as there are a good many hills in that distance. So it was a bit of a surprise to have three people cycle to the start from Urunga, making their total cycle about a century – great effort Bettyanne, Herb and Phil.
On Wirrimbi Road from Nambucca Heads to Bowraville, the locals must have been pleased to see us as the first two cars honked loudly on their way past. The rest of the ride out to Bowraville was much quieter, with the group reaching the turnoff to Missabotti at around 9am, making great time.
The poor condition of the first section of Missabotti Road was commented on, with some cyclists reporting sore hands, elbows and shoulders from hanging on so tightly over the bumps. But once past the Bellingen turn-off the road was fantastic and the cyclists were able to focus on other challenges.
Ride Leader Colleen had warned everyone that the route included some of the steepest hills the group had done. This was a great strategy because in actual fact the riders didn’t think they were all that bad.
During a short rest at Missabotti Hall, the group fortified themselves then set off to tackle those hills for the last time. At one point, while the main group stopped to wait for a couple of riders who had taken an alternative gravel road from Missabotti, Herb, our tail-end Charlie, decided to ride on, which is something he never does.
It was a decision he came to rue as he ended up way in front when Bettyanne’s chain broke. It was a good thing he only had to cycle back a couple of kilometres, but a bad thing that there was a hill in the way. He fixed the chain in no time flat, which is why he’s such a great tail-end Charlie.
Coffee at Bowraville was way overdue by the time we all made it there. The break down added an extra half hour to the cycle and the late morning’s heat was noticeable as we made our way back to Macksville along Wilsons Road. Colleen, Mike and George said goodbye to the group there, while Phil, Ian, Dave, Herb and Bettyanne cycled back to Nambucca (and beyond) into a head wind.
Next week’s ride should be much easier – a cruisy 48km from Urunga BP (8am departure time) to Lyons Road via the old highway, through Toormina to Sawtell Nursery for coffee, and return. All welcome.