Bellingen via Hydes Creek Road

Today’s ride was out to our frequent destination of Bellingen and the Old Butter Factory, but along a slightly different route which included a few kilometres of gravel road.

That didn’t seem to deter many (if any) riders, as 14 turned out for Sunday’s ride. Twelve left the Urunga BP, picking up Kerrie and Kirk along the way, to head up Perry’s Hill, then out Butlers Road toward Bellingen. The group was slowed slightly by a crucial repair to the gears on Fiona’s road bike, which she had borrowed from Colleen, but thanks to Don we were back on our way relatively quickly.

Alan, only recently back on the bike, and his granddaughter Caitlin, left the group at the end of Butlers Road and headed back to grab the car and drive to Bello for coffee with us. Alan didn’t want to rattle his still-sore shoulder too much before another operation to repair the shoulder injury he sustained during our Vietnam ride last year.

The first part of the road was fantastic – rolling green hills with the road wending its way through. Apologies to any cars that came upon us today – we seemed to loll along all over the road at a very cruisy pace, taking in the scenery and having a chat.

The gravel section of the road was amazingly good – well graded and for the most part smooth. We were all glad that the logging truck passed us on his way out before we reached the gravel as it would have been dusty and probably dangerous if we’d been on the gravel at the same time it was roaring through.

At the end of the gravel we turned left on Hydes Creek Road….and we all wished we were back on the gravel! The paved road was more pothole than road and the next few kilometres were bone and bike rattling.

The road eventually intersected North Bank Road and we were on the smoooooth stuff until Bellingen. As usual, even though the Factory was packed, we were greeted with smiles (or well-disguised grimaces!) and served pretty quickly. A large contingent of Alan’s family were able to join us there and it was good to see Bev, Susan and Karen again.

Our return was along the well-known North Bank Road, which went well until we came to what we shall in future call Fiona’s Lament – a downhill stretch where Fiona came off her bike on her first DUBBUG ride, and where today she had the only flat tyre of the trip. Fixed by Herb, who very kindly gave a couple of us girls some of his pointers about fixing flats while he was about it, Fiona was soon on her way.

Next week’s ride is the same destination – Bellingen – via North Bank and South Arm. All welcome, for an 8am departure from Urunga BP on Sunday.