15th Feb 2015 Seven riders congregated at BP North Urunga for an easy ride around some of the cycleways of Coffs Harbour. From previous experience of almost losing a couple of riders when we have done this ride, I commenced my ride briefing by stressing my golden rule on all rides, “Don’t turn until you can see the rider behind you and they can see you” How prophetic these words would be!!This is the second last ride to start at 7:00am, but the early start was more than offset by the comfortable riding temperature. Quite a few of our fellow cyclists obviously agreed as we passed about 10 cyclists heading south while we climbed Perry’s Hill.
Don and Michele, who live on the north side of Coffs, met us on the cycleway near Bruce King Drive. By the time we got to the hill near the Big Windmill Motel, most of the gang where way out in front, only good old tail-end charlie, Herb, was still with me. Never mind I thought, the group will be waiting at the top of the hill.
Get to Combine street, no sign of them. Continue along Azalea Avenue, catch a glimpse of the group turning into West High Street. Turn right into Robin Street, see the group heading in the wrong direction. Yell out to them but they are too far away to hear me. I wait at the corner of Red Cedar Cres, the correct route, while Herb attempts to catch up with the group.
Wait 5 minutes, no group and no Herb. Ring Colleen, no answer. Ring Herb, no answer. Ring Phil, no answer. Ring Michele, no answer. What to do, this is the first time as ride leader I have lost my entire group! I decide we are all adults and everyone knows the coffee stop is Home base, so I continue along the CORRECT route, Adelines Way, Donn Patterson Drive and Bray Street. Just near Baringa Hospital, Michele rings and informs me the group is already at Home base enjoying coffee. Five minutes and we are all together again.
After coffee, we start the homeward journey via Ocean Parade, the Jetty, Beacon Hill and Hogbin Drive cycleway. Then the back streets of Toormina and Boambee East to the highway and back to Urunga.