Colleen Henry report 81/2012

“Shake, Rattle and Roll” was the very apt theme song for our cycle on Sunday 8 January – that’s exactly what we did from BP Urunga east to Yellow Rock and then back west to Bellingen via North Bank Road. The cyclists in the group who hadn’t before had the “pleasure” of rattling along to Yellow Rock were lulled into a false sense of an easy cycle for the first three or four kilometres as the road started out flat and mostly smooth. The first of the five or so cattle grids should have been a warning of the fun to come. The more intrepid of cyclists rolled over the treacherous, slippery-looking metal bars but some (ok, probably just me) got off to walk or took to the grass alongside. Cycling Tip Number 1: The best thing to do, as with most things in life, is to not look down and just keep pedaling.

It was good there wasn’t much car traffic. The road to Yellow Rock consisted of one thin strip of serviceable bitumen in the middle of the road, with potholes and filled potholes along both sides. The middle of the road was where most of us stayed (ok, probably just me), only giving way to oncoming traffic when we absolutely had to. Would cyclists have such a bad reputation for hogging the road if there were more of the road that we could actually cycle on? Somebody observed today that most cars on North Bank Road slowed right down and gave us a wide berth – we might be raising the awareness of local drivers, which always makes cycling more enjoyable. Cycling Tip Number 2: Look to where you want to go and don’t fall in the holes.

The day’s ride was one of the hottest we’ve had for awhile – clear blue skies again and not a breeze to ruffle the waters of the Bellinger River as we cycled along North Bank Road. And the humid part of summer has arrived – a very soggy group rocked up to the coffee stop in Bellingen around 9.30am. A half-hour rest, fortified with macadamia nut bread and scones and cream, and it was back to Urunga via the way we had come. We don’t often go out and come back the same way; nothing much had changed, it was just a lot hotter. One of us was not feeling too well today after a mid-week experience, and he has kindly contributed Cycling Tip Number 3: Don’t drink beer and eat too much liquorice at the same time.

Next week’s ride: Starts at 7:30 am from BP Urunga – Southarm to Bellingen and then back by Southarm.  Usual weekday rides start from BP Urunga at 7:30 am on Wednesday & Friday. More information 02 6568 2115.