While in life we all have gears we never use, when cycling on the Dorrigo Plateau you have to use every gear your bicycle possesses. If we thought about it then the steady progression of hills around Dorrigo would be a good life lesson.  The effort it takes to balance on a bicycle is the same sort of effort required to learn tolerance,  or understanding, necessary gears in any successful cycle through life.

However, who really has the skills to philosophise on such a scale when you are careering down the long and winding Dorrigo hillside, dodging potholes, leaning into corners, avoiding oncoming traffic or skipping around dogs.  It is only on the slow, methodical, uphill slogs that we have the time to think about these things.  Thus Dorrigo presents the perfect terrain to develop  your inner philosopher.  And this is particularly so when the weather is cool, the day is fine and your companions are mellow.

The shortest DUBBUG ride on a Sunday in living memory from Dorrigo to  Bostobrick and return was thus a great success as the succession of challenging uphills brought out the philosopher in many of us.  

Visitor Ray, used to the unchallenging intellectual flatness of Sale (Vic), excelled on the downhill sprints recording the fasting speed of the morning having to resort to his brakes so as not to exceed the 80 kph speed limit. 

Mark McBaron, showed exceeding intelligence, by bringing along his flat bar bike with granny gear.  It was only later we realised that his previous residence in the area allowed him to exercise this advantage over his fellow cyclists.

Bello Don, in a public exhibition of self-flagellation, had ridden up Dorrigo Mountain before joining the start of the ride in Dorrigo town.  Rayner Janzen showed she has mastered the art of kamikazi descents and so was a match for all the boys. Phil Jones showed his democratic side as ride leader by amending the itinerary on several occasions to accommodate his anarchic band of followers.

Basketball Steve contemplated the forces of nature and decided that man and machine could overcome gravity. Bruce Goodman demonstrated his mathematical ability counting flies on each rider’s back.  Dave Spears matched ascents with Bello Don in spite of being  handicapped by his new credit facilities which blew his wallet out to extraordinary dimensions.

The changing local economy from potatoes to cattle also brought out the flies.  These are a constant worry for the talkative cyclist but eventually the occasional diet of insects is exchanged for the delights of the cafe and all riders were welcomed safe and sound at the end of another delightful Sunday riding experience.

Mike Flood