The sixty-kilometre ride was particularly challenging, as the route incorporated close to nearly every hill, within a thirty-kilometre radius of Urunga! This would perhaps help to explain the small number (5) who grouped at the Urunga BP. Some riders even opted to attend their first political protest, given the demanding alternative.

Our ride along Northbank Road was fast, overtaking a Coffs Harbour Riding Group, obviously out for a more relaxing Sunday ride, in the southern suburbs. Our next section out to Gleniffer was even faster! Herb captured the beauty of the hall and church, before we returned the way we came, but with an extension on to Bellingen. We addressed the importance of refuelling with great commitment, at one of our favourite venues, The Old Butter Factory.

As we set off for the last testing leg of our ride, one of our contingent was foolish enough to comment that we would get home very quickly this week. Having negotiated the freshly laid hotmix out of Bellingen, we punched up “hospital hill”, burning some of the calories so fervently consumed, moments earlier. It was at the turn off into Southarm Road that the avoidance and timewasting tactics of Herb Simpson began in real earnest. His aurally dramatic puncture was methodically repaired at a reasonable pace. His assistant Phil announced quite clearly that Herb had applied sufficient air, several moments before the second tube exploded, creating a sound remarkably similar to the first. At this point all riders assisted in double-checking that Herb was addressing every possible variance in puncture repair procedure. With the third tube safely lodged in Herb’s retro steed, we set off with high hopes of retrieving some of our lost time.

On return to the BP we were all pleased with our efforts in increasing our fitness, speed and due diligence in puncture repair!

On Saturday, we farewell one of our strongest riders Brian Bailley, at Bongil Bongil Picnic Area, from 2 pm. Sadly for us, he is relocating in Victoria.

Our ride next week, the Toormina Nature Tour, sets off as usual from the Urunga BP at 8.