Lost and Found

Phil discusses ride with GeorgeToday’s ride report is dedicated to Ride Leader Phil, who managed to find and lose more riders than any other ride leader. Well, not lose exactly, but by the end of today’s ride there were only five of us, out of a group of 12 that had started from Urunga BP, and which had swelled to 15 midway through the ride.

We “found” ED first, who joined us at Repton, as we pass right by his house. We “lost” Kirk and Kerrie first – they were flying to Melbourne in just a few hours’ time and couldn’t do the full ride with us. We found Don and Michele who had cycled down from north of Coffs; we lost Mark who had to go home early and couldn’t join us for coffee.

It was also a day of out and backs, which is unusual for our Sunday rides; we normally manage to find a loop so that we don’t have to travel the same road twice.

Today’s ride took us north along the Old Highway to Butlers Road, with a short stint on Glenifer Road, then out to the tiny township and beautiful residential area of Crossmaglen.

The “out” was into the wind and hilly as we ascended slowly into the foothills for about 10km. The back was just the opposite – zooming down the hills on good bitumen with the wind at our backs and the sun on our faces.

Back on the Old Highway just near Bonville, we took another detour out to the picnic area at Bongil Bongil National Park, through the cool, dark forest, turned around and rode back to the Highway.

By this time, coffee was calling, and it was a quick trip north to Garden Mania, our go-to spot for great coffee and better service. With the Coffs Bicycle Users Group choosing the same location for coffee, we were sure that there would be a wait as there were at least 20 of us (wisely quarantined out the back away from the other customers). But coffee and cake were quick to arrive and we were back on the road within an hour.

We then lost Rayner, Don, Michele, Bruce and Dave C. as they headed home northwards. And we even managed to lose Ride Leader Phil as he turned off on Waterfall Way and left George, Herb, Colleen, Bettyanne and Dave to straggle back to Urunga.

With a distance of about 60km, good although windy cycling conditions, few hills and splendid camaraderie it was a great day.

Next week’s ride is a cruisy coffee cycle, out to Bellingen via North Arm and back along South Bank. Or vice versa. Everyone’s welcome, with the group leaving Urunga BP at 8am. Rides also depart Urunga BP on Wednesdays and Fridays for rides of about 35km.