Ride Report 17th June 2012 – Coffs to Lowanna and Return

DUBBUG Report 17 June 2012

Sunday’s cycle was up and up and up and then it was down down down. That was the wonderful ride from Coffs through Karangi and Coramba and then up the mountain to Lowanna. Granted, the best part didn’t begin until we started back, and there was a lot of up to get to that point – zipping through the rainforest on the way down the mountain made it all worthwhile.

Those riders that hadn’t done the ride before thought the veteran riders were kidding when they said that it was 16km up from the turn-off to Lowanna, but that was pretty much the case. There were six of us on the long ride up and west – Steve S., Bruce, Mike, Colleen, Phil and Dave. The cold that we’ve had for the last couple of weeks held off this morning, which was good because we had other challenges to contend with.

First there was Red Hill, straight out of Coffs Harbour heading west. Red Hill was short and sharp and it was good to reach the top and know the worst was out of the way. We passed George Hudson at Coramba; he was heading back to Coffs on his bike and we couldn’t talk him into turning around to cycle with us to Lowanna.

Once past Coramba and on the road up the mountain, it was a steady and unrelenting climb to Lowanna. Once we made it, we sat in the Boxcar café and ate cake and bacon and egg rolls and chips for as long as we could and then eventually thought we’d better head back. The cycle down the mountain wasn’t really a cycle at all – we just sat on the bikes and let gravity take over, enjoying the scenery through the rainforest. It was an 80km round trip and one of the most memorable we’ve done.

There was an alternate ride today for people not wanting the longer ride. Seven started out from Urunga to Bellingen and back via South Arm and North Bank, but only five did the whole ride. The ride may have been shorter, but it seems there was more drama on this ride than the Lowanna trip. Betty Anne’s gear problems which began last week on the trip to Bowraville caught up with her on this ride. Her rear derailleur cable snapped and she and Dave ended up having to walk back to Urunga shortly after the beginning of the trip – probably a good thing it happened when it did, before she had covered too much distance.

This was likely the last ride for Deb, Betty Anne, Dave, Sally and Anna before they set out in 10 days’ time for their European trip and we wish them well. It will be 10 weeks or so before they’re back with us with stories to tell of the Tour de France and other sights.

Our Sunday ride next week will be from Urunga south to Macksville via Nambucca Heads and return. Start at 8am at Urunga BP. Wednesday and Friday rides from the same departure point at 8am.