Ride Report 20140504 – Fernbrook Loop

Ian Scott

Cold Windy Dorrigo 20140504

Phil, Don & Michele brave the cold headwind at Fernbrook Loop turnoff

Staunch, Stoic or Plain Stupid!

That’s the best way of categorising the 6 riders that collected at the starting point for today’s ride around the Fernbrook Loop Road. We stepped out of the warmth and comfort of our cars to be confronted with a wind chill factor of about -15 degrees (or that’s what it felt like!). Fortunately everyone had the forethought to break out the winter cycling gear except Don who braved the elements in only nicks and short sleeve jersey. But then he was born in the land of the wrong white crowd. Enough said.

We commenced the long slow 15Kms climb up Waterfall Way towards Fernbrook Loop Road. On a nice sunny day with no wind, this is a very pleasant ride. Not today! Right from the start we were riding into a howling gale of a headwind. As usual the strong riders lead by Phil were very soon out of site. Mark, who is usually up with the front bunch, held back to keep yours truly company.

At one point in our journey a very strong gust of cross wind hit us. Before I could react, I was off the road and laying in the grass. Lucky I ended up of the left of the road in the soft grass and not into the path of a passing truck!

We all re-grouped at the Fernbrook Loop Rd turnoff ready for the next part of our adventure. The wind and cold air was playing havoc with my breathing so I elected to stop and rest while the other crazy 5 souls rode around the loop. The eastern part of the loop brought some welcome relieve from the wind. Upon reaching the western side of the loop, the group was again hit with the wind.

Yet another re-group ready for the homeward run downhill and with a tailwind. Michele lost her chain while changing chain rings so Don demonstrated his skills as a bike mechanic by adjusting Michele’s front derailleur. The jury is still out on whether Don should change careers. Michele, how many times did you loose your chain?

The homeward run was certainly a lot faster and easier than the outward run. Even tailwinds have their surprises as everyone experienced a few wind caused wobbles. Arriving back at Dorrigo, we recovered over muffins and tea and got into a lengthy discussion on how to solve NSW’s traffic problems. If only the government would listen to us!

Next Sunday’s ride is Scott’s Head Loop starting at Macksville aquatic centre at 8:00am. Contact Colleen on 04 1791 9147 for more details.