Following a blisteringly hot ride last Sunday to the same destination (Bellingen), this Sunday’s ride was made in near-perfect cycling conditions. The skies were overcast and the temperature was balmy. A touch of rain just before we reached Bellingen cooled us off even more.
Eleven of us started the ride from Urunga, but that number soon dropped to 10 – Dave S., who came off his bike a couple of weeks ago on a notorious stretch of cycle path south of Coffs Harbour, joined us for the first part of the ride but headed back home at the first hill, following doctor’s orders as he wants to be fit for the New Zealand trip in a few weeks’ time.
We did the ride in the opposite direction that we usually take – heading up North Arm Road first, then back along South Bank. As mentioned before, cycling conditions were only near-perfect – a small amount of rain had fallen earlier and it was just enough to make cow poo soup along a stretch of North Arm Road. Those of us with dirty bikes didn’t much care, but Alan B. would have suffered with his pristine bike subjected to liquid manure.
Mike’s new drugs (legal ones!) have surely improved his lung function as he was powering up the hills ahead of most, even while riding his hybrid bike instead of his road bike. Liz, who doesn’t often cycle with us on a Sunday, was a welcome addition and she also powered along despite her original fears of lagging behind the rest of the group.
Mark, the only other rider on a hybrid was strong and steady. Phil, Dave H., and Kirk, all of whom have been putting in extra kilometres in preparation for the Grafton-Inverell “torture” seemed to take it a bit easier today and slowed down enough for the ride to truly feel like a social Sunday ride.
Ian was back after a few weeks away, and his cycling hasn’t suffered from the absence – he, Colleen and Liz made up the middle group most of the time.
And while we are all missing the presence of our usual tail-end-Charlie, Herb (on family/holiday duty for the last couple of weeks) George ably filled his shoes, apart from providing us all with licorice as Herb usually does. That’s a hint, George!
It was a great ride, with great friends, and no great dramas. Let’s hope this coming year will be full of many more like this.
Join us next Sunday for a hard ride (116km long and hilly) to Nana Glen via Bruxner Park. We start from Urunga BP at 8am.