Riding the Whirlwind
“When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.” Arthur Conan Doyle
The cold snap bringing snowfalls to elevated regions of NSW complemented by bitterly cold, gale force westerlies throughout the Mid North Coast brought to mind the Arthur Conan Doyle quote above.
About a dozen other DUBBUG riders obviously felt the same and braved the biting, treacherous winds to ride 55km from Urunga along the old Pacific Highway to Gleniffer Road, through the forest to Hydes Creek Road, on to Bellingen for refreshments and then back to Urunga via North Bank Road.
While, as in life, most of us have gears we never use, the terrain on this ride ensured that every gear in the cassette was given a workout. Uphills in the lowest gears, downhills in the highest. Into the wind spinning madly; with the wind, coasting on the large chain ring. Bicycling is so simple and simplicity brings happiness. And, again like life, you remain upright only so long as you are moving forward.
Cool heads were the order of the day and not only because of the winds. Hidden dangers lay everywhere in the form of large branches dislodged from the trees overhead, laying across the road as you raced downhill around blind corners, and difficult to see in the forest gloom.
Flat bar hybrids, cyclocross bikes and wider tyres were the order of the day as the Bellingen Shire is totally democratic in the maintenance of its roads for we found the corrugations of the gravel sections exactly as bone jarring as the asphalted roads made of potholes and patches.
Nonetheless, in spite of the hardships, no incidents were reported and all riders arrived safely back at their departure points.
Next week's Sunday ride at 0800 hours from the BP in Urunga is to Coffs Jetty and return. Everyone is welcome.
PS Three riders in the photo are Herb Simpson, Don and Michele Ottaway