Stung by a Bluebottle – the missing $5.70

Ride Report 13th March 2016 – Coffs to Woopi
Ian Scott

As the designated ride leader, I did the mandatory weather check when I got up this morning, clear but overcast. Had breakfast, donned the cycling gear ready to jump on the bike and ride to Homebase for the start. Poked my head out the front door, pouring down. Waited about 20 minutes, still raining. Jumped in the car and drove to homebase ready to tell any fool that turned up “Sorry, Ride Cancelled”. By the time I had arrived the clouds had parted, the sun was shinning and the rain had disappeared.
Nine riders assembled at the start, including two drowned rats, Phil and Dave, who had ridden in the rain from Urunga. We headed north along the cycle path, Macauleys Headland rd, Firman drive and Charlesworth Bay road to the Pacific highway, avoiding the Big Banana hill. Once on the highway the group managed an average speed of about 28kph arriving in Woopi an hour after we left.
We stopped for coffee at a cafe that will remain nameless, to be informed by the staff that “On Sundays we do not split bills for large groups”. Instead of the coffee conversation revolving around the usual subjects of reforming Australia’s political system or re-drafting the NSW Road Traffic Act, it consisted of “How much is my share?” and “Anyone got change of $10?”. After everybody put their share of the bill and the change triple counted we were $5.70 short. Treasurer Herb graciously made up the shortfall from club funds. Good job no club member claims to be an accountant or auditor. Never dawned on us to get a pencil and paper and itemise each person’s individual bill. Needless to say, we have now scratched this establishment off our list of preferred coffee stops.
The return journey back to Coffs along the highway proved very pleasent even with a very slight headwind. The ride had been uneventful until Herb got a “slow leak” just near Opal Cove resort. The inch nail went right through tire and tube and embedded itself in the rim itself. After replacing the tube in record time, Herb discovered the tire side walls kept popping out of the rim so we continued the last few kms at a fairly gentle pace in case Herb’s tire blew out completely. We made it back to Homebase OK. Phil and Dave continued home towards Urunga.
As luck would have it, Phil had a major blowout just near the BP servo at Sawtell Road overpass. Not only the tube blew, the blowout also punched a hole in the side of the tire. Hoping to avoid the indignation of ringing the boss to come and pick him up, Phil and Dave managed a roadside repair that got Phil home.

After a very gloomy start to the day, it turned into a very pleasant ride, being fine and sunny. Coffs to Woopi along the highway is becoming a favorite ride for most people with nice wide shoulders and gradual inclines (apart form the first few kms in Coffs). Another thing learnt today, with the exception of Herb don’t trust any of us when it comes to money!