Toukley and District Cycle Club Inc

Ride Reports and News

TDCC groups 1 and 2 - Friday Skylarkers - Norah Head Coasters
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Next scheduled rides (more detail at Ride Calendar):

Wednesday Ride TDCC:
Group 1
- 0915 for 9.30am at Volunteer Coast Guard car park, Peel Street, Toukley, UBD map ref 42 D9.
Group 2 - 0915 for 9.30am at Volunteer Coast Guard car park, Peel Street, Toukley, UBD map ref 42 D9. Shorter and slower ride.
Check here for away rides or changes for either group.

Regular Friday Rides:
Skylarkers - Fridays at 0900 at Gorokan Fish Co-op at Toukley Bridge for a faster ride of 60-80km.

Norah Head Coasters – Meet at Jenny Dixon Reserve, Norah Head, cnr Bungary Road & Park St, 9.00am Fridays – moderate pace, 35-50 km. Please check here for out-of-town rides. Next Friday 29 July, an 8.00am start at Jenny Dixon Reserve. Together, ride down to the new bike path in Wilfred Barrett Drive to join the official opening at 8.30am. Wear Club shirts.

Tucker Tours - Dunedoo to Menduran 13-15 September 2016 - Expressions of interest are sought. See the flyer here.

TDCC 2016 Spring Holiday 15-22 October 2016 Moss Vale - Click here for details.

2016 Christmas Party will be held in the Cedar Room at Camp Breakaway on Wednesday 30th November 2016. More details to follow.


Friday 29 July 2016 - Coasters
An early start today, with the new bike path official opening taking place at 8.30am. It was only 7°C when I left home to ride there. This is the path that runs from Evans Road, near the Veterans, down to Wilfred Barrett Drive about one km further south. The others were meeting at Jenny Dixon Reserve, but Doug and I took the shortcut, enabling us to leave home a bit later.
When I got to the southern terminus no-one else was there, except Michael from the CC Council. A few dignitaries started to roll in, like Ian, the Administrator, and Rob Noble, the GM. Soon we were all there, including some kids who came hooning along the path, who turned out to be Greg Best and his mate, from the Council, grey-haired hoons. There were 17 TDCC members, and a few others on bikes, so a good turn-out for this momentous occasion. They even had a photographer, Mark Scott, from the Advocate, a ribbon to cut, fancy signs, but no morning tea.
With the ceremony over, we all rode back down the new path to Evans Road and back up Oleander to Jenny Dixon's. A plan was devised, which included m/t at the Lakes Beach café, and a ride around Budgewoi Lake. Warwick went to check on the situation with the caf, and found it was closed till August (so at least a couple of days). We then decided, with my whole-hearted support, and Doug's and Virginia's, that we would ride clockwise around said lake and finish up at the Fuel Stop at Canton Beach. Which we did. Still only a 35km ride, and all flat, except for the hilly bits.
Barry chose to punctuate the ride with a puncture in San Remo, with a bit of glass penetrating his rubber. With me and Doug helping, we soon had it fixed and found the others waiting for us near Camp Breakaway carpark. Conditions were very nice on this ride, once the exercise had warmed us up. It was still only 17° when I got home, but to us it felt hotter, due to the sun-warm factor.
Carol has taken some photos, one of which she even appears in, and they are here. Thanks everyone for coming along and showing off our club, Let's hope we get some good publicity from it. Cheers!
Wednesday 27 July 2016 - Group 1
The main weather condition facing us today was the wind (see Seabreeze© graph below). Very challenging! Peter Hodge and his mad mates were there with their sailboards to take on the white caps. Carol just went home again. I wanted to, but was shamed into doing the ride as everyone else seemed so keen.
Barry was down to manage the ride, but was excused. Dougie was nominated instead to lead us, with Warwick taking the tail end. Off we rode, down to Aldi's in Evans Road, Toukley, and back past the sailing club towards the Toukley bridge. No point in pushing it too hard, as the wind just held its giant hand on you to hold you back. It was a bit chilly to start, but we soon forgot about that and started to strip off jackets at the Charmy Bridge.
Wazza finally joined us at the re-group, declaring that he was too sick and tired to go on, so he went back to the start, and we appointed Pedro to take the tail. Then on through Blue Heaven, via the ratty muddy path, up to another Aldi shop where we had a re-group before setting off down the Motorway Link to the M1. This was probably our most exposed, but despite all that, it wasn't too hard and we all finished up at Sparks Road, after Paul had mended a rear puncture. When he finally arrived at Sparky's, Doug discovered he had a flat too, so we just stood around chatting as always till we were ready to go again.
Down Hue Hue Road (I heard a girl on the TV news the other night calling it Hugh Hugh Road, ha ha), including our favorite detour through the boondocks, designed to avoid a hill in Hue Hue, but which includes a few nasty hills of its own. At this stage Doug realised we were supposed to go to Old Maitland Road, not just straight to lunch at Wyong. By now we were enjoying every bit of the headwind, knowing it would blow us home again in due course.
Waz joined us again for lunch at the toilets by the river, with Robyn no longer getting to enjoy the ride downwind back to Toukley. I'm sure she was devastated. It was hard to go slow on the way back along the 'river' road, after Doug stopped to haul a tree branch off the road. I never saw him again, but I did see Lyn ahead of me for the whole trip, gradually reeling her back in, like a bike race breakaway in the TDF. I took Rolf back down my street, as the best way home to Buff Point for him, avoiding The Corso and Panorama Avenue as a bonus. I hope he got back OK. I did, and very happily as I was quite tired by then. Thanks all you amazing fellow riders for doing this ride. I'll never forget you!
PS Good luck to Nigel for tomorrow, when he will lose his prostate, and hopefully his cancer. We're thinking of you mate!
Friday 22 July 2016 - Coasters
An unusually warm July day, up to 23°C. Twenty-three riders followed Pedro down the laneway to Evans Road then we turned left and rode to the very end, near the veterans hostel. There we found a new bike path, just finished by the Central Coast Administrator, thanks pal, which tok us down to Wilfred Barrett Drive, about one k south of the cemetery. They are officially opening it next Friday, at 8.30am, so we will meet at 0800 and ride down there together, in our club shirts. Be there!
Today though, we continued down to The Entrance North, then along the bike path to Long Jetty, then Killarney Vale, across Wyong Road, careful not to ride over the plantation, then up South Road and other streets to come out somewhere in Batto Bay. Easy to get lost around here, but somehow we all made it to DCE café in The Entrance where we had a break.
Plenty of cyclists everywhere today, the fine weather must have brung them out, even though a stiff NNW wind was blowing (see Seabreeze© graph below). This meant a head-down-arse-up challenge to get back up WBD, but not as bad as we expected, with the warm wind somewhat deflected by the National Park shrubbery.
At the start of the new bike path I re-joined the path to head towards Toukley, while the others rode to JDR to find the safe bosom of their cars. Virginia and I rode back to Lake Haven in the full face of the wind totalling about 65km for the day, maybe.Thanks everyone for coming today, it was invigorating and lots of fun. Cheers!
Wednesday 20 July 2016 - Groups 1 & 2
Rain, rain, rain... Most people stayed in bed, but Azi and I rode from home (Toowoon Bay and Lake Haven respectively) to Peel Street in the forlorn hope of riding with our friends. Doug, Pedro, Mike and James turned up in their cars to see who else came. We gave up at 9.30 and retired to the Legends Café in Main Road for coffee. It never stopped raining, so in due course we headed off home. I got to The Corso and got a flat. I looked for Dougie to give me a lift home but he never came past.
So I tipped the bike up and pulled off the front wheel, and chucked a new tube in. For some reason this was also punctured, so I walked home from there, about 3km. Not too hard but bike shoes aren't the best for walking. Must have looked very pathetic walking in the rain with my bike, but nobody stopped to help. Still better than staying home.
Friday 15 July 2016 - Coasters
Top morning at Jenny Dixon Reserve, with 14 riders presenting, in beautiful conditions, if you disregard the temperature (5°C). Paul had a plan, ride up to Elizabeth Bay to the hwy, then back to the Nursery at Charmhaven for m/t.
So with Paul managing, and Doug sweeping, we cycled through clear fine cool air on that route, with no incidents. As we got further and the day got warmer we discarded our jackets and loosened our clothing. By the Charmy nursery we were quite warm. After performing our duties there we headed back to Peel Street, except for those of us who went straight home, like me, and Virginia, and Doug.
Thanks for coming, you mates. Well done!
Wednesday 13 July 2016 - Tuggerah Lake
A clear crisp morning, devoid of clouds or rain, or warmth (6°C), and a gale blowing from the WNW at about 35 knots (70kmh, see Seabreeze© graph below).
Quite a few of us turned up at Peel Street, Toukley, which was nice on such a wild day, but a couple of us (including me) didn't join the ride but went home. About 10 dedicated riders took off on a tour of Toukley before crossing the bridge and riding to Wyong, m/t at DCE The Entrance, and back up WBD. Not much detail as I wasn't actually there, but I've been de-briefed.
The crew declared it was a good ride, and they avoided the worst of the wind, and didn't feel the cold, so they say. Good on them, I say! Thanks to the manager, Col, and the sweep, Doug.
Friday 8 July 2016 - Coasters
Hello cyclists. Today the weather is not nice, rainy and cold, and no riding was done, but 2 people turned up with their bikes, and 2 people without. Diane went straight back home as she had something else to do, while Danny, Doug, Warwick and Sue drove up to the Bombora café for coffee. Unluckily the caf was shut and all boarded up with newspaper over the windows, so they went even further to the Ark where they all bought coffee and tarts and chatted for a while. After that they went on about their business. The end.
Wednesday 6 July 2016 - Away Rides
OUT OF TOWN RIDE - Group 1 - 6th July 2016 Windsor, Richmond, Ebenezer and Windsor.
We set off from Windsor, on time, and under the management of Peter Holt. Your scribe took up the tail. The weather was clear and surprisingly warm, with a slight North-Westerly breeze. No hint of rain and sunny. In fact, the sun followed us all day.
We headed West along the excellent cycleway, beside the Richmond Air Force Base, to Richmond. Rolf regaled us with local history as we cycled past the Base. Turning North, we cycled along country roads, beside the river, and then East as we returned to Windsor. We cycled through turf farms, vegetable gardens and fruit trees with little traffic, (2 cars in all). Crossing the river, we took the road to Freeman’s Reach, back along the river, surrounded by more farms and little traffic.
After about 30 kilometres, we finally came to our first hill (long but fairly easy). After leaving Freemans Reach we headed North-East across country to Ebenezer, experiencing our second, and last, hill. Then down to the Uniting Church for lunch. We arrived at 12 o’clock, as arranged, and the volunteers waited on us, with Robyn being “mum”. We enjoyed lashings of hot coffee, scones, homemade Jam and freshly whipped cream, (supplied by Bessy I believe). Before leaving we checked out the first Presbyterian Church built in Australia and its adjoining house, that has been transformed into a shop and kitchen.
Back up to Ebenezer, and then South to Windsor. Although this short ride, (15 Kilometres), was mostly downhill the wind changed direction, as Peter had suggested before we started, and the last 5 kilometres, although flat, was directly into the wind. We quickly reminded Peter to turn off Strava, as requested earlier. He informed us that we had travelled 54 kilometres at an average speed of 18 kilometres per hour. Peter’s ability as a Ride Manager is best described as “like a fine wine, getting better with age”.
I don’t do many ride reports, but when I do, I like to mention all the riders on the ride, and so, I have in this instance. I would like to thank this group who I have nicknamed the “Lara Bingle Group”, (Peter Holt, Rolf Styner, Robyn Barwell and myself) for their participation in what was a great day. Traffic was light getting there, because of School Holidays, petrol was cheap, ($1.06 litre), weather was great and best of all, it was a change from the ordinary. Where the bloody hell were you?

Fernleigh Track to Nobbys Beach Newcastle Return - Group 2 - 6 July 2016
We met at Belmont Station for a 9.30 am start. A mixed lot of riders group 1 and 2 numbering 10 left on time on a very windy morning which got worse. The track was sheltered except for the more open areas, the same with the road section into Newcastle depending on the direction we were travelling and protection between buildings.
We reached the harbour foreshore and the wind was full on from the west. Mike Sawatske had to return to Belmont without a break for an early arvo appointment, he rode the planned route back via Throsby Creek and the tech college to Adamstown and the track back to Belmont with difficulty.
The other 9 of us proceeded to Nobbys Beach, being sprayed with sea spray as we rode along the road and not on the path. We had a group discussion at the surf sheds, agreeing with Rick and Paul to ride around the headland where it was sheltered and returned back to town and ride to The Junction and have a coffee break at a recommended bakery which was appreciated by all, and then riding back to Adamstown via the incoming route and then back to Belmont on the Fernleigh Track.
As we cannot do anything about the weather the ride was as good as could be expected. PS after reading Warwick's report on the Windsor ride that would have been a better option.
Kevin MacK

I know this is not Windsor, they were lucky!
Friday 1 July 2016 - Coasters
Twenty coasties turned up at JDR, eager to find out what was on the menu today. CVBN was on the menu, served by Pedro, with Waz for dessert. Conditions were chilly, but otherwise a beautiful morning, with a breeze shown on Nobbys Seabreeze graph as 20 knots W, or on Norah Head as less than 10, so somewhere in between.
Straight out to Budgewoi and up Lizzie Bay Drive, re-grouping at the lamp post in Lizzie Bay. After that we took the next left going up the hill for variety, riding down a short street, then through a ginnil (dunny lane), and up a long but not too steep hill. Along the lake shore (Munmorah) to the end of the bike path, then up to the highway. No dramas so far.
Down the hwy towards Sydney, but turn right at Tall Timbers Rd. Next stop, Josh Porter Reserve, a lovely spot on the lake (Macquarie), complete with toilet, the main attraction. Then up the bike path to CVBN, continuing north up Mulloway then the Link Road (gravel) to Kanangra Drive. Not interested in facing west today, just back down this lovely new road to the highway, with a beaut tailwind. Straight across the Pacific Hwy into the SRA along Blue Wren Drive, didn't see any though, not stopping till we got to the main destination today - Lakes Beach Café.
Sitting quietly at our specially-prepared table in the sun, thanks Wayne, when Richard's back tyre let go, like a shotgun, scaring the birds and sending shrapnel past our ears. Just had enough of keeping it all in, I suppose! This meant that Richard didn't have to ride any more, but his long-suffering wife of 50 years, Pam, had to ride back to JDR and get the van to pick him up. What a woman!
I still had to ride home, 10 km into the wind, and everybody else went home too, including Col with a similar trip home. Thanks everyone for coming and sharing stuff.
Wednesday 29 June 2016 - Groups 1 and 2
Dooralong - Group 1: Well, today was what you would describe as a "u-beaut" kinda day. Twenty intrepid warriors turned up to check that Col had returned safely from his holidays. Sure enough, he was back where he belongs, about to lead out the pack! Doug was in his "sweep" hat for which we are very grateful.
In clear blue skies, a little chilly and a 10 knot Westerly wind, we trouped off down to the Co-op under the bridge and onto the Corso. Chucked a leftie up Moala Pde to Lake Haven then crossed the Pacific Highway with due care. Round the back streets, through the wonderful wetlands and onto Warnervale Road, Sparks, Hue Hue and then finally onto the peace, quiet and acreages of Holloway Drive. A re-group before hitting Hue Hue again and it was clear there was something amiss with people missing. It turned out Pedro had a slow puncture and had help in pumping it back up again.
So, eventually we got onto Jilliby Road and what a true delight it was to cycle along here. With barely any traffic, lots of cows, horses and green pastures. I managed to tack onto the back of the Daley train and got swept to the lunch spot in no time. Passing Trevor en route - his first ride out for some time.
When we arrived, Jill had done a fantastic job of laying on coffee, tea and Tim Tams - yum! However, she warned that it was her last catering function for a while as she's planning to get back on her bike again next week - 3 cheers Jill and Trevor for the last few weeks. After we'd all eaten and drank, we soon realised that we were missing a few people and we were just getting a bit concerned when they turned up having had 2 punctures to deal with. (Danny, I'm awaiting info from Warwick as to who it was. [OK])
It was such a lovely peaceful spot there and even the sun was warming people up. Eventually we had to peel ourselves away and Col promised it would be "downhill all the way". Do you trust anyone who says that?? Well, we got a tail wind so it was pretty quick coming back especially as Paul F and I were trying to keep on Rick's tail.
However, there was an incident just towards the end of Jilliby Road. A red cattle dog ran out from one of the farms heading for Pam's foot - she managed to race ahead of him but following was Peter B who couldn't help but run the dog over. When Pam heard the shriek and turned around, she saw the dog on the road, bike on top of him and then Peter B on top of them both! Fortunately for everyone concerned, the dog ran away, Peter dusted himself off and there were no injuries or broken bike! - amazing - it could have been a disaster. (Did I mention I'm trying to shorten these reports?? - no chance today!) Well, with this incident on our minds, we turned right at Alison and came home the River Road which was a more direct route back. Col peeled off home having done a marvelous job on such a pristine day. (OK Col, I believe you - it was MAINLY downhill all the way home!) Thanks too to Doug for tucking us all in at the back and dealing with several punctures today! A 66km ride with an average of 14 °C temp and elevation of 500 metres. What a top day out with friends!

Group 2 - Another very chilly morning, but still 32 riders assembled at the Volunteer Coast Guard HQ in Peel Street, Toukley, NSW (just in case there are any new visitors). Twenty in Group 1 and 12 in G2.
Col had the bigger group in hand and took off towards Dooralong, into a 10 knot westerly, after deviating around Toukley for extra distance. Thanks Irene for the report above.
Group 2 was heading for Nords Wharf, but with John away there were no obvious leaders amongst the twelve riders, so I was nominated (Danny), and happy to do it. Conditions were fine, if cold, and the westerly didn't bother us much, coming from the side, and sometimes a tailwind. Halfway up Lizzie Bay Drive, Steph decided to go home instead. Kevin became our new sweep.
At the bus stop after Kanangra Drive I had a little think about how far we had to go, with all those hills ahead, and asked how far we had already come. The answer was 15km (!) so we pushed on along the highway. Eventually we came to the second turn-off to Nords, and Rafferty's Resort, and swept down the steep hill to the lake. A handy little shop is there, next to the primary school, so we got stuff, and sat on the nice grass in the sun, meters from the beautiful Lake Macquarie. We didn't really want to leave but eventually we got on our bikes and headed up the hill to the highway again. A Vinnies truck offered to take us all up the hill, but we insisted on riding it. Some of us walked up the steepest bit, and we're not ashamed to admit that.
Back towards Munmorah we cycled, and when we came to the roadworks for Catherine Hill Bay the highway went down to one lane, and the left lanes, including the bike lane, were blocked. You could get back to the bike lane after the first barriers, so I swung into the lane between the barriers, only to hear an aeroplane crash behind me, as Margaret hit one of the darling little rubber domes placed conveniently on the road, and her handlebar was wrenched out of her hand. Front and back lights broken, mirror smashed, bell gone, but no other damage or injury, thanks god.
Off we went again, back past the Big Prawn and on to the lights at Blue Wren Drive. Then came word that Richard had had a puncture, so we waited for him, and the 4 others who stopped to help. After 20 minutes I rode back on the wrong side of the road to find them, but met them coming the other way. At Lizzie Bay Drive I had had enough so informed the crew that I wanted to ride straight home along the highway, so we chose another leader, can't remember who, and off they went, leaving me and Kevin to ride down to Doyalson, where he turned left to go via Camp Breakaway and Budgewoi, and I stayed on the hwy to Lake Haven.
A good turnout for the club, thanks everyone for making the effort.
Friday 24 June 2016 - Coasters
Awaking to a clear sunny day this morning, one could be forgiven for thinking that it would an excellent bike-riding day. And so it would have been, but for the 20-30 knot NW breeze (see Seabreeze© graph below), forcing the 15°C right through your body.
Sixteen élite senior cyclists gathered at Jenny Dixon Reserve for today's ride. Nobody had thought of a ride, so I put my plan forward and it was accepted, with only a couple of dissenters. Namely, Wyong, Tuggerah, and back to Farm Gate Café. To add some strength challenge to the ride, a couple of the guys added on a detour via MacPherson Road and Old Maitland Road, back through the Woodbury Park Estate.
After I had led the péloton down to Wyong in the face of the 20 plus knots of freezing headwind, I decided to suggest going back to the original route, but as the wind increased and the clouds darkened, Waz and Robyn said they were going straight to Farm Gate. That also seemed a good plan so we headed straight back to Pollock Avenue and made our way up to the highway.
At this point Flacco decided that it was all too awful, with the wind, cold and rain and everything, and took off straight home, missing the lovely morning tea, and not avoiding the rain, which kept up (in the sky). The rest of us struggled up the highway to the lights and into the café. Barry, who had ridden from home to JDR to see us, then went home, arrived at the cafe with Lois to show us how well she looks. Very well indeed, considering what she has been through (Whipple procedure, if you know what that is you will know how lucky we are to see her looking so well).
Have I said how nice the staff are at Farm Gate? Very! All too soon we had to get back on our iron grids and head back home, this time along the highway easterly, with a lovely tail wind, then around to Minnesota Road and down through the Warnervale Wetlands. This is a very nice part of the land, but we soon popped out onto the highway near Bunnings, Lake Haven. At this point we split up, with a few heading north to San Remo to ride around Budgewoi Lake, and the rest going down to Panorama Avenue to hit Main Road for a shorter ride back. Doug and I rode straight home, as we had already done that next bit.
This was a very enjoyable ride, that's why it's so popular. Thanks everyone for coming along to our party.
Wednesday 22 June 2016 - Short rides/BBQ lunch
22.06.2016 Club Ride and BBQ at Co-op: Well, today brought beautiful blue skies, a bit of wind and altogether cooler conditions as it was only 10°C when I set off from the Co-op. Kee and I got blown over the Toukley bridge as we journeyed across to meet the start of the ride in Peel Street. Here, John managed to procure 25 "young guns" to follow him today as he promised not to lose anyone! Peter H kindly offered to keep us neat and tidy at the back end.
So off round to Budgewoi, regrouping at our usual spot then just round the corner from there at Mackenzie Park, Linda had a puncture. Good place to pull over and John quickly and swiftly dealt with that. Onwards and upwards through the SRA (at various speeds) and just crossed the Pacific Highway to regroup in Kanangra Drive when Anne needed a tube change. So John, back out with his tools, soon had Anne up and running again. He was fast becoming multi-skilled today - leading and repairing! Five minutes after that, Anne had another puncture (we won't mention why!) which apparently Nigel helped to fix - John got the sack!!
No-one was particularly bothered about these delays as we all had a "free lunch" waiting for us!! Moving onto Tall Timbers Road with its smart new bike path then very briefly on the highway coming off at Aldi Blue Haven then into Charmhaven. Onto the Corso where we all know so well as we breezed back to the Co-op smelling the BBQ along the way.
As we arrived, group 2 were already there and the the sausages, onions, tea and coffee were already set up and ready for us to devour - what great members we have in Warwick, Robyn, Jill and Trevor who set the whole thing up - a big thank you to you all. It meant that group 1 and 2 could integrate and it filled our empty bellies on a windy winter day. I bet you didn't know that Doug sneaked down to the BBQ the night before just to check that the council BBQ was working correctly, ready for us today - what a trooper Doug, thanks.
Well, there were no losses today thanks to John and Peter H at the back - cheers to you both. Just a wonderful day out with like-minded folks.
Friday 17 June 2016 - Coasters
We had 19 riders in fine cool conditions today. Irene was selected as the leader of the day, with Warwick supervising the tail end.
Down WBD to North Entrance for a rest, then over the bridge and left at the roundabout for a visit to the CBD and ocean lookout. The sandbar has been breeched, so now there are two entrances to the sea, quite an unusual occurrence! However, we didn't stop to marvel over this phenomenon, just ploughed on to Toowoon Bay and our favorite stopping park.
Then on to Swadling Street and down to the lake bike path, and back to Picnic Point. The shoulder of Wilfred Barrett Drive is closed for works, so to keep us safe Irene took us along the bike path all the way to the caravan park, where we safely joined the road for our journey north to Norah Head.
Bombora Café was our choice, where we enjoyed excellent service and good coffee. Just a little squirt from there back to Jenny Dixon Reserve and we are finished, thanks for coming everyone. No punctures or accidents.
Wednesday 15 June 2016 - All around Tuggerah Lake
Ride to Bluebell Park: A fine morning awaited a big gathering of enthusiasts at Peel Street today but only 14 dared to come on John D's nifty little 60klm ride. I think John Lonard must be doing something good on group 2! Peter H came along in his big winter jumper and beanie to cheer us all on and Danny turned up in uniform happy to ride to the cemetery only (but not stay there!).
It fell on Warwick to be sweep again today - a job he does so well. So off we chugged down WBD meeting Tony Kelly and scooping Wayne up along the way. Down at the usual re-group at North Entrance, we picked up Josie and Simon so this made the group grow to 17. John was rapidly losing his reputation for losing people, gaining them instead!
Luckily John had prior knowledge that the lakeside path round Long Jetty had heaps of deep weed on it and so we should take the road around the lake and ensure we STOP at the all stop signs - which we duly did! Onto Tumbi Creek Road then the quiet country roads of Palm Valley Road, Leetes Lane and Hansens Road - which someone described later on as "climbing Everest today!!" (check out the elevation table below). However, some hived off half way round and quietly missed the hills!! - well, its supposed to be fun isn't it?
Then it was back onto the noisy Wyong Road until we turned right down Pindarri Avenue and headed for the lake and lunch. At Bluebell park we had a big reception waiting as group 2 were already there with Jill and Trevor bringing, yet again (we are so grateful to them) the hot tea, coffee and biscuits. So cool to have both groups meeting up for lunch - what a sight, it was like having a party - there must have been about 40 cyclists all up, enjoying the winter sun. It was Bob's birthday so he got a very loud song with 2 groups singing for him!
Come time to leave and John's tradition was upheld as we lost all but 8 to come home with us. The others had various reasons to ride back in different directions. Now Paul F kindly volunteered to sweep. So off we went round to Chittaway and Heinz charged up the River Road at a top pace, like he used to ride around the Rhine (he told me that) and we diligently followed behind him - no one willing to overtake and cop the slight headwind - good on yer Heinz!!
Well, we all got back safely thanks to John's expert leadership particularly around Wyong Road and of course Warwick looking after us at the back end - thanks to you both and Paul F for his part after lunch. I was trying not to write a "book" this week so as not to bore anyone [Never!] but I just can't help it as it was such a glorious day out with like-minded people in my favourite winter weather. Top effort to everyone turning out today.
Friday 10 June 2016 - Coasters
Coasters, 10.06.2016: Today we had a smaller turn out than usual - about 12 folks, despite the beautiful blue skies. There were some cheeky inferences that Doug wore everyone out on Wednesday!! Warwick had a little beauty up his sleeve today for a ride route up to Farmgate, so we tried to put it in place as best we could. However -the best laid plans of mice and men... Anyrate, we had a bit of a giggle to start with as Peter B somehow managed to rip his shorts from hem to waistband at the back and had two big flaps blowing in the wind behind him! So he was sent packing to change at home and we arranged to meet him at the co-op as we were intending to go to Farmgate for coffee today.
As Friday is a bit of a casual day, I was voted in to lead with plenty of helping hands for guidance - thanks guys. Warwick had the pleasure of wearing the pink hat at the tail end and did a fine job. We launched off through the secret little pathway opposite JD's down to the Co-op to find Peter B was already waiting for us, looking much more respectable!
Under Toukley bridge so we could get onto The Corso easily but we didn't go over Charmy bridge. Instead, we chucked a lefty to take us up to Bunnings, crossing the Pacific Highway into the garden centre. By the time we got here we'd hit alot of head wind and it wasn't getting any lighter. Next, through the lovely wetlands and around the backstreets of Hamlyn Terrace, reaching Warnervale Road and eventually Warnies' cafe gate to squeeze through - this was a bit challenging today as they they chained it up with a bit too narrow an opening.
Then onto the terrific little track down to Farmgate - the track was a bit rough to start with due to recent weather but soon evened out - we were lucky no-one came a cropper there. It was a pleasure to see Danny join us at Farmgate and he's very famous now with the girls who work there - they all recognise him, even in civvies. The staff are so nice and friendly and do a great job - such a pleasure to be there.
However, it was soon time to leave and by now the sun was lovely and warm. Our next step was a bit wibbly wobbly (you'll see on the map) but we ended up back on the roller coaster to home with no one getting lost - which was quite a feat considering me being a bit "directionally challenged". It was a team effort and Warwick did a stirling job at the back, keeping everyone in order, on a blissfully sunny day out with friends. Thanks to everyone for coming and being part of it.
Wednesday 8 June 2016 - Kangy Angy/Old Maitland Road
08.06.16 - The Milk Factory: Well, I thought I'd better "cough up a little furball" for Danny today!!
The ride calendar scheduled a 60klm ride today and 18 keen soldiers signed on, with Doug proudly leading the pack and Warwick generously volunteering to keep us tucked in at the end. We welcomed a new guy called Peter who lives on Philip Island, Victoria, up here on hols.
After such torrential rain over the weekend, alot of bike paths around the lakes were awash so lucky we weren't going on any! But the day dawned a beautiful sunny morning with some coolish Westerly wind to keep us on our toes (pedals!)
Doug gave a detailed briefing, well aware we had a new person not to lose and off we trotted from Peel street around the back streets eventually crossing Toukley bridge, onto Marks Road, River Road where we had our first puncture with Ken. John stopped to help him putting his hands in the dirty puddles in a healing manner for the ruptured tube!
After the usual stop at Wyong WC's, up to Tuggerah next, Enterprise Drive and the bracing hills of Kangy Angy - we seemed to be getting head winds all the way but Doug was very thoughtful and stopped for regular re-groups. Eventually, we got onto the lovely Old Maitland Road - a bit rough on the bones but nice and quiet and pretty. Shortly after all this pedaling, Ric had a slow puncture then got a 2nd one some time later but as is the culture of this marvelous club, no one is left on their own and there were enough helping hands to get him back on his horse again.
Finally, we got to the Milk factory where Trevour and Jill (Bless their little cotton socks), laid on hot tea, coffee and biscuits to us weary travelers. So after a lovely sojourn by the lively river, onward and upward to Hue Hue Road and Sparks Road where Doug apologised for speeding up - but he needn't really, cos we just got a lovely tail wind which carried us all along for a change. Next, we just turned into Minnesota Road when another puncture presented itself, in my bike this time.
By this time the whole ride was taking longer and longer but everyone kindly waited whilst I was put back together again - which was not exactly straight forward - thanks guys for the help. Not far from "home" now, down Wahroonga Road, Roller Coaster and back to Gorokan where Doug peeled off and John took the remainders back to the carpark - thanks John. Doug thought he'd shortened the ride by missing out Cobbs Road but we actually managed to clock up 70klms by the time we got back but everyone managed very well - good one Doug!
It was a terrific big day out and Doug did a fantastic job keeping us all in check, not losing anyone and Warwick too at the back - many thanks guys - and the sun shined all day.
PS from Danny - Marie and I saw the group 2 riders at the cemetery as we were coming back from Terrigal. There seemed to be about 20 of them, a jolly crew all enjoying themselves. Just been to Summerland Point, so good riding chaps! Hope to join you next week.
Friday 3 June 2016 - Coasters
Well, nobody has given me a report, so I'll do my best, considering I wasn't even on the ride, except for the m/t.
Twelve riders fronted, in not too bad conditions, mainly, not raining. I think Doug was the leader, as he came in first. They went up LBD to Munmorah, I think, then around there and back. Heinz had a flat, which held them up, then his tyre was nearly flat again going back to Jenny Dixon, so not sure how he went. Karen's beautiful new bike, a Merida, gave her a flat leaving the Lakes Beach café, so I was able to give her a lift back to JDR in the Pajero. Unless anyone else coughs up a furball report that's it. Thanks for riding.
Wednesday 1 June 2016 - Batto Bay and GM
01.06.2016 - Ride then General Meeting - What a nice surprise to find Danny conversing with us at the start of today's meeting having just left hospital yesterday, showing off his new pacemaker! - good on yer Danny. You'll be back with the flock in no time.
Today's weather looked a bit dubious after plenty of overnight rain but 14 people signed on at Toukley Sailing Club for a ride with group 1. John D won the lottery to be "manager" and was determined not to lose anybody along the way. Well, he was very successful despite the tricky situation down WBD. The scheduled ride was to go down to Bateau Bay but the WBD had roadworks shifting car lanes across into the bike lane. But John executed a plan to keep everyone together at that point where we would all "take the lane" at the same time, so no traffic could squeeze through and knock us off! This worked brilliantly and we all made it safely to our regular stop at North Entrance.
By this time the day was brightening up and the sun trying to peek out. So we continued following the coastline, which is always a pleasure and looked beautiful today. On to Toowoon Bay for a brief re-group then into our final destination of Bateau Bay and turnaround point. At this halfway stage, we stopped at a great lookout hoping to see whales as some had already been spotted in previous days. Unfortunately, the whales weren't coming out to play for us today but there's plenty of time yet - it's only the start of the migration season.
After a bit of respite and chin wag, we retraced our pedalling and headed off along Swadling Street to reach Long Jetty and the bike path along the lake edge. What a lucky lot we are, being able to cycle around the ocean one minute then very quickly get to a cycle path around a lake, all in the same ride.
With lunch being provided and prepared for us by some dedicated members, we didn't hang around too long and swiftly got back onto WBD to head "home". Again with safety in mind, John planned for us to re-group at the Wyrrabalong car park, just prior to the roadworks so that we could negotiate the tricky bit as one big group. So I think he breathed a sigh of relief when we all got back safe and sound, no punctures or incidents, in time for our meeting. I neglected to mention that Doug had the all important job of sweep today which we were all grateful for - thanks Dougie and thanks to John for entertaining us whilst our lunch and meeting was being prepared. A decent total of 40klms was ridden and we didn't get a drop of rain! It was very much appreciated to get a hot drink and lunch on our return.
Friday 27 May 2016 - Coasters - Fernleigh Track
27.05.2016 - Up Fernleigh to Newcastle - Well, what a bonza ride today! Paul F had a beaut ride tucked under his belt which he shared with us all on this glorious day. Eighteen riders turned up at the start of the Fernleigh Track in sunny but cool and very blustery conditions. Six "young'ns" under the guise of Skylarkers, including Rolf, blazed up the Pacific Highway from the Central Coast to join the Coasters at the start. They all had a comment about being blown sideways over Swansea bridge!
So Paul was "Chief Cook and Bottle washer" today whilst Warwick did the "drying up" at the end. Paul allowed us ladies to get a head start and to regroup at Whitebridge. We diligently took off enjoying the "free rein" and a couple of us thought we'd try out the new loo when we reached Whitebridge.
After some chin-wagging and refreshment, Paul led the way into the city. He seemed to find lots of cycle paths and apparently some new ones, to make this route a real pleasure. Through Broadmeadow, Hamilton North and onto Islington Park where we realised we'd been neglectful in corner posting and therefore lost some members. They were found again but this highlighted our lack of cornering, which is really vital through the meandering streets of Newcastle.
Soon after, we got onto the Foreshore Track around the waterfront and boy, what a day for it. Hardly any pedestrians, (due to the wind) with beautiful blue skies and shimmering water. It felt good to be alive and cycling!! We weaved our way around Wharf Road, Nobbys Beach and then a very interesting ride into the heart of the city past lots of street cafes and overhanging trees - a wonderful sight and experience. Eventually, we ended up at "Snows Patisserie" in Kemp Street near The Junction, where we parked our weary machines and darted inside for a feed and a natter. I'm afraid I've stolen Carol's picture from Strava to show the lovely view we had passing Nobbys beach - thanks Carol.
After leaving the café, under the expert guidance of Paul, we very quickly reached the Fernleigh Track again and off we went. Col and I jumped onto the Daley train and he swept us back to the carpark in fine fashion, leaving me with 3 PR's - thanks John - Col and I NEARLY took the front but you were doing such a good job on your own! Poor John and Rolf then had to cycle home, whilst the rest of us slackers drove home. It was about 120klms for those 2 in the end. 51klms for the Coasters and about 80kms for those Larking around.
So a big thank you to Paul for dragging us behind him, show-casing the beauty of Newcastle and also to Warwick who had his work cut out today. I think all would have to agree, it was a pretty special day out today.
Wednesday 25 May 2016 - Mannering Park
A rather cool start to the morning, at 9.8°C at my place at 0700, soon warming to a blistering 19°. Fifteen riders assembled for Group 1, and about the same for G2.
The ride was shown as 60km in length, but turned out to be nearer 40km. Barry was down to lead this ride, but was unavailable due to his wife being unwell. Doug took over the management, and Mike looked after the tail-end, thanks you guys.
A very pleasant ride out through Norah Head and Budgewoi, followed by a quick sprint up to Lizzie Bay and then the highway at Munmorah. Left there and down to Ruttleys Road, after a talk by Doug on safety when crossing the highway. The first group crossed beautifully, but the second mob did everything wrong, with a 4WD having to brake hard and blow its horn - a disgrace! No names mentioned, she knows who she is.
No shops at Vales Point so we stopped at the bakery and bought coffee and cream buns (at least I did), only to have Trevor and Jill turn up with the makings half an hour later. Bugger! By the way, Trev is due to have his heart re-started soon, and Jill is walking without a stick, carrying a box of cups and some bikkies. Good work, T&J!
We returned via Ruttleys Road, of course, and Wyee Road, through Wyee and Doyalson. They are re-surfacing the road near Gosford Road, with hot-mix, so we stopped and had a good look, near a man with a stop sign. At Doyalson Doug took a survey about which way to proceed - via Blue Heaven, or straight down Emu Drive, San Remo. Nigel took the original Blue Haven version, while the rest of us went through the gap in the Armco rail opposite Roper Road, while Col went straight down Scenic Drive to Halekulani to meet his wife. We split up at the creek, with the Buff Point/Budgewoi guys heading east, while the rest of us turned west for a spin down to Charmy. Nigel caught up with us at Lowana Avenue, while I hived off towards Lake Haven, and Doug bailed out at his place further down Panorama, and JD took over the reins.
A good ride in perfect conditions, with a cohort of personable members. Thanks guys for coming.
PS Don't forget, Friday's Coasters ride starts at Belmont Railway (Railway Parade) at 9.15 for 9.30am.
New calendar now available, click here. Please note, the hard copy handed out today shows a trip to Ourimbah on 6 July for Group 2, but it's really Belmont, see the website calendar for details, using this link.
Friday 20 May 2016 - Coasters
The magical weather continues, encouraging 17 riders to come to Jenny Dixon Reserve for today's mystery ride.
We haven't been south for a while, so Pam volunteered to lead us down Wilfred Barrett Drive (WBD) to The Entrance and beyond. Warwick put on the pink hat. Paul explained that the ride would go to North Entrance, then to Picnic Point and along the bike path to Bluebell Park (BBP) at Chittaway .
We had a new person, just arrived from Queensland, who rode with Group 2 a couple of days ago, so not shiny new. Welcome Kerry! Unfortunately Kerry got lost at North Entrance and we didn't catch up with her again till coming back up WBD, while she was going south again. At our re-group point at North Entrance, Pam briefed us about the way, only she nominated Ocean Parade (turn left at the roundabout) instead of Picnic Point (turn right), so the tail-enders Pedro and Mike, who hadn't heard the new plan, turned right. I watched them from the corner, thinking they were looking for Kerry, and waited for Waz. When he didn't show up, I assumed he was ringing Kez and left to chase the péloton. Anyway, to make a long story shorter, we all met up at Blue Bell Park, except for Kerry.
We met a whole school of kids, years 7-12, out running/walking on the path, so we took to the road for safety. Saw them on the way back too (it's National Walk Safely to School Day). After a short break at BBP we rode back to Norah Head for coffee at The Bombora Café. I was at the front starting up WBD, but was soon passed by Graeme, Col and Peter Bones. I tagged on the back, and got a free ride all the way to the cemetery, thanks fellas! Good riding Graeme, too, as he took all the wind away.
Another enjoyable ride, thanks everyone for coming. A few people were absent today, and your names have been taken.
Wednesday 18 May 2016 - Heatherbrae/Medowie
Sixteen club members took advantage of the fine weather to join us for a ride up the country today, finishing with a pie. Warwick managed us on this ride, with Douglas managing the other end.
Despite the fine weather, it was a bit cold heading into the breeze down the highway towards Tomago, from the Heatherbrae Pie Shoppe. Those of us in only the club shirts felt like someone had left the door open, but as we started down Tomago Road with a tail wind, it all became nice again, and jackets were being ripped off all around.We took a short cut down Old Punt Road, to miss that nasty intersection with the highway.
That Pie Shop is a surprise, it looks quiet on the outside, but inside it is a hive of industry, with about 8 people serving and customers queuing 6 deep at the counter. Some of us had a warm drink to start the day.
So, down Tomago Road and Cabbage Tree Road to Nelson Bay Road past the airport. A relaxing break at the toilet block before turning left down Medowie Road and away from all the noisy traffic. Up near Medowie Annie D had a puncture, but John must have been on the job as she re-appeared quite soon ready to roll.
Memories of a previous ride along this road came to mind, when the wind from the west blowing at about 25 knots made it a challenge to make headway. Not today though, warm and pleasant was the order as we cruised around the Grahamstown Dam and stopped at the picnic area for a pretend lunch. We had been dissuaded from bringing our sandwiches as lunch was scheduled at the pie shop at the end, so even though it was noon, we didn't have anything much to eat, only a dried apricot.
Eventually we pushed off towards Raymond Terrace and the Pacific highway and civilization. This section of the ride included long bike paths, dirt tracks, deteriorating into an overgrown rabbit track with fallen log and a broken fence to get through. Nice touch! We finally found some streets again, and we were soon back on a proper road and back at the pie shop, where we indulged in another coffee and a pie, before eating our sandwiches on the way home. Of course all this is about me, other people had a different story to tell, but will never get the chance.
Thanks Waz and Doug for the very interesting ride of 50km, and thanks to everyone else for coming and just being you.
Friday 13 May 2016 - Coasters
No sign of winter yet, so 22 members assembled at JDR for this week's coffee ride. The girls already decided on an easy one, not much different from last week's ride, down to Wyong along the so-called river road and m/t at Farm Gâteau. Irene led the ride, and Waz looked after the arrière du péloton.
Richard abandoned the ride before Wyong, but the rest of us clambered back up Pollock Avenue and down to FGC, mostly crossing at the lights, although a couple of miscreants didn't follow the leader and went straight across the big road. Notice I don't do that any more.
After the party (seemed like one!), we rode back to the Warnie's track and along Warnervale Road to Minnesota. A pleasant meander through the wetlands, avoiding the water, saw us pop out on the highway behind Bunning's, before crossing the road to Moala Parade. Virginia and I, and later some other residents of Buff Point, hived off for home, as the ride followed the north side of Budgewoi Lake, through Budgie, back to JDR.
A delightful ride - not far - but I did practice some sprints to puff myself out, and wonderful company on a beautiful spring day. Thanks for coming everyone, see you again next week.
Wednesday 11 May 2016 - Chain Valley Bay
Sunny/cloudy, windy (see Seabreeze® graph below), 21°C, 21 riders at least. John D led the ride, and Doug was on duty at the tail end.
The furthest north we went was CVB Road, but we took the long route there. Via Aldi, Canton Beach, Toukley Bridge and The Corso. JD correctly in my opinion offered the choice of going on the footpath or the road at the bridge, as with so many riders we had to have safety at the front of our thoughts, good one JD! A few took the road, and luckily there were no cars at all on the bridge at the time, but the path riders had no risks to take.
The NW wind pushed in our faces as we motored along Main Road and Panorama Avenue, and the Pacific Highway to Charmy bridge. A good spin along the bike path towards Budgewoi, with JD missing the turn-off at Lakedge Park: how did that happen? Continuing towards Budgewoi, things suddenly turned for the worse, with Robyn slipping her front wheel on some casuarina pine needles on a bend, and coming a gutser. She bashed herself up pretty good, and had to abandon the ride, while Waz rode back to the carpark for the ambulance. Abrasions and bruises, poor pet! Doug stayed with Robyn as they moved around to the Budgie carpark to wait for Ambo Waz.
By this time everyone was feeling warm despite the wind, as it wasn't really cold. Up Lizzie Bay Drive (LBD) to Elizabeth Bay for a re-group, then up the hill to the highway before turning right towards Swansea. We didn't actually go to Swansea, just a few hundred meters to CVB Road, then left to Mulloway Road, our furthest point NW, all tail wind from there. Except it wasn't, as the wind followed us around all day. Didn't even visit Josh Porter Reserve for a pitstop, just kept churning up Scaysbrook Avenue and Tall Timbers Road till we got back on the highway.
With a still strong headwind we just kept chugging along the highway till nearly Rutleys Road, where I copped a blow-out at the start of my favorite sprint hill, so my back tyre went completely flat instantly at about 45kmh, but I managed to pull up alright. Couldn't find an object, but I must have hit something very hard as it wrecked my back tyre. After we put in a new tube, with only one patch, and inflated it, we (Rolf and Mike) discovered a big split in the tyre, with the tube poking out. As we couldn't think of anything better to do I jumped back on and kept riding, expecting a big bang any moment.
That never happened, so we all rode down Emu Drive, San Remo, to the river, where we all turned left except me, and headed for Jenny Dixon Reserve for lunch. I turned right and headed for home, stopping only at the AA bike shop for a new tyre. Of course they didn't have one so I went straight home to have lunch with my wife, as I should have.
Thanks for coming on the ride everyone, bad luck about losing two riders, but at least that is within the allowable loss rate of 10%, eh, John?
Friday 6 May 2016 - Coasters
Jenny Dixon Reserve (JDR) looked like a market day this morning, with 23 riders and their bikes and cars all flocking to a popular venue. Diane brought her lovely young daughter Julie, who is an MTB rider, so she kept up OK. Conditions as usual were perfetto, 22°C, see Seabreeze© graph below for wind status, clear sky with a con-trail across the whole sky, perfectly straight!
I liked the ride we did in Group2 last Wednesday (see report below) so, with only 3 riders from that ride with us again, I thought we would do it once more, with variations. Doug offered to be sweep, thanks Dougie, and off we went, straight down to Evans Road via Kelsey Road. At the Toukley Bridge we shunned the footpath/quiet back route and stormed over the bridge on the road. I commend the riders for keeping up with me all day, well done!
After the re-group at Wyongah we turned into Jensen Button Road and raced down to Pollock Avenue, except for Peter, who went astray at Brathwaite Avenue. All the toilets were open today at Wyong, so much rejoicing took place. At this stage Richard decided he had seen enough of Watanobbi on Wednesday, so he went directly back to JDR. The rest of us made our way through the tricky hills and turns of Watanobbi to the railway bridge, then the short distance to Farm Gate Café, where we found a few of us already there, as they had taken a shortcut in Wyong to avoid the hard bits. However they had organised a table for 22 for us.
For some more variety, on the way home we stuck to the highway all the way to Minnesota Road, where we turned left and headed for the Warnervale Wetlands. After a pleasant cruise along the bike paths we popped out at Arizona Road, and a few minutes later by our favorite safety shortcut through the iron fence to the highway opposite Bunnings.
Irene kindly agreed to lead the posse back to JDR, via Moala Parade and The Corso. Apparently they got back OK as I didn't hear any ambulance sirens. My wife freaks out whenever she hears one while I am riding. Virginia and I hived off before then to go home to Lake Haven, having already done that last bit earlier. Thanks everyone for coming, you can see why this ride is so popular, you're all gorgeous!
Wednesday 4 May 2016 - Bike rides
Group 1 - Figure of 8 to Buff Point for lunch.
For all those Star Wars Fans, "May the 4th be with you"!! A beautiful morning awaited everyone who gathered at Peel Street today. Some jumped ship to group 2 which left a smaller than normal crew for group 1 - around 14 of us I reckon. Isn't it great to have a choice? Doug was the ship's Captain today and he concocted a different route, going back to the "olden days" before bike paths, plus some hills! Mike volunteered to looked after the Stern with his pink hat.
So we launched off towards Budgewoi, stopped at the usual spot then continued on the road (not the path) over the bridge finding a nice quiet little hill along the backstreets of Buff Point. We all survived that one and a few more, all done whilst we were fresh and energetic! Up to Doyalson, Tall Timbers Road then back down Elizabeth Bay Drive. This was proving to be a very interesting ride - doing things back to front from what we usually do, giving a different perspective.
Back to Buff Point, this time along the bike path and we stopped at the little park for kids with plenty of shade and tables. Sue, Jill and Trevor were there to greet us with tea/coffee and cake. A big cake for Diane as she was celebrating a big birthday today. Pity she wasn't there as she went on group 2's ride. However, we wished her a Happy Birthday and ate the cake on her behalf!! As it turned out, Trevor is about to celebrate a birthday in a few days so we sang Happy Birthday to him too.
After about an hour, we upped anchor and stirred ourselves to move. There were some deserters here close to home so they went on their merry way. Unfortunately Anne found a puncture and shooed us on, not to wait for her because she was in the capable hands of John. So the next leg of the ride was all around the lake bike path, stunning scenery, back up the Corso then Doug expertly handed the reigns over to Peter towards the end, who steered us back to Peel Street.
All in all a very interesting and different ride in perfect autumnal weather, enjoyed by all that sailed! Thanks Doug for being Captain and Mike too for keeping the stern nice and tidy - one puncture today, covering a grand total of 47kms. Also, 3 cheers for Sue, Jill and Trevor for the reviving coffee/tea and cake.

Group 2
After looking at the different rides for group 1 and group 2, I decided to go with G2 as it looked a bit different, and finished up at Farm Gate café, not a park with no coffee.
Doug took G1 on a different route to that advertised, more challenging, thanks Doug. G2 rode down to Canton Beach then over the Toukley Bridge and on to Marks Road. I like to whizz down that hill and up the other side, but Margaret was setting the pace. After our re-group I set off for Tacoma, but Margaret and Frank both caught me, and I was grateful for the windbreak. At the toilets at Wyong, only the ladies was open, and the helpful postman told us that the toilets are going to shut altogether, due to vandals and drug users. Thanks, you bastards!
Then followed an interesting ride through Wyong and Watanobbi, with plenty of hills and turns.
Finally we popped out at the railway bridge and followed the highway down to Farm Gate where we enjoyed a nice m/t. At noon we got on the hwy again and rode up to the roundabout at Johns Road/Pollock Avenue, taking the first-mentioned road down to Wyongah and back to base to finish an excellent ride with plenty of effort needed. Virginia and I peeled off at Kilpa Road for a short-cut back to Kanwal and then home. Thanks John for the interesting ride, and Frank Bl for looking after the tail-end. There were 14 of us in this group, the same as in G1.
Friday 29 April 2016 - Coasters
Possibly our last summery day, before winter hits us, encouraged 24 members down to Jenny Dixon Reserve for a mystery ride for coffee. At nine o'clock we chose Shelley Beach and Diane as our venue and manager.
A few newbies for the coasters came from the G2, like Margaret Latham and Tess, who showed that they are as good at riding bikes as anyone. Marg just blitzed us on WBD, both ways. At least 9 ladies rode today, but where is our Creator Anne, and her minions Karen, Margy and Jill? We know where Jill is, and she should be back soon, with her miracle new hip.
No punctures or crashes, just peaceful riding until we got to Shirley Beach SLSC, with their marvellous café, where they seated and served the two dozen of us, efficiently and gracefully. Some of us had to sit in the sun, which was a bit warm, but never mind, it will be cold and rainy next week. Maybe.
On the way back we had to stop for a flagman in North The Entrance, only Mike had the sense to ride around on the bike path. Or is it a bike path? We were soon on our way north again into a stiff 5 knot breeze (see Seabreeze© Graph below). They are making progress on the coastal bike path, with work on several bridges under way. It will be a tough ride on the path, but we asked for it, and we have to use it.
Thanks everyone for coming along and representing the club so bravely. Three cheers for us! Thanks for the company.
Wednesday 27 April 2016 - Old Maitland Road
On another beautiful autumn morning, twenty-two riders signed up for an interesting ride to Wyong and beyond. Barry managed the ride, and Doug looked after the tail.
There was a slight breeze from the north, increasing from 5 knots to 15 by lunch time. Barry had a plan to vary the ride by taking us down to Jensen Road and along to Pollock Avenue. From there we rode up that little hill to the highway and down said hwy to the lights at Amy Road, where we all crossed the road by walking, well nearly all. Then across the bridge and into Wattanobbi Road which starts off as a very steep hill, which everyone except Richard and I managed to ride up, well done you blokes!
From Alison Road we rode to the Old Milk Factory, where Baz took everyone to the toilet. At Woodbury Park we ran across the Toukley Classic Car Club out on a jaunt to the Corrugated Café. Darcy was there with his '54 Chev, complete with left-hand drive. The worst part of the ride was Old Maitland Road, which has no room for bikes, or even cars, and includes some steep hills before we got to Cobbs Road near the Westfield shops. All arrived safely thankfully.
Barry then took us over the Mardi Creek via a little bridge and through a nice park to Gavenlock Road, on our way to lunch at the Lions Park in Wyong. Plenty of seats and toilets here for us big club. Jill turned up to show us how well she is going with her new hip, which she smashed only a week ago. She has a long incision on her hip, not keyholes as I thought. We spent a long time over lunch, but on such a short ride we had plenty of time. Only 45km I think.
On the way back along the river road Ralph asked permission to race ahead, and off he went, out of sight. I took the shortcut around Hillcrest Avenue and Jensen Road, but still missed Ralph by 400 metres, he was flying! I did converge with Tony though, well on the way to catching Ralph, if possible. At this stage I headed off home so my report finishes here. Thanks to everyone for making the effort to come on this ride, we all enjoyed each others' company, I'm sure.
Friday 22 April 2016 - Coasters
Twenty Coasties congregated at Jenny Dixon this morning for a ride devised and executed by Irene. Conditions were sunny and nice, with a SSW breeze at a standstill but soon increasing over the time of the ride to a 20 knot force.
The 40km ride started with riding down to Budgewoi, over the bridge and turning left along the Budgewoi Lake shore. Those who rode from home will have done more, such as Baz and Virginia. After a pleasant meander along the bike path we rode up Highview Avenue, past Camp Breakaway, to the Doyalson junction.
We heard the shocking news that Jill had fallen over on Wednesday, flat onto the ground, and smashed her hip. She is now in Gosford Hospital with a new hip, and we all wish her a speedy recovery. After Annie knocking herself out on Sunday, we must urge everyone to be careful. These are two ladies who we would have thought would be the last to come unstuck, while tear-aways like me come out unscathed.
Irene, with her purple verbena fascinator, led us up to Tall Timbers Road, Chain Valley Bay South, using the dedicated path, to Josh Porter Reserve, then on to CVBN and up Mulloway Road to CVB Rd. Instead of taking the easy road down to the highway, we continued north, with our lovely tail-wind, up the Dirt Link Road, to Kanangra Road and across the hwy into the SRA, on Blue Wren Drive.
The force of the wind soon became apparent as we rocketed down the look-out hill and onto Lizzie Bay Drive (LBD). It was a tough ride back to Lakes Beach into the breeze, but eventually we all made it, except that Ric and a lady went straight home from Budgie.
A lovely morning tea was served by Wayne and his minions who had a table for 20 all set up for us, and were quick and efficient serving us. Thanks, you café staff!
The ride back to JDR into the prevailing breeze was hard work, especially up that nasty little hill in Elizabeth Drive. I actually walked up the hill but don't tell anyone. I am riding Barry's #2 bike, as my beautiful Giant is having a gear transplant. I can tell you that riding from my place to JDR is quicker than driving it, as loading and unloading the bike, and changing shoes, is slower than just getting on and riding, as proved by Virginia who rode from near my place after I loaded my bike yet was there chatting at JDR before I was ready.
Thanks everyone for coming, and not having any flats or accidents.
Wednesday 20 April 2016 - Brighton-le-Sands
Sheesh, I'm so sick of these warm fine days, 23°C, what's happened to winter? Anyway the boring weather (see Seabreeze© graph below) didn't stop ten members of the club converging on Meadowbank Bridge on the Parramatta River, ready for an exciting slog along the tracks to B-l-S.
As to the trip down from the Central Coast, most of us came by car, but had difficulty finding a parking spot. Warwick was lucky, getting the only spot next to the bridge. The others had to park up near the station and ride down. Tom and I came on the train, arriving at M'bank at 8.30am, an hour before we started the ride. Going home, we just missed a Coastal train at Epping, and had to wait an hour for a Newc'l train. I didn't get home till 5.15pm, just in time for Eddie. I left home at 6.05am, so not even 12 hours for a 4 hour ride!
Doug led this ride, and Mike looked after the back, though, with only 10 of us, we always kept each other in sight. I can't really describe the ride, as most of the time I didn't know where we were, but we finished up at B-l-S for lunch. How lucky are those people who live near the airport, so handy, and able to watch the planes taking off and landing. Never see any up our way!
Most of the ride was along the shores of Cooks River, where several happy people were having picnics, one metre from the bike path, and 3 metres from the smelly mud of this squalid drain. Makes one appreciate the beautiful waterways we have near our home!
No punctures or accidents, or even an upset tummy, so happiness all round. Not like last Sunday (see CCTCC report here). Riders today were Ian Moon who rose to the challenge, Tess, who joined Ian from G2, Doug, Pedro, Mike, Waz, me, Kee, Tom and Col, so a mixed bunch. Thanks for coming you guys! Also see Kee's photos here.
Friday 15 April 2016 - Coasters
Same old sunny warm day, with a 5 knot northerly breeze, twenty riders present, including newbies Bernie and Louie. Paul had a ride already mapped out, so he led us on an interesting ride, with Pedro kindly taking up the slack at the back.
Bernie looked totally the part of the fit middle-aged sporting rider, while Louie on his MTB was struggling at the rear. Funny thing though, Bernie was the first to go at the bus stop opposite Roper Road, the victim of insufficient training. Bernie didn't know how to work his handlegrip gears, so we recommended that he not come on next week's long ride in the city.
Paul took us first to Budgewoi then up Lizzie Bay Drive, before we returned to Doyalson down the highway. Sneaking through the Armco rail opposite Roper Road, we flew down Emu Drive, San Remo, to the river and over the bridge (walking, except Doug who rode on the road as there were no vehicles coming), and back towards Charmhaven. Crossing the road at the nursery opposite Bunnings, we entered the leafy shop to the very nice café inside. It was still only half past ten at this stage, but we managed to while away an hour drinking our smoothies and/or coffee.
At this stage Paul planned to take us back via San Remo and Budgewoi to JD Reserve for a satisfying finish of our 45km ride, but some of us were too close to home at Charmhaven to resist a quick finish by going straight home, viz Doug, Barry, Virginia and Danny. I'm sure there were no incidents to report, so thanks to Paul and Pete for looking after us, and thanks to everyone else for coming on the ride.
Wednesday 13 April 2016 - Loop Tuggerah Lake
A cloudy start to the day at Toukley, with reports of rain on the Central Coast elsewhere. We even had a few drops as we were starting, but it soon cleared.
Col led the ride , and 15 others joined him, 16 after you include Marshall at Tumbi Umbi, making 17 for lunch at Wyong. At the re-group at Roberts Street at North The Entrance, we were just sitting there on our bikes, when a pop and hissing sound emanated from Hans's back tyre. A 'pop' rivet had muscled its way into his tube. He had fat tubes and valve, so it took a while to find a pump that would work. Hans said, you go ahead I'll catch up, but we said we will decide who leaves this group, and the manner in which they leave. He thought he might go straight back home, but after realising that he had no spare tube, or pump, he came with us after all, as we could support him.
At Tumbi we found Marshall, as I said. Col took us via Church Road and Lake Road to the Tuggerah Rail, so we had to politely walk over the massive overpass on the station. I know they watch us on the CCTV there, so it's not worth sneaking across on your bike.
Sue was waiting for us at Wyong, with coffee and tea, and cakes and stuff, thanks Sue, so we enjoyed our break.
The ride back to Toukley was on an everyman-for-herself basis, so Nigel took off at speed, and Rolf took off after him. Near the fish co-op at Tacoma, Paul Flack also made a run for it, while I left Col, Trevor and Jill at Hillcrest Avenue for Jensen Road and a bit of a shortcut. A good shortcut as it turned out, with Nigel and Rolf passing the end of Jensen Road just as I approached the T-intersection. I tried very hard to catch them but eventually they got away. I stopped at Myrna Road to cheer everybody on before heading home, and the next rider to come along was Paul, flying along, and possibly able to catch Nige and Rolf. What about these guys well into their seventies, able to keep up with someone like Nigel! Incredible!
Thanks everyone for coming on this ride. There were also at least ten riders in group 2, and we saw them at north entrance, but never again. What a fabulous idea this bike riding is!
PS See Doug's notice above about his proposed ride from Dunedoo in September.
Friday 8 April 2016 - Coasters
A bit cooler today, 22°C and cloudy. Mike led us out on a mystery tour to Farm Gate Café, Wyong. Pedro brought up the rear.
All was well till I spied an old acquaintance of mine in Marks Road, Gorokan, and I stopped to have a chat. When I took off again I could only presume the coasters had headed down to the Wyong toilets, as per usual. I didn't see Doug waiting on the corner of Jacqueline Avenue, so I sped past and continued on my ill-fated journey to Wyong, while the rest of them rode all the hills and roads around Kanwal and Wadalba, and were sitting at the café when I rang Diane from Pollock avenue.
Eventually I made it back to the warm embrace of the group and had coffee with them. After m/t Mike led us down to the Warnies Track again, but through the first side gate for a change, and out onto Warnervale Road. Another variation saw us turn left on WV road and ride up to the Sparks Road/Albert Warner Drive T-intersection.
East to Hiawatha Road and along to Hakone Road to bring us out at Arizona Road. At the highway some of us who rode to Norah Head called it quits and went straight home, like Col, Doug, Virginia and me. The others agreed to be herded around Budgewoi Lake via Buff Point and Budgie to add extra ks. A shortish ride, but a challenging and interesting one, thanks to Mike for the imagination, and Pete for following. Thanks everyone for coming today, about 16 of us, in perfect conditions.
Wednesday 6 April 2016 - Group 1
Hot sunny morning, with 22 riders, starting at various points, and finishing everywhere. Danny led the ride, and Pedro looked after the tail, thanks Pete!
This can be a tricky route if you're not intimate with those streets down in Killarney Vale and Batto Bay. I'm not, so I wrote it all down and carried the map with me, so we avoided some pitfalls and faithfully followed the program.
Many of the members had stowed their cars at various points along the route, ready for an early getaway from the hot weather. In the end, there were only 5 of us making the last group up WBD, with Tony and Nigel way ahead, and everyone else hiving off to their escape modules, or straight home, on the way. When I got home, without going to Peel Street as there was no-one to take there, the temperature was 33°C, more than expected.
This could be our last hot day ride for many months. Well done all of us willing to make the effort! Thanks for coming.
Friday 1 April 2016 - Coasters
We were met with sunny skies and a warm day at JD Reserve, just what we ordered! Seventeen riders, including a new guy, Tom, welcome Tom, assembled for our relaxed coffee run.
We set off down WBD towards The Entrance North, with nobody offering to pass me and take the lead. The same thing happened on the way back, even though Col sat on my back wheel the whole way. On the way down WBD we were surprised to be joined by Lance, who usually rides with the Skylarkers, but he couldn't find anybody at the Fish Co-op at 9.00am. On the way home we found Tony at the co-op and he said three Skylarkers went up to Marks Point, but left at half past eight. So Lance just rode with us to Batto Bay then went home.
Paul then led us down to Swadling Street (Pedro swept up) and back onto the bike path by the lake. I'm not saying anything about riding on the footpath, except it's a bad idea and should be avoided where possible. Soon we were back at Norah Head for coffee at Bombora café.
Linda and Rolf rode from the cemetery up Denison Street to the shortcut, while I took the long way, and Linda arrived at the café at the same time as I. But Rolf wasn't to be seen. He had a brain outage and went to the wrong cafe, but eventually we all got together.
Thanks everyone for coming, and thanks to our two ushers who kept us in line.
Wednesday 30 March 2016 - Chain Valley Bay/Lake Munmorah
Another warm sunny morning blossomed as both groups 1 and 2 set off from Peel Street towards Gorokan via Evans Road and Canton Beach, to avoid crossing the main road. With both groups heading to roughly the same place, and with 16 riders in each group, after g2 picked up Kevin and Marshall at the fish Co-op, I chose to ride with g2 which I judged as the most sincere, and considerate, by not using the SRA lookout climb.
With Virginia leading we rode to Blue Haven and up to Aldi shop, where we crossed the Motorway Link and rode up to Chain Valley Bay Road. We didn't see the other group. I'm not sure which way they went, after I last saw them at the Toukley Bridge. The g1 riders who didn't want to do the SRA hill rode straight to the Diane Cres Reserve. The rest of g1 rode 47km, a good effort. The g2 mob went up CVB Road and down to CVBS where we had lunch at the Josh Porter reserve. Big Bob met us there after being unable to ride due to a badly bruised hand after slugging a bollard at the airport. I think that's what he told me. There are a couple of little shops at CVBS for the non-lunch carriers.
On the way home we rode down the dangerous Scenic Drive to the power station, where we made a safe u-turn to get back to Hillview Drive (Camp Breakaway). At the lake Marshall and I decided to turn right to go straight home via Charmy, instead of going to Budgewoi, then the rest of the group, except for Frank who lives at Halekulani, decided to follow us back to San Remo and go back to Peel Street via The Corso, while Marshall, Virginia and I rode to Lake Haven. Sell their souls for 6km this mob! Thanks everyone for coming.
Pedro gave us a lecture about not riding on the footpath, after confirming with the Traffic Branch that this is still illegal.
John Hallett - Ride for Depression
Our friend John is doing a charity ride for the Black Dog Institute in October, from Taronga Park Zoo to Dubbo Zoo. To donate to his cause use the following link:
Good Friday 25 March 2016 - Coasters
This is only a few hours ago so I can remember this ride quite well. So, fourteen of us signed on at Jenny Dixon Reserve for a quiet Good Friday ride. Owing to the lack of shops open, we had limited venues for our morning tea, but knew that Macca's would be open, including the one at North Wyong, on the corner of London Drive and the highway.
As the one with too much to say, I was elected to lead this ride, which suited me. With Pedro as my sweep I managed them down through Toukley and over the bridge. Marshall got pulled over by the police this morning for riding on the footpath, so they're watching! With our thoughts always on the new anti-bike legislation, and worrying about riding on footpaths and stopping at the appropriate places, I carefully took us over the bridge, on the footpath for safety and on towards Barry's place, where he was playing with the hose in his front yard, trying to squirt us.
We continued down to Wyongah, turning right into Murrawal Road, for variety, and on to Johns Road. There's a few hills there, but Doug saved our legs by taking us away from the last hill on a new route through the estate, popping out right at London Drive, thanks Dougie!
Nothing wrong with Macca's, good coffee and anything you might want to eat, including hot cross buns. After a nice break we headed off up the highway again to Minnesota Road, where we turned left looking for the Warnervale Wetlands. Today for a change we turned right at Warnervale Road and followed the bike path through the wetlands, popping out on Sparks Road which we crossed without incident.
Up at Chelmsford Road we found the iron gate out on to the hwy locked, so we just walked around it. We then continued down the hwy through Charmhaven with the plan of circumnavigating Budgewoi Lake, for extra distance. Doug and I decided we had enough distance, so turned back near the shops and rode straight home. The others have not been heard from again, which is a good sign, and presumably got back to JD Reserve OK.
Thanks ladies and gentlemen for your company - a good short Good Friday Coasters ride!
Wednesday 23 March 2016 - Group 1, Link Road Loop
A nice cool day with about 24 riders present. Barry took us down to Kanwal, the back way, up Wahroonga Road to Wadalba and across the highway to Minnesota Road. Down Warnervale Road to Sparky and onwards to the overpass where we turned right onto the M1.
After a very brief run along the freeway we took the Motorway Link. This manoeuvre saved us from the SW headwind which had been holding us back, but now pushed us along at speed towards Blue Heaven. Such fun! Past Aldi and through the maze of streets that is Blue Haven, under the bridge and along the river to Buff Point, where we had lunch at the Edgewater Park.
No shops, and some of us can't manage without coffee or cake, so Doug found a tiny shopping centre up off Narambi Road, in Bruce Road, where he and I were looked after. We both had to carry back two coffees, so it was a juggling act to get them back to the park without spilling too much. But it was well appreciated by those on the receiving end.
After a very pleasant lunch we pushed on back to Budgewoi and Toukley for the finish of the day. I took a short-cut home from Buff Point, so the story dwindles at this stage. Thanks to Baz and our sweep (forget who) and to everyone for a fascinating ride of only 40km, but with plenty of excitement.
Sunday 20 March 2016 - Danny's Loop-The-Lake
I missed out on last Sunday's Loop-The-Lake as I couldn't get up early enough, so I went riding with the CCTCC up Hidden Valley. Today that club had a 9.00am start at Strathfield so that was too early as well. Instead I set my own timetable and left home at half past ten, much more civilised.
I drove to Doyalson and parked in Wyee Road, and unloaded my beautiful bike for a spin around Lake Mac. Conditions were good, with temperatures about 22°C all day, mostly cloudy, with a good breeze from the south (see Seabreeze© graph below). No rain, but that was just luck.
So just after 11.00am I set off for Belmont with the wind behind me, flying along all the way to Speers Point before the headwind hit. Things changed when I got to the hill going south from Toronto as my legs turned to jelly. I walked up the steep bits of the hills, but most of them I just stopped and had a minute's rest, and a drink of staminade, which got me going again.
By Morisset I was feeling a bit hungry, as I hadn't eaten since 8.00am and it was by then about two o'clock. So I popped into Macdonald's for one of their beaut coffees and a muffin, but the place was full of people and their screaming kids, nobody serving at the coffee shop, 80 people waiting to be served and all the tables full, so I packed up and left. I thought, if I stayed here, by the time I got served and finished my drink, I could have been at Wyee. I found a beaut little bakehouse and café at Wyee near the railway bridge, and gave them my custom, apple pie, yummy! Soon I was back at my car, after about four and a half hours all up. When I got home the Formula 1 was starting so I missed out on a nap. About 90km I reckon, at my own pace, and no strava or even a speedo. Bliss!
Friday 18 March 2016 - Coasters
Fifteen riders fronted for this morning's fun ride, in cloudy, warm and humid conditions. Breeze was a steady 12 knots from the north for the whole ride.
I already had a plan, as I thought we were due for a ride to Wyong and m/t at Farm Gate Café, so I took over the case manager rôle and with Richard as my pink cap we headed down through Toukley. Over the bridge and along the river road to the Wyong dunnies where we had a pit-stop.
For variety and following the lead from the Gp2 last week, we then went west up Allison Road to Woodbury Park on the corner of Old Maitland Road. From there we rode south to McPherson Road and into the housing estate at Mardi, where we temporarily lost Mike who was looking for the bike path for us. We found it on our own but lost him for a few minutes.
Back on track, we crossed the Wyong Bridge and made our way to Pollock Avenue, which included the last hill of the day. Down to the café for a really nice morning tea and a chat, would you believe.
Back on board our grids again, we pierced the fence onto the dirt bike path, which was surprisingly smooth and soft, must have been the rain, which took us to Warnervale Road. Back on the bitumen the coasters rode to Minnesota Road and turned left to cross Sparks Road. Unfortunately the road sensors couldn't detect our carbon and aluminium bikes and refused to let us across the road. Only after most of us tried the pedestrian crossing instead did the signals allow a right turn.
A pleasant spin through the Warnervale Wetlands took us up to Arizona Road and Chelmsford Road heading towards Bunnings. To avoid the roundabout I led the club through back streets and the big iron fence opposite Moala Parade, where we crossed the Pacific Highway slowly and carefully. At this stage, Virginia and I peeled off towards home (different ones), and left Paul to take everyone else back to Jenny Dixon, except Doug and Barry and two Peters, and Mike, who would also have gone home at the appropriate place.
Thanks everyone for coming out on such a beautiful morning and putting in a solid 50km ride with your mates. Cheers!
Wednesday 16 March 2016 - Short Report
It rained all night, but a few of us held a forlorn hope that it might clear up for a ride by 9.30am. Sadly, no it didn't, but 11 or so of us fronted anyway, a couple on their bikes (Nigel and Rolf), some with bikes on board, and a few without cycles. It continued to rain quite heavily till 9.30 so we decided to adjourn to the Lakes Beach Café for coffee. Nige rode home and got changed, but Rolf had to sit in his wet gear, but I hope Paul gave him a lift home afterwards.
Many important issues were thrashed out, but what happens in morning tea stays in m/t. So nine of us were at m/t, including Sue, Doug, Pedro, Warwick, John D and the others already mentioned. The Seabreeze© graph shows how fickle the wind was, but the rain was totally reliable, and never stopped falling. See you Friday.
Friday 11 March 2016 - Coasters
Hot, humid, windy (see Seabreeze® graph below), clouds eventually giving way to sun with 17 riders signing on...
Paul dreamed up a ride which we all agreed to - Lizzie Bay Drive to the highway at Lake Munmorah then turn left as though we were going home early, no, no, right at Tall Timbers and back up the newly-laid bitumen in Scaysbrook Avenue, only we stayed on the new bike path all the way to Josh Porter Reserve. Richard was conned into riding shotgun at the back. He made sure we never fell off or had a puncture for the whole day, thanks Dick!
Wazza adjusted his medication and regained his youthful vigour up LBD, passing me along the stretch from Budgewoi, what a shock! Go Warwick! After CVBS we hit the bike path north to CVBN and up Mulloway Road to CVB Road, where we did a dog-leg and took the dirt road up to Kanangra Drive. A couple of cars we met were very polite and kept the dust down, thanks love! At Kanangra most of us turned left and headed for Summerland Point/Gwandalan roundabout on the beautiful new hotmix surface. Work is still going on with the cable-operated safety fence, which isn't as bad as we thought it might be, as long as you don't hit it. After a few construction sites and flagmen I decided to turn back to the highway to avoid the unnecessary drama. The others rode all the way to the roundabout I think.
Once we were all re-assembled at the Forestry office in Blue Wren Drive, we all headed down through the SRA on a bumpy ride to Elizabeth Bay. By this stage we had the breeze at our backs so we flew along to Budgewoi and the Lakes Beach Café, where they already had the table set out for us, following a phone call warning from Paul. That was about the end of it, for me and Virginia anyway, as we took off home together through Toukley and Gorokan. I told her to stick with me and she did, even though we had to race a tipper and dog from Evans Road to the bridge. Good work, V!
Thanks everyone for coming on our ride, even though it was tough in the hot conditions (over 30°C).
Wednesday 9 March 2016 - Wamberal
Another warm humid day with plenty of sea breeze (see Seabreeze© graph below) encouraged 22 riders in group 1 and at least 8 in group 2.
John D was our case manager with Col controlling the obverse end. It's not an easy ride to Wamberal with plenty of uninvited hills and close relationships with cars and traffic on the road. No mishaps or flats, except one for Ken halfway down WBD, soon fixed with Nigel's help. A few people had ridden a long way to join us viz Ken, from Narara, and Boston Bill, from East Gosford. These two were allowed to go home early after lunch, with total rides of 70km or more, I reckon.
At Wamberal lunch was held in a grassy park near the Wamberal SLSC, where we bought coffee and an ice-cream, no food available, thanks heeps! So with a belly full of chocolate ice-cream and hazelnut coffee we set off back to Toukley into a 15 knot breeze and a series of long hills. No complaints from anyone though - we're all used to it!
Numbers quickly began to fall off as people headed for home or their cars stashed at convenient spots for a quick getaway. John kept up a stern pace while others struggled to keep up in the wind and hot sun. It's all over now so well done everyone, and thanks to John, Col, Doug, Waz and other useful members of the club, and thanks to the others for even coming out on a day not ideal for a long bike ride (56km).
Extra photos - 8 March 2016, from Irene and Diane.
Saturday 5 March 2016 - Taree Holiday
For report and photos, click here.
Friday 4 March 2016 - Coasters
Almost forgot our meeting place today was Belmont Railway station, and was putting my shoes on to ride up to Jenny Dixon at 8.10am. Got to Belmont on time tho! Forgot to mention it here, so I hope nobody turned up at Norah Head.
Anyway, six of us (Paul, Richard and Pam, Tony K, Diane and me) fronted, and we sent Richard and the ladies off early, then Paul, Tony and I tried to catch them before Whitebridge. They said they'd been there ten minutes, but I'm sure they were just arriving as we steamed in. Marshall arrived to meet us straight from home, and accompanied us into Lambton where we stopped before crossing the road. However, Marshall went a different way and we never saw him again.
We rode through the Hunter TAFE (rhymes with Ralph), and onto the bike track by Throsby Creek, and into the Newcastle (N/C) CBD. Stopped for a pit at Nobbys Beach and into Coffee Land, with many smart-looking cafés and outside seating. Paul wouldn't stop there as he said it's too crowded, with many sports pushers and tiny dogs. So we eventually stopped at The Junction bakery where we had excellent coffee and cakes, and pies. We thought we had a head wind all the way up to N/C, and would reap the wind going back, but as Seabreeze® shows below, it was a pure easterly, so that's where our beaut tailwind went, girls!
Heading back up the Fernleigh Track I was at the front till I got passed by Tony (he's 14 years younger than me) and I stuck with him for about 200 metres, then had to concede, then Paul passed me (he's 3 years older than me). I stuck with him till the end, but I couldn't have gone that fast on my own.
A very interesting ride, with much of the route new to many of us. The new waterfront precinct is improving all the time. Thanks for coming Guys! Distance = 54km.
Wednesday 2 March 2016 - Group 2 ride to Newcastle
Hello all,
What a great day to cycle the Fernleigh track! It was good to see Mike turn up to cycle with us after his absence from cycling for a few weeks, you were most welcome. Thirteen of us cycled the track and onto Knobby’s, ably led by Kevin Mckenzie. He led us a slightly different route that was enjoyed by all and out onto the breakwater before lunch.
After lunch we returned to Belmont along the waterfront of Newcastle and back up the track, a total distance of 55KM. It was also good to see Margaret ride after her altercation with the fishing line on the bridge last week. While at lunch she received a welcome phone call to tell her that her beloved bike was repaired and ready to pick up. I bet that when she arrived home it was a matter of dropping of her husband's bike and head straight to the cycle shop, without delay, to pick up her bike. It pleases any ride programmer to see people enjoy a ride and be eager to know when we will be having another out-of-town ride . We will be not seeing Frank, Shirley, Big Bob and Steph for a few weeks as they are away on family matters and holidays so we will see them when they all get back. Have a good week everybody, keep safe and happy cycling,
John Lonard from group 2.
Wednesday 2 March 2016 - Pam's for Her 70th Birthday
With most of our members away up north somewhere, just ten keen cyclists lined up at Peel Street for a nice ride south. It's still 28°C with a slight NE breeze, cloudy and fine.
With me leading and Paul sweeping we set off towards Gorokan, after a serious discussion about the new laws and how they apply. Can we still go over Toukley bridge on the path? Can we use any path at all? How many times have we been queried by the police in the past? More discussion needed! Anyway, along Marks Road and through Wyongah, where we had a break, and along the river road (Tuggerawong Road) to Wyong where we had a pit stop.
As the Tuggerah Rail area is a massive construction project, our short-cut to Lakes Road is gone, so we stayed on Wyong Road to Chittaway. At Blue Bell Park we had another break, and I handed over the reins to Pam, as she knows the best way to her place. We duly arrived there and had cold water, coffee, and luscious birhtday cake. The team at Manning Point rang up and sang happy bday to Pam, and we sent them pictures of the cake ceremony. We'll try and save some for them (huh!).
Marshall had already ridden up this morning from Pam's, so we said g'bye to him and the Youngs, and the rest of us rode through the back streets of Blue Bay, led by Karen. Also there were Linda, Barry, Diane, Tony, and me. It was still very warm, but always a seabreeze to cool us down, especially going up WBD. Tony beat us all to the cemetery and went straight home. A very comfortable ride, thanks for coming you guys!
Friday 26 February 2016 - Coasters
Quite warm (28°C) despite the big southerly (see Seabreeze© Graph below), also still very muggy. Thirteen riders led by Paul Fl and Danny (part-time) headed into the wind to Toukley and over the bridge to Gorokan. Turning right at The Corso made it easier as we cruised to San Remo and into Blue Heaven to clock up some extra mileage. I led us right around the suburb, including a detour to Col's place to check on his non-appearance. He was working on his tow-bar in preparation for tomorrow's trip to Taree, and was pleased for the interruption.
We were heading for the Lakes Beach café but didn't want to be too early. After leaving Col's we continued down Roper Road towards the highway, only to turn near the end into Colorado Drive and down the newly-opened section to the roundabout, before crossing the Pacific Highway and riding all those beautiful bike paths to Budgewoi. A delightful m/t at Lakes, then back to the JD Reserve with a mere 30km under our wheels. Thanks for coming you guys!
Wednesday 24 February 2016 - Group 2 Adventures
Hi all,
Fourteen of us left Peel St for a 45Km ride to Wyong via the Link Road, Warnervale Rd and Pollock ave to the river for lunch. However Big Bob had a puncture on the Link Rd near Tooheys Rd and the rest of the group waited at Sparks Rd. Bob was assisted by Frank and James. Once they met up with the rest of the group they all decided that we would venture onto The Farmgate Cafe for lunch. After lunch we then proceeded to Pollock Ave and down to Jensen Rd and then back to the CoOp where Frank U, Ann and myself went home from there. As the rest of the group headed over the bridge Margaret’s handlebar got caught on some fishing line attached to the bridge and threw her off and hung her on the Armco railing. Fortunately Kevin Mc was following her and saw it all unfold in front of him. As well as Kevin, Doug was on the other side of the road going home and he saw it also. Doug went over to see if he could assist. The bike was extensively damaged, but Margaret, although a bit shaken up, was feeling OK. Doug stayed with her, and Kevin went back to Peel St and got his car, picked up Margaret and her bike and transported both back to her car.
I spoke to Margret on the phone as she was being driven back to her car and she seemed in high spirits but not very happy about her damaged bike. Her comments were, "I've fallen off horses before, even had one roll on top of me and they are a lot higher and heavier!". I told her that I would contact her tomorrow and check on how she was feeling. I would like to thank Kevin and Doug for their assistance and concern for Margaret. Rick rode with us as well, and seeing it was his first ride for a while he performed well and hopefully pulled up ok after the ride.
Earlier in the day at Lucca Rd, Virginia received a phone call from her husband Paul, who was at the airport waiting to go to England for a visit when he told Virginia that his visa had expired, so she had to leave the ride to go home and sort out his visa problems. All in all it was quite an eventful day. I will keep you informed on how Margaret is. What we all learn from this is keep alert as you do not know what hidden dangers could be around the corner or on a bridge.
Happy and safe cycling,
John L
group 2 .

Wednesday 24 February 2016 - Group 1 - Tuggerah Lake Circuit
Twenty-six riders eventually joined us on this ride around Tuggerah Lake, in warm and sunny outlook with a nice NE breeze to keep us kool. Predicted top temp was 32°C and it got close to that by the time we returned.
John D was our case manager, and Dougie looked after the back end, with help from Wazza. Simon and Josie joined us at Wyong toilets, but by then we had lost Rolf, and he eventually rendezvous'd with us at lunch. Many riders started at southerly locations, including me, and didn't have to make the finish up WBD in the hot sun and headwind. Such a good idea, as the trip up at eight o'clock was very pleasant. I had to leave home only 25 minutes earlier than usual.
We got stymied at Tuggerah, where we had to climb over the railway station to get to Lake Avenue, and again on the bike path at Chittaway as a tree-muncher was completely blocking the path. You know those noisy chippers? A nice break at Bluebell Park, before we continued to Long Jetty and up to Batto Bay. The surf club kiosk at Toowoon Bay (TB) is fairly useless as they don't have anything ready to eat except banana bread and sticky date cakes. Or they will make you something.
After a relaxing lunchbreak we said goodbye to those riders who had started at TB, sang happy birthday to Pam for her big one, and headed off back to Toukley. Those who had to ride back did not look happy in the face of that breeze (see Seabreeze® Graph below), but it was a great ride with so many participants. Rolf got a flat after running over a bottle, and John Roberts got one back at Wyongah, but Nigel helped him.
Thanks for coming on our ride everyone, you made our day.
Coasters - 19 February 2016
Warm fine weather, temp up to 31°C by lunchtime, breeze 15 knot NNE but we didn't notice it, as Col took us on a mystery tour around Toukley, Blue Heaven, Buff Point and Budgewoi. Twenty riders joined us, thanks everyone, and Paul looked after the tail. Our new nomenclature is Ride Manager instead of whatever it used to be. We did have one small incident, where Robyn clipped Diane's back tyre and fell off, but luckily she already had a bandage on that knee from a previous incident, so she was back on again quickly.
Off the main track, up and down hills and deep into Halekulani territory, but eventually we popped out on the Budgie bridge and headed off to the Lakes Beach Café, where we enjoyed, I mean really enjoyed, morning tea. We get well looked after there, ringing ahead as we do for a table for 20, and friendly service.
Ev in her 4WD picked Virginia up at the Fish Co-op where she dropped Ralph for his first outing with the Skylarkers. Hoped they looked after him. They wouldn't give me a lift but!
Thanks to everyone and I'm glad we enjoyed ourselves so much.
Swansea to Newcastle Ride - 17 February 2016
This is one of our favourite rides, that's why we had 30 riders join us. Weather was cloudy to start with, then clearing to a sunny day, only 24°C and with a 15 knot southerly blowing.
Nigel and Rolf rode from home, with a nice tailwind, and then rode home again afterwards, for over a 100km ride. Well done you two! We picked Marshall up on the way up to Belmont, standing on the roadside applauding us and offering encouragement (not far to go now, nearly there), funny! Trevor and Jill were at Belmont when we got there. John D led the ride, and Rolf wore the yellow cap at the back, until it kept blowing over his face on the way back.
The ride up and back down the Fernleigh Track (F/T) was lots of fun, with everyone riding at their own pace, with Merrilyn, Viv and Irene all going past me on the way up, not to mention all the younger guys, and a few older ones (Col, Heinz, Paul...). New guy John Rob is a good rider, not to mention young Tony Kelli.
Lunchtime was a very laid-back affair, under shelter on the seaside, with the full on-shore wind keeping us cool. In summary, a very enjoyable ride in excellent conditions, thanks to everyone who came.
PS Paul's photos are here.
Saturday 13 February 2016 - Mike Sawatzky
I spoke to Mike this morning and he feels like he has been through a football match. The hospital kept him for about 6 hours before sending him home. He has been warned off any vigorous sport for 2 weeks for safety. Otherwise, he is fine, and lucky. He can't remember anything from when he turned onto the roadway from Pollock Avenue, till he woke up in the ambulance. I should mention that Fred from the Skylarkers got knocked off his bike on the Swansea roundabout by a lady in a car. His bike is compromised, but he is OK, apparently. Be careful out there you guys!
Friday 12 February 2016 - Coasters
Started off with a very pleasant warm day (29°C) with just a nice cool seabreeze, with 18 of us leaving from Jenny Dixon Reserve at Norah Head and heading towards Wyong along the usual route of backroads to Toukley Bridge, then Marks Road and Tuggerawong Road to Wyongah. I was leading (Danny) and Mike and Warwick were looking after the tail-end of the péloton. After a brief rest at the bottle shop, we continued to Jensen Road where we turned right and rode up to Brathwaite Road. Left there then left again at Hillcrest Avenue for variety, and out onto Wolseley Road by the river.
After a wee stop at the toilets we moved across to Pollock Avenue for the very pleasant ride up to the highway. After another re-group and briefing we headed off down the hill towards the Farmgate Café, and this is where it all went wrong. First we knew, two cars on the highway pulled over to tell us someone had come to grief back near Pollock Avenue. Then a phone call from Wazza confirmed our worst fears - Mike had come unstuck on the bump across the footpath and had catapulted headfirst into the concrete culvert nearby. After a few minutes of unconciousness he was attended to by a passing first-aider, then other people pulled up to help. The ambulance was called to take Mike to Gosford hospital, while the rest of us carefully made our way to the scheduled coffee stop. There we saw Garry who offered to pick up Mike's bike, which we were worried about, but in the meantime Friedeman from kayaking had also pulled up and taken the bike to my place.
The advice we got was that Mike was not badly hurt, just knocked into kingdom come, and would probably be kept for observation before being sent home. His wife was notified. Do I have to do a report? Anyway, we finished the ride, except that Virginia and I rode straight home from Mataram Road, leaving the team in the capable hands of Paul F. Hope there were no more dramas. Thanks everyone for coming, and hope you get well soon, Mike!
Wednesday 10 February 2016 - Motorway Link/Hue Hue Road Loop
A respectable roll-up of 23 members and visitors today, for this arduous ride all over the Shire. Barry led the ride, with Mike and Warwick guiding the back half. Group 2 also had a good turn-out with about 15 riders there. Conditions were fine, sunny with scattered cloud, breeze, see Seabreeze Graph® below, building to 10 knots NE to cool us down going home. Temperature around 28°C all day.
Briefly, we rode up to Noraville, down to Budgewoi, along the bike path to Blue Haven then up the hill to Roper Road where Aldi now stands. After a rest we pulled out onto the Motorway Link, down to the M1, along Sparks Road where we had another re-group, before turning left into Hue Hue Road heading for Wyong.
After a kilometre or so we turned left into the lovely horsey farmland thus avoiding the narrow and rough Hue Road. Along here somewhere Wazza got the idea that a staple into his tyre and tube would help, so we waited while he experimented with this theory. On our way again we finally arrived at Alison Road, at the end of Hue Hue, where we turned left and made our way to our lunch spot at the toilets in Panonia Road. Many people decided that extra drinks were required at this stage, and hived off to various shops to buy something nice to drink. I love that Mocha cold milk stuff!
We would have celebrated Kee's 70th birthday, but he failed to attend, so he owes us a cake. Pam's is coming up very soon too. Age doesn't seem to affect this group, they just keep pedalling on! (Not peddling.) The trip back along the river road included a cool breeze in our faces, and we spread out for miles. At Wyongah I felt the need to go home, so I hope the ride finished gracefully. Thanks for coming, everyone! What a fantastic group of dedicated bike riders.
PS I didn't write anything about last Friday as I was too embarassed to mention it. About ten riders came with their bikes, and 3 actually rode around the lake, while the rest went straight to coffee, while I drove back home. This is in the face of a 35 knot southerly mind you.
Wednesday 3 February 2016 - Batto Bay and AGM
It seemed hot at the Toukley Sailing Club this morning, but once we started riding down towards The Entrance (T/E), a coolish breeze kicked in, making the whole ride quite pleasant. At home later it was 29°C. Twenty riders came with Group 1 and probably 15 in G2.
Paul led the G1 down to T/E North for our re-group, then through the CBD and up the hill towards Toowoon Bay. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, people were preparing our self-assembled lunch, and hot drinks, thanks Sue and minions. While we were at Shelly Beach we thought we might as well have a look at the SLSC cafeteria and guess what, they had coffee! So we had a quick refreshing drink before heading back to Toukley for the real event.
After the lunch of meat and salad wraps, fruit and cake, we got on with the GM, then the AGM. An election was held for most positions, and the results are: President: Peter Holt, Vice President: Virginia Bowen, Treasurer: Mike Sawatske, Secretary: Warwick Barwell, and the two committee members are John Lonart and Col Fowler. Thanks to everyone who served on the last committee, especially Sue Tucker who has put in 5 years as secretary with so much achieved, and not even given a bike.
Calls were made for potential ride co-ordinators and many people responded. I offered to put together a training package to assist those volunteers.
We filled the TSC hall with members, so well done TDCC!
PS This is most of the new committee: John, Warwick, Peter, Virginia and Col
Friday 29 January 2016 - Coasters
Eighteen dedicated cyclists fronted at Jenny Dixon Reserve for this morning's coffee ride. Weather was very warm and muggy, with a NE breeze 8-15 knots, and cloudy skies.
Paul F had a plan, so we went with that, viz, up EBD to the highway at Munmorah, back down to Tall Timbers Road and up to Kanangra Drive. The breeze, although in our faces, was welcome, as it kept us cool by the process of evaporation, as it did all morning no matter which way we were going, ta.
From Tall Timbers we rode north all the way up Mulloway and the gravel Link Road to Kanangra where we turned left and headed for Summerland Point roundabout, except for some less energetic types who sensibly waited for us under a shady tree to return on the trip to the highway. As we rode west we found all these funny patches of bitumen chopped out of the roadway, right on our bike lane, and a series of painted marks. We found a team of workers doing this to the roadway, and on the way back I asked them what they were doing. They explained that they were making a steel cable fence to keep the cars on the roadway, and the painted marks and holes in the bitumen were where the posts were going to be placed. I said we liked it as it was, and the foreman agreed it was stupid but orders are orders. So that's what we can look forward to along beautiful Kanangra Drive now, a wire fence along the edge of our lane - such a benefit for cyclists, crap!
At the highway we rode down Blue Wren Drive to the SRA lookout and down into Lizzie Bay, with a nice tailwind pushing us towards the Lakes Beach Café, who were expecting us, having laid out a big table for us. Nice to feel welcome! The ride was about 33km and the extra distance to and from home made it about 50 for me, and more for Col. Nice to get home, where the temperature was 32°C. Thanks everyone for coming despite the conditions. Mike looked after the tail end, thanks Mike!
Wednesday 27 January 2016 - Killarney Vale
A 15 knot NE breeze kept us cool this morning, and the cloud kept the sun off, as we sailed down to The Entrance (T/E) using the tailwind. Pedro guided us and Warwick kept the back end straight. Twenty of us started at Toukley, then we picked up Jill and Trevor, and Simon and Josie, at the north end and the south end of WBD, respectively, so two dozen uniformed riders, quite a sight on the roads and paths of the region.
Pedro warned us that it was his last lead of a ride, after 12 years at it, so we had better find other leaders. We can do it!!
In Killarney Vale Barry had a flat, which proved difficult to fix, with the tyre refusing to sit straight on the rim, so the main group continued on to Toowoon Bay for lunch. Nigel had come back to help, and his expertise was invaluable. I left the repair group to urge the others to keep going, and found Rolf on a corner telling me they had already gone. At lunch the repair squad turned up without Rolf, as they had taken a shortcut. Luckily we had Rolf's phone number on the sign-on sheet, so we rang him to join us. Paul had driven his car down to meet us with the hot water, tea, coffee and cakes we needed.
After lunch we faced the prospect of riding back up WBD into the headwind to get home. The Blue Bay mob had the foresight to start there early on, riding up before the start, so their ride was over very soon. The rest of us plugged on, with honorable mentions to Nigel, who stopped to help a fellow cyclist going the other way who was pushing his bike, so Nige supplied a tube and fixed him up, Rolf led the whole way to the cemetery, followed closely by Tony Kelly, Linda and Col, with me a long way back, and Diane and Margaret much further back, with the remnants of the péloton not far behind, with the leader, so well done to all of youse!
A good ride of 45km, seemed more like 60, plus extra for those who rode from home, especially Col who did an extra 20km, and Ken of course who rode from Narara as usual with some phenomenal distance. Don't forget next week is the AGM starting and finishing at the Toukley Sailing Club in Beach Parade, Canton Beach, Toukley.
Friday 22 January 2016 - Coasters
Fifteen riders decided to have a go today, despite the rain which threatened but hardly manifested. Col led a ride of his own making, often the opposite of what we thought was happening, but that kept us on our toes.
Conditions were cloudy, warm (30°C), a bit of rain at the start, and overwhelmingly humid. We basically just rode clockwise around Budgewoi Lake. Carol got a puncture right near the Lonarts', so they kept the troops entertained while we workers got on with it. This was on her new bike, just a tiny splinter of amber glass, so we said for her to take the bike back on a warranty claim.
Back up to Norah Head, past the empty Bombora Café and on up to the Ark, which was packed with lattè sippers, so back we went to the Bomb for instant service. Only about 30km today, but enough in the mugginess. Doug and I racked up another 15 or so k's, riding from home, to make a respectable ride. Doesn't sound very exciting, but we 'ad a good time, eh! See the following paragraph about Sunday's ride.
Next Sunday's ride
Next Sunday 24 January there is a moonlight ride scheduled. Meet at the Gorokan Fish Co-op, the old meeting place, at 7.00pm with all your lights working, for a local ride of 35km. At the conclusion we will have supper at the co-op. So, points to remember: 1. Sunday ride 2. Meet at Fish Co-op 3. Lights front and rear.
Wednesday 20 January 2016 - CVBN and Camp Breakaway
Getting used to meeting at Toukley Volunteer Coastguard carpark, 20 group 1 riders and about 16 gp2. Group 1 riders, led by Pedro, and joined today by new rider Tony, from Lake Munmorah, welcome Tony, found our way back to Main Road and up to Noraville then Budgewoi. Richard did duty at the back end.
Conditions were very fine and sunny, 5 knot NE breeze, warming to 39°C by the time I got home, so pretty bloody hot! We rode up to Chain Valley Bay Road to CVB north, then back down to the highway and straight to Camp Breakaway (CB). When I say straight, the main group went via the highway to San Remo bus stop, then through the streets to CB, but Col and I, being the seniors, went down Scenic Drive and Highview Avenue, almost a straight line and got there 10 minutes before the péloton. Group 2 then arrived after their mystery tour. Even later were Jill and Trevor, who came direct from home and were locked out while we had lunch and a presentation inside the airconditioned lodge. Sorry J & T! So 38 TDCC members and visitors came to Camp Breakaway!
We were treated very well by the CB staff, with cold water, sandwiches, fruit and cake, coffee and tea, for lunch, then an excellent presentation by the director of fund-raising Denise, who explained all about this wonderful institution that does so much to help the more unfortunate among us, that is, disabled children and adults, by running holiday camps and respite care. We have donated funds to CB, and got to see the beautiful 3KW generator we helped pay for to keep everyone breathing during electrical outages.
A quick look around the accommodation, recreational facilities and Sensory Trail showed us what is there, and is available for private hire for weddings, bar mitzvahs, anything. For more info see their website here
By then we were all slowly cooking, so quickly off to the lake and around it in both directions to home or the carpark base. Thanks everyone for coming out on such a hot day. Well done Pete and everyone who helped.
Paul took some photos and they are here.
Friday 15 January 2016 - Coasters
Yesterday, Thursday, was a stinking hot day, up to 40°C, with a big southerly change in the afternoon with winds to 50 knots. Today was still very wet, so there was no riding, but I met Doug at JDR and we then repaired to the Ark Café for coffee. While we were getting served, Paul F rang from home then came and joined us. Strange creatures, aren't we! Just lonely I guess!
Wednesday 13 January 2016 - Group 1 Summerland Point
A nice morning with cool breezes, climbing to about 29°C by lunchtime. Twenty-two riders in group 1, and 11 in gp2. Ken went home to Narara at Buff Point, don't blame him, so still a big group to herd through the streets. Pedro took on the rôle of boss, and Richard had a funny pink hat on.
Around Budgewoi Lake clockwise, then up Lizzie Bay Drive, where the temperature started to hit, but at all times there was a bit of a cooler breeze. Kanangra Drive was our host for the westward journey, still a delight with all-new hot-mix asphalt. Lunch was at Summerland Point Reserve, on Frying Pan Bay, a divine spot where we could have stayed all day. As it was Rolf's 75th birthday we conjured up a cake from the excellent bakehouse nearby to celebrate with him.
We were thinking, all downhill from here, except we were already at sea level, so we had to gradually climb up to 56m altitude before rolling down the gentle slope to Doyalson. So not that steep really! At Doyalson we stopped for a breather, after Nigel and Rolf had continued on to San Remo bus stop, and Paul F had stopped and waited outside the concrete depot. I rode down and joined Nige and Rolf, waited for ages, then Paul turned up on his own after waiting in the sun, and rode straight home to Buff Point, why not! It was too hot and there was no sign of everyone else, so I took off home too, why not! I don't know what the hold-up was at Doylo, they were all just standing there on their bikes, rooted to the ground. Hope everyone got home safely, thanks to Pedro for looking after us. Thanks everyone for coming on such a warm day. Cheers!
PS Late breaking news!! The reason the péloton was waiting at Doylo was because Pedro had not arrived. He did so eventually, appearing distressed, and went straight to the Metro shop and consumed an sports drink. He eventually recovered a bit but declined offers to supply a car to take him home. He continued back to Toukley at a gentle pace, with many helpers at his side. Peter was quite recovered by the next day, thankfully!
Friday 8 January 2016 - Coasters
After a week of non-activity due to rain and wind, today was a delight, with 26°C, no breeze and sunny. I have included a new Seabreeze graph to compare to Wednesday's, below.Twenty-one riders descended on Jenny Dixon Reserve ready to stretch their legs.
Col had a ride planned, and led the ride, same as last Friday's when almost no-one came, down to Wyong and back via Farmgate and North Wyong. It was very pleasant to be back in a big group again, and much wishing for a happy new year was made.
When we got to Farmgate, it was closed, so we were in the same situation as last week, but instead of going to JC's Café again, because of our large numbers, we headed for Wadalba, where there is a little café in the shopping area, which was a dubious choice for the same reason, if it was even open. At North Wyong, where the traffic lights are at London Drive, we spied the MacDonalds, with a McCafé and a bike rack, so we voted, unanimously, to go there. We all piled in, and I ordered my coffee and a muffin at 10.47am, and was sitting down consuming it at 10.50. No complaints there!
After a relaxing m/t, we re-mounted our carbon-fibre steeds and headed down the highway towards Minnesota Road. Up near Warnervale Road, Rolf had his second flat for the day (the first one was on the way to the start), so that held us up for at least 20 minutes, before we continued along to Sparks Road and down to the wetlands. On to Arizona Road and up to the big roundabout at Bunnings, where I left the others and headed straight across the highway to Lake Haven Drive, where I live. As I crossed into Twin Lakes Drive, I heard a voice behind me asking if I was going home. Rolf had followed me for some reason, while everyone else crossed the hwy at Moala Parade. I hope he found his way back. A good ride, thanks everyone for coming!
Wednesday 6 January 2016 - Ride to Munmorah/BBQ at JD's
Apparently, Doug went to the fish co-op to check on wayward riders, then to the Toukley venue (Volunteer Coastguard HQ, Peel Street) where he found Wazza and Robyn, so they went for coffee. The weather was shocking (see Seabreeze graph below) so no riding was done, and no barbecue was held at JD's. Thanks everyone for staying at home.
Friday 1 January 2016 - Coasters
I rode up to Jenny Dixon (bless her) Reserve to see if anyone else had the appetite for a ride today, the first ride of the year. Surprisingly there were five of us, Peter Bones, Marshall, Carol, and Irene as well as me.
We thought that a short ride was indicated, but we finished up doing about 40km. The main consideration was finding a café that was open. We decided to head to Wyong and try our luck there. After a pleasant ride down through Toukley and Gorokan we stopped at the Wyong toilets, which were actually open. We had in mind the Railway Square café, but it was closed. Everything on the highway was closed, so we rode to the shopping centre, but although it was open, only Coles was open. At the entrance to the shopping centre we witnessed a shocking thing that I never want to see again. A 10 year old boy was smashing his head into the centre window, while his father screamed at him to stop, and ran to grab him. The boy used full force and smashed the window, which fortunately was laminated. Couldn't see any blood. Carol thought he may have been autistic, pity the poor parents.
Next we headed up the highway to Watanobbi and North Wyong. Amazingly next to the big servo there was Jay-C's café, open, so we didn't hesitate and had our break there. Bones ordered a nice coffee, and finished up with an iced coffee. They wouldn't swap it. After m/t we continued up the highway to Johns Road and along its full length to Tuggerawong Road, where I left them to find their way back to JDR. I turned off and went straight home. Thanks for coming you guys, and to those who were thinking about riding and didn't, wrong decision!
Wednesday 30 December 2015 - Both groups
We had a special ride today, as none was officially scheduled, being the holidays. Starting at Jenny Dixon Reserve, Norah Head, we confused a few members who variously assembled at the wrong place, like Toukley Volunteer Coast Guard, in the case of Barry and Wayne, and the Fish Co-op at Gorokan in the case of Virginia and Margaret, however we eventually all came together, the twenty of us, for the big finale.
Pedro had worked out an interesting mystery tour for us and we only found out the final route at the end. Firstly, up to the Norah Head lighthouse, then back to the cemetery, along Marks Road, but not to the end, instead sweeping up the last hill on the right to take the back roads to Kanwal, and down Craigie Avenue to the hospital. Into the hospital grounds, popping out in Louisiana Road, down to the Warnervale Wetlands, following them back to Hakone Road, Charmhaven, across the highway at Bunnings, then north along the hwy, on the right hand side, to the bridge.
Once we reached Edgewater Park at Buff Point, Pedro took us up Narambi Avenue, away from the lake, across Scenic Drive, and into Walu Ave for a trip down through Halekulani, past Kevin and Jean's place (where they were sitting on the verandah to wave to us), popping out at the Budgie bridge, before we finished up at (surprise!) Lakes Beach café. As we had warned the maître d' to expect us, a table for 20 was reserved and we were quickly served and supplied with our choices of refreshment.
After that we headed back to JDR or our homes after the ride of about 35km I think, with extra for those who rode there, so 50+km for me. Doug looked after the back end, with his work cut out for him dealing with slower riders, remember we had group 2 and some visitors, so well done Dougie! Thanks Pedro for leading and thanks everyone who took time out of their busy schedule to join us on this beautiful morning.
Wednesday 23 December 2015
Well, yesterday was supposed to be a Coasters-type ride, but due to the incessant rain it didn't happen. A few of us, Pam, Richard, Doug, Paul and I, made it to Jenny Dixon, but only Pam and Richard had their bikes, which never saw the light of day. This was in a period of 40 hours of non-stop rain.
We drove up to the Bombora Café on Bungary Road, in the shops, where Diane joined us. We gossiped about everyone who wasn't there, then went home. Feeling guilty about not riding over the whole Xmas period, I went out for a quick ride on Xmas Eve morning up past Kanangra Avenue towards the Big Prawn, which took me 45 minutes. The trip home was quicker, with a tail-wind, and downhill. This was only 28km, surprisingly.
Friday 18 December 2015 - Coasters
A Christmas Special today, for 20 riders who came to Jenny Dixon reserve for a casual ride. Morning tea was scheduled at Barry's later. Warm conditions but as usual a cooling breeze off the ocean. What if we all lived in Dubbo?
It got to 29°C anyway, but no-one complained. I led the ride up to Budgewoi, then along the beautiful bike path to the bridge at San Remo. One never gets used to the beautiful views from the path at Buff Point over the lake. We should invite the Dubbo bike club down for a holiday!
Going along the highway towards Charmhaven, Col had a big blow-out, punching a hole through his tyre you put put a finger (someone else's) through. Col had it fixed and on his way in 15 minutes, and we continued along the hwy to Moala Parade, Lake Haven, where we crossed the road despite an almost continuous line of traffic thundering past. Some drivers did eventually stop for us, thanks guys! and we all made it across to head down towards the Warnervale Wetlands. At this stage I handed control over to Col while I went home to get Marie to take her to Barry's.
To cut some time off on a hot day, Col took the péloton up Louisiana Road and through the hospital and over the hwy to Craigie Avenue and down to Barry's, where Baz and Lois had a shady venue for us to enjoy lemon drink, coffee and scones and fruit cake. They have a lovely garden with views across Tuggerah Lake. Thanks so much Barry and Lois!
In the new year we will be starting our Wednesday rides from the Volunteer Coast Guard car park, due to a lack of space at the Fish Co-op. It's in Peel Street, Toukley, down from the ambulance station. UBD map ref 42 D9. Thanks for coming today guys, a top riding day!
Wednesday 16 December 2015 - Group 1, Tuggerah Lake
A warm, muggy and cloudy day greeted us this morning, but nobody had a jacket on. Couldn't believe it would actually rain! Pedro was our leader, and Doug held up the back end. Twenty-one of us fronted to see what would happen.
After carefully negotiating all the back roads up to the cemetery, we had a pretend race to The Entrance North, won by Nigel, with Ralph close behind, and Linda, Col and me next. I was feeling good today, as I passed Nige and Ralph after they passed me! After our re-group at T/E North, we headed over the bridge, with traffic, to find Pedro taking us left at the roundabout, a departure from the plan, owing to the danger of traffic turning right. As we wandered through Toowoon Bay and Batto Bay, it started to rain. When it got heavy, Pedro led us to shelter under a tree, but slipped off his grid in the gravel, not hurt thankfully. Eventually we found our way back down to the bike path and a big shelter at the southern end of Tuggerah Parade, Long Jetty. People started to eat their lunch, if they had any, even though it was only half past ten.
Eventually the leadership decided to abandon the ride and head straight back to Gorokan via Wilfred Barrett Drive. Some of us who live on the western side of Budgewoi Lake wanted to keep heading towards Tuggerah. Mike had turned round early and, by one report, was already back at the cemetery! Nigel just shot off towards Chittaway, so no negotiations could be entered into. Rolf and I decided to keep going around the lake, and stop for lunch at Chittaway, before finishing the ride from Wyong to our homes.
It was still raining when we left the others, so by the time we got to Chittaway we were pretty-well soaked. It even felt cold for a while, but as a big easterly chimed in at 11.00am I could tell it was really 22°C, so we were never very cold. At Blue Bell Park, Lyn turned up, because her car was there, so she must have started very early this morning, and had done the whole ride by noon. After our yummy lunch at the pie shop, we continued back to Wyong and Jensen Road, and finally home for me, at about 1.30pm. It never rained again after our lunch.
So not a bad ride, and apart from my sox and shoes I was almost dry by the time I got home. I hope the others got back OK, haven't heard any sirens or anyfink. Thanks for the effort by Pedro and Doug, and thanks everyone else for joining in.
Friday 11 December 2015 - Coasters
Fourteen riders, with Keith joining us later to make 15, quite warm but with a fresh ocean breeze, and fully sunny. Paul dreampt up a ride, so he became the leader, while Richard stayed near the back with the pink cap on. Funny, he was the only one to get a puncture, so he had to fix it himself.
Down WBD to North Entrance with a slight tailwind, a quick whip around Toowoon Bay and straight down to the lake for a quick retreat back north. Morning tea was at the Bombora Café and Gallery in Mitchell Street, corner Bungary Road.
Very pleasant here with almost no other patrons, once they saw us coming! We saw the Daley family and caught up with them at JDR. Annie has a new bike, a Lapierre, similar to the male members. By this time a stiff westerly sprang up, cloaking the land in a 36°C blanket. With good planning I had driven to JDR , so I didn't have to contend with a 25 knot hot westerly to go home against.
Thanks everyone for turning up in the face of the harsh weather. Next week we will be having m/t at Barry's, 1 Arlunya Avenue, Gkn, after a short ride probably somewhere near Budgie, Blue Heaven and Warnervale.
Wednesday 9 December 2015 -

Group 1 report can be viewed here.

Group 2 Report

Hi all fellow cyclists
Our group 2 ride was a very mixed ride. We all welcomed a new rider, Margaret Latham from South Tacoma, actually she was the neighbour of Jeff Broome who passed away a few months ago. Well she did really well on her first ride with a group and kept up all day. She had only purchased the bike 2 weeks earlier. In total we rode 43Km to Bluebell Park on a day that was quite warm. Kevin Mck, Joe and Sue X all missed us at the start as they arrived there well after 9.30, but knew where we were riding so they set off to meet us at lunch. Kevin met up with Joe and Sue at Wyong and Kevin, being a stronger rider, was well in front of them.
At Chittaway Bay, Joe and Sue had reached the tail rider, who was Big Bob and, as they come off the path to the road, Sue came off her bike and fell quite heavily. As I was in the lead I lost sight of Bob, Virginia and Margaret and went back to see if there was a problem, that's when I came across the fall. Sue had a sore wrist and skinned knee but got back on her bike and rode to lunch, but her wrist was not good. At lunch I patched up her knee, but after some discussion with Eveline and Mandy I suggested that they call an ambulance which they did. The Paramedic examined Sue and transported her to Wyong Hospital. Sue rang me when she was being discharged, to let me know that she fractured her wrist and was in plaster, but other than that she was all good.
I would like to thank Big Bob, Virginia, Eveline and Mandy for their assistance and I am sure Sue would like to do the same.
On our way back to the Co-op at Tuggerawong, Margaret had run out of water and failed to tell us, so she was a bit dehydrated and decide to go with Big Bob to his place as it was only a few minutes away. She called her husband to pick her up and take her to the Co-op to pick up her car. We saw her there and she was quite certain that this was not going to put her off and that she would see us next week to ride with us again.
This will be my last report for this year so both myself and Ann would like to wish you all a Happy and safe Christmas and a Happy new Year.
John L. ride 2 organiser.
Friday 4 December 2015 - Coasters
Perfect weather was provided for our easy ride today, with Irene leading us down to Wyong, with Col riding "gunshot". Pedro took us then through Wattanobbi up to the railway bridge and on to the Farm Gate Café. We did have a bit of a mix-up near the end of Wattanobbi, with the lead group following me the wrong way, even though I warned them about the folly of such a move. We made it through OK thanks to a secret path between houses and we all arrived at the FGC at the same time. Doug pointed out the failure to post corner markers, making it hard for the tail-enders to find their way, so Take Note!
We headed to Warnervale Wetlands via Warnies Track, and along Warnervale Road to Minnesota, then Sparks Road to the wetlands track. I stayed with the club to Moala Parade, even though they tried to see me off at Mattaram Road. What happened after that I'm not sure, except that my wife reported seeing everybody riding east on Main Road, so I think they made it back to Jenny Dixon's OK. A wonderful ride, with a record turnout for the Coasters. Of course, we have had at least 50 different people ride with us on Friday, but rarely do so many come on the same day. Thanks Irene for leading so nicely, and Doug for earning his keep at the back, and Pedro for his contribution.
PS Friday 18 December will include m/t at Barry's place looking over the water.
Wednesday 2 December 2015 - Xmas Party
No rtide today, just our usual Xmas party at Colongra Bay Hall, Lake Munmorah. A lot of people came, probably over 60, and we all had a good time. There were door prizes, about one for each person attending, and punch and bead/cheesy dips to start.
Lunch was several cold cooked roast meats, and bologna, many salads, and a wonderful array of desserts made by Anne L, who created all the cheesecakes, trifles, pavlovas and divine treats, which she does every year. Thnks also to the committee who organised the main course and everything else, to make the day memorable. We also celebrated Doug's 70th birthday, and Carol's birthday. Well done everyone!
Friday 27 November 2015 - Coasters (Fernleigh Track to Newcastle)
An 'away' ride today for variety, starting at Blacksmiths Boat Ramp carpark, with a later start time of 9.30am. Fourteen riders, with Paul Flack leading most of the way, with help from Annie and Paul Muzz in the difficult sections. As we were milling at the start I got a phone call from Simon to say he and Josie were a few minutes late, could we wait for them. They were approaching Jenny Dixon park, so I said, no worries, we're not leaving till half past. Then Simon mentioned they were on their bikes, so I said - see you next week! Nobody told them about the different venue!
At 9.30 we headed up the highway towards Belmont, carefully in single file because of the traffic, and arrived safely. At the Belmont Rail (Fernleigh track) we were given our orders to meet up at the Whitebridge station, off you go! I pushed off quickly but was soon overtaken by Ralph, Paul Fl and Col, so I tucked in behind them to ease the breeze.
We passed a lot of people, humming along at warp speed as we were, till we passed a fit-enough looking guy, called Craig, on a good bike, so we invited him to jump on the back, which he did gladly, and had no trouble keeping up the pace at the back. Soon though he overtook us to take his turn at the front. I said there was no need as Ralph was much younger than the rest of us, but he did his stint. When I told him our ages, he was very impressed, and at Whitebridge he took our photo before hiving off elsewhere.
We had a good race to the end, with all the fast guys giving it a red-hot go. After a break at the end of the track we quietened down and followed our leaders through the streets of Newcastle to Bar Beach, on the ocean naturally, where we found a café for lunch. A group of energetic people walked up to the Centennial hill for some reason, only later did i find out they went to see the new paths and walkways on the coast, including a 137-step staircase back up to the top again. I was sorry I didn't see it, but I will one day.
After morning tea we rode back the same way to Adamstown. After a re-group at the bottom of the track, we trudged back up the hill towards Belmont. Actually we went as fast as we could, quite exhausting, all taking turns at the front, even me! Doug, Col, two Pauls, among others. We finally arrived exhausted at the Belmont rail, elated and chatty. We didn't have any punctures all day, or accidents (few years ago I knocked a slow guy off his bike coming down the track, and Col ran over him, but that's another story). I rode around to where I thought my car was but it wasn't there! I couldn't think of any reason other than it had been stolen. Why would anyone want to steal an old Pajero? Eventually I realised that I had left it at Blacksmiths, not Belmont! Sheesh!
The weather was just perfect, with a slight NE breeze to speed us home, cloudy, about 22°C and no rain. Bliss! Thanks to everyone who came, and those mentioned who led, and Pedro who tailed. Unfortunately the Skylarkers rode somewhere else, so we didn't have Nigel to post the corners for us, or JD to give cheek, but we managed anyway. Paul's photos are here.
Wednesday 25 November 2015 - Groups 1 and 2
Group 2 Danny's report - with a very hot day promised and my back not feeling too good, I opted for a more relaxed ride with John Lon in Group 2. Their plan was to ride to Wadalba and ride all the way up Minnesota Road, so off we went at a leisurely pace (the hallmark of this group), down through Toukley and along Marks Road to Wahroonga Road. John was cool with me going ahead so I steamed up the hills as usual and waited for the rest to catch up.
Down through the Wadalba shops and along Minnesota to Warnervale Road, then down to the Warnie Wetlands to Sparks Road. Group 1 now goes along Minnesota to Sparkes Road, but Group 2 don't want to miss any of the wetlands magic. We popped up at the highway near bunnings, having taken a good shortcut through the back streets and iron fence, the way we usually go in the other direction to Warnervale. Maybe that's the CCTCC!
Down Moala Parade to Panorama and along through Charmy to the highway again before turning towards the Wallarah Creek. After a brief rest we rode all the way along the bike paths to Budgewoi in what should have been searing heat, but on the lake was tempered by a lovely sea breeze, thanks god.
At Budgewoi we went straight to Norah Head, past Jenny Dixon Reserve and on to the Ark café at the Rockpool Resort. A fine morning tea took place, then we headed back to our start-point, the Gorokan Fish Co-op. Thanks to everyone who came on this ride, thanks to JL for leading and Joe for sweeping up. I still did over 40km, only 12 less than if I had gone with the other mob. But it was good to meet the other half, all fourteen of them. Cheers

Wednesday 25.11.2015 - Group 1, Irene's report:
Our usual scribe moved to the dark side today!! [See above]
Well, the numbers were down, which I think could have been due to the hot forecast. We were scheduled to head down to The Entrance, Blue Bay, Shelley Beach, Bateau Bay around Tumbi Road and eventually ending up at Long Jetty for lunch. The usual regulars turned up (you know who you are) and Pete H gallantly took on the “ride organiser” rôle whilst John H expertly acted as “tail end Charlie”. Some of us parked our cars at the Entrance and started the ride from there. However, due to the nature of the route, the sea breeze was never far away.
Riding along the shoreline round The Entrance towards Blue Bay and Shelley Beach we had a really cool wind and were in the shade – all very pleasant. Nigel did a great job marking all the corners today - I think he secretly enjoyed all the sprinting to get himself back to the front ready for the next corner!! I’m pleased to say there were no major incidences or punctures and eventually we wound up at Long Jetty park area with plenty of shaded tables for us to spread our wares!
It was soon discovered that Margaret had a birthday so we did our usual ritual – just to embarrass her! After lunch, some of us stopped to pick up our cars whilst a core group headed off up WBD and I hope all returned home without problems. Just a delightful ride amongst friends.
A round trip of 56 klms and average temperature of 28°C.
Looking forward to Friday’s ride along the Fernleigh Track – see you all there!
Friday 20 November 2015 - Coasters
With a forecast temperature over 40°C we ditched the planned ride to Farmgate café and decided to just ride around Budgewoi Lake and rest at Lakes Beach. There were only the seven most dedicated and serious riders, Pedro, Bones, me, Paul F, Diane Rh, Vivienne and Col.
Paul led us out of Norah Head and down towards Toukley. Col followed us, in perfect conditions - sunny, a slight breeze and hot. The temperature didn't get over 30° for us and there was always a cool breeze from somewhere. We cycled carefully around the lake, marvelling over the beautiful scenery on the way. We got to Lakes about 20 past ten with about 20 kms on the speedo. It was very pleasant at the café with the breeze, but eventually we headed off home in all directions. I did about 38km, and Col woulda done over 40, quite enough for such a hot day. After lunch it reached 41°C, but I was home with the aircon on, and my new solar array helping with the power bill. Thanks for coming, team!
Wednesday 18 November 2015 - Group 1, Wyee
A beautiful sunny day, but quite warm, getting up to 35°C by lunchtime and a slight NW breeze bringing the heat.
Twenty-one riders in our group, and about 15 in Group 2, so plenty of enthusiasm for riding in Toukley. Pedro was our leader, and Doug tidied up the back, thanks you two, and the rest of us filled in the space in between! A few unfamiliar faces, or funny ones, like Chris Fairman and Azi, so good on you guys for joining us. Chris took off home at Hue Hue Road with other things to do.
So off up The Corso, Gorokan (not Manly), Panorama Ave and on to the highway at Charmy, as it is affectionately known. Over the bridge to San Remo, a break, then up through Blue Heaven to Aldi's near Link Road Motorway. It has changed a lot there in the last few months, no complaints here! After another re-group we set off towards Sydney, as my GPS would say, till we got to Tooheys Road a couple of kilometres along where we took the exit. This section is gravel and pretty rough, but we ploughed on, under the freeway bridge and up the nasty little hill that follows. I had reservations about going to Hue Hue Road, looking for a shortcut to Gosford Road and missing Wyee, but as the others all headed for Hue Hue, I had to join them or look like a wimp. Hue Hue Road wasn't as bad as I remembered it, so I took off first and flew along it to Wyee and waited for the others by the tennis courts.
After a re-group at Doyalson, we crossed the busy intersection and carefully rode down Scenic Road to Highview Avenue and crossed to head for Camp Breakaway (CB) and beyond. I was thinking that on a ride past CB one day we could call in for a tour of the camp, presenting our certificate of appreciation as entry. We should organise it!
We continued along the lake bikepath to the newly-renovated Edgewater Park at Buff Point, with plenty of seating for at least 40 riders, toilets, play equipment and a wading pool (seasonal) on the grass. After lunch we all headed for Budgewoi, Noraville and Toukley to complete our 50km trek for the day, except for me, as I went straight home, as I do whenever possible to save 10km of riding in 35° heat. Thanks everyone for coming - what a fantastic club!
PS Notice above that I have shown our destination for the next 2 weeks of Coasters rides, to help with personal planning.
Friday 13 November 2015 - Coasters
The forecast warned us of storms and rain, but it looked sunny, so 17 members came on this ride. Still hasn't rained by 3.30pm!
Paul had put some thought into today's ride, so being the only thought between the lot of us, we accepted his suggestion, which was: Lizzie Bay, Munmorah, CVBS (Chain Valley Bay South), CVBN, Kanangra Drive (KD) west, then east, and back down through the SRA. As they have only just finished re-surfacing that remote thoroughfare (KD), we thought we should check it out. It gets a big thumbs up from us!
As we headed down to Budgewoi after the start, Marshall rang me to find out where we had gone. He was a little bit late at JDR and we had already gone, uncharacteristically, so he caught up with us at Josh Porter Reserve in CVBS. A nice ride up the gravelly Link Road to Kanangra was an enjoyable variation, in fact most of the CVB section was, as we were riding in the reverse direction to normal. On Tall Timbers Road we stuck on the new footpath from the highway to the barriers at the end of Scaysbrook Avenue. Try to learn all these road names, as there will be a test later.
Conditions were divine, just what's required for a Coasters ride. Down the SRA hill to Lizzie Bay, then along LBD to Budgewoi. You should have seen Doug on his single-speed relic - after Graeme had passed me, Doug and Bones (Peter), Doug, after a while, sensed a lack of commitment and flew past us all, his legs flying at that speed. Graeme took off after him and I was left, but Gra and Bones were first at Lakes Beach café, then Doug. Doug also rode around Tuggerah Lake yesterday, so he has nearly 200ks up this week! A pleasant m/t ensued, after which we all invoked POETS day and went home.
A very enjoyable ride, thanks y'all for coming. I am going to put next week's suggested ride up in the 'next scheduled rides', so we have an idea of the ride, for planning purposes. It will also help anyone who comes late, like Linda last week, who got delayed and had to come looking for us.
Wednesday 11 November 2015 - Group 1, Newcastle
For our latest big away ride, we all met at Belmont for our ride up the Fernleigh Track. Most of us drove to the railway station with no trains, but a few parked at Blacksmiths and rode up from there, as if we weren't going far enough anyway. Some, like Chris and Nigel, started from home and really made a day of it (150km?) by riding back home again.
Mike was our knowledgeable leader, and Doug looked after the tail-end. Thanks Guys! It was everyone for herself on the way up Fernleigh Track, with some starting early, and other young whippersnappers like Ralph hairing up the track. It was Ralph's 61st birthday, so he's allowed to show off. I was after him and Nige and Alan, and it's my 72nd birthday on Saturday. We received the traditional respectful acknowledgement at lunch.
I love riding through Cooks Hill and other Newc suburbs, it's fun. No hills! To while away the hours in our ivory towers, Mike suggested a trip to Fort Scratchley, just up the hill a bit. A very pleasant uniformed guide showed us around the sights, like the view from the top, the old artillery guns and museum, and wove a fascinating story through it all. Thanks John Carter! And thanks Eveline for looking after our bikes.
Then we raced out to the end of the breakwater, at least I did, the others took their time, and back, then had lunch in the park. The views anywhere in Newcastle are phenomenal, so it's always exciting to be here. I never asked how many we were, but I reckon about 20 all up, putting on a good show for Toukley for the locals.
Time to head back, so Mike took us along the Throsby Creek and the bike paths right through the TAFE and back to Adamstown. Back on the Fernleigh Track, Col and I took off, as I had commitments at home, and Paul F soon caught us. Paul had led the way up the track, with Irene and I firmly attached to his back wheel, till we broke him, but on the way back Col and I took turns pushing the breeze aside, with Paul in between. For three old geezers whose ages add up to 225, we flew down the track. Maybe not as fast as I thought, as Mike came in about 2 minutes behind us at Belmont.
Conditions were totally perfect, warm, cloudy and no perceptible breeze. Fantastic day for a bike ride, and so enjoyable with all our mates together. Thanks everybody for coming.
PS Irene and Carol took photos and they are here.
Friday 6 November 2015 - Coasters
Twenty-one riders formed up neatly at Jenny Dixon Reserve this morning, but not the same 21 as last week. Conditions were warm and sunny, no hint of expected rain.
After almost no discussion we decided to hurtle down to Batto Bay, as we haven't been there in over a week. Irene was conned into leading again, with Col riding shotgun. I hope you know what that means. Doug became the sweep, but we didn't have any mishaps for him to resolve. Graeme shot to the lead on the first hill, not to be seen again until I got to Roberts Street, North Entrance (N/E). You know, there's going to be fireworks at the lagoon tomorrow, 6.30pm till 8.30, don't miss them! Must be because of Guy Fawkes Day yesterday.
Meredith also flashed past, but I caught up to her later on Ralph's coat-tails, then passed Ralph on a technicality. What a performance! While we were mulling around at the bus-stop at N/E, Linda and Peter arrived in his van, after chasing us all over the countryside, after a late start caused by Peter's motorbike conking out. It's a long story. That made 22, so well done us!
We did get a few drops of rain on the way down, and it clouded over somewhat, but just got hotter, about 25°C I think. After riding back up to Norah Head we descended on the café in the shops for a nice break and good coffee. Always plenty of room there for us. At the briefing Pedro announced that parking arrangements at the Fish Co-op at Peace Park, Gorokan, have changed again. We have now been booted up to the top of the carpark near the toilets, as the Fish Co-op owner says we are stealing her personal paid-for spots, and her customer spots opposite the front door, and could we please go somewhere else. So now if we can leave our cars up near the dunny, not at the fish co-op, not at the chip van, not in the fishing boats bays and not near the art gallery, otherwise anywhere you like. Being good shire citizens we will comply. The Fish co-op, by-the-way, supplies us with crushed ice for free for our Bunnings Sausage Sizzle days.
So we took off to Jenny Dixon Reserve around noon, and I headed straight home. About half an hour after I arrived home a huge storm crashed through Lake Haven, and it continued to rain for some time, so we did well not to hang around. Thanks everyone for coming today. I did see Ric heading down to the Skylarkers so I hope they had a good ride and didn't get caught in the storm. Cheers
Wednesday 4 November 2015 - Footts Road, Ourimbah
I arrived at the Fish Co-op at Toukley bridge at 9 o'clock to find no-one else there. Soon a few keen riders appeared, viz Richard and Pam, two Peters, Rolf and Ken, who rode up from Narara. A few non-riders also turned up, but we were looking for people with bicycles. Conditions were pleasant, 21°C, a slight southerly, and cloudy. No precipitation.
So with just the seven of us we cycled under the Toukley Bridge towards Wyong, with the warm wind blowing in our little happy faces. At Jensen Road we turned right and stayed with that to Pollock Avenue. Still no rain. Just past the racecourse I suffered a flat rear tyre, the first for a long time.
With that fixed, and seeing the pathetic state of my spare tubes, each with at least 2 patches, we set course for the Cycology Bike Shop at Tuggerah. At this stage we could see a heap of bad weather apparently heading our way, so Pam and Richard abandoned their car at the fish co-op and rode straight home. At the bike shop I bought a couple of new tubes and had my pressures checked - 50psi in the back and 80 in the front! Then up over Kangy Angy and along the Pacific Highway towards Palmdale, and some aggregated mist settled gently on us. By Ourimbah this had cleared up, but I got another puncture in the rear, different location, so we spent time fixing that. Mounting up ready to ride up Ourimbah Creek Road (OCR), Pedro discovered he too had a flat rear tyre. Always happens eh? Ken had already left for home only a few kms away.
With nearly an hour lost due to repairs we set off up OCR to Footts Road, all sealed and nice, to our final resting places at Palmdale (not yet) and back up the hill at Kangy Angy. By now I must admit to what can only be called rain, but it was warm, and I had my mudguard on the back, so it could have been worse.
Back at Wyong we sat our soggy little butts down at the covered picnic tables by the river and ate our lunch, except Rolf who didn't have any. We had hoped to be at a coffee shop but Pedro, being a tea drinker, wouldn't have it. About this time a big wind change blew in, covering the whole area with leaves and branches. Our dreams of riding home with a gentle breeze at our backs were shattered by the ferocious easterly in our mushes all the way home. See Seabreeze© graph just here.
Rolf took off at speed for home, then young Peter followed him, leaving Pedro and I to trudge back together. We two turned up Hillcrest Avenue, so came out of Jensen Road with the other two presumably somewhere behind us. Ha ha! The wind was very strong but eventually we made it to my turn-off (Myrna Road) and I left Pedro to struggle on for another 10km home from there. Hope the others got home OK. My wife rang me at Hillcrest to see where the hell I was, an hour late! Soon got home though, quite damp, but happy and tired, ready for a shower and, no not a nap, to write this damn report.
Thanks to Richard, Pam, Ken, Rolf, Peter and Pedro for making a gloomy-looking day into something special. Not sure where everyone else was, though I can guess.
PS If anyone lost a bunch of keys last Friday, they're at the fish co-op now.
Friday 30 October 2015 - Coasters
A beautiful day saw 21 riders front up for a pleasant ride somewhere. As it happens, we decided on Farm Gate Café.
Irene was conscripted to lead the Coasters, with Col riding shotgun. Mike was sweep, even though the special cap was still in Paul F's car. Off we went through Toukley and Gorokan for our normal trip down the 'river' road. Col and Irene had different ideas, and we found ourselves trudging up the hills of Wahroongah Road to Wadalba, through the park and down Orchid Drive to Johns Road. More hills then left into Pollock Avenue, then down to the other end and on to the toilets.
What a disappointment to find the dunnies locked! I thought we had got past that rubbish service! Sadly I no longer have a key, like I used to. So back up Pollock to the highway and down to the lights at Amy Close, then back to the café.
After a very satisfying m/t we mounted our steeds again for the return journey. At this stage, Merrilyn had a flat tyre and we waited about 20 minutes to resume our trek to the highway. Irene tricked us again, by choosing to continue along the highway east towards the roundabout, then down the road to the Dam hotel and into Minnesota Road. Merrilyn had another flat there, same one, so there was another 20 minutes delay. Thanks to those people who helped her fix it.
No more flats, we just cruised along to Sparks Road, then through the Warnervale Wetlands to Mataram Road, where I left the group to go directly home, leaving the péloton to ride back to Jenny Dixon Reserve all by themselves. I've received no reports of trouble so they must have arrived safely, thanks god. Just an addendum to Wednesday's ride, apparently Linda was right behind me when I swerved to miss the sand on the road, and she briefly touched her brakes, forcing Lyn to hit her back wheel resulting in her falling to the roadway. Could easily have been disastrous had there been a vehicle coming.
That's all I can remember, thanks for coming everyone. A beautiful ride in perfect conditions.
Wednesday 28 October 2015 - Groups 1 and 2
Such a top day at Gorokan this morning, with about 21 riders in group 1 and about 15 in gp2. John D was our leader in gp1 and Doug was our sweep, herding us up through Toukley and down the acquatic centre detour and up to Noraville.
Setting a good pace, John took us through the roundabout at Budgewoi and on to the picnic area by the lake, where we found Jill and Trevor waiting to join us. Not gp1 but gp2 who started to arrive quite soon after we got there. Group 2 rode up to Lizzie Bay and the highway, and through CVBS and back to base, so we gp1 riders didn't see them again.
As we were heading for Nords Wharf, a trip up the Munmorah State Conservation Area was in order, for those so inclined. The rest of us took the low road and arrived at Blue Wren Drive at the same time. After ten days since I rode a bike, or did any exercise at all, I found it quite taxing getting up to the Big Prawn, but it was nice going down the hill into Nords for lunch. Some energetic types continued along the highway to Cams Wharf entrance , and joined us at the picnic ground by the lake. A very nice spot for lunch!
Being nervous about the big hill up to the highway (silly, isn't it!), I left on the ride home before the lunchtime briefing, walking the hardest bit, then on the highway I continued for a few thousand meters before I stopped and waited in the shade. After about 15 minutes Rolf joined me and we waited together for even longer till the front runners sailed into view. Apparently there was a puncture. I dropped back steadily through the péloton till I came to Blue Wren Drive, where the leaders were all stopped at the red lights. Timing it to perfection I raced through the lights and headed on down the long hill to the Elizabeth Bay lights and stopped. Nobody else appeared! Eventually i took off but was soon passed by Alan, then JD and his faithfull crew, after they had dealt with yet another puncture. I seem to miss all the fun! After Rutleys Road there was a pile of sand on the bike lane, which I swerved around, only to hear a squeal behind me as Lyn apparently came to grief. I looked around to see her on the deck. Hope I didn't cause that! A car passenger alerted us front runners to her plight. She did get back on the bike, not too hurt I hope.
I eventually left the group after the bridge and rode home, while the others rode along the lakeside back to the fish co-op. As I got home I was so hot and tired, I thought the forecast temperature of 22°C was wrong by about 8 degrees, but on arriving home I found it was only 22° after all. A good solid ride by everybody, about 55km, in excellent conditions. Thanks to everyone for making it happen.
Wednesday 21 October 2015 - Group 1 ride
It was great to see the "Wagga Warriors" return safely and to listen to their stories of luscious green pastures and antics with their bikes. Doug also passed around a report describing each day's ride and all the delights that happened along the way - a good read, thanks Doug.
Today, the forecasters promised us a hot one and they certainly delivered. However, around 20 of us just wanted to get out on our bikes and "go for it". Peter H was ride organiser today and firstly told us it was Col's birthday so we had an impromptu Happy Birthday song for him. The ride today was to Wyong via The Entrance and Doug kindly took up the rear position for sweeping. So off we went up round the back of Toukley to the first regroup at the cemetery. As it was already starting to heat up, we went steadily down WBD. At the next re-group before the bridge, Pete decided to jazz up the original scheduled ride and take us left at the Entrance roundabout, chasing the coastline towards Toowoon Bay before hitting the Chittaway bike path. At The Entrance channel, we spied a guy standing on a SUP board fishing - if he'd caught a fish, surely he would tip over!!
Anyway, along the bike path to Chittaway, Doug managed to get a puncture - lucky he has some friends at the back and therefore got some help and company! After this Peter weaved us around the lovely Church Road eventually reaching Tuggerah Straight and onto the lunch spot at Wyong. Paul Flack greeted us there with all the tea and coffee plus the added bonus of a freshly made cake which his wife kindly cooked for us all - aaaah that was so nice - thanks Mrs F! At the usual briefing, Pete informed us that it was also Hans's birthday so another song was sung for both boys. After much clapping, Col informed us that Wednesdays and Fridays were his favourite days of the week and thanked us all. I'm sure he reiterated the words that all of us would agree with.
After lunch, we were really feeling the heat as we headed home along the River Road - all very quiet until Diane piped up "its 37 deg C"!! Phew, no wonder it was feeling uncomfortable! Shortly after this, I came down with a puncture - luckily we were near a shady spot. Poor Doug, helping out on the 2nd puncture of the day and with Col's help, managed to get my dodgy English frame [and her bike?] back together for us all continue home.
So, despite the heat and punctures, it was a lovely ride Pete - thanks and to Doug too, sweeping up in such an expert manner. We were all grateful to Paul as well, providing a much-needed service at lunch! A total of 53kms travelled and according to Garmin an AVERAGE of 33°C! (it reach 38° on the last leg home)
Friday 16 October 2015 - Coasters
Ten riders turned up for today's relaxing ride, in a 10 knot NE breeze, warm and sunny. Barry rode up from home but was unwilling to go any further due to poor health. Ken arrived up from Wyoming but, on hearing of our northerly destination, he decided to just ride back home again, to miss the heat of the northern desert.
So that left nine of us looking for a short ride and early return back to JD Reserve. I led the ride and Evelyn took on the sweep's job, seeing how she was going to be at the back anyway. I kept stopping to check we had everyone, so no-one risked being left behind. Our destination was Munmorah and Chain Valley Bay, so off we rode up Lizzie Bay Drive to Lizzie Bay for our first re-group. Next stop Carters Road, with most of us going over the footbridge, only Joe went across the intersection and kept going on his own. After he came back we headed off to Lloyd Avenue CVBS for a loo stop and a pleasant chat by the lake.
Next we took the new bikepath down Scaysbrook Avenue and up Tall Timbers Road to the highway, very nice thank you Wyong SC! At the Doylo we decided (I did anyway) for a change and rode down Scenic Drive to Budgewoi, to the first roundabout, then turned left to make our way through the backroads to Halekulani. This didn't work out as we soon found ourselves back on Scenic Road, so we crossed it and took the Budgewoi Lake path back to Budgie.
Finally we arrived at the Lakes Beach Café by 11 o'clock. So a short ride today (31km), but a very relaxed one with excellent company. By the time I had ridden home I amassed 47km. Thanks for coming today everyone - great fun!
Wednesday 14 October 2015 - Group 1 ride
Ten riders who weren't at Wagga Wagga, and who could be bovvered, turned up at the Gorokan fish co-op for an unusual weekly ride.
There were Marshall, Irene, Alan, Ken, Peter Bones, Jill, Trevor, Carol, Ralph and me. After some discussion we decided on a shortish ride in a westerly direction, because of a NE breeze of 10 knots. Marshall dreamed up most of the ride, and we set off towards Budgewoi a different way, today being unusual, didn't go via Peel Street, just straight along the Main Road, then down the footpath to the Old Highway, and continue along the path to Budgie. Some people had never been along Main Road, or the old highway.
At the bridge we crossed the lake and continued along the bike path towards Buff Point, finally popping out at the Charmhaven bridge. Alan, this week on his MTB, and Ralph kept whizzing ahead where possible to get rid of some youthful exuberance or pent-up energy. At the nursery, opposite Bunnings Lake Haven, we crossed the road and rode through the nursery towards Arizona Road. We kept stopping to wait for less energetic riders, as this was an inclusive ride and we didn't want to leave anyone behind. A nice meander through the wetlands then across Sparks Road and on to Warnervale Road which we took up to Minnesota.
At Wadalba, Marshall knew a little café called the Bakehouse, opposite the community school, where we had incredibly good coffee and a pie and cakes, while some of us ate our home-made sandwiches. I recommend this cafe for future visits. Ken took off home along the Pacific Highway at this point, thanks for coming Ken! Afterwards we rode back up Orchid Way to Johns road. Feeling energetic and knowing we hadn't ridden very far, we turned right at Johns Road and raced up the hill to Pollock Avenue. Left there and down to Jensen, which has turned out to be a lovely road for bikes since they re-surfaced it, right through to Tuggerawong Road. You probably know the way back from there, though I did take Carol and Alan on their MTBs through Craigie Park shortcut to try out their fat tyres, and my skinny ones. Carol is not long back from a long European holiday so struggled a bit at this stage.
A very pleasant ride of 37km (43 for me), with 257 metres of elevation according to Ralph and Strava, thanks to Johns Road. Weather conditions were perfect by the way. Thanks for coming!
Carol, Irene and Danny relaxing before the ride
Friday 9 October 2015 - Coasters Report
A dozen riders assembled at Jenny Dixon Reserve in Norah Head, keen to ride together to some unknown destination. We soon decided on Wyong then to Farm Gate café, mostly because we've been every other direction in the last few days. We pick Ralph to lead us, an experience he was ready to accept, with a little help from his friends.
Conditions were perfect, with no cold, hot, wind, rain or sun, not much anyway. We did have to train Ralph to wait for the rest of us, but otherwise he did a good job leading and will get many more opportunities to ride at the front. So down to Toukley bridge and onto Marks Road to Wyongah where we had our first re-group. Alan was on his super LaPierre, which had just got new wheels, so we let him zip ahead to check on conditions over the horizon. We stopped again at the Wyong toilets then headed for Pollock Avenue and the highway, which we crossed down at Lucca Road at the lights.
After a relaxed and delicious morning tea we jumped back on our grids and rode down to the gate at the start of the Warnie's Track. A cool squirt down to the other end where we repeated the gate-wrangling exercise and set off for Minnesota Road. Crossing Sparks road at the minnie lights we followed the wetlands to Hakone Road and Arizona Road, before crossing the highway and returning to Norah Head via The Corso and Main Road.
I left the rest of the group at Mattaram Road, Woongarrah, and rode home nearby. Thanks you guys for coming. Have a good holiday at Wagga Wagga!
PS For those not going on the holiday, we will be doing the usual Wednesday and Friday rides next week, though I don't know to where. Just turn up at the usual time and place and we'll decide then.
Wednesday 7 October 2015 - GM and short ride
With a southerly gale blowing at 30-40 knots (knots!) I didn't expect anyone keen to ride, but I was wrong, with at least ten going down to Batto Bay, and another handful doing the Group 2 ride around Budgewoi Lake. They never said it was easy, but they didn't complain either.
I had my bike there in my car, but didn't fancy the weather and stayed at the Toukley Sailing club, so just a short report today. After they all got back we had a nice lunch of bread, salad and cold meat, and fruit cake. Then we had a general meeting, during which we were told that the whole committee had to retire at the AGM in February, and how we should not wait for someone else to pick up the slack. By Friday it was apparent that many nominations will be forthcoming from the rank and file next year - we may even have an election!
One item to come out of the treasurer's report was that the club has donated $1000 to Camp Breakaway towards a mobile generator. They often have kids there on respirators and other machines who are in trouble if there is an electricity outrage, as there was in April in the storms. Breakaway sent us a certificate of appreciation, so now we are good social citizens doing something for the community. Well done TDCC!
Thanks to the workers who provided our lunch, Sue and Robyn among others, and thanks to everyone who came to the meeting - it's a good sign for a club to have a big turn-up to a meeting.
Friday 2 October 2015 - Coasters
Nice weather for the 18 riders who assembled at Jenny Dixon Reserve, so we selected our preferred ride leader, Paul F, to lead us up to Lizzie Bay and Munmorah. At the top of this road we crossed the Pacific Highway, most of us over the footbridge, and continued along Carters Road, with 6 schools but no kids due to the school holidays.
Not too energetic today, we then followed the bike path to CVBS (Kingfisher Shores) and visited the little park and the boat ramp at Josh Porter Reserve, where we will be meeting on Tuesday for a kayaking event. There is also a dunny there which is the main attraction. Pressing on, we tried out the new bike path from Scaysbrook Avenue, into Tall Timbers Road and right up to the highway again. Nice path, thanks WSC!
Cruising on down to the Doylo, we paused while Paul telephoned the Lakes Beach café to book a table for eighteen. Across the intersection and down to the bus stop opposite Roper Road, where we squeezed through the gap in the Armco rail, for a good whizz down Emu Drive all the way to the river. No accidents, punctures or upset tummies all day! Riding along the beautiful bike path all the way to Budgewoi, we emerged at Budgewoi Road and Doug set the pace to the café, where we thanked the maître de for our very long table in the shade. Good coffee, good service and friendy attentive staff made this a very pleasant morning tea.
As we were shuffling in our seats, anxious to get going again, I had a phone call from 'er indoors to come straight home, furniture delivery, so off I went, flying back to Lake Haven with the SE breeze behind me. I'm pretty sure everyone else got home safely, not heard otherwise, so thanks to Paul and Doug for looking after us. Thanks to everyone who made the effort to ride today, you were great!
Wednesday 30 September 2015 - Group 1, Brisbane Water
Starting at Gosford this morning, we had 18 riders ready to ride somewhere different. With perfect weather we set off from the venue at Masons Parade near the sailing club, towards the famous Iguana Joe's, under reconstruction, then on to Aardvaark Park where lots of people play sport. I noticed on the way in by car from the M1 Motorway that the big intersection at Brissie Water Drive has changed dramatically, with said drive re-aligned further east to make a crossroad with Manns Road.
With Pedro leading and Doug looking after the tail we scooted along towards Woy Woy, with a forward-scouting group checking the way was clear. Thanks Alan, Nigel and Ken! Down through Woy Woy and Blackwall to the Spit Bridge where we all formed into a neat single file till we crossed the road at the refugee crossing. Flat till we got to the bridge, the way became littered with hills big and small for the rest of the day.
Finally arriving at Davistown we set up camp near the ferry terminal, sitting on the ground as the new picnic tables were not quite finished. A bit different to the CCTCC which would have set up camp in the coffee shop. We're too independent! I left my lunch in the car, and planned to eat it the drive home, so I just had an ice-cream, in a cone, yum! But I forgot to eat the sanger and had it at home at three o'clock!
A lot of us have been on this ride with the other club many times, but we still can't quite remember where to go, and went astray a couple of times. Got lost again in East Gosford, because Pedro made us go straight down The Entrance Road without crossing over like we usually do, so I, among others, got confused and went down the wrong streets on our way back. I finished up at Peaks Point (not Pt Fred), doubling back a couple of times before we surfaced. Didn't stick behind the leader, that's the problem! We all got back OK after a very interesting and enjoyable ride together, thanks everyone for the effort in coming. A most enjoyable ride!
Don't forget next week it's the AGM so meet at the Toukley Sailing Club (check your Google Earth and look for the 'TSC' on the roof!). A short ride then lunch and the meeting, don't miss it!
Friday 25 September 2015 - Coasters
Pouring rain all night, still raining this morning at 0800. Determined to make a go of it, I packed my bike into the Paj and set off for Jenny Dixon Reserve at 0810. Arrived at 20 past - no rain all the way here. Then it starts raining. Sit in the car till 0830, then give up and drive off. Went and did some shopping.
Half past nine and Paul F rings me and says where are you? Go to the Fuel Stop for coffee at ten o'clock. Go back to Toukley, have coffee with Margaret, Dianne and Linda, Paul arrives soon after. Chat, then decide to go to Lake Haven cinema to see 'Everest' at noon, this being the sportiest film on, and suitably cold. Pick up the missus and off we go to the pictures with the aforementioned cycling mates to see a beaut film about dying in the cold.
So we didn't have a bike ride, but we did hang out together and had an enjoyable day. Thanks for coming, girls and Paul!
PS See Seabreeze© graph below.
Breaking news! Marshall's Report Wednesday 23 September
First, read this morning's report below. Back here again? Now read on! Marshall reports that he rode from the co-op across to Noraville, then down to Budgewoi, then on the bike path around the lake, with only a slight shower at B'woi, but lots of wind, to the highway at the San Remo bridge, down to Charmhaven then via Warnervale wetlands, past Warny High School in Minnesota Road, through Wadalba and back home to Wyongah, so well done Marshall! Makes the rest of us, apart from Ken, feel a bit weak and pathetic. At 2.30pm the breeze is 30-40 knots, from the SSW. And 14°C!
Wednesday 23 September 2015 - Chain Valley Bay
On a fresh and breezy morning today fifteen members turned up, but only 4 of them were on bicycles. There were some more bikes on cars, but only Nigel, John Lon, Ken from Wyoming and Marshall rode there. And Marshall only rode from his Mum's place two kilometres away. The rest of us just mosied along to see who the other nutters were.
It didn't actually rain while we were there, but the wind blew the dog off the chain, and it was freezing (11°C). See Seabreeze® graph below. Well done to those who actually got on their bikes, but generally it was judged too yukky by half to go on a ride to anywhere, or to hang around for a barbecue somewhere later.
I went home, but the remaining victims were contemplating going somewhere for coffee. For those of you reading this who didn't get out of bed - well done!
Sunday 20 September 2015 - Wagga Wagga Club Holiday
A cabin has become available at Wagga Wagga Beach Caravan Park due to a cancellation by Jill and Trevor. Unfortunately, Jill and Trevor have had a death in the family and will be unable to attend the club holiday.
If any members wanted to go on the club holiday and were unable to obtain a cabin, one is now available.
Sue Tucker
Friday 18 September 2015 - Coasters
With cloudy and windy conditions (see Seabreeze graph® below) only eleven riders fronted for this morning's short ride from Jenny Dixon Reserve, Norah Head. Paul had an idea for a ride, and nominated Pam as the leader, but in fact several of us took turns leading.
As it looked so much like rain, I wore my new booties, raincoat and mudguard. My new headlight was gone when I got home after Wednesday's ride. After today's ride my galoshes were stuffed as well, with holes worn in the ankles from rubbing on the crank, and the bottom torn. They took me 5 minutes to put on and 10 minutes to get off! And it didn't rain at all, just got sunny!
So off we rode down to the Gorokan fish co-op and along The Corso, up to Charmhaven and over the Wallarah Creek bridge to San Remo, nice breeze following. Up past Camp Breakaway to the scenic road and on to Doyalson. At one of the intersecting street a young idiot in a work ute tried to push in amongst the passing bikes, and gave us lip. Up at the lights there he was waiting, so Paul and Col, among others, gave him an earful of abuse, which they kept up till the lights changed, and off he screamed, revving the guts out of his pathetic little truck. What a joke!
We continued up the highway with the wind to Tall Timbers Road where the tail-enders complained about the speed of the leaders. Richard said he couldn't keep up, so he was going straight back to the Lakes Beach café to wait for us. So that left us with ten riders to continue to CVB Josh Porter Reserve for a break. I then took the group up to Carters Road and over the highway footbridge for a change. Then down Lizzie Bay Drive towards Budgewoi, with Linda streaking off, followed by Viv on her MTB, miles ahead of us. Linda told me once that her legs get sore on hills, so I'm glad it's not just me!
Finally at the café but no Richard! He turned up 20 minutes later, declaring that he had ridden up to the Big Prawn, then back to Jenny Dixon looking for us, so he rode much further than we had intended. A lovely morning tea, despite the wind blowing everything off the table, after which we rode back to JDR or in the case of Col, Linda and I, back home. About 40km for most, and more for me and Col, and Linda. A good ride with friends!
Message from Barry Sm
Hi Danny
I saw on the local weather today that The Central Coast was copping a severe hail storm today. Saw some pix of Bateau Bay covered in hail. Wondering whether our end of the Coast copped it as well?
Lois and I had a nice seafood dinner last Saturday night in Boston with Boston Bill and his wife Kerrie. Arrived in Whistler Monday staying with our son Tim and his family.
Did a nice 40K ride today around the local Whistler cycleways on my mountain bike. Rode past glacial green lakes, float planes landing next to the cycleways.
Saw a brown bear with three Cubs just off the cycleway. Definitely different scenery to the Coast. Beautiful safe cycleways, heated toilets in all the parks. Everyone is so courteous to bike riders!
Look forward to hearing about the hail!
See you end Sept back on the Coast.
Regards Barry Sm
Wednesday 16 September 2015 - Groups 1 and 2
Group 1 - Twenty-two riders fronted today for a squirt down to Berkeley Vale for lunch. Something was wrong with Irene's bike, so she and Linda raced off to Linda's house for another bike, so we were late leaving. As it happened, Group 2 was going to Wyong also, so we passed them a couple of times during the day.
Owing to the lack of volunteers, I got the job of leading Group 1, and what a privilege it is too. We didn't lose anybody, and had only one flat, JD, who hadn't brought any tools or spares. No problem, we usually use someone else's stuff anyway! Marshall took us on a little detour along a lakeside path at Wyongah, very nice, and we continued to Chittaway, straight down Wyong Road bikepath. We then continued along the path by Wyong Road all the way to Pindarri Avenue, Berkeley Vale, then suddenly there we were at Bluebell Park, our venue for lunch.
On the way back we detoured around Geoffrey Road, Chittaway, then Church Road and Lake Road, for more variety and distance, before humming down the Tuggerah Straight bike path with a tail wind. At Wyong we got to the toilets just as Group 2 were leaving. I decided to follow Pollock Avenue and Jensen Road coming back, and guess what, so had the Group 2, so we passed them again. After stopping for a change of leader at Tuggerawong Road, the other group passed us again, before we chased them down again. It was lovely to see all those nice people so many times in one day.
I peeled off at Myuna Road to go home, leaving the club in the gentle hands of my mate Col, who I trust took them all back safely to the Fish co-op. Such a lovely day for bike riding, and genial members to talk to. Cheers!

Group 2 - Hello everyone,
another glorious day for cycling, great temperatures and clear skies. Well our numbers continue to grow, we had another new visitor Linda Brady, who said that she would like to ride with us when she could as she still works and, depending on her days off, she would like to join the club and become a regular cyclist. Joe's wife Sue who has been with us for the last couple of weeks is getting stronger and is improving every week.
We had a total of 15 riders yesterday and had a good ride to South Tacoma and back to Wyong for lunch and back to the CoOp via Pollock and Jensen Roads.
Ann is still not cycling yet, she had her stitches out last Tuesday and is now back on the trainer bike with rollers, so as soon as her knee is strong enough she will be back cycling with us.
Next week we will be a few short as 3 couples have personal family business they all have to attend to, but hopefully they will be all back for the next week.
Arlene is still not well. She has had another stint in hospital at R.N.S. but hopes she will be back to her normal self soon. Best wishes to Ann and Arlene.
Well that's all for now,happy and safe cycling,
Regards John Lonard - Group 2 organiser.
Friday 11 September 2015 - Coasters
Another lovely spring morning with 15 riders signing on. We decided to do a loop down to Wahroonga Road, Wyongah, with Dianne volunteering to lead, thanks Di! Col and I kept close to advise her on the unfamiliar roads.
Warwick wore the pink cap at the back, thanks Waz! So once we got to the end of Wahroonga Road we crossed at the sports fields into Wadalba and out onto Minnesota Road. At Warnervale Road we headed down to the wetlands, but as we got there Viv's rear tyre, on her MTB, made a funny noise as the air came out a little hole in the back tyre. It proved to be very hard to free the tyre from the rim but eventually we got it off and fixed the puncture.
Through the fascinating wetlands and out onto Hakone Road and up to Arizona. We all crossed the highway near Bunnings, but at this stage I had to leave to attend Daphne's funeral (she was 97 and a member of the Gorokan Walkers Group). The rest of the Group rode down Moala Pde and along to Lowana Avenue, over the Wallarah Creek bridge and along the bike track to Budgewoi and the Lakes Beach café, or that was the plan anyway. Hope it all went well guys! Another delightful Coasters ride. The Skylarkers also rode but don't expect a report.
Wednesday 9 September 2015 - Mannering Park Group 1
This looks like the 2nd ride to Manno in 2 weeks, on the old program, but as I didn't go on the first one I'm not sure. This time however we really did go to Manno, with Col leading, from Budgewoi up Lizzie Bay Road to the highway at Munmorah, then down to Rutleys Road. We made our way down to Vales Point where the boatramp is, for lunch. Wayne had ridden down to the co-op from his house in Manno, so he left us when we headed off back.
Another full quota of riders, but not sure how many, over 20 again. Lovely conditions as usual. Col took us back to Doyalson where he, Ralph, Trevor and Jill all headed off to their homes/wife (in Cols case) down Scenic Drive. Mike took over the lead with a safety detour down Emu Drive to the river. I bailed out at Lowana Avenue and went home, so that's all I can tell you. A really nice ride, thanks everyone!
Friday 4 September 2015 - Coasters
A really shocking day for riding, but I was determined to do it. As I prepared to leave it started raining earnestly, so I stowed the Giant in the Pajero and drove up to Jenny Dixon Reserve. No-one there of course, but I got my bike out and rode up to the Rockpool Resort to see if it was open, for coffee. I had my raincoat on, and a new back mudguard, so I was prepared for the really heavy rain that fell on me. When I got back to JDR, Richard and Pam rolled up in their van, with their bikes, but it was so wet we left them there. Soon Doug drove up in his car, no bike, so we all drove up to the Rockpool Resort and had a very pleasant m/t inside the café. Not much riding done but at least we had a good social morning, which is all you want, eh!
Wednesday 2 September 2015
Group 1 - Batto Bay - Bit of a tricky ride today, with no-one who knew the route being on the ride. However, as I had actually read the program, I (Danny) was selected by popular acclaim to lead the ride.
I'm writing this ten days after the event, so details are a little hazy. Can't remember how many riders today, but over twenty I recall. Off we went down WBD and after a regroup at Roberts Street, North Entrance (NE), we continued along the bike path past Picnic Point and on to Killarney Vale. After crossing Wyong Road, we were supposed to go up Brooke Avenue, but somehow I missed it, hard to imagine, so we kept going up to Eastern Road and eventually found our way on to Brooke. Everybody was suggesting the best way to go, but they hadn't read the program, so I perservered along the interesting and fairly level roads via Joe Banks Drive and Crestfallen Drive to The CC highway and finally popped up at Toowoon Bay.
After a nice lunch we headed back direct to the bridge, and up to the cemetery at Noraville. Ralph was with me but after I latched on to Nigel and followed him all the way up WBD we lost Ralph and everybody else. Eventually they all turned up, with some of the girls doing really well, not meaning to be patronising! A very interesting and enjoyable ride. Thanks for coming.

Group 2 - Hi all fellow cyclists,
What a good day to cycle - sun, pleasant temperatures and very little wind. First of all we would like to welcome 2 new members, Frank and Shirley - we hope you will continue to enjoy your cycling with us just as much as we have enjoyed your company.
Welcome back Eveline after your long holiday and hope you are recovering from that unfortunate collision skiing . Also Arlene all of our best wishes for a quick and complete recovery from your terrible illness. We will be all looking forward for your return to us.
We had a very good turn up for our number 2 group ride, 16 in all, including a visitor Sue who is only new to cycling and who is improving every week. Joe her husband has been cycling with both groups for quite a while now and it is always great to see a wife and husband enjoying the same activity no matter what it is. Keep on pushing Sue, you will get there!
The route to Toowoon Bay was the normal trip down Wilfred Barret Drive, but what we did change was the route crossing Main Road, instead of crossing at Beachcomber Hotel crossing , we went the back way turning at the Ambulance station and then crossing at the traffic lights at the school on Main Road, a much safer option. Our return was up to Swadling Street and down to the cycle path at Long Jetty, Picnic Point and then back to the CoOp via WBD, a very pleasant day and good company was had by all, thank you.
Ann will not be cycling for a couple of weeks as she has to go into hospital, again, to have her left knee tidied up. She just seems to be back cycling when something else comes up, but she is very determined not to let anything beat her. Dutch determination and a great fighter.
Talk to you all soon, enjoy your cycling, embrace and appreciate your friends,
regards John Lonard. Group 2 Organiser.
Wyong Shire GOALL Magazine
Have a read of this excellent Shire magazine, with reports from the kayakers and the bike club. Click here.
Wednesday 26 August 2015 - Group 1 Mannering Park
A cool and windy morning at Gorokan Fish Co-op, cloudy and threatening to rain. Ten riders only, with about the same number of group 2 riders, also heading for Manno, but coming in the other end of Rutleys Road, whereas the Group 1 riders were going to Wyee then up to the western end of Rutleys.
I waved them all off then went home to perform other duties. Good to see Rod back looking a thousand bucks. Hoping we get a more comprehensive report later.
Friday 21 August 2015 - Coasters, Tooheys Road
A good turn-up for the Coasters today with 19 riders, on a perfect day, ranging from 12°C to 23°, no breeze or cloud.
I devised a tough ride because I know that's what our members want. With Warwick at the back I led the eager group up to Budgewoi where they insisted on a toilet stop after 5 minutes on the road. Another stop at Lakedge Park, Buff Point, finally soldiering on to Blue Haven where we hit the dirt track for some variety, except for Pedro who caught the bus to Link Road.
After a brief rest we continued on down Link Road to Tooheys Road bridge exit and on to the nasty few kms of hard-packed clay and gravel. This finishes off with an exquisite little hill, but nearly everyone just steamed up it as I knew they would. At the end we turned left onto Bushells Ridge Road and back on bitumen, then left again onto Hue Hue Road and up to Sparks Road. And left again. Good riding everyone!
At Albert Warner Drive we turned right for a change before another left at Warnervale Road. Great fun getting 19 elderly riders through the partially open gates at either end of the Warnies Track for some more dirt-track riding. It's always nice at the Farm Gate Café, where we relaxed and refreshed ourselves before turning our weary heads towards Toukley and our home stretch. Did someone warn me not to have a burrito for lunch? Wish I hadn't!
It's quite a job getting all of us over the highway at Johns Road/Pacific Highway roundabout, luckily a nice car stopped and let us cross. I don't think he had much choice with all those bikes over the road! Down Johns Road to Orchid Way and up through Wadalba to Louisiana Road and Wahroonga Road down to the lake and Tuggerawong Road. I peeled off at Pearce Road towards home, so Pedro led the club for the return journey. I know they made it alright as Ralph just dropped by with my discarded orange polar fleece. Thanks Ralph! Thanks to everyone who helped co-ordinate the ride or gave encouragement when needed. Cheers!
Wednesday 19 August 2015 - Toowoon Bay
Twenty-two riders fronted at the Gorokan Fish Co-op for this morning's ride, plus Simon who was waiting for us at Wyong. Wayne was on the road bridge at Wyong at 10.20am while we were at the toilets below, but he couldn't see us and rode away. But he found us at lunchtime.
Pedro offered to lead the ride and Doug took the sweep's job. Conditions were divine all day with mild temperatures and a faint breeze from the south. Off we went down to Wyongah where Pedro sent a contingent of four down to meet Simon at the dunnies, so Nigel, Linda, Viv and I set off at 29kph to meet him, slowing down after a few k's to 27 which suited us better.
Down Tuggerah Straight to Chittaway via Lake/Church Roads, and onto the bike path till we stopped at Bluebell Park for a pitstop. Over two beautiful new multi-million dollar bridges till we veered off to Toowoon Bay for lunch. There was a big family or group having a barbecue there, but they declined to share it with us. No birthdays or punctures or cake today, so we set off at speed (at least some of us did) for the cemetery at Norah Head where we waited for everybody to catch up. The southerners left their cars at Richard's place or somewhere handy to finish the ride early. Still did the same distance, 54km, plus extra for those of us who rode from home.
A very pleasant ride, thanks to Pedro and Doug for looking after us, and to everyone else for coming.
Friday 14 August 2015 - Coasters
Back to beautiful weather, up to 17°C, with no breeze found. Seventeen riders attended JD Reserve, including Geoff from kayaking, and Ralph back after his 6 month trip round Australia, and Richard and Pam back after their wonderful trip to Europe for six weeks. Joe had a new road bike today, so he kept up easily. Irene couldn't resist leading the ride, and Ralph wore the pink hat cover at the back.
Nobody was interested in going south, and we did west last week, so north to Elizabeth Bay we rode, straight across the highway at Lake Munmorah the town, into Chain Valley Bay. Down Carters Road to CVB south, and on to Joshua Porter Reserve for a pit-stop.
Pushing on to Tall Timbers Road we were pleased to see the new bike path taking shape with plenty of activity happening today. Turn right on to the highway and towards Doyalson, after the welding shop, to a little place called The Grove, where there is a café and general store. Don't know where the customers come from, but they do. There was only one lady serving, so we had to wait while she single-handedly made all the coffees and toast and stuff, but we didn't care!
Finally out of there and down to Doylo and continuing along the hwy to the bus stop opposite Roper Road, where Col peeled off home, and the rest of us squeezed in past the Armco rail and down Emu Drive, straight through Goorama Avenue, because we can, and down to the bike path on the lake. I hived off here towards Lake Haven, cos I live there, and Irene took the remaining riders east towards Budgewoi and hopefully on to Jenny Dixon Reserve.
A very nice ride, with a few hills, and a good chat, where everyone wanted to know about my trip to Sydney for our 20th, which was excellent. Good on you all for coming, it was so enjoyable.
Wednesday 12 August 2015 - Group 1, Tarro to Morpeth return
Report never coming apparently. Not very nice conditions, fifteen riders.
Friday 7 August 2015 - Coasters
Ten riders came this morning to Blacksmiths, on a sunny cool day with slight NW breezes. Doug led us and Col wore the pink hat, thanks youse two!
Darryl made a long awaited return to the cycle club, joining us today. Other riders included Warwick, Robyn, Dianne, Carol, Paul Ando and Irene. The Skylarkers left Gorokan at 8.00am and passed us at Blacksmiths at 9.30. We saw them again on the way up Fernleigh, at Whitebridge, where they stopped for a chat before heading back home.
Lots of cyclists on the track today, it's very popular. We only went as far as the Adamstown end, then rode back to Marks Point and found the post office/café where we enjoyed toast and coffee. It's an amazing little shop, chocabloc full of games and puzzles, most of which I had never seen before, and hand-made wooden toys. Anyone interested in old trains, there is a beautiful jigsaw with a steam loco featured.
After m/t we headed back on a cook's tour to Blacksmiths, but Paul had a phone call as we were leaving and lost us. Eventually we found each other and continued on our trip through the backblocks to the carpark.
A delightful ride of 45km with gorgeous people, some of whom were in our group. Don't forget next Wednesday's ride is from Tarro, the details of which are above. Cheers!
Wednesday 5 August 2015 - Group 1 CVB
Very chilly this morning, at my place it was 10°C inside the house and 5° outside. But that didn't deter our famous club riders who turned up in their droves to ride the windswept roads of the Wyong Shire. Twenty-one actually, with Col as the esteemed leader, and Doug keeping the back end straight. Although it was Dougal himself who had the only punctures of the day, but he was in good hands.
Col took us over to Budgewoi where we joined the wonderful bike path around the Budgewoi Lake, as far as Camp Breakaway, where Joe and Cathy (welcome back guys!) decided to keep going around the lake for an early finish, given their lack of training. Soon afterwards Ken hived off towards home (Narara), so he still did more than we did. On to Doyalson and Rutleys Road where Wayne also peeled off towards home at Manno.
Although it was cold, with a norwester up to 20 knots, it didn't feel too bad, and it was sunny and clear, so we made the most of it, and rode up to Tall Timbers Road, Chain Valley Bay South (CVBS) and through to Chain Valley Bay Road back to the highway. Turning left at Kanagra Drive, we did a u-turn almost immediately to enter Blue Wren Drive, over the highway, for safety, thanks Col, and continued down BWD, not to be confused with WBD, and on to Budgewoi, having ditched a west-facing Lizzie Bay beach in favour of Mackenzie Park for lunch.
We celebrated Paul F's 75th birthday and let him buy us all some delicious cake to mark the occasion, thanks Paul! After lunch Col decided to go straight home, don't blame him, leaving me to lead the weary little group back to Gorokan for the end of our fantastic ride. Thanks for coming everyone, really enjoyed your company!
2015 Richmond Club Hawkesbury 100 Classic bike ride
We did this ride last year, remember? For more details, click here.
Friday 31 July 2015 - Coasters
A good roll-up today with 16 riders, all keen to ride somewhere different. A big ask, but we tried, with me nominating myself as boss cocky, and Peter going pink hat for the first time, thanks Bones! Pedro was also there, for his first ride in a long time, due to incapacity. Margaret is back from her journeys northward (as far as you can go in this country!), so we'll be expecting a report from her soon. Could get a photoshow!
We headed north ourselves from Norah Head, only going as far as Budgewoi before heading west into a slight NW breeze. Along the bike path to San Remo then north again past Camp Breakaway to the Extreme Sports Park where Col showed us where he spends many happy hours. It's a bit of a shame really, covered with graffiti, and earth in the concrete bowl, and hardly any kids come here anyway. So we gave it a bit of a try-out then headed back up Highview Avenue to Scenic Drive to Doyalson. Here we saw the Skylarkers fly past from the north, saw them again at the next lights then they were gone, the three of 'em!
We rode down to Blue Haven Way (the new Aldi is coming along nicely!) and Col took us on a tour of new roads, past his own house and down a new back road to the path down to the bridge over Wallarah Creek. Very few people knew where they were. Over the bridge and down the hwy to the nursery near Bunnings where we crossed over carefully to the other side of the road, through the gate and down to the Warnervale Wetlands, a lovely ride with nature.
On reaching Warnies we snuck through the gate, as one must, rode to the south end of the beautiful natural track, and snuck through another gate finishing up at The Farm Gate Café.
Viv and I organised a table for 16 and we all enjoyed coffee and food and a damn good chat, before dragging our sorry butts back to the highway and up to the roundabout. We chose Johns Road as our preferred route eastwards, and continued on that to Murrawal Road and onto Tuggerawong Road. At this point I hived off home, and the group chose Col to lead them back to Jenny Dixon Reserve, even though Col wanted to go back to Blue Heaven. But you know Col, can't say no, so off they all went, and hopefully arrived safely at JDR. An excellent ride with many twists and turns and different, scenic routes. Thanks everyone for making the effort to come bike-riding with us today. Don't forget next week we will be starting the Coasters at the Fernleigh Track, Belmont, at 9.00am.
Wednesday 29 July 2015 - Group 1 Tumbi/Batto Bay
After we picked up extras at North Entrance, we numbered 18, led by John D and tailed by Doug T. Lovely conditions, sunny, tiny breeze from the south, cool then warm.
Over the bridge and right onto the bike path to Long Jetty, riding over the beautiful new bridge over Saltwater Creek and on to Tumbi Creek bridge, also new and beaut. With our destination Batto Bay we circled Mingara anti-clockwise, riding west along Wyong Road to Beckingham Road, then Palm Grove and Leetes Lane back to Hansen Road. We usually ride in the other direction, but I found this way easier, with the steep sharp hills pointing downwards, and the long gentle hills going up. At Hansen Road we turned right towards Tumbi Road, taking care not to get run over on the busy road.
Turning left onto Belleview we made our way back to Batto Bay where I led the breakaway group miles past our turn-off, then back again to the shops where we bought coffee and lunch. Don't think I'll ever learn my way around here!
After a pleasant lunch divided between two parks, we re-assembled and headed off home. I was riding with little Paul, and Paul Flacco rode up to inform us that Karen had had a puncture. Knowing she was in good hands we continued north, not stopping till the cemetery in Noraville. Paul and I had a good stretch out, with a tailwind, taking turns in leading. Paul's not that good of a windbreak, but better than nothing.
A few people joined us at the cemetery, the usual suspects, Linda, Dianne, Peter among them. After about ten minutes I got fidgety and took off home, having enjoyed a very pleasant ride with the club. Hope everyone got back OK.
Monday 27 July 2015 - Richard and Pam in Denmark
All is going well. We arrived in Copenhagen (or København as they call it ) yesterday. Travelled by coach from Berlin, after 3 hours travelling, the bus drove onto a large ferry and we had a beautiful ferry ride across the Baltic Sea to arrive in Denmark. Weather a little cooler but still fine and warm. We are hiring bikes in each city. Just city bikes, nothing fancy, but generally what millions of people ride around on. When we rode into the middle of the city in Berlin I was thinking "this is probably the most dangerous thing I have done in my adult life", however after achieving it (safely ) I realised the chaos - buses, construction work, trucks, hop on hop off buses, local people, travellers, and bikes. Fast ones and slow ones, like us, were all very patient, thank heavens. Richard sat on a seat in the shade for an hour, I took photos and then we rode home through the Brandenberg Gate and Tiergarden which is a beautiful shady park in the middle of the city set up for riding and walking.
Well time to go for a walk and discover Københaven!
Friday 24 July 2015 - Coasters
Back to the good weather this morning, cool, cloudy and spitting rain (good compared to last Friday!). Thirteen riders fought over who would lead the ride, with much discussion about the destination. This is patently untrue, however we did manage to find someone (Paul) to take us somewhere (Batto Bay) and off we went.
The spitting rain soon cleared and we had a good run down Wilfred Barrett Drive (WBD) with Linda as usual clearing out on her own in front. We had a re-group at Roberts Street N/E as usual but as we were about to leave (already on our bikes and riding) Peter declared a flat tyre (rock chip), surprising as he had just installed two new tyres last night. So we stopped dead in our tracks before resuming our odyssey to the bay of boats.
Left at the roundabout after the bridge and up to the lookout over the lagoon, and in a generally southerly direction till we got to Swadling Street, which took us down to the CC highway and onto the lake bikepath. No more dramas, except vandals have ruined the locks on the new toilets at Picnic Point, and a quick sprint up WBD to Denison Street Norah Head, with Linda, Peter and I sharing the front. As they say in the Tours, it's much easier in a gruppetto than trying to do it on your own, Thanks guys!
Morning tea/lunch at the Rockpool Resort (Noah's Ark) was a pleasant experience, for us anyway, as we took all the available chairs and tables, so the other outdoor diners had to sit on fruit boxes. However we did re-install the furniture before we left which was appreciated. We did get a visit from Barry before we left at the start, just to satisfy us he is still on the perch. In all, a perfect Coasters ride, thanks everyone for coming. Thanks to Paul, and Doug for support at the back.
Wednesday 22 July 2015 - Group 1 Chain Valley Bay
A cool, cloudy but fine morning brought 20 riders out including Jill and Trevor joining us at Budgewoi. John D was our leader, with Doug wearing the rear-gunner's hat.
Pedro gave us a short talk before our departure, Sue watched on, then we rode east to Norah Head where we watched the sharks and whales, at Soldiers Beach. Didn't see any of them, apparently a rest day for large sea creatures, but certainly a change from our usual ride. Then we rode to Budgewoi to pick up J & T then up Lizzie Bay Drive to the eponymous village, where we split ourselves into two groups, the climbers and the non-climbers. On our way again to meet at Chain Valley Bay Road and the highway, a busy little intersection. Eventually the hill-climbers arrived and we rode up CVB Rd to Mulloway Road and down past Valhalla to CVB South.
After a pitstop at Josh Porter Reserve we pushed on to Doyalson where JD changed our route to Budgewoi rather than straight back to Gorokan. Lakeview Reserve is still closed, but showing great promise, so we rolled on to Mackenzie Park at Budgie. After a spell and a feed we split up to ride either home or back to the Fish Co-op. John and Doug took most riders up to Norah Head and down past the cemetery, while some of us just went down Main Street. A nice ride, thanks everyone for coming, and hopefully see you on Friday.
Monday 20 July 2015 - Emails from Richard and Pam, and Graeme and Merrilyn in Europe can be viewed here.
Friday 17 July 2015 - Coasters
Only four of us braved the very chilly weather this morning to front at Jenny Dixon Reserve to see what was happening. The temperature had soared from 7°C to 8° by 9 o'clock, the wind was a brutal westerly and it was spitting rain, but not actually raining. Col, Nigel and I rode from home. Nige didn't think there would be any other Skylarkers so he came up here instead. Viv drove up but wouldn't put her bike shoes on, or get her bike out.
Nige decided to do a Skylarkers run up to Crackneck on his own, meeting us later for coffee at some texted place. He covered 50 kilometres, for which he should receive a medal. Viv, Col and I decided on a short ride to coffee, but in the end decided it was too cold, so we just went home and texted Nigel accordingly. I offered to accompany Col around Lake Budgewoi before heading back down the hwy to home. As soon as we turned into the wind in Main Road I changed my mind and went straight home. It was, and still is, bloody freezing! Just clicked over 10°. It was an easy ride home for me as the headwind was so strong I just crept along in granny gear and didn't even notice the hill. Glad we don't get too many days like this!
Wednesday 15 July 2015 - Kangy Angy
Another beautiful chilly morning, but sunny and fine, with a slight breeze from somewhere. Seventeen riders signed on, elected me as their leader for today, and off we went. Dianne had a new Avanti road bike, with extra gears, which she picked up for $150.
The course as specified in the programme included Murrawal Road and Johnson Road, Wadalba, mostly uphill, where half the riders passed me easily. Sigh! Left at Pollock and down to the toilets at Wyong for our first and last toilet stop (the last one at lunchtime).
Everyone enjoyed this ride and it's one of my faves too. Down to Ourimbah and onto Enterprise Drive for a lovely wind-assisted race to Chittaway. Not much to report, thankfully, lunch at Wyong again and then Col took us back home as I hived off to Lake Haven. Many people commented on how nice it was to be riding today, and breathing and stuff, and I agree. Thanks for coming on the ride guys, see you on Friday.
Next week's ride will not involve Kanangra Drive or Summerland Point due to safety concerns.
Saturday 11 July 2015 - Message from Richard and Pam
Hi Danny,
We did a ride yesterday from Bordeaux to Creon and return. About 50kms by the sign posts, all on bike paths similar to the fernleigh track. Very safe riding conditions although my hire bike is like a Sherman tank. It has just three gears, a reliable,workhorse bike.
Got a big shock when we got back to Bordeaux, I saw a man on a bike wearing a helmet! Must be a tourist. Sure enough when I called out he said he was from Aus and Mosman in Sydney. No wonder I had trouble with his accent.
Weather is still hot here, particularly from about 3pm.
Regards to you all. Watching the last half hour of Le Tour direct when we get back after whatever.
See you,
Glad to hear Peter Holt is on the mend.
Pam and Richard
Friday 10 July 2015 - Coasters
A mild start at about 12°C at nine o'clock at Jenny Dixon Reserve, Norah Head, where thirteen of us rallied for our usual Friday workout. Irene volunteered to lead us, and Mike took over the tail, thanks guys!
We had barely left on our trip to North Wyong when PeterB declared a flat. I think he brought it from home but didn't want to fix it himself. So we finally got going at about 20 past 9, up to Denison Road and down to the cemetery. Did you see that new show on ABC last night, about the bodies coming back to life in the cemetery? Spooky! Well, everyone stayed put as we rode past, through Toukley and over the bridge to the Fish Co-op. All the Skylarkers were long gone, but there was a contingent from the CCTCC reconnoitering Sunday's ride. I chatted with Annie S, Marshall and Josie and was introduced to a lovely lady from the Wyong Shire with a camera who was doing an article on how good it is to live in the Shire. We wandered over to the lake for photos where I stood in a big pile of dog shit, which I carried around on my shoe for the rest of the day. Look for the Wyong Alive series in August's Express Avocado. The Coasters were long gone, so I hurried after them, not catching up till Sparks Road at the Warnervale Wetlands.
Soon we were at the Warnies bike path and at the Farm Gate café, by 10.30am. Big ride! It's always a delight to stop there and have a break from our arduous journey. Irene took us back along the highway to Johns Road where we carefully negotiated the roundabout and continued on to Orchid Way, Wadalba, for an interesting meander through the back streets to Wahroongah Road and down to Tuggerawong Road and back to base. I left them to it around there, and was home by 11.45am, in time to clean the DS off my shoe.
A very pleasant ride, which is always the plan, and thanks to everyone for coming along, despite the cold weather. Cheers,
Wednesday 8 July 2015 - Cams Wharf, Group 1
Nice day, bit cold to start but warming up to a sweltering 15°C, and sunny with a very slight southerly breeze. Sixteen riders in our group, after Ken caught up with us. He had ridden from Narara so he's allowed some slack. John D led the ride, and Doug controlled the tail end.
All our riders are experienced, so a good pace was maintained, well done you. Up through Noraville, chatted to Pedro who is still nursing a chopped off finger, to Budgewoi and up LBD. At Lizzie Bay a few of us rode up the SRA lookout hill, including Viv on her MTB, while the rest of us finished LBD and rode up the hwy to the bus-stop at Kanangra Drive. Plenty of hills in this ride, so get over them, as JD would say.
After flying down Cams Wharf Road we rode straight over to Nords Wharf where there is a little shop which sells everything. They have the greatest range of magazines, especially Womens Weekly ones, than any other shop I've been in. I noticed this as I sat waiting for my coffee which never came. At least, not till everyone else in town had been served.
After lunch by the lake, very lovely, we set off up to the hwy again, up that long and steep hill, but we all made it OK. The worst hill I had forgotten, but it is between Cams and Nords, very nasty. We had the benefit of a tailwind coming north, but the headwind going back was countered by the downhill nature of the return trip, so it was all very pleasant. A tough ride of 55km but lots of fun with one's friends on a beautiful day, so if you missed it, tuff kitties! Thanks to everyone for joining in.
As a special bonus here is the news from Richard and Pam in Europe:
We are in Bordeaux after visiting Singapore and Barcelona for a few days. Weather is hot and steamy and the daylight lasts till 10.30pm. Hiring bikes for a few days today. Nearly everyone has one. Lots of bike paths and everyone gives way to cyclists as you know from your years in Holland (Paul M).
Glad to hear that Allen is slowly recovering.
Lots of action in downtown Bordeaux with all the other tourists crowding the place and giving the locals the shits. Great tram system here very cheap and runs all the time. Enjoying the cycling in the city. Much warmer than Sydney weather.
Hi Paul, Next ride you might ask the ladies how they would like to ride in dresses and high-heeled shoes and no helmets to muck up their fancy hair. That's what lots of the girls in Bordeaux wear to work. The men are often wearing shirts and ties! Hope they have showers at work because it is mighty sweaty round here at this time of year.
Regards Richard
Friday 3 July 2015 - Yarramalong
A beautiful sunny winter's day, with cold air early on. Wind was a 10 knot SW, increasing to 15 for the trip back. Fourteen riders from Coasters and five from the Skylarkers, starting at Wyong toilets and Gorokan fish co-op respectively. Start time for the Coasters was 9.15am but I forgot to say that in the notices, so only Col and I were on time at 9.15, everyone else was early, even Annie D who rode from Noraville at 0800.
Off we went with Linda leading us up Yarramalong Road in the chilly breeze, Doug wearing the yellow cap of the rear gunner, thanks to you both. About halfway up the road to Y'long, the Skylarkers, who had started 13km further back, but probably 15 minutes earlier, flew past us as expected, JD on his new LaPierre bike.
It's a consistent climb up to the township, except for the downhill bits, a rise of about 25 metres over the 18km, so not very hard on average. The café at Y'long was overwhelmed by our group of 19 visitors, so it took a long time to get our coffee and stuff. That's alright, we weren't going anywhere else, least of all up Bumble Hill.
It was much easier and faster going back. I was second behind the lead group, but after I first sighted them they got further ahead, so they must have seen me coming. I was miles ahead of the next guy (Azi) on his m/bike. At Mardi Col and I went to Cycology to get my seat adjusted, while everyone else battled the hills of Allison Road before heading off to their various starting points. Well done everyone! A very nice ride and good to see the Skylarkers/Coasters in action again. Cheers!
Wednesday 1 July 2015 - o-o-t Belmont/Jesmond Park
On a cold, cloudy, raining morning, heaps of riders (I forgot to ask how many) came to Belmont Rail for an interesting ride across to Speers Point and up the road to Glendale via whatever, sorry, I don't really know where we went, then lunch at Jezza then somehow back to Adamstown and back down the Fernleigh Track (FT). At nine o'clock it suddenly stopped raining and just stayed cold for a while.
Nigel rode up from home, then back again at the end, totalling I reckon about 110km, well done Nige! By the time we got to Speers Point, it was sunny and considerably warmer than earlier, so off came all the jackets, and the club colours blossomed everywhere.
This club does not worship coffee, so we had our lunch with water to drink. After lunch the sun had gone in again and it got colder, so on went all the jackets. Nice while it lasted! We celebrated Annie's birthday, but the passage of the years has not slowed this lady down at all, as she flew past me on the FT and out of sight, actually faster than John who had already passed me.
Doug came to the start but DNS due to illness. Apart from that, there were no dramas or flats all day, well done fellow riders of the Toukley Club!
On the way home Nige was already at Nords Wharf. Great ride, thanks to JD for leading and to Col for maintaining the back end. Don't forget the Coasters are starting at the Wyong toilets on Friday on our way to Yarramalong for lunch with the Skylarkers.
Anyone interested in the Far North Wilderness Bike Tour 26/9 - 3/10/15 - Click here.
Friday 26 June 2015 - Coasters
No reports while I was away, nobody wrote any! But today I was back with eleven other coasting types, in beautiful conditions. We picked Linda as our lady leader of the month, but she declined. Instead we got Annie Daily to take us up to Budgewoi, helped by Col, with Doug at the back, or was it Mike?
Up Lizzie Bay Drive, where Linda took off up the road at breakneck speed while I struggled to keep up. Annie wanted to ride up the SRA lookout hill, but no-one else was interested, so we just rode to the highway and headed back.
At Doyalson we kept on the Motorway Link to Blue Heaven Way, where the Aldi shop is coming along nicely. Local lad Col took over the leading and took us on a scenic ride around the Blue Haven Boondocks to build up some distance. Back on the highway we headed for a new café, the Secret Café in Charmhaven on the wrong side of the road, to try them out. Apart from the food being quite dear, not that we bought much, the décor was to our liking and we'll probably go there again.
Back across the highway, that's quite a challenge (there is nowhere safe to cross the Pacific Highway between the San Remo shops, and the Wyong Hospital), but we were finally across and on our way back to to Jenny Dixon Reserve. We happened to be right near my house so I went straight back, having already done that final leg at about 8.30 this morning. I was back home by 11.30am, so not a very long ride, despite Col's efforts to string it out, maybe 35km. But a nice ride with no dramas, just lots of fun and good company. Thanks for turning up everyone!
Friday 12 June 2015 - Coasters
After a couple of days of rain and cold, this morning didn't look much better, still cold and still raining, but with better outlooks. Eleven members thought so too, and the jackets were coming off even before we started our ride. An initially reluctant ride organiser was Robyn, but with encouragement and threats she agreed to do the job and, as it turned out, did very well.
We decided on a variation of the SRA loop, taking in Birdie Island lookout, but this time going left at Budgewoi and along the bike path to Highview Avenue, past Camp Breakaway. Col had a flat after about 2km, so that held us up for a few minutes. Dianne had driven to the JD Reserve in her slippers, so she called in at home to pick up her bike shoes on the way around the lake. The weather was very kind to us, with patches of sun giving way to a cloudy day, 17°C and the wind under 5 knots, barely perceptible, with all the lakes having a mirror finish, bliss! Continuing north to Doyalson and right up the highway to Blue Wren Drive, we re-grouped there before riding down the hill and back to Lizzie Bay.
On the way Joe had a cramp attack, which Warwick treated by making Joe walk around. I had no knowledge of this at the time as I had taken off down Lizzie Bay Drive expecting everyone to follow me. I eventually made it to the Lakes Beach café where I waited in comfort. There were a few school kids around, so I waited till they had cleared before submitting my order. But no bike riders came and soon there were about 100 kids behaving just like school kids. When the bike club arrived we decided to leave quickly and head for Norah Head Rock Pool Resort, where we commenced our ritual coffee and toast consumption. After about half an hour the bloody school kids turned up as well, but luckily they walked past and headed for the beach, or somewhere.
We were very well catered for there, and enjoyed our refreshments and social intercourse for an hour or so before reluctantly leaving the table and riding back to Jenny Dixon Reserve. A very enjoyable ride today, thanks to Robyn and Col (he was the power behind the whole show), and in perfect conditions.
I will be having a holiday for a couple of weeks, so there will be inactivity on this and other websites, but still submit reports and I will post them later, maybe.
PS Wednesday's ride finished early after continual rain all the way to Wyong, soaking the brave little group, with Col leading, and freezing their little hearts. Doug and Sue brought coffee to the Rotary Park at Wyong, where they all recovered and rode back again. As I said before, a horrible day for a ride.
Wednesday 10 June 2015 - Groups 1 & 2
Rotten day, freezing cold, rain, cloudy... It crept up on us, so quite a few riders turned up at the co-op hoping for an improvement. I wore only a club shirt and a compression vest, but somehow convinced myself it wouldn't rain, hah! Big Bob lent me his jacket, but it was down to my ankles. James' contribution had a broken zip, so I set off with Group 1, but only got about 800 metres before heading for home, with Virginia who also didn't fancy the rain. Group 2 I think had plans to go straight to coffee, I should have joined them. Col was leading Group 1 so I suspect they went all the way, but in the absence of a report we can only guess. It never got over 18°C all day and was generally horrible.
Friday 5 June 2015 - Coasters
Very cold this morning, about 8°C, but otherwise a beautiful day, with cloud giving way to a sunny sky by 10.00am.
After Wednesday's discussions about women having more of a rôle in the club, Dianne led ten of us up to Lizzie Bay and over to Chain Valley Bay, where we visited Joshua Porter Reserve for a wee break. Back onto the highway and down to Doylo and San Remo where we snuck through the armco to fly down Emu Drive to the river, taking care not to stop at Goorama Avenue.
Back to the bridge and down through The Corso to Canton Beach where we stopped for some refreshments, mostly coffee, where we were joined by Doug, taking a break from Shirley Shuttle duties, before we headed back up to JD Reserve having ridden a respectable 34km with no dramas. Thanks for coming guys, and thanks to Di for leading and Pam for trailing.
I did see Nigel heading down to the Skylarkers but don't expect a report.
Wednesday 3 June 2015 - Group 1 ride to Batto Bay and General Meeting
Cold start to the day but 15 or so riders joined us for a quick squirt down to Swadling Avenue, Batto Bay, then back again for the meeting at the Toukley Sailing Club. Conditions were nice, with no breeze, much. Warwick took us down there while Doug kept an eye on the rear of the péloton.
A very pleasant ride together, with no mishaps or flats. Back at the ranch we all came together, groups 1 and 2 and non-riders, for a delicious hot lunch, then an interesting meeting, ably chaired by Mike. Cheers

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