|Toukley and District Cycle Club Inc|
Ride Reports and NewsTDCC groups 1 and 2 - Friday Skylarkers - Norah Head Coasters
Contributions invited - send to email@example.com
|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. Friday 28 October 2016 - Fernleigh Track. Start at Blacksmiths Carpark 0930 (first right after bridge at Swansea)
2016 Christmas Party will be held in the Cedar Room at Camp Breakaway on Wednesday 30th November 2016. More details to follow.
|Friday 30 September 2016 - Coasters|
Twenty-one coasters fronted for today's ride in perfect conditions, except for the wind (see Seabreeze® graph below). It was decided to head north to visit our old mate Josh Porter in Chain Valley Bay (CVB), with Irene leading, and Col riding 'gunshot'. Doug looked after the arse end, but had no dramas.
Irene decided to use the new bike path along the Budgewoi Road to Budgie, before confronting Elizabeth Bay Drive (LBD). Only Graeme was interested in going fast up this road into the headwind, but we all made it eventually to our little regroup lamp post near the SRA turnoff.
As we rode over the highway we noticed the Skylarkers heading north probably going to Marks Point. At the CVBS park we hit our most northerly point, so it was all downwind from there. At Doyalson I decided that I couldn't ride back to Lake Haven from Budgewoi, so I went straight home, and drove my car to the Lakes beach café, just in time to meet the others who had ridden there from Doylo. Virginia and Barry decided to also rise astraight home from the bottom of Emu Drive, but we didn't see them again.
Another very special morning tea together, thanks café staff, and thanks to all those present, well ridden!
|Wednesday 28 September 2016 - Group 1, Cessnock|
On a fantastic Spring morning, ideal riding conditions, 9 riders prepared for today’s ride around Cessnock. At 9.30am Pam had her 1st puncture, when the tyre was repaired Richard confidently stated that he would pay out $5 if the tyre went down again. Back on the road, but only for 2km where Pam had her 2nd and 3rd puncture. We never did see that $5 nor was it mentioned again – funny about that.
We continued to Neath then into Cessnock CBD where we then continued on to Bellbird. At this point, Pam and Richard apparently decided they had better things to do and returned to their car and presumably, home. The 7 remaining riders continued onto Millfield and on to Ellalong then onto the highly recommended Kitchener Hotel.
Drained and hanging out for a refreshing coffee with our lunch at the Kitchener Hotel – oh no, devastation! No coffee available! So we had lunch and returned to our cars were there was total agreement to stop for coffee and a debrief at Freemans Waterhole. A very pleasant half hour coffee break and Strava check before we all headed for home. Thanks to John D for leading, thank you to all that made the journey and to those that didn’t, you missed a good ride.
Wednesday 28 September 2016 - Group 2
I had an appointment at 2.00pm with a solicitor, so I couldn't go with G1, up the country, opting instead for G2 led by John L. On a beautiful sunny day with a slight breeze (see Seabreeze® graph below), 17 riders assembled at Peel Street for the journey to Wyong, Alison and Mardi.
Around the sailing club detour and towards the Toukley Bridge. John said we can ride on the road, or the footpath. I chose the footpath, for safety, and everyone else chose the road, legally correct. What does that say? No idea! Anyway we pressed on, regrouping at Craigie Park, and again at Tacoma, where we met up with Bob and Steph, and Anne L, making 20 of us. Another re-group at the Wyong toilets, then under the bridge and up the hill to Alison Road. At this stage, those wanting to buy lunch had to visit the café at the Old Milk Factory, which was quite pleasant.
We had lunch at the Woodbury Inn Park on the corner of Old Maitland Road (OMR), where we heard some of the history of the area, like there used to be an hotel and horse stable there, of which only the posts at the entrance remain. Fascinating! Then along OMR to McPherson Road and down to the Pacific Highway, where Simon and Josie left us to go home.
The breeze tricked us by being in our faces both ways, but we struggled on to the Tuggerawong shop for our next regroup. Virginia and I hived off soon after for Lake Haven, having ridden to Peel Street at the beginning. When I got home I had forgotten about my appointment and fell asleep, and missed it. Bugger!
A good ride thank you John, and thanks James for looking after the back end. Well done you riders!
|Friday 23 September 2016 - Coasters|
Coasters 23.09.2016: A strong Southerly met us today but still approximately 16 folk turned up for a spin. It was really heartening to see Danny back in the fold and even more impressive that he volunteered to lead the ride today - what a trooper! So it was decided to head to Farmgate and Danny had a route in mind which was spiced up a bit from the usual way. Doug kindly offered to tuck us in at the back and off we went.
Down towards the Co-op crossing Toukley bridge on the footpath - just as well because the wind across there could have blown any one of us off course. Along the roller coaster to Marks Road and a re-group at the usual spot, where Danny found some friends to have a chat with. Next, we turned right into Jensen Road, then Braithwaite Road and River Road down to Wyong toilets as promised in his briefing. Then up Pollock Avenue, Pacific Highway and crossing the safe way at the lights - a "little devil" whispered in Danny's ear to "cross now while there's no traffic" but Danny stuck to his guns and said "No, I promised to cross at the lights and so we will".
The girls at Farmgate treat us like kings and queens and serve us well. Linda managed to make her way over to join us by car and helped us enjoy our respite. After much fun and frivolity, we reluctantly left the cafe and managed to see some Hot Rods making their way along the Pacific Highway - this stopped Danny in his tracks, to look at them! Minnesota Road next, then the gorgeous wetlands, back of Lake Haven, Moala Parade and then the homeward run along the Corso. Danny hived off close to his home along with Col and Diane, so Paul Flack kindly took the reins to lead the rest of us back to JD - depositing Doug off along the way.
So cheers Danny and thanks to Doug who has a lot of responsibility at the back plus Paul, for giving us all a great day out on our wheels. A total of 41kms and an average temperature of 20°C - not bad for a windy Southerly kind of day.
|Wednesday 21 September 2016 |
Group 1 Report, Mingara Loop
On an overcast morning 11 riders, led by Lyn T, rode from Peel Street, past Aldi and on to North Entrance, taking a self-preservation detour to avoid the resident Magpie. We continued via the cycleway to Tumbi Creek Bridge then on to Tumbi Road to ride around Mingara, Hansen Road to Bellevue Road, to Coleridge Road and on to Bateau Bay Road and then on to Sutton Park.
Early lunch stop with the obligatory coffee. After lunch, Lyn pulled out, as she had ridden to Peel Street this morning and Paul F took over the leadership reins to return via Coast Road to Wilfred Barret Drive then on to the new cycleway, then through Toukley returning to Peel Street. There were major “drop offs” along the way, with only 3 returning to base. Most riders would have missed the rain on their ride home.
Thanks for leading Lyn and her proxy, Paul. A good, event-free ride.
Group 2 Report, Wyee Loop
The weather tried to trick us again today, the weather bureau said one thing but the weather gods said I will do as I want. Hopefully a fine day next week for Steph. The riders who gathered at Peel Street today were Virginia the lead rider, Di, Pam, Marg, Ian, Richard, Kevin, Frank, Bob, Ken and James the sweep. We welcomed a new rider Ken to our group. John and Ann were going to ride today but they were nowhere in view, suspicion was that they may join the ride at a later stage. We met Danny and his sister Haley and our riders expressed their condolences to Danny.
After a briefing from Virginia and with a strong 25km/hr northerly wind blowing, we set off full of optimism, our first regather was at East Toukley lights, then we progressed to the Co-Op at Gorokan. Ken, our new rider, was keeping up with the lead riders and looked at home amongst our pedallers. From there we battled into the headwind along The Corso to the Bridge at San Remo where we had our next regather, no sight of J&A.
From San Remo we did the Blue Haven loop up to Aldi and then onto the Link Road, from there it was full speed ahead to the Doylo lights where we swung left to Wyee road. The hills to Wyee were starting to take a toll on some of our legs but the better riders traversed them like they were going downhill. At Wyee we hung a left turn at Gosford Road which turned to dirt after a short ride. Unfortunately our mates at the Council were performing road maintenance and decided to douse the road with water and turn the road to mud - those on skinny tyres struggled to stay upright.
To our pleasure we found Ann and John waiting for us. They decided to get an early start, as an added bonus we also had the pleasure of the company of Jill and Trevor. Trevor had a little spill and required first aid to his fingertips, but he is very tough and soldiered on like a real trooper.
After some nice friendly hills, we arrived at Hue-Hue road and went down the big dipper at high speed. We continued along Hue-Hue road till Sparks road where we swung left and glided our way to Warnies. Unfortunately we did not observe safety first when turning right from Sparks Rd into Albert Warner Drive and we narrowly missed an incident, our riders suggested next time we cross at the lights. We all reached Warnies safely and we were surprised at the number of people who decided it was time for lunch, lots of well behaved school kids, luckily the service was really good, we can recommend the gourmet meat pies, no award for guessing who had one, John appeared to enjoy his Gourmet Sausage Roll.
As the weather was closing in on us we decided to make a run for it and decided on a shorter route home. Soon as we left Warnies the heavens opened and the wind chill factor made our teeth rattle. We progressed along Warnervale road to Louisiana road where we turned right, we powered down the hill to the Pacific Highway and turned left and rode to the lights at Wyong Hospital, we turned right into Craigie Avenue, from there we made our may to Marks road via a tortuous route. It was like a maze with lots of riders taking the wrong turn - it provided lots of laughs. We were going so fast we left the rain behind. Virginia peeled off home at this stage. When we arrived at the Co-Op, John, Ann, Trevor, Jill and Di left us and cycled home. The rest of us had a quick chat before heading for Peel Street.
I noticed Frank talking to a mysterious blonde on the side of the road, Mmmm, as we got closer I recognised it was Carol, his wife. I assume he had to ride home as Carol was doing her best for the economy. We all arrived safely at Peel street and after a nice chat discussing the ride, we left satisfied with our efforts for the day. No flat tyres or bird sightings today.
Our lead riders Virginia, Ian, Di, Marg, Pam, Jill, Trevor and Kevin averaged 18km/hr over 45km, not bad considering the hills & road conditions. The average temp was 18°C, the wind varied from 20-30km/hr from N to NE directions, precipitation was 0.2 mm although it seemed more.
Till next week James
|Friday September 16 2016 - Coasters|
Today saw 14 members turn up, including some tired souls who just got back from Dunedoo last night. Unfortunately we were met with Danny's sad news of the loss of his beloved wife, and an Executive Decision was suggested by Richard that we abandon the ride for the time-being and treat Danny to a coffee down at the Bombora Cafe, Norah Head. Instead, Danny treated US to all our coffees - what a gentleman!! He was quite humbled by the fact we'd put him before our ride but he really appreciated having his "mates" all around.
So, after we'd all drunk up, it was decided to do a short ride around Budgewoi Lake and I was elected Manager with Carol acting as my "wingman". Richard happily volunteered to look after the back end. The weather had warmed up considerably by now and was really pleasant in the sun. We set off down to Budgewoi and I wanted to try out the new pathway which matched up to its "good looks" - nice and wide and smooth.
Over the Budgewoi bridge and chucked a leftie down to the gorgeous bike path alongside the lake edge - it was so pretty and peaceful around here. A bit windy in places but nothing too much to worry our intrepid gang. We had a few toilet stops after drinking so much and just generally took our time, enjoying the moment. Diane left us at one of these stops then Col a bit later on.
Eventually we reached Charmhaven bridge then hiked back along the Corso, depositing Doug off along the way. Re-grouping at Peel Street with much-reduced numbers, we did the last leg up to Aldi, crossing at the lights then up through the back streets to Jenny Dixon.
A distance of 26klms with an average temperature of 21°C. A very nice ride in the circumstances and Skylarkers were not far behind reaching JD's 5 minutes after we arrived. A big thanks to everyone who came along.
September 12 - 16 2016 - Tucker Tours - Dunedoo
For Irene's report and photos, click here.
|Wednesday 14 September 2016 - Group 2 (Ourimbah/Hidden Valley)|
The weather report did not look good with rain and thunderstorms predicted. Considering this we did not expect a great turnout, however 4 intrepid souls turned up, after lots of discussions and consternations Di and Virginia wanted to brave the elements so we decided to take our chances and set off with our raincoats in close reach. Us blokes were a bit reticent but were convinced the ride was worth a bit of rain.
Di was the leader and ride architect and Virginia was the sweep, Bob and James were the only other riders who were looked after by Di and Virginia. Some riders were not available as they had gone on the Dunedoo ride and others had family commitments to look after, hopefully Ann and John L and our other regulars will be back next week.
We started from the carpark near the Wyong River Bridge, from there we ventured up Kangy Angy hill which was a good climb early in our ride. Di advised there were no more hills of significance, we half believed her. After cresting the hill, it was full speed ahead to the dual nurseries at Ourimbah, unfortunately there was lots of broken glass on the road, luckily for now no punctures.
At the Ourimbah RSL we turned right onto Ourimbah Creek Road and set out on our journey to Hidden Valley. After 10 minutes or so we thought Bob was going a bit slow and was checking his bike as he was riding, you guessed it, his rear tyre had picked up some of the previously mentioned glass which we duly removed, due to a tight tyre fit it took us quite a while to fit a new tube. When it was completed we set off again full of optimism that was the last flat for the day. Shortly after James also had a flat front tyre, luckily it was easily repaired although I was worried about getting another flat as I had only 1 spare on board.
Di was right in her assessment of the ride - the road to Hidden Valley from Ourimbah was only about an average of 1-degree gradient. Lots of farm animals and interesting farming cottages to see, close to Hidden Valley we encountered 3km of good condition dirt road which was not corrugated although a bit damp in places. When we finally arrived at Hidden Valley we rested for lunch on a grassy hill and wondered at the various birds who came to look at us without getting too close. Frank would have been in his element, aside from all the normal Aussie birds we saw a group of 6 Australian King Parrots and a couple of Superb Fairy Wrens feeding in the short grass. The male Parrot has a bright red covering from his head to the start of his wings on the back side and down to his legs, his wings are green and the tail blue, what a sight, the females only had an orange and red chest with the rest of the body green.
The ride back to Ourimbah was uneventful and mostly downhill so we kept a cracking speed. Di took us a different way when we got close to Ourimbah and we ended up at Palmdale, from there we went to Lou Rowans Nursery for coffee and nibblies. We can recommend the place for its food and atmosphere. After a feed and a good chat, then we headed off to Burns road, under the rail line and then onto Enterprise Drive ignoring the head wind till we reached Wyong road where we swung left and carried on over the rail bridge at Tuggerah, from there it was an easy glide back to the car park at Wyong.
The ride was 47km, we rode at an average speed around 17.5km/hr, the wind was not noticeable most of the time but the wind chart said it was a 10km/hr Northerly when we started increasing to a Northerly of 20km/hr when we completed the ride. The average temperature was around 21°C.
Till next week, James
Danny's Effort - I have a verbal of G2 from Diane: Yes it was raining a bit at 0900, but it looked clearer to the south so off they went (Di, James, Virginia and Bob). A nice ride over Kangy Angy and up Ourimbah Creek Road. She rang me at 1.30pm from the Nursery café wondering why I wasn't there. I had to go to hospital with my wife, again, for pneumonia, so that was the end of my ride (and her life!).
|Friday 9 September 2016 - Coasters/Skylarkers|
The forecast rain and weather did not eventuate, just sunny skies and a stiff breeze (see Seabreeze© graph below). Owing to the source of the wind we decided to head north, so we could frolic in the tailwind on the way back.
Col led the péloton of 19 riders, and Pedro nominated himself as the sweep, as he was at the back anyway. We had a visitor today, Dennis, from kayaking, who brought his old racing bike from the 60s. It did let him down once with a flat tyre, but otherwise he did pretty well considering. Give him a pass mark!
So with the wind in our little faces we churned up Lizzie Bay Drive to Lizzie Bay, then up to the highway and straight across to Carters Road. I took the pedestrian bridge, and my little mate Dennis faithfully followed me, as nobody had told him not to do that. Down to the bike path, through the tricky bollards, no stopping, and on to Joshua Porter Reserve, named after the young soldier, SASR, from this area who was killed in 2006, leaving a young wife and baby daughter, very sad!
Now with the wind up our bums we raced down to Doyalson and waited for Dennis and Paul, who was helping him fix the flat. At this stage we started losing a few riders, viz Baz, Ev and Virginia. At the San Remo top point (Bus stop opposite Roper Road), Paul rang the Lakes Beach Café to warn them of our imminent arrival, and not only were they still there when we arrived, but had set a magnificent table, complete with "Bicyclists" reservation card, and bottles of iced water as well. Cheers to Lakes Beach! I think they like us.
Thanks everyone for coming today, such a brilliant ride, wasn't it!
|Wednesday 7 September 2016 - Marshall's Report|
Caught up with others just on time at Wyong toilets. Road home from cemetery Noraville, 95 km for the day - happy with that.
Include photo of new shared path south of Belmont TAFE:
Wednesday 7th September 2016-Group 2, SRA Loop via CV Bay
A perfect day greeted us at Peel street with temps of around 18°C and gentle winds.
We had a good roll up of riders 15 in all, the group included Ian our leader for the day, Di, Marg, Pam, Evelyn, Richard, Paul, Jim, Bob, Kevin, Tom, Frank, Darryl, Michael and James the sweep. Kevin and Bob rejoined us after a short break due to commitments and other matters. Also we welcomed back some riders who ride with us occasionally, they were Tom, Michael and Jim Quigly. Tess and Virginia could not be with us today for various reasons.
It was good to see John and Ann Lonard back from their cruise, I am sure they will have some good stories to tell when they are fit to ride again, John and Ann told us they have not regained their Land Legs yet and will join us in a couple of weeks.
After leaving Peel Street we had a short-lived marriage with Group 1 riders on main street, this marriage did not last long as they disappeared in the distance and we were jilted. Our first stop was Slade Park Budgewoi for a pit stop, then Elisabeth Bay. We lost Evelyn close to Elisabeth Bay as an appointment called, her sore ankle also needed to be nursed along due to Doctor's orders. From there it was full steam ahead to Lake Munmorah High School where we had a regather. We basically had 2 groups of riders those who found hills were no hindrance and the rest, basically those who had not ridden for a while felt it where it hurts.
After a pit stop on Lake Macquarie at CVB we ventured up Mulloway Rd then veered onto Links Rd for a short stint on dirt, we then turned right onto Kanangra Drive before regathering at the entrance to the SRA. From there it was full speed ahead to Tea Tree Lookout for lunch, dodging numerous pot holes on the way. The Ocean looked a great blue colour, one Tradie having lunch invited us for a swim but we declined, Frank went bird watching and told us about the birds in the area, mainly various Wrens and Wattle Birds. A nosy Brush Turkey paid us a visit and got a few titbits from left over lunches. Not all our riders liked Mr Turkey as they do damage in their back yard gardens. The rest us of relaxed in the Sun with our Sumptuous lunches.
From TTL we ventured up the few hills that seem to get more serious as times goes on, our next planned stop was Elisabeth Bay, unfortunately Jim Quigly had an accident after hitting a road bump near the South exit to the SRA, an Ambulance was called and he was taken to Gosford Hospital, no serious injuries were apparent but the Ambos took him for further tests just in case of internal injuries, he had lots of Bark missing. Thanks to people on the ride for looking after Jim while we were waiting for the Ambulance and to Kevin for arranging with Mike to pick up Jim’s bike and Car. All our group regathered at the accident site and assisted as much as they could in the circumstances, thanks nice people.
From there it was full speed home to Peel Street, Mike gave James a lift back to Peel street as he was low on fuel and muscle power. The Budge group peeled off home at Budge. The winds on the ride were mostly Southerly at 10km/hr which changed later in the ride to SE at 10km/hr, temps averaged 22°C.
Don’t forget next week our ride is OOT and starts at the Wyong River Toilets at Wyong.
Till next week James
Wednesday 7 September 2016 - Group 1, Tuggerah Lake
Since our Editor-in-Chief is missing today, you have to put up with his assistant. We had 14 members turn up for what promised to be a 65klm ride around Tuggerah Lake but actually turned out to be only 54klms. Quite a few members evacuated to group 2 which could have possibly been the larger group today.
There was no allotted leader for today's route and most of us were unsure of the way but John gallantly put his hand up to give it a go and Doug kindly offered to do the rear. Unfortunately Ken had a puncture just as we were about to start but didn't want us to hang around for him as he would catch up. Nige had turned up to wish us all Bon Voyage and therefore helped Ken get sorted.
So off we swooped towards First Avenue, Toukley, where we bumped into Group 2 and we all got mixed in together for a while. Group 1 then went across Toukley Bridge, along the roller coaster of Marks Road and re-grouped at the bottle shop, half expecting Ken but he didn't turn up so we planned to wait for him at Wyong toilets. Along the River Road and when we arrived at Wyong toilets (which are now re-opened), Ken, Josie, Simon and Marshall were all waiting for us!
From here turning onto the Tuggerah Straight and eventually Wyong Road was easier said than done. All the roadworks around this area makes it really tricky to cycle around - John did well to negotiate all of us safely as he wasn't real sure of the route but not once did we have to double back nor did we get lost! Eventually we got away from Wyong Road to the quieter back streets of Chittaway Bay, stopping briefly at the shops for some to replenish their supplies.
Making our way down to the Reserve at Bateau Bay we found some very nice picnic tables to have lunch. By process of diplomatic elimination, John worked out there were no birthdays to sing for today and after a very pleasant sojourn with wonderful company, we headed back to The Entrance where Karen and I had parked our cars.
John decided to take the group via the bike path up the 1st half of Wilfred Barret Drive in order to fool the Magpie - hope it worked and everyone got back OK. So, a beautiful day weatherwise just perfect for cycling and thanks to John and Doug who kept the group safe and together. I bet you didn't know that Doug got caught out on a wild goose chase as he was told there was a lady behind on her own and in true sweeping style, he cycled back to find out it was Stephanie who was out on her own bike ride and didn't need any help. So poor Doug had to dash back and catch up with the group and nobody even noticed he was missing!! - Good on yer Duggie!
[Thanks all you faithful reporters!]
|Friday 2 September 2016 - Coasters/Skylarkers|
What a top day for cycling - not! - 16°C, solid rain all night, everything soaked... Needless to say, a few die-hard lost souls turned up at Jenny Dixon Reserve (John was the only Skylarker who came), me, Doug, Rolf, John and Paul F. We sat around in the damp for a few minutes, then adjourned to The Arc café for some well-earned refreshments. Except me, I had to go back home. Thanks for coming, and to those who didn't - well done!
|Wednesday 31st August 2016-Group 2, Wyee Loop.|
Today’s ride started with 9 riders, Virginia, Di, Tess, Marg back from a short break, Darryl, Richard, Ian, Frank and James. Virginia was the lead with James performing sweeper duties, Di and Virginia also acted as guardians ensuring the sweeper did not get too far behind. Conditions temperature wise were ok but we encountered 20 to 40km/hr northerly winds (see Seabreeze® graph below) on the way out to the big roundabout at Rutleys Road west of Wyee, the return journey was far more favourable to us with our premium riders really scooting along.
Our first regather was at East Toukley Primary School then Gorokan for a pit stop, from there we set out to San Remo, unfortunately shortly after Di’s rear tyre punctured. Di, Richard and Frank all pitched in to fix the problem, the new style valve has us stumped for a while. We set out again to Doyalson via San Remo, we then did the Blue Haven Loop entering the Link road at the Aldi turn-off, no problems were encountered, from Doyalson we ventured to Wyee where we were hassled by at least 4 Garbage trucks who appeared to deliberately drive to within unacceptable distances of our bikes, all over other drivers of trucks and cars respected our right to be on the road.
We then rode to the Big Roundabout at the Rutleys road junction, thankfully they have installed safety barriers for cyclists to cross the road at the Roundabout, from there it was mostly downhill to Wyee Point, the highway at Doyalson North was our next regather point, from there we had a regather at the Doylo lights before riding down Scenic road where we encountered a reckless red “P” plater who drove within 400mm of our riders. Some people have suggested this road is too dangerous for us to ride. We stopped for lunch at Edgewater Park Buff Point, one member left their lunch in the car so some other nice riders shared some titbits of food with them.
After a short break Di, Ian and Frank decided to head straight home as the rain was looming and they had ridden to Peel St from Budge. The rest of us headed back to Peel Street and as our 3 riders had predicted the rain did come after about 10 minutes, luckily it was not too heavy. Tess, Virginia and Marg showed their mettle leaving us guys in their wake, we all arrived at Peel Street safely after a few scares.
Till next week
Wednesday 31 August 2016 - Group 1, Hue Hue Road
A warm start to this ride at about 18°C, a fresh breeze from the north (see Seabreeze® graph below), cloudy with rain coming.
Seventeen riders came with G1, and lots more stayed for the G2 ride. John D managed the ride, and Paul F swept up the tail. Good to see Paul Murray back on the bike today. We headed over to Budgewoi, then along the lakeside bikepath to Highview Avenue, San Remo, up past Camp Breakaway, and up to the Doylo intersection. Towards Wyee along Wyee Road, but turned left at Gosford Road.
After a gravelly stretch on Bushells Ridge Road, we hit Hue Hue Road with its poor bike lane and a few hills. At Sparks Road, Tony Kelly hived off, followed by Azi, obviously they had better offers, though I can't imagine what. At Holloway Drive we detoured through the horsey farmlets to avoid something on Hue Hue. It's so long since we did the full Hue Hue Road I can't remember what we are avoiding. Approaching Alison Road, we armed ourselves with magpie-proof helmet armory, but never saw the maggie. Too smart for us! Ken left for home at this point. Into The Old Milk Factory on the Wyong River for m/t, with a beaut café and a view of the weir with its fancy fish ladder. Never seen a fish in it but.
With the sky darkening after tea, John decided to get going to avoid the rain, which worked well as we were back before the light sprinkle hit. This ride is actually about 55km long, not 45 as advertised, with many hills and rough surfaces. Well done to everyone who came, a good hard ride for an experienced crew.
|Friday 26 August 2016 - Coasters and Skylarkers|
About 17 riders, once you factor in the late-comers and the early leavers, so a good turn-up for Irene's ride to Batto Bay. Cold and cloudy conditions deterred nobody who came, but probably dozens of the less comitted.
A stiffish southerly breeze, with some west in it, slowed us down, but not as much as Linda's puncture and dud spare tube trick. We set off all together again from The North Entrance till we re-grouped at Toowoon Bay, then down Swadling Street to the lake. There was some concern about magpies, especially from those who had already been bombed, so it was decided to follow the bike path whenever possible up to Canton Beach. So once we got over the bridge heading north we took the bike path to Magenta Shores hill, and it turned out to be quite pleasant, with no other traffic on this chilly Friday morning.
About this time we happened upon the Skylarkers, our team of dedicated wankers (John D and Lola Bido) who had just ridden right around Tuggerah Lake, via Kangy Angy and Enterprise Drive. They joined us for m/t after we had again ridden the new bikepath to Evans Road.
We stopped at the Fuel Stop on Canton Beach where we were well looked after by a team of young enthusiasts keen on doing their bit for the elderly. Coffee was very nice, and I recommend the apple and rhubarb/berry crumble. Apart from a couple of dodgy mistakes in the order we were very happy with the service. Linda and I then headed west towards home while the riff-raff rode back up to JDR. Thanks for coming today you guys, full marks for effort.
|Wednesday 24 August 2016 - Group 3|
Despite the gloomy skies, eleven riders turned up at Peel Street this morning. Only 2 went straight home, and 9 of us adjourned to Legends café for coffee. No cycling was done, much to everyone's disappointment, but it was pouring down rain at the time. Group 3 of the club are the walking wounded, as a few of us are incapacitated at the moment, due to age.
We had a look at the proposed new meeting hall in Toukley, a well-presented Uniting Church hall in Summerside Street, close to our ride start venue.
We chatted about the good old days, including the day a couple of years ago when Pedro came a gutser on the edge of the bitumen at Croudace Bay, and was rescued by a lovely nurse. Actually it was 3 and a half years ago, so that's why I still look slim.
|Friday 19 August 2016 - Coasters|
Perfect riding conditions, sixteen starters and me leading the little band up to Chain Valley Bay, with a northerly breeze to freshen us up, then bring us home easily. See Seabreeze® graph below.
Ev is back after a long break from riding, and was well looked after by her attentive husband, Ralph. They kept taking shortcuts to avoid the hard bits, including Ralph getting the car down to the Lakes Beach Café to cut out the final hill back up to JDR.
Merrilyn is also back after laser surgery on her legs for VV. She did well, riding the whole course, and also well looked after, by Graeme in her case.
We came back down the highway, from CVBS, to the bus-stop opposite Roper Road, then Col took us on his little shortcut along the path across the top of San Remo. No flat tyres today, or falls, so well done us!
Thanks everyone for coming. Such a pleasant ride!
|Group 2 Ride to Shelley Beach 17/08/2016|
Nine keen riders turned up today on a beautiful day, it was good to see Steph & Bob at Peel Street although Bob could not ride today, hopefully he will be fit shortly to join our rides. Team leader was Virginia and the Sweep was Ian, the other riders were Diane, Richard and Pam, Darryl, Steph, Frank and James.
We started off into a slight SW wind with the temperature around 18°C, our first regather was East Toukley School, then the Noraville cemetery where Ian and Virginia swapped roles. We then started off down WBD to the Entrance with a short stop at Magenta Shores. Steph was feeling the pressure but battled on, Di was having problems with gears but took it her stride.
The nasty maggie who resides near the Fish Co-Op did not attack anyone, must have been having lunch. Our next stop was the North Entrance pit stop, where Frank told us about his love of bird-watching and associated photography, while snapping a friendly Wren at North Entrance he saw a lizard who he also tried to photograph, it was followed by a Brown Snake looking for Dinner, he decided discretion was the better part of valour.
After our pit stop we wound our way around The Entrance foreshores past the Ocean front and Ocean Baths, we stopped at Toowoon Bay as Di's bike decided to misbehave and drop its chain, Frank came to the rescue with a temporary fix and freed up the rear Derailleur which needed some attention.
Next stop was Shelley Beach and a coffee break, Steph remembered she had some Oil in her kit and fixed Di's bike problem with a deft drop of oil. We all got a good Suntan as the Sun seemed very strong for this time in Winter. The Ocean looked great and a few surfers were present.
Luckily the way out of Shelley Beach was South and not North as the road was so steep (It is a One-way street), our next stop was a pit stop at Long Jetty where we stopped to read the Tourist info on the Amenities Building, Richard pointed out Pam in the photo as a toddler, apparently her family were pioneers in the area around 1947. While we were stopped we were abused by some weird person for blocking his way, he used some 4 letter words we had not heard before. Pam and Richard peeled off at Long Jetty and Entrance respectively as they had ridden to Peel Street from home.
We then headed for WBD with our next stop planned for the start of the new bike track off WBD, that nasty maggie must have returned from lunch and decided to attack Ian, Darryl and Steph, those with the cable ties on their helmets plus those he liked avoided his attacks.
On arrival at the bike track Steph decided to make her own way home, so the rest of us started off on the new bike track, Virginia headed off home via Canton Beach, Frank and Di left us at East Toukley via different routes, Ian, Darryl and myself returned to Peel Street to finish off a great ride.
As an end note Ralph advised that Evelyn will be back shortly and she has started training on an exercise bike.
We have not seen Marg, Kevin and Bob for a few weeks so hopefully they will join us in the near future.
Thanks to Virginia and Ian for performing their leading and sweeping duties.
We heard today a couple of our Group 1 riders are having some health problems, we wish all the best. Good riding and all the best till next week.
Ride Report for Wednesday 17th August 2016 – GROUP 3
Having met with Groups 1 & 2 at Peel Street, the main body of Group 3 made their way to The Lakes Coffee Shop at Lakes Beach. They were joined there by Robyn and Warwick who had just arrived after an arduous journey from Woy Woy. After composing themselves from the journey from Peel St and Woy Woy, Group 3 ordered refreshments and found reasonably comfortable seating, a most necessary requirement for some. Peter Holt regaled us with stories of lumpy groins and a lost opportunity to visit Fiji. Nigel gave us anecdotes on his recovery from Prostate surgery and the time, date and number of minutes before he could climb back on the bike. Mike then tried to top off Nigel’s experience with his own horror stories relating to the same surgery. Warwick then stopped coughing for a time, to recount the misery of the Flu, and his doctors concern regarding a possible heart attack, (did not happen!). Robyn then complained about some rib sourness after her recent fall from her cycle at Budgewoi. She also complained that Warwick was using the Flu to get out of work around the house. Group 3 stayed at The Lakes for 90 minutes before heading off home to mundane things without any exercise allowed. I will bet that you are sorry you missed our ride. [Of course, Waz and Robyn then drove out to Yarramalong for more morning tea.]
|Wednesday 17 August 2016 - Group 1 - Yarramalong|
Another beautiful summer's day, except it's August. Who's complaining? Fourteen riders signed on, at various places depending on where they started. The main group at Peel Street, of course, Kee at Tacoma, I think, the Daleys and Carol at the Wyong toilets, Marshall and I (started) at the Rotary Park around the corner (I rode there from home, cause they said it would be shorter), and Lyn didn't pick us up at all, so we saw her finally at Yarramalong.
Quite a strong NW breeze in our faces all the way out to the village (see Seabreeze® graph below), but a nice tailwind took us home again. Not-bery-well Waz and Robyn drove out to the café at Yarramalong and had m/t with us. Paul F was our manager, with Doug looking after the other end. A few of us took turns leading out on the Yarramalong Road, to give Paul a break from the relentless wind.
The caf was in business, but I would only give it 6 out of 10 for service - no teaspoons, no serviettes, barely passable coffee. We were widely scattered on the way back with Ralph setting a blistering pace, and a couple of us trying to keep up, but he eventually pulled away on a nasty hill. Rolf got a flat so that stopped him for a while. The road-repair team were covering the road with bitumen and little stones, so we had to stop from time-to-time to pull them from our tyres, nasty little grenades!
Back at the Wyong toilets, which were shut owing to refurbishment starting on 22 August (??!!), we had a re-group, then Paul took off and we never saw him again. JD led those of us riding back at a sedate pace, owing to Margaret being all tired out (it's a 70km ride!), but she soldiered on like a mounted trooper. When I went ahead prior to my hiving off home, I stopped to wave goodbye, but only Azi arrived, the rest were stopped somewhere for some reason. I waited for about 10 seconds then went home, as I was very tired, and hot. And sooky. Thanks to everyone who came on this challenging ride, ya done well!
|Friday 12 August 2016 - Coasters|
Well today turned out to be one of those "u beaut" winter's days - cool temperatures, clear blue skies and a whale dancing for us at Jenny Dixon, spotted by Doug. Fifteen enthusiasts arrived namely: Margaret, Carol, Diane, Virginia, Paul, Doug, Barry, Col, Ralph, Rolf, Graeme, Pam, Richard, Anne and myself.
Anne was "just tricking" as she had other priorities and only rode for the first few kilometers with us. We have an extensive Sick List but at the risk of looking like a church bulletin, I shan't go into that! Paul was very instrumental in conjuring up today's ride to one of our favourite cafes at the garden nursery just on the Pacific Highway near Lake Haven.
With Doug tucking us in at the back, we jaunted off down to Budgewoi, collecting Chris almost straight away at JD's roundabout. No Skylarkers today but Nige turned up for a chat and is "going good". First stop at Mackenzie Park for a re-group, then EBD, straight across the Highway and down to our favourite pit stop at CVB next to the Lake [Josh Porter Reserve].
The sun was starting to warm us up by now. Paul rang the cafe ahead of us arriving which is a wonderful idea giving them plenty of time to prepare for us and they really did a great job looking after our orders in a very timely manner. After a good chin wag and relaxation among the plants, we reluctantly decided to head home. We lost half the crew from here doing shortcuts to their living quarters and Richard thought he would follow Col home! When we saw Richard disappearing in a different direction to the remaining group, Chris went after him and the two of them made it back to JD's via a different route. Virginia promised to call into Danny on her way past to see if he was OK as he was a "no show" today but no-one was home. I see now that I'm home, he's put up the week's reports so he must be "back to normal" again. [I'm fine. Marie had to go to the doctor's so I couldn't make it, much to my regret.]
Well, I think everyone would have to agree, it was a lovely ride today Paul, just perfect for a Coaster's ride - thank you very much and thanks to Doug too for closing in the back end - cheers. Well, I think I've caught Warwick's lurgie, even though I haven't seen him for weeks, so I shall go for a "nanna nap" now - good night!!!
PS See the map of our ride below
|Wednesday 10 August 2016 - Groups 1 and 2|
Group 1 ride at Morisset - Quite good conditions prevailed as we assembled at Rotary Park in Morisset. Kee and Rolf were in the wrong place. Kee says I gave him the wrong co-ordinates, we'll see. Doug was our leader and he rode from home, an extra 17km just to show us leadership.
Ten of us then rode up to the highway, as I'll call it, and back towards the freeway and beyond, towards Mandolong. No bike lane, but everyone could see us. Into Deaves Road where we stopped, blocking the way for a huge B-Double with cars coming the other way. When they all got sorted Kee remembered he had an appointment back in Sydney, so he returned home. Deaves Road takes us to Cooranbong where some of us were hoping for a drink at the nice coffee shops there, but no we pushed on up Freemans Drive to Newport Road which took us to Dora Creek. By this time we had also lost Jim and Tom who found other things to do.
At the Creek I made everyone wait while I bought some lunch from the pastry shop, as there are no mre shops till the lunch stop. Doug then took us over the Dora Creek bridge, luckily nothing was coming, not that they could have got through anyway as we owned the road over the bridge. Along to Marconi Road and into Bonnells Bay where a grand tour of the peninsular ensued, visiting every suburb and riding up every hill, and there were plenty of them, quite tough!
Eventually we reached the longed-for Silky Oak Drive with its big downhill run to the lunch venue. There we found Sue with coffee and cake so we had a very satisfying lunch and a well-deserved rest. Not many kangaroos there but we did see plenty on the way back to Mori along Acacia Drive. Very cute animals and lots of tourists, mostly from Asia, playing with them. Finally we got back to Morisset, but not before Doug got a cramp coming up the hill to Wangi Road. He was soon better and we finished the day with about 47km on the clock. Thanks for coming everyone.
Group 2 Ride to Swansea. 10/08/2016
For a change the ride started from Mackenzies Reserve in Budgewoi instead of Toukley so as to cut down the distance, this was mainly due to the toughness of the ride, that is the number of never-ending hills.
Nine of our keener cyclists turned up, some nice people from Group 1 also turned up to test themselves out, the riders included Diane who was the Leader, our Vice President Virginia, Tess, Pam, Ian, John Daley, Frank, Richard and the sweeper James.
With virtually no wind present we set off along the old rutile road to the Pacific Highway at Lake Munmorah, we had a short break at Elizabeth Bay as this was the last pit stop before Swansea. Then a short break at Lake Munmorah lights, from there we set a good pace to the next stop at the lights at the SRA turn off at Blue Bell Drive, from there it was full speed to the speed camera near Nords Wharf, where we had a short break. Glad to say no-one exceeded the 90km/hr speed limit, Di and Ian then set the pace for the rest of the way to Swansea.
We had lunch at McDonalds Swansea, most of us had light lunches and coffee as it was a big climb back to the Big Prawn. The staff at Maccas were very good and delivered our orders to our tables, also very friendly. After lots of story-telling during lunch time of half an hour or so, we set off on the return journey via a different route which took us past the entry to Murrays Beach, as it was too cold for a swim so we turned left at the roundabout and rejoined the Pacific Highway.
After joining the Highway we did not stop until the turn off to the SRA at Blue Bell Drive. As the sweeper could not keep up with the rest of the riders due to Gravity, he soon lost sight of the Peloton, I guessed some high speed riding eventuated with some very keen riders in the group.
Di decided to take us via the SRA to avoid the traffic on the Highway. The road in the SRA in sections has been resurfaced so not so many pot holes. The next stop was MacKenzies Reserve, we were lucky the wind did not start to blow until we got close to the end of the ride.
The ride was about 45km although some people did close to 60km as they rode to and from the start, Di advised that we had set an average speed of 19.3km/hr, pretty good considering the hills we had to contend with.
After a chat for 10 minutes or so on our arrival at Budge we all went our separate ways till next time.
|Friday 5 August 2016 - Coasters|
On a bleak winter morning 11 dedicated cyclists assembled at Jenny Dixon Reserve for a mystery ride with coffee.
I suggested Farm Gate café at North Wyong, so was elected ride manager, in the absence of any other volunteers. That's when we discovered the westerly wind, not strong but oh so chilly (see Seabreeze® Graph below). With Carol saying 'not too fast' we pushed off on our usual route down to the sailing club on Canton beach and west to the Toukley Bridge. After our stop at Wyongah Carol wanted a head start so I let her go, then started off after her with a 30 second leeway. She set a good pace and after we finally caught up we sat behind her till halfway along Jensen Road, so I stopped worrying about her after that.
Not far then to the café, just had to pedal downhill along the highway to the traffic lights. A very pleasant morning tea was enjoyed before we set off again down to the Warnies path through the well-maintained paddocks, still quite soggy after all the rain recently. At the northern end we found the gate closed and water laying on the ground, so we detoured through the Warnies café onto Warnervale Road.
By now we were enjoying a good tail-wind, taking us down to Minnesota Road and east to the famous wetlands. It's so beautiful along that path, with the bird sanctuary and stuff, black swans, water fowl, lapwings and ducks... Soon we were at Hakone Road, Charmy, and after our quirky little route through the iron gate we found ourselves at the highway, where two motorists waved us across from both directions, giving us all a good feeling. Courtesy is so nice and it's free! We split up at that point with Col and Rolf heading north to Blue Heaven and Buff Point, while I hived off to Lake Haven Drive. Everyone else continued the trip back to JDR and presumably a safe end to their journey. Thanks everyone for coming.
|Wednesday 3 August 2016 - Group 1 Swansea, Group 2 Gosford to Umina|
Not too cold and hardly any rain, so a top day for riding bikes, except for the wind (see Seabreeze® graph below). Amazingly hardly anybody turned up at Peel Street, Toukley, and nobody went to Gosford for the Group 2 ride. Shame!
Still, we had Col, of course, and Doug, Big John back from holidays, and me, Danny. Also arriving but sans bikes were James, Nigel, driven there by Anne, Pedro, and Poitr, who walked down from home with his broken arm. Nige is doing well, and has many holes in his belly to show off after his prostatectomy. Apparently they just hoover it out through a little hole, like liposuction. I think.
At 9.30 the four of us set out on our big ride but only made it as far as The Arc in Norah Head where we had coffee. Then we rowed down to Budgewoi, make that rode, with a fabulous tail-wind. By then we were running out of time and decided to take Col home, poor old bugger, so we pedalled across the top of Budgewoi Lake, using Buff Point Avenue and Liamena Avenue, past the Lonarts', and waved Col off on his journey north at the bridge. From there we just rode home, into the wind, which didn't seem anywhere near as bad as I thought it would be.
So after a gruelling 30km we got home warm and dry, just sorry that we didn't have the fun of riding to Swansea with the wind behind us. Not missing the ride back but.
|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 Reynolds, 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.
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.