Moss Vale holiday - April 2019

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Re-group at Thirlmere, Southern Highlands, NSW

Monday 6 April to Friday 12 April 2019 - Moss Vale Cycling holiday
Sunday 7 April 2019 – Arrival at Moss Vale Village Caravan Park for a week’s holiday cycling around the district. A feature of this event is the daily Happy Hour, from 5.00pm till 6.00pm, at the park dining room.
Sunday 7 April was no exception, and a very happy time was spent catching up with people we hadn’t seen for two days at least. Or, in the case of non-riding partners, weeks, if ever, like my friend Brenda who is attending her first TDCC event.
Monday morning 8 April, bright and early we all lined up at the road next to the barbecue for our first ride of the week. We split into two groups, the Skylarkers or G1, we’ll call them, and the leisurely group, or G2, riding at a much more relaxed pace. John D led the Skylarkers, and Pedro managed the G2, not necessarily from the front. The morning tea stop was scheduled for Bowral, where the two groups would come together for a cuppa and a chat. Danny had a flat as he rode out with G1, so never even reached the gate.
As he retired to fix the problem everyone else left on their ride. When he had found and fixed the problem (dodgy rim tape piercing the tube), Danny hitched a ride with Yvonne in Dave’s BT50, often called the chuck wagon as it brought the morning tea to out-of-town venues, and we all drove to Bowral to meet the two groups. By-the-way, Danny had no more tyre issues for the whole week, nor did anyone else, apart from one or two flats. Danny took his bike in the back, and rode back to Moss Vale with the G2.
Meanwhile, G1 did a much longer ride around the countryside before arriving exhausted at Bowral after 50km of tough roads, including some huge hills which everybody had to walk up, except Wonder Woman Irene. They arrived at the Coffee place an hour after G2, so we left them to it, while we rode home along a lovely bike path (Bong Bong Track) for 13km back home. G1 eventually came back the same route with 60-odd kms up, while G2 did about 40km. Another happy hour took place in beautiful weather. Thanks to everyone who brought nice food.
Day 2, Tuesday 9 April, the longest ride of the week, was out to the Hume Freeway and into a stiff southerly cold headwind to Wingello, Exeter and Bundanoon. It was quite cold at the early start, a feature of the week, sometimes as cold as 4°C, gradually warming up to a toasty 15°. G2 followed G1 along the same route. A total of 67km for the day.
As I write this report at the end of the week, I may have got some details wrong, so feel free to update me (Danny).
Day 3 - Wednesday April 10 – ride the long way down to Fitzroy Falls in perfect freezing weather (it is the Southern Highlands after all) to the beautiful falls to see an unimagined vista of huge valleys and forests, really mind-blowing if you haven’t seen it before. Then back the more direct way for a total of 52km. Happy Hour was taken inside the dining room as it was too cold outside.
Day 4 - Thursday April 11. Berrima. A tough ride today with a 13km long hill. Not all at once happily, but still a long haul. Everybody complained about sore legs the next day. We finished up at Berrima, where some of us couldn’t remember the directions and added on another couple of kms riding all around Berrima looking for the chuck wagon. Still, that meant we cracked the 50km total for the day. A lovely ride back to Moss Vale topped off a wonderful day on the bikes.
Day 5 – Friday April 12. Drive to Colo Vale then ride west and north up to Thirlmere and back via Bargo to the start. 58 km with plenty of hills (578m vertical). No bike tracks – all narrow country roads, but the car drivers were very courteous, thanks. As usual the Tetley Tea Ladies were there with all the tea/coffee and foodie treats at Bargo. Greatly appreciated by all, thanks TTL. After a very long ride along one road, the last few k’s uphill, it was such a thrill to suddenly find ourselves back at the car park, our epic odyssey over – for the day and for the week.
Today, Friday 12 April, after we got back and I went to bed for a snooze, Pedro was back on his bike for a spin out on the Bong Bong Track to Bowral, past Oxley College where we saw and heard the Pipe and Drum band practising out in the school yard earlier in the week, to add an extra 20km on to his total for the day. Pedro, alias Peter Holt, conceived and executed this lovely holiday, and led nearly all the rides. Thanks to him and everyone else who assisted in making this holiday so successful, including Warwick and JD. Photos are here.
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