Taree Bike Holiday - 27 February - 5 March 2016

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Photos by Carol

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Day one saw most of the group arrive and set up camp. A merry happy hour or two followed before we dispersed for the evening.
Our second day (Sunday) dawned slightly wet and rather humid but the intrepid group disdained wet weather gear and set off to explore Taree and surrounds led by our intrepid ride manager Peter.
We were enjoying pleasant park-like surrounds and a stunningly beautiful bicycle path along the river with lush gardens on one side and the river along the other. All too soon however it was back onto rough bitumen along with heavy traffic after which I overheard one couple say "it'll be at least two weeks before we complain about Wyong roads again!". We covered 56 kilometres for the day. Since the club's last visit a swimming pool has been installed at the camp ground providing welcome relief from the heat. The going was flat and easy and on arrival at Saltwater we talked to some surfers one of whom it turned out came from Lake Munmorah. Lunch was had at Old Bar.
Day three was touted on the menu as 'the most strenuous of the holiday' and so it was. Hot sunny and somewhat humid our route today took us through lush green farming country, through some roadworks where the time allocated for getting through the one-way flow did not allow for us bikers who had to cope with an uphill gradient. The first few riders got clean away as it were, ahead of the water truck, those following got muddy. There followed a series of hills, each slightly steeper and longer than the last until at last we were coasting at speed down into the hamlet of Wingham where Sue Tucker arrived with tea/coffee, lamingtons and fruit cake which was much enjoyed by all. Several different species of Bat were to be found in the trees, a local wild rooster joined us for lunch and some went on a short walk through the forest.
After lunch we continued through the farmland with smaller hills to conquer. Our horizontal distance covered was 52 kilometres with an elevation change of 514 metres. Not to be outdone John and Daley rang in via Strava boasting of 44 kilometres covered with an 850 altitude gain.
Day 4 We set out North along the hard shoulder of the Pacific highway enjoying a billiard table smooth surface, light winds and made good progress. We turned on the highway towards Coopernook then to Harrington for lunch. Jan and Col Fowler kindly provided refreshments today. Some of us headed out to Crowdy head lighthouse an exhilarating 7 kilometre blast followed by a steep climb to the lighthouse itself. Others chose to walk along the breakwater. Our route out and back took us along a smooth boulevard lined with impressive homes and more lush gardens which were being well tended as we passed. On the way back Margaret spotted a wallet belonging to a 'Frank' and Nigel set off in hot pursuit of some electric wheelchairs in the hope that he could re-unite Frank with his wallet. Alas it was not to be and the wallet was handed into a local RSL club instead. The advertised distance was 60 kilometres and those who went to the lighthouse tacked on another 15 making 75 for the day. Day 5 your correspondent had a rest day but those who rode today covered an impressive 75 kilometres along some really really shockingly surfaced roads. Their route took them via the Pacific Highway via Cundletown and then south to Purfleet then via country roads to Manning point for lunch returning the same way.
Day 6 Another master blast up the Pacific Highway through Cundletown to Coopernook where we stopped for a break. We took the Lansdowne turn and crossed the railway just missing the arrival of a goods train but getting a good view anyway from another vantage point. Poor Carol and Eunice had a bit of a hard time finding the location of the meeting point for lunch but to their credit still bought much needed refreshments right on time and we sat up in the Lansdowne footy club grandstand and enjoyed lunch there. Our return trip took us through Kundle Kundle and over some low hills and after arriving back in camp virtually the whole group descended on the swimming pool. Tonight we enjoyed dinner at the local pub. Our numbers had the poor cooks and waitpersons running here and there but we all got fed in the end. Nigel, Warwick and Col won meat raffles too.
Tomorrow day 7 sees some of the group undertake another 75 kilometre ride and others quite understandably taking the option of about a 40 kilometre ride instead.
An added highlight is a gathering of historical motor cycles including two Indians in very original condition, BSA and AJS cycles. If we are around when they all start it should make for an impressive sound.
I take this opportunity to thank Peter for organising this his swansong holiday camp. We have been blessed with great company, sunny weather and some fabulous riding.
Safe travelling everyone.
Ralph Creswell







Really scary Englishman!

Club 70 minus a few

Dinner at the pub

Morning tea at Lansdowne

Swim after ride





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