Toukley and District Cycle Club Inc

Ride Reports and News

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

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

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

Norah Head Coasters – Meet at Jenny Dixon Reserve, Norah Head, cnr Bungary Road & Park St, 9.00am Fridays – moderate pace, 35-50 km. Please check here for out-of-town rides.


Myrtleford Holiday March 2018 - details are here.

The Entrance SLSC

Friday 16 February 2018 - Coasters ride to Shelly Beach
Another quite warm day, not as hot as Wednesday below, but still reached 30°C at my place by 12.30pm. Twenty-four riders congregated at the Jenny Dixon Chapel (JDC) ready for the day's worship of life and nature. Seeing Pam knew the way to Shelly Beach she was appointed ride manager, and Westley volunteered to pass the plate around at the back. New to the group today was Dianne, Estelle's esteemed sister, who did well to keep up.
I took off early, as I usually do, not wanting to get left behind, and managed to ride halfway to North Entrance before being zapped by the A Team, an élite group of fit young ex-professional athletes passing themselves off as elderly pensioners. There was a long gap behind me till the next contingent, so, happy enough with that. After a longish re-group, Pam led us off towards Toowoon Bay where we had another get-together before heading off direct to Shelly Beach for coffee.
When we got there, the Skylarkers were already in situ, having ridden via Kangy Angy and Enterprise Drive, but leaving an hour before us. A seamless transition to the Coasters took place at the tables and chairs reserved for Toukley cyclists, apparently. The coffee was very nice, and the service excellent, as they coped with 24 patrons at once, well done Shelly Beach Café staff.
We finally finished our refreshments and Col led us out, as Pam was going straight home, as she had ridden up to JDC from home, at Blue Bay. I did a corner post at one stage, then had to work my way back through the whole péloton to the front with Col. I couldn't stop my little legs from pumping so I kept going, right up Wilfred Barrett Drive (WBD) to the new bike path entrance. What I didn't know, and what slowed everybody up, was that Christian had a puncture on the entrance bridge, causing havoc among the following cyclists. Then Peter Bones had a flat, but I waited patiently at the side of WBD till they all either came past or joined me on a trip through the bush to Evans Road. There Annie D, Keith and Debbie all went straight home, and Linda and I had a quiet ride to The Beachcomber.
I had to ride around the block to get up to the 50km, but hey it's still riding isn't it!
A very pleasant ride, despite the warm conditions, as we had a really nice SW breeze to cool us down. (See Seabreeze graph below.)
Seabreeze graph for Friday 16 February 2018

We had a visit from the C Team, of barely walking non- riders, Mike, Pedro and Doug, just back from a new hip, so welcome to you guys. Thanks everyone for coming and making Debbie's birthday such a success (she's still in her 50s you know!).

Morning tea at Shelly Beach - Rolf, Pete, Daz, Carol, Linda, Dianne, Estelle, Margaret G and Bobby Di.

Skylarkers Kangy Angy/Shelly Beach ride
We dragged Skylarkers out of bed early again today into a beautiful morning and brought in 2 newbies from S club/CCbug - Barbara and Rick who were keen to try out Skylarkers. That made us a BIG group today of 9: Tony, John, Dave, Rick, Ken, Chris and myself. Shelly Beach was the "order of today" as our famous "sweeper upperer" was planning to join us there after his hip op. It was great to see our mate Doug on his legs looking so well and out of pain so soon after the op. (I can see this turning into a book so I'll try to cut a long story short). We had a lovely coolish ride via River Rd and Wyong, making steady progress, reaching Shelly Beach on the early side before Coasters arrived. We set up a long table in the shade to make room for everyone and it was great to have the whole club in one spot - all catching up with each other. Dave gave us a lift back up WBD as far as we could keep up with him before some of us dropped off! Sorry I stole Rick's pics as I forgot to take some of my own in all the excitement of seeing everyone!! We must have done something right as Barbara texted me later to thank us for having them and how they both enjoyed the "ride and the company". Lovely riding conditions with a nice cool Southerly breeze. Tony didn't have to dash off for a Turkish haircut today - oh, I mixed that up with Rick's haircut!! [smiley face]
Ric and the Skylarkers at Toowoon Bay, or somewhere

Group 1 riders, looking very much like Skylarkers, at the Splash café in Terrigal
Wednesday 14 February 2018 - Group 1 - Wamberal and Terrigal
Here we go: Today's forecast was 35°C so when everyone gathered at Peel Street this morning, not surprisingly many members opted for the shorter Group 2 ride. We nearly had Col, Merrilyn and Graeme but at the last minute, they defected! Just as well as all that remained were Skylarkers: Tony, Rick, John, myself and also Bill who's an ex-Skylarker.
So, only 5 of us took on the adventure to Wamberal with John allotted to be Ride Manager - no sweep as we planned to stick together. No need to stop at the usual re-group spots as there was no-one to wait for! It wasn't long before we realised Rick had a very audible loose screw which was making quite a racket. He knew that it was a problem in the carbon fibre screw hole and therefore could not be fixed on the run. We were making good progress in coolish cloudy conditions till I also got a "loose screw" in my bottle holder. By this time, we were at Wamberal turning left into the back streets and John got out his Allen Keys and fixed it for me - thanks John.
This was our first "re-group" stop and we were still "all together". At this point we decided to upscale our lunch spot to the Splash cafe again at Terrigal. What a good choice, totally empty, best seats in the house, cold water, extra cakes - as they remembered Rick's request from last Friday plus personal attention again. Feeling happy and fulfilled, Bill went home from here which left 4 of us to brave the heat to come home. We took it steady then once we turned right at Bateau Bay, we found the fresh sea breeze with shady streets. By the time we reached The Entrance, we stopped for a water re-fill, had a bit of a yak and ate snakes in the shade then onwards and upwards towards WBD.
Lucky I had parked at Picnic Point so departed the group prior to the bridge which left 3 to tackle the hardest part of the ride in the heat. My AVERAGE temperature was 28° and ridden 60klms along with John, Rick 70 and Tony 80. Bill may have done similar. As always, great day out with great buddies!

Lunch at the Palms Picnic Area at Frazer Park 2259
Group 2 - Frazer Park
We all knew it was going to be hot, so most of us (21 riders) headed for G2.0i for a shorter (38km) and easier ride. This turned out to be a furphy, as the ride was 42km and over the very rough terrain of the Munmorah State Conservation Area. It was actually Campbell Drive which did the damage, several very steep hills, only about 3 riders rode the big hills, the rest walked 'em. Col headed off home very early, and Jenny called for serious back-up at Blue Wren Drive (her friend in a car). But others of our elderly group pushed on through the 36°C heat to complete the ride. Water bottles started running dry. There was a nice NE sea breeze, but seeing that we were heading south-westerly going home it didn't help much.
Well done to all those riders.Thanks to our ride leader Moonie, and our stoic rear gunner Waz, for keeping us all together, which took a fair bit of work at times.

Our first re-group at Budgewoi
Friday 9 February 2018 - Coasters
Twenty-three riders today, led by Col and followed up by Warwick. Conditions were quite warm and sweaty, easterly breeze of less than (couldn't find the symbol) 5 knots, sunny etc.
Col instructions were to get us lost, so well done Col. Named as a Back Streets Ride it took us down to Budgewoi and past Halekulani Club, past Kevin and Jean's (no sign), and over to Narambi Road on our way to Lakedge Park. Westley warned us that Narambi had just had a new coating of bitumen so was covered in loose stones, so we took a slight detour of about 2km down Nacooma to avoid the roadworks. So far so good.
After a short break we continued west towards the Charmy Bridge and over the creek down to Lowanna Avenue on our way to Dudley Street. Everybody still with us? Yep, continue on. Past Barry's house and through more back streets to the Gorokan shops, but instead of going the back way through the Wallarah Bay club carpark, we just went straight up to the lights on the main road and waited down near the refugee crossing. Unfortunately there developed a gap in the péloton, and we didn't post a corner, so the rearguard went the wrong way.
It all fell to bits after that, as our planned coffee stop was the Canton Beach café who sent us away empty-faced. We had also failed to post a couple of corners, and, being a secret ride, nobody else knew the morning tea venue, especially after we had to change it. So by then we were missing a few tail-end riders. We tried to ring them without luck. Many of the missing just went home in the absence of any better option, but Pedro called back to say he was home but would ride to our new venue, the famous Lakes Beach Café (LBC). I think the only person who wanted to come to m/t was Rolf, who rang me to find out wtf was going on. Sorry to all those people who were left behind, it's not a nice feeling I know. Yeah, sorry.
The new owners of the LBC had set out our table and chairs, and did well to keep us all happy, thanks you new guys! After we had finished m/t we all headed back to JDR or home, wherever we left our cars. Quite a messy Strava map, all backed over and doubled up, at least in mine as I had already ridden most of it on the way to the start, totalling 48.4km for the morning. Thanks for coming everyone, and sorry again to those who were mislaid. We did try to find you. Cheers

Second stop at Lakedge Park, Buff Point

Friday 9 February 2018 - Skylarkers ride to Terrigal
Five lucky Skylarkers rocked up for an early start today namely: Ken, Rick, Dave, Chris and myself. Terrigal via Wyong was the chosen destination with an aim to try out a different cafe. All was going well until Dave broke a spoke out the back of Berkeley Vale. In true "MacGyver" style, he just twisted up out the way and carried on as normal -it didn't even slow him down! So, Splash cafe on Terrigal Haven was very pleasant - really quiet so we got personal attention. Mind you, only 1 choice of cake available so Rick told 'em what cyclists really want and the lovely girl said she'd tell her boss. Ken left us after this and Rick did his photography trick on a quiet back road, managing to capture all 4 us grinning like Cheshire cats! 75 plus klms on a pleasant cloudy warm day. Great day out with good company. Thinking of Doug today getting his "hip hop" done.

Skylarkers rode to Terrigal today
Wednesday 7 February 2018 - Short ride then AGM
Group 1 chose to ride up Elizabeth Bay Drive and back to qualify us for lunch before the GM and AGM. Paul F led the ride, and Kerrie offered to do duty at the other end. Conditions were quite warm, with a gentle southerly breeze. Fourteen riders were in our group as we raced up to Budgewoi, passing Group 2.0i on the way.
At the highway Marshall appeared, having ridden down from Jezzo, and was waiting in the Lizzie Bay café as we rocketed past. Turning left at the highway we rode down to Doylo then San Remo, where we crept through the Armco rail and rolled down the hill along Emu Drive to the lake, then right turn to the bridge. We came upon the tail-end of G2 just going under the bridge heading for a jaunt to Blue Heaven to fill in time. While they rode from Budgewoi to San Remo, we in G1 made the trip up to Lake Munmorah and back, so they took their time. We finished up getting back to the church hall, where we have our meetings, a good half an hour before the more casual group. Bully for us!
Lunch was provided by some wonderful dedicated members, namely Ev, Trevor, Jill, Wazza, Robyn, Richard and Pam for starters. A delicious Mexican dish in a wrap, and sweets including fruit, ice cream and three big dishes of rice baked pudding, thanks to Pam.
A General Meeting was followed by an AGM where all the present committee was returned, except for James who was replaced as committeeman by John Lon.
Congratulations to all our duly elected committee and thanks for all the work you do for the club. Pedro advised that there is insufficient interest shown by the members for the Nullarbor trip, so it is cancelled. He may organise another trip to New Zealand instead. Stand by for further information.

Wed 07/02/2018 TDCC Grp 2 ride. Budgewoi Lake loop via Budgie.
Another beautiful day dawned for our ride around Lake Budgewoi, 20 riders turned up, some we have not seen for a while, including Joe. We also had 2 relatively new riders, Jenny and Estelle, who are from the northern areas of Lake Macquarie. Steph also surprised us with her appearance, unfortunately no Bob. John L was the ride manager, and James was the sweep.
Today was listed as a short ride so we would be back in time for the GM and AGM. John decided to go anti-clockwise around Budgewoi Lake, so that we had easy access to the church hall where our meetings were to be held on our return. We set out for Aldi in a long procession as we had 20 riders. When we got to Main Road and headed for the Noraville roundabout, it was good to see our riders rode in single file, and gave motorists their due respect. After turning left at the roundabout, we headed downhill at a good clip to Lakes Beach. By this stage group 1 riders had caught us, and in a blink of an eye they were out of sight, some impressive riders in group 1. When we arrived at the bottom of the hill, we took the old road and group 1 took the highway. It is always a pleasure to ride the old road with its overhanging tree branches, with little wrens darting back and forth, across our paths, and from tree to tree, looking for little tid-bits.
Our first stop was at Slade park Budgie, unfortunately Steph suffered a mechanical problem, and had to withdraw from the ride, despite John Lonard and Westley’s best efforts to fix the problem. Luckily Big Bob was at home with his trusty steed and came to Steph’s rescue. After our goodbyes to Steph, we ventured along the beautiful bike path to Edgewater park, where we had another regroup. John advised our next stop was the bridge at San Remo, so with our faster riders showing the way from the péloton, we arrived at the bridge in a few minutes.
After a description of the next part of the ride from John, we set off for a tour of the back streets of Blue Haven, thankfully John bypassed the hilly parts of the area. On the way back, we passed the primary school, a group of about 6 kids were cheering us on, and clapping, we still can’t work out if they were taking the mickey out of us or not, maybe they thought it was good that people the age of their grandparents could still ride a bike. After by-passing the road work at the entrance to the bike track, John took us around a bypass road, then onto the bike track. When we arrived at the bridge, some strange looking character, that we noticed on the way out, was still sitting under the bridge with his bike, and an empty coke bottle, don’t know what he was taking, but it would have been dangerous on his bike in that condition. From there it was full steam ahead along The Corso to Gorokan, where John was waiting for James, who rode poorly today. Virginia had taken the rest of group to Peel street, thanks John and Virginia.
On arrival at Toukley our riders dispersed to the hall where are meetings were to be held, a lovely lunch was provided by the club and prepared by Evi, Trevor, Jill, Richard, Pam, Warwick, Robyn, thanks to all those people. The minutes of the meeting will be sent out to all members, so you can catch up with what went on. The only change to the committee is that John Lonard replaces James as the group 2 representative.
From Strava the ride was 28km, the ride speeds averaged from 17km/hr to 18.8km/hr, we climbed 195 metres, the temperature varied between 25-27°C, the wind was from the South, mostly around 10km/hr. All in all, a great day out. The riders in sign on order were, Westley, Ian, Chris, Berny, Carol, John L, John L’Es, Steph, Lyn S, Ray, Marg G, Estelle, Joe, Bob W, Peter B, Darryl M, James, Jenny, Peter H, and Virginia.
Report on group 3, Diane advised she would be starting practice rides in 2 weeks, then maybe after a month or so, join the club rides, all the best Di.

Beautiful Budgewoi Lake on our Twilight ride 4 Feb 18
Sunday 4 February 2018 - Twilight Ride
A very special ride today, firstly because we don't ride on Sundays, and secondly we started at 7.00pm, and did half the ride in full darkness. eighteen riders turned up, including Mike who just got there as we were heading down the road.
Starting at the Gorokan Peace Park (Fish Co-op) with me (Danny) leading and Doug and John Lon looking after the aft. I wasn't warned I would be ride leader, but I opened my mouth when somebody asked where we were going, and I knew, of course, so I wore it.
Nothing new or complicated, but we made it as hard as we could, by Wes having 2 punctures, and looking for Jill after she headed off on her own.
We all had good headlights, not like last year when I couldn't see a thing by my lights. I bought a super headlight recently and had the best light of all, lucky as I was at the front. Some people with less effective headlights rode behind me so they could see the path by my light.
We rode over to Marks Road and Wahroonga Road towards Wadalba, then on to Minnesota Road right to the other end, where we found the Warnervale Wetlands which took us to the highway. Down the highway towards Blue Heaven but thankfully we didn't have to go into that enclave. Then just along the bike path along the north shore of Budgewoi Lake, where we got those beautiful twilight photos you see here. With the perfect conditions, including a warm breeze, it was such a delight riding tonight.
By the time we made it back to the Co-op, Ralph and Ev had the coffee and cakes all ready, so we had a delicious nightcap then went home. We lost a few on the way back as they rode straight home rather than ride on their own back home later. My total kms were 41, having ridden from home. Rolf's would have been more back to Buff Point. Thanks for coming everyone - a wonderful ride in magic conditions.
From Lakedge Park, Buff Point.

Estelle, Pedro and Chris at DCE, The Entrance
Friday 2 February 2018 - Coasters
Looked a bit adverse early on, but it fined up nicely, and 22 riders fronted. Only about 20°C, with a 10 knot southerly. Pedro led the ride, so that he could ride where he wanted to go (not down Swadling Street). War-wick took up the rear gunner position, thanks, you blokes. Late report - Dave was the leader and Pedro only did the bit from The Entrance to Long Jetty. Sorry Dave!
I had a mixed start, riding from home I got a puncture after 2km. A bit disappointing as I had just pumped my tyres up so had full confidence in them, but a little bit of glass did the damage. I was struggling to pump the tyre up, when a bloke pulled up in a car (I was at the school) and fronted with a big garage pump and did the job for me. I decided to ride back home and get the car, not confident about the tyre. Rang Paul and found out where they were going, and caught up with the group at North Entrance where they kindly waited for me.
A nice ride then through the CBD of The Entrance, up through Toowoon Bay, and down to the bike path at the Tuggerah Lake. Coffee at DCE near the pelican-feeding spot, then back up Wilfred Barrett Drive to JDR for a mere 32 and a half kms, or 20 miles. We then had a good look at the hail damage to the Mazda, and all agreed it was bad. Thanks for listening. Oh, we had a newbie today, Estelle, from Wangi, who also rode with us up to Newcastle on Wednesday. Don't think the Skylarkers rode as most of them were with us. Cheers. More photos are here.
Wednesday 31 January 2018 - Group 1 Ride to Wyee
Strong southerly winds greeted us at Peel St. for the start of our weekly ride [see Seabreeze graph below]. Six riders turned up to brave the elements, Tony, Rolf, Graeme, Merrilyn, Col and myself. We headed towards Budgewoi for our first regroup, then onto the Bike lane, where we turned off and rode past Camp Breakaway to the Scenic Rd, then through the lights at Doyalson. About hundred metres past the lights, Tony ran over a broken beer bottle which resulted in a puncture. After a quick repair by Tony, we were off riding again. A left hand turn off Wyee Road onto Gosford Rd, and to our amazement the road was completely sealed. What a pleasure to ride on and what a disappointment when we rode onto Hue Hue Rd, which is not one of my favourite roads.
We all looked forward to arriving at the Milk Factory after the ride on Hue Hue Rd. Lunch was very pleasant with good coffee and food and plenty of good stories to tell. After lunch, all refreshed, we headed towards Wyong for a quick regroup at the Toilet Block, then it was onto the river road, with a nice tail wind to take us back home to Toukley, where Col and Rolf left us to ride home.
We had a great ride of approx 55Km, no rain, and we managed to avoid a lot of the South wind. For all the riders that didn’t front up, you missed a top ride. [They all came on the G2 ride!]
Paul F.

Newcastle Harbour with three tugboats
Wednesday 31 January 2018 - Group 2 ride to Newcastle
A very interesting ride today, from Belmont to Nobbies Beach, Newcastle, return, led by Mike S, with Doug and John L looking after the tail-end. Eighteen riders attended, not bad for a day with 35 knot southerlies and a good chance of rain. We did cop the slightest sprinkle of rain, and the wind, well, tough at times, but not enough to stop our progress south. See Seabreeze graph below.
First section: up the Fernleigh Track with a strong tail-wind, which was a big help, to Adamstown, then a gentle meander through the streets of Hamilton, Honeysuckle and and other exotic (to me) places of interest. Paul M and Marshall rode down from somewhere then back uphill with us.
Our lunchtime stop was at some god-forsaken no-mans land with a roof and gale-driven rain blowing through. We shifted to another shed with slightly more protection, for our lunch, but not a coffee or pastry shop in sight. Most clever people brought their own lunch and coffee, and Jill gave me a peanut bar to keep me going. Kept me going for half an hour trying to eat it, with stitches still in my gums after surgery.
Then back through the Uni to Adamstown and back to base after a long struggle downhill. They took away the downhill bit today - you had to pedal hard the whole way. All safely back, thanks to our intrepid staff, then off home. Though Doug, Chris, Mike and I went straight to the Marks Point hidden-away café for a brilliant cup of coffee. If this shop was in a popular area you wouldn't be able to get in, for customers wanting their coffee.

Seabreeze graph for 31 January 2018, showing near-gale conditions as per the Beaufort Scale

Despite the windy weather, the temperature was about 20°C, with no sun, so quite pleasant. Thanks to all those brave riders who drove all the way to Belmont for the ride.

Riding along the renovated Newcastle waterfront. Thanks , whoever did that for us.
Friday 26 January 2018 - Coasters
Coasters Ride 26/1/18 Australia Day. Well, what a surprise when we arrived at Jenny Dixon Park. The place was packed out with Holden Cars, Central Coast Holden Club showing their support for Australia Day. What a beautiful array of the Holden Car.
The weather was humid, not too hot, with a good cloud cover. Thirteen riders turned up for a relaxing gentle ride to Toukley, our first regroup, and to everyone's surprise Peter Bishop never went to the toilet! Then it was onto The Corso through to Charmhaven over the bridge and onto the bike path and through to Edgewater Park at Buff Point for a regroup and toilet break.
On the bike path there were lots of families celebrating Australia Day, which was was good to see. Through to Budgewoi then onto the Lakes Beach Café, where Danny had everything under control with our seating. I made a point of meeting the new owners, Peter and Lisa, and introduced them to our club members. They appear to be very pleasant people, with plenty of personality and we wished them all the success with their business.
Although it wasn’t a long ride, I believe everybody enjoyed a pleasant ride on Australia Day,with good mateship, good coffee. Also would like to thank Kevin Mackenzie for sweeping up the tail. Ride approx. 25Km.
Paul F.

Skylarkers 26 January 2018 - Ride to Dooralong
The Skylarkers rode out to Dooralong, quite a hot choice really. They did between 70 and 90kms and had a wonderful time, I presume. There won't be any report, Irene and Chris are in Melbourne.

Nigel, Paul, Col, Tony, Rolf, Graeme and Jenny at Summerland Point
Wednesday 24 January 2018 - Group 1 Summerland Point
With hot weather predicted, only 8 riders signed on for Group 1, people maybe thinking it would be too hot up Summerland Point (SP) way. In fact we had a nice refreshing breeze whichever way we were facing, somehow, which was a godsend. It was about 30°C but it felt like 35°C sometimes. See Seabreeze graph below.
Paul was unavailable for riding, covered in bandages as he was, but he drove out to SP with the tea & coffee stuff, and cake. Thanks Paul. We chose Jenny to lead, thinking she would be a bit slower, but she's not. Everybody in the G1 was or is an athlete, of skinny stature, and very fit, so I struggled to keep up. They let me lead both ways along Kanangra Drive, which was nice of them, but at other times I was way out the back.
At the top of Elizabeth Bay Drive (LBD), they all went left heading for Tall Timbers Road (TTR), while I just mosied down Carters Road and the bike path to Josh Porter Reserve (JPR). Ken of course decided to go straight home from TTR, well done Ken! As the main group approached TTR there was no traffic, so Jenny led them straight across the road to turn right at the lights, but a nasty piece of yellow glass destroyed her tube, so I had to wait for a while at JPR for them all to arrive. Continuing north, we rode the length of Mulloway Road, then onto the Dirt Link Road up to Kanangra Drive. What a shithole country that Link Rd is! All nicely corrugated for us.
On the way back, in what we thought was a tail wind, we flew down the highway, passing a very nasty car accident at Chain Valley Bay Road intersection, needs lights there, so glad we didn't go that way, traffic held up for miles. I continued straight on, to do the bit I missed before, on my way home, while the remaining six went down LBD again, including Tony who lives just there but decided to continue on to Toukley for the extra miles. I couldn't believe it!
We all got home safely, so far as I know, thanks Jenny and everyone else who came on this ride. I rode 53km. Ken managed 89km and Tony reached 70km. I might not be there on Friday, see how I go after gum surgery tomorrow.

Seabreeze graph for Wednesday 24 January 2018

Lakedge Park, Buff Point
Friday 19 January 2018 - Coasters
A lovely morning with temperatures starting at 16°C at 7.00am and reaching 29° by noon. Sunny with a nor'easter helping to cool us down. See Seabreeze graph. Wes was our Ride Manager and Waz our Sweep. Twenty-three members signed on.

Seabreeze Graph for 19 January 2018

Down to Budgewoi, where we saw Joe and his lovely family out for a ride, then up Lizzie Bay Drive to Lizzie Bay where we had a little rest. Then up the hill to the highway where we turned left and rode down to Tall Timbers Road (TTR). I don't know why we don't just ride down Carters Road to the bike path. Anyway we got to Josh Porter Reserve for a pit-stop before riding back down TTR to the highway where we made our own way down to Doyalson to await further instructions.
All present and correct, we then rode down the highway to the bus-stop at San Remo where we infiltrated the Armco Rail and assembled near the top of Emu Drive. A quick flash down Emu to the lake before a long and scenic ride along one of the best bike paths in the area, to Budgewoi, then Lakes Beach Café on Budgewoi Road.
There were already tables of elderly people from the Classic Car Club, who drove their cute little MGs all the way from Wyong, or somewhere, to join us at the famous coffee makers. We had our own huge table for 24, including Doug who arrived early to book our spot, where we enjoyed the hospitality of Wayne and Gay, our maîtres d'. I was shocked to learn that W & G have sold their business to look after grandchildren (Gay) or lay on the couch (Wayne). Let's hope we get someone at least half as nice for our new kiosk owners.
We then all headed for our various departure points (this morning) scattered all over the area. Thanks to everyone for coming, and especially thanks to new septuagenarian Waz and not quite there yet Wes for looking after us. Photos are here.
PS I believe Diane Bobby is back at home after her episode and a few days in hospital, but I have no other details.

Skylarkers ride to Terrigal - Friday 19 January 2018
Seven Skylarkers arrived this morning: John, Rick, Tony, Dave, Ken, Chris and myself. Terrigal was the chosen destination and, with Dave having been away for a few weeks, we all thought he'd be struggling to keep up today! Boy, were we wrong!!
We went via Wyong first then Tumbi, up some mammoth hills and popped out along Bellevue Rd near the Caltex. Had a nice break at Terrigal with all the tourists out swimming enjoying the beach.
On our return home, we'd just got to Wamberal when Rick realised his seat post had broken. All he could do was to lower it and ride home on a wing and a prayer, taking the weight off every lump and bump! By 11.00am we were returning back up WBD as one and it was getting pretty warm. Rick survived and we'd done 70klms, Tony 90 and Ken 88. A good ride out before the heat really set in.
Skylarker photos are here with the Coasters.
Lunch at Long Jetty for Warwick's 70th birthday
Wednesday 17 January 2018 - Club ride around Tuggerah Lake, via Wyong
Group 1 - Today's ride for Warwick's birthday: Lovely cool, fresh and windy conditions awaited all the members this morning. Today's ride was swapped with the scheduled ride on 24th January due to roadworks on the M1 and Link Road plus, with Warwick's birthday, we needed both groups to meet up together at Long Jetty for cake! It was supposed to be a surprise for Warwick but apparently Richard let the "cat out of the bag" first thing this morning!! Never mind, he didn't let out the full story.
So, Barry took up the Ride Manager's role to take us around Tuggerah Lake and did a very informative briefing. Doug kindly offered to "sweep up". Barry had even rode the route yesterday to make sure he knew the route especially around Wyong Road works near Tuggerah station. As we set off, group 2 gave us a nice cheery wave along the sidelines, making us feel like the professionals of Tour Down Under!!
Without our realising, Ken had a puncture just as we were leaving so John helped him fix it then they both had to "catch up". Diving down across the Toukley Bridge, we were expecting to get blown off our bikes but it wasn't too bad. A re-group at the bottle shop then a lovely ride along River Road to Wyong. Barry knew from his reconnoiter, that there was heaps of glass under the tunnel at Wyong Road works, so we all dismounted and could feel the glass crunching under our shoes - it was everywhere. Nice one Barry! Onto Church Road, Lake Edge Ave and finally reaching Long Jetty where we started meeting group 2.
What a huge group we were then - all running around the Lake edge bike path on a beautiful day with the sun glittering on the water. There must have been about 30 to 35 of us all managing to converge to the picnic tables on Long Jetty Foreshore, to one purpose and that was to celebrate Warwick's 70th. Anne Leonard had kindly cooked a big fruit cake for us all to enjoy and Ralph arrived (having survived his eye op) to do the announcement. What a great club we belong to when occasions like this can be organised with large numbers of people with different riding speeds/skills, coming together as one. Picture attached (stolen from Rick).
After much chatting and mingling, we all had to go home and unfortunately Paul F had a puncture just as we were leaving. He had some helping hands so Barry said the rest of us would wait at the next toilet block! Finally, we got to ride back up WBD with a Southerly wind behind us - what a joy!! Big thanks to Barry for the perfect execution of this ride and to Doug for looking after the tail end. Ok, a bit windy at times but a very enjoyable ride with lots of like-minded folk. Cheers PS Jill told me in the car park at the end, we'd had a 3rd puncture on group 1 but I don't know who it was and neither does she!!!

Group 2 - On a beaut day, 21 riders turned up for the tour around Tuggerah lake. James was the ride manager, and John L was the sweep, Kerry did the marshalling duties as required, Marg L took over as lead rider in areas she knew better than most, and in the final stage of the ride. Thanks, John, Kerry, and Marg. Linda joined us from Group 1 and Kerry who is tending to ride more often with Group 2 these days, so we will likely adopt her as a group 2 rider. Jenny also joined our ride with her new bike.
The riders in sign on order were James, Warwick, Ian, Kerry, Chris, John L, Ray, Darryl C, David F, Trevor and Jill, Hans, Marg L, Linda, Darryl M, Paul, Jenny, Westley, Virginia, Kevin M, and Berny.
At the start of the ride a brisk Southerly looked like it was going to slow us down, thankfully we had the return journey to look forward to, and the assistance it would give. After a pre-ride speech which included Di, and her health (we are all thinking of you Di, and give you our best wishes), we headed along our regular route to HMO via Aldi. After a short check on numbers, allowing for the fact Berny would catch us later in the ride, we headed for Craigie Park for our first pit stop, along the way Berny appeared from out of the blue, and re-joined the ride. A good speed was maintained over the Toukley bridge and along Marks road to our regather at Craigie park.
The go-ahead was given for us to continue our way to Wyong without a stop at Tacoma, this was so we could arrive at Long Jetty at the same time as Group 1, where we planned to celebrate Warwick’s birthday, which is today. Our faster riders including Ian, Kerry, Chris, Ray, Marg L, Linda, Westley, and Virginia really showed their mettle and went like they were in the Tour Down Under. The peloton followed, with the tail trying to keep up with the Peloton. Luckily someone had a key to the Wyong loo, after a quick stop we were off to Tuggerah railway station where we had a recount, to ensure all riders made it across at the Tuggerah traffic lights. As the new road is now completed, we had access to the bike track on the South side of the bridge, as Marg L knew the way better than James, she led the way to the Chittaway turn-off under Wyong road.
After appearing at the other side of the road, we saw the group 1 riders waiting for one of their rider’s flat tyre to be repaired. We decided we should wait for group 1 to restart their ride. On restarting the ride, they set a fast pace to the bike track at Chittaway, group 2 followed at a more sedate pace, but were not far behind when we reached the bike track. We had planned to stop at Blue Bell park for a pit stop, but as group 1 riders were already there, we decided to cycle on to the next conveniences about 3 kilometres up the track. While there, group 1 riders overtook us, and set sail to the wind. Riding along the track, it was good to see lots of people using the track, especially new Mums with their Bubs, and lots of little kids on their pushies, hopefully they will grow into healthy kids if they keep it up. Of course, being the responsible riders that we are, great care was taken navigating amongst the kids, other pedestrians, and cyclists on the track.
Before too long, we arrived at the designated lunch spot, at Long Jetty, opposite Elsiemer street. Luckily, plenty of seats were available under cover, even enough for Ann, Ralph, Evi and Danny, who did not ride, but came along to celebrate Warwick’s birthday. After lunch, Ralph gave a happy birthday speech, to congratulate Warwick on his 70th, some of us thought Warwick was only 60, and that his boss was giving him time off work to ride with us. In his speech, Ralph mentioned how much work Warwick does for the club in his role as Secretary, and he also mentioned Barry, our treasurer. After the speech, we sang Happy Birthday, and were rewarded with the yummy birthday cake that Ann had cooked for the occasion. Ann also brought along the club’s tea, and coffee machines that Jill had given her for the day. Thanks Ann for all the trouble you went to, so as to make the day a success, hopefully you will be riding with us shortly.
After lunch we all headed off towards The Entrance, where we refilled our water bottles, and then headed for the ride home, over The Entrance bridge, where we had to keep our minds on the job, due to the strong winds that were prevalent. After crossing the bridge, the strong Southerly came into its own, and helped us on the way back to Peel street, along W.B.D. where the C.C.C. had just about finished clearing the road, from the mess caused by the recent strong winds. Good effort C.C.C! On arrival at the new bike track, the Budgie mob kept going, the rest of us had a quick stop. At this stage the ride manager had run out of gas, Marg L volunteered to lead the group home to Peel street. With the wind at our back, we were back at Peel street in a few minutes. After our normal post-ride chats, catching up on our friends' news, we headed home. The opinion was that this was one of our better ride routes, with the ride along the Wyong river, and the Entrance bike track, providing lots of scenic views, and atmosphere.
From Strava we cycled nearly 50kms, the average speeds varied from 18 to 19.5km/hr, we climbed 115 metres, the temperature varied from 21 to 24°C, although it felt hotter in some places, the Southerly was just that, all day, it varied between 40-50km/hr.
Best wishes to all our riders who are sick at the present or recovering from illness or sickness, hopefully we will see you soon.
Danny's photos are here.
Beautiful Budgewoi Lake, from the bikepath at Buff Point, NSW
Friday 12 January 2018 - Coasters figure 8 ride to Wadalba and Charmhaven

A beautiful morning for cycling, with temperatures around 25°C, cloudy skies and a northerly breeze below 8 knots, but quite muggy while we were stopped. Col led the ride today, with Paul F taking over after m/t. Bernie did a great job looking after the other end of the group of 24 riders.
I didn't realise it was a figure 8 course till I saw the route map on Strava afterwards, but it sure was. So, down to Budgewoi then along the bike path round the top of the Budgewoi Lake, over the bridge at Charmy/San Remo and back towards Toukley bridge till we got to Dudley Street. To the other end of Dudders then via Barry's place to Wahroonga Road and through Wadalba to Minnesota Road.
So far so good, then right to the other end of Minnesota and up Hiawatha to Hakone Road, can you see where I'm heading with this?, then to the Charmhaven nursery café for a delicious m/t. I had a self-contained quiche in flaky pastry which was a masterpiece in pâtisserie, and a flat white. Bliss! Then I went home, one mile away. Quite a few members rode home to Buff Point or Gorokan from there while Paul took the residue back to JDR, or wherever. Thanks for coming everyone. The Coasters ride is the highlight of my week, after Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Don't forget the Bunnings barbecue on Sunday. Please read the roster and be there on time.
I found a nice pair of lemon bike gloves at the café after Pam left, so they're in the wash now, being all clammy from something. There are a few photos which I took, as publicity officer, and they are here. Cheers!

Friday 12 January 2018 - Skylarkers
Six Skylarkers turned up at 8am on this cloudy morning which was perfect for cycling - although a tad humid. John, Ken, Rick, Tony, Chris and myself. We did a Mr. Rick's route today, round Wyong, up Kangy Angy, Palmdale and onto Shelly Beach for coffee. Apologies for all the photos of Chris and my shirts - they are Cadel Evans shirts waiting for the Great Ocean Road event at the end of January and the organisers want photos for their site/instagram. So Rick was our chief photographer. Anyway, we had good fun chasing each other around the joint - Shelly Beach much quieter now and we were able to get a table straight away. We talked alot about the "old" Skylarker members (the good old days!). John led the entourage back up WBD and was a wizard on those hills. I think he's been doing some "secret training"! Tony's shirt decided to open up on the way - that was his excuse for being late!! Ken did 103 klms all up and the rest of us did 65-72klms. Skylarkers photos are here.
At the end of the Fernleigh Track, Belmont
Wednesday 10 January 2018 - Group 1 ride to Merewether
Twelve riders made their way to Blacksmiths car park, near Swansea NSW, for the ride up to Newcastle return. John D was leading the ride, and Doug and Dave controlled the rear end. Thanks those boys! Other participants were Rolf, who rode from home (Buff Point) to Merewether then back home again, in excess of 100km I reckon, Pam, Irene, Paul M, Paul F, Tony, Ralph. Col and me, Danny. Nigel rode from home to the start, then back home again without remembering to do the actual ride. Conditions were warm and cloudy, with a 15 knot southerly.
We were a well-disciplined group under JD's management, posting corners, keeping together, only letting loose on the Fernleigh Track. Newcastle is always an interesting ride, and today there were many para-sailors and hang-gliders along the sea cliffs, sometimes coming within a few metres of the ground-level structures. Lots of people along the seashore, esp. at Merewether, and further south.
A rewarding ride of 56km, thanks to everyone who came. There are some more photos here.

Seabreeze report - 10 January 2018

Wed 10/01/2018 TDCC Grp 2 ride. CVBay Loop Via Liz Bay and Return via Doyalson
Eighteen riders turned up for today's ride to Chain Valley Bay (CVB). The overcast weather did not deter our riders from participating in the ride, thankfully, the BOM radar app on our mobile phones ensured us that we would not encounter any of the inclement weather that we have had in the last few days. John L was the ride manager, Ian the Moon Man was the sweep. Carol and Hans acted as Marshalls at various points of the ride. Thanks to all these people. Linda joined us from Group 1 today. Some of our regulars were not present today, maybe they did not have the BOM app on their phones. The riders in sign on order were John L, Trevor, Ian, Chris, John L’Es, Ray, James, Frank U, Marg L, Barry S, Linda H, Carol, Hans, Paul, Darryl M, Darryl C, Bones, and Kevin.
With a brisk Southerly blowing [see Seabreeze graph above] we headed for Aldi, then Main Road East Toukley, where we turned left, and headed for the Noraville round-a-bout, where we did a left turn, and pursued a brisk speed aided by the Southerly wind, all the way to Slade Park. The CCC had just cleared a massive tree laying across the bike path, good effort guys, the workers were only just starting their work as we were on our way to Peel Street. We noticed, on the way home, that another group of workers were already spreading the mulched tree around the park, top performance CCC.
After a regroup, we headed for Lizzy Bay, assisted by the strong southerly breeze, on arrival in Lizzie Bay, Barry had to abandon the ride, as his crook back was playing tricks. After saying goodbye to Barry, we headed for the Pacific Highway, where we turned right at the lights. We then had a nice surprise, being joined by Kevin Mc, who decided a shorter ride suited him better today. After a short chat we headed North, then turned left at Chain Valley Bay Road, then traversed this bumpy road to the next left turn off at Mulloway road, unfortunately some hoons were on the road, and made a nuisance of themselves.
After arrival at Mulloway Road we coasted downhill into CVB North, where we joined the bike track to CVB South. On arrival at Josh Porter Reserve, we were greeted by two lovely ladies who served us Coffee, Tea, and bikkies, thanks to Jill, and her assistant Ann, who was moving like she will be riding with us again in no time flat after her surgery. Lunch time was enjoyable, with lots of stories about life in general going on at our table, we all got our pennies' worth in the conversation. As we were about to leave, two yellow tailed black cockatoos flew overhead. Unfortunately, Frank U, our resident bird expert, missed them, due to being distracted by a fellow rider, so a positive confirmation was not available to us amateurs.
After lunch we headed for the Pacific Highway, up Tall Timbers Road, some of us finding the going easy, while those who indulged themselves over Xmas and New Year struggling a bit. The ride back to Doyalson was not too bad as the Southerly wind must have been blocked by the trees alongside the road. Kevin turned off at Rutleys Road, and headed home to Mannering Park, his day over. The rest of us headed South, to the bus stop at the top of the old Pacific Highway. John L left us at this stage, Ian took over as ride manager, and James the sweep duties. Hans assisted James on the way back to Peel Street, thanks Hans.
When we arrived at Charmhaven, John L’Es left us to catch the train back to Woy Woy, and Chris left us to return to Wadalba, great effort from both these boyz. The rest of us cycled back to Peel street with no drama, no mechanical problems encountered. After a chat amongst our riders we all headed home, the Newcastle/Lake Macquarie boyz headed off for coffee, another great effort from these boys, travelling so far each week to ride with us.
The ride was 40km, the speeds from Strava ranged from 17.5 to 19.6km/hr, the temperature ranged from 19-23°C, we climbed 300 metres, the Southerly varied from 25-30km/hr.
Don’t forget what John mentioned at our pre-ride talk today, next week we will be riding in the opposite direction to the advertised ride, that is, we will ride to Wyong, then Long Jetty for lunch, returning via WBD to Peel street.

Coasters on the bike path at Buff Point, on Budgewoi Lake
Friday 5 January 2018 - Blue Haven
Twenty-eight riders in the Coasters this morning, would you believe. Conditions warm, sunny, ENE breeze climbing in strength from 2 knots at 0900hrs to 13 knots at 1300 (1.00pm for you non-technical types). The beautiful ENE breeze kept us cool in the otherwise warm morning. Paul designed and executed the ride today, with Bernie sweeping up the tail.
We started off on a short jaunt up to Soldiers Beach for variety and to add some distance. Unfortunately Bernie fell off on Soldiers Beach Road and grazed his knee and his arm, but plugged on remorselessly. Then down through some back streets to the Toukley Bridge where we did a clover-leaf on the footpath to go under said bridge, except Doug who followed his usual path on the road and overshot the underpass (see the photos).
After a pit-stop at the Fish Co-op we continued along The Corso, and Panorama Avenue et al to the Charmy Bridge, where we did another cloverleaf turn and found ourselves in deepest Blue Haven. After a long and pointless foray into the backwaters of BH we returned to civilisation and headed towards Budgewoi on the bike path. Nah, BH is nice, really.
It was lovely riding along next to the river and lake. Most of that path we didn't even have a few years ago. Now it's the pride of the shire. Council, then. We soon finished up at Lakes Beach café where the management had kindly arranged a table for 28. The daughter-in-law with her baby attached looked after us very well. Thanks. That was about the end of it as we all just headed for home. Thanks for coming everyone, well done. The minimum distance ridden was about 35km but a few riders from home did up to nearly 60km, like Chris B.
Many photos are on display here.

A very choppy Lake Tuggerah as seen from the Toukley Bridge
Wednesday 3 January 2018 - Group 2.0 Mannering Park
Big group in G2 today - 26 riders, including a guest, Joan, who has been riding in France. Conditions very favorable viz cloudy, spots of rain only, warm 24°C, southerly breeze 15-25 knots mostly helpful.
Warwick managed the ride, and Doug looked after the stern. Over the Toukley Bridge and onto The Corso to Charmhaven bridge, then up through Blue Heaven. Popping out at Roper Road and following the Pacific Highway up to Doyalson, using Wyee Road to avoid the intersection, then continuing up the hwy to Rutleys Road, in a beautiful tail wind.
Straight to our lunch venue at Vales Point Park, where all facilities were available, only stopping at the lunch shop for pies and coffee, just me and a few others. After we were fed and watered, Waz took us along the lakeside bike path to Griffith Street. There was a huge regatta taking place at the Mannering Park Amateur Sailing Club, with hundreds of catamarans of all sizes, especially Taipans, sailing in the brisk breeze or on the grass. Continuing up to Vales Point Road then down to the highway, where Waz warned us to be careful crossing the road. This warning had little effect on some people who just sauntered across the road, walking, looking the other way, while the traffic bore down on them at 80kmh, lights flashing and horns blaring, slowing down and missing riders by 1 or 2 seconds. Sheesh!
At Doyalson we waited for a while then crossed the intersection as per the protocol in a safe manner. Jill and Trevor headed off home at this point. The rest of us continued to the San Remo bus shelter and down Emu Avenue to the river, where many locals headed back to Buff Point, and Carol joined them on her way back to The Entrance, completing 77km for the day. Well done Carol!
We then continued back to Toukley Bridge on our way to Peel street, except for us westies, me, Virginia and Chris, who had already done that section earlier and just went home, and probably Doug who would have bailed out at Gorokan. Let me know if this is untrue.
Despite the stiff breeze which was mostly benevolent, we enjoyed an interesting and enjoyable ride, thanks to Waz and Doug, and everybody who came along. Don't forget that next week Group 1 is starting at Blacksmiths. Check your calendar.

The luncheon scene at Vales Point Park. Visitor Joan in the blue singlet.
The Entrance channel - paradise!
Friday 29 December 2017 - Coasters ride to Long Jetty
A day of worsening conditions - NE breeze increasing from 5 to 13 knots, and temperature rising to 32°C by 12.30pm, otherwise very pleasant with sunny skies. Twenty riders present, with Pam leading us out, and Doug looking after the tail. Pam went home as we got to Blue Bay due to family visitors, and Annie D went home near the end due to medical appt.
Pam took us up to the back roads to Denison Street for better visibility, then down Wilfred Barrett Drive (WBD) with a lovely tailwind helping out. After a re-group at Roberts Street just before the The Entrance (T/E) bridge, Pam took us through T/E CBD, being careful about hordes of tourists flaunting their bodies and car doors. Fortunately that didn't happen and we all got through OK. The channel looked magnificent today, see the photo above, with plenty of holiday-makers out everywhere, even along Canton Beach on Tuggerah Lake.
After Pam left us, Col took over the ride managing, even though he was out of his depth in the back streets of Long Jetty, but Pedro helped out there, with some luck bringing us out at the right spot. Once on the lake at Long Jetty, we headed north up WBD into a stiffish breeze, mostly cool, no stopping at DCE for caffè today - we had a date with the Vietnam Vets Café in Evans Road for our coffee. Paul arranged for our visit and let them know how many were coming. still had only one barista on duty though. Untrained I guess. Still, a very nice cuppa and plenty of room to sit down and park our bikes. Everybody else there was either inmates or staff, so we felt a bit special. Cheap coffee and food too, being a non-profit organisation.
After m/t we headed back to Jenny Dixon Reserve (JDR), or some of us anyway. A contingent of four kept heading west, and down to Canton Beach, viz Linda, Doug, Barry and me, as we all headed straight for home, with me reaching nearly 47km for the day, while some riders on the north side reaching 50km for the day.
Thanks for coming everyone for a delightful ride together. Hopefully someone from the Skylarkers will do a report of their excellent ride from JDR, up to the top of the SRA at Freemans, before racing down to Crackneck Lookout for a 72km ride.
The peaceful gardens of the VietVets café

Skylarkers at the top of Crackneck Lookout 29/12/2017
Skylarkers - Friday 29 December 2017
[Ken was invited on this ride, but chose to do an earlier more local ride]. Ok ok, I eat my hat - Ken wasn't keen to come after all and who can blame him on this hot day. However, 6 lucky Skylarkers started 1 hour earlier and very glad we did, considering our route of SRA and Crackneck. Having blattered up SRA, we saw Cindy on the opposite side of the road on our return South down WBD. She eventually caught up with us when we stopped for water/rest/regroup near Entrance info centre and joined our pilgrim up Crackneck! As we were heading out of The Entrance, I heard this familiar voice shout my name - I turned round to see Richard, hardly recognisable in civvies but he looked very happy. Climbing Crackneck was quite an effort for all of us on such a warm day but the view was worth it -sort of!!
We had a good rest in the shade watching a drone hovering around then a cracking ride back down the hill to Shelly Beach SLSC with a great spot in the shade and a cooling Nor Easter breeze. Well, we had to move eventually if we wanted to get home. A bit hot going up WBD by this time but a decent pace set by Dave, made it a tad easier! 64klms achieved with a very enjoyable bunch of lads!! Sorry, I didn't mean to write a book but it was a fun ride.
Relaxing at Crackneck before rolling down to Shelly Beach SLSC for coffee
Wednesday 27 December 2017 - Club Ride
Very nice day for riding, breeze 10 knot E, 25°C, cloudy/sunny, fine. Twenty-three riders accumulated at Peel Street, Toukley. As the ride was a social one with no hard bits, we decided to join the two groups, hence the big group. Barry volunteered (ha!) to lead a mystery ride, then told us all the route. Doug took the rear gunner position, thanks very much the two of you.
An interesting ride, down to Gorokan, up Wahroonga Road to Wadalba, then up Orchid Way to Johns Road. Not up the big hill, but a quick detour through the newish estate, via Figtree Boulevard to the pathway to the highway near Macca's. It won't be long before they finish the very new estate which will allow us to ride straight through Wadalba to Figtree Blvd.
After a short pit-stop at Macca's, we continued along the highway towards Minnesota Road. Tricked Ric who thought it was the other direction. Baz then led us along Minnesota Road and turned right into Warnervale Road. This is where I came unstuck, conituing along WV Rd to the wetlands, but no, Baz took them a different way, then crossed Sparky at Minnesota then rode up Hiawatha, which meant I and my faithful retinue would never see them again. Rolf, Doug and I waited for ages and went looking for the missing péloton in vain, but they were already drinking their coffee at the Nursery café at Charmhaven. My fault, misunderstood the instructions, thanks to Rolf and Doug for rescuing me.
After a very nice m/t (I had a pavlova and iced coffee!) we were on our way again, across the hwy and down Moala Parade to The Corso, while I just went home as I had already done the next part. A very pleasant and sociable ride with a big group, which included Michelle from the CCTCC who joined us for the first time. Thanks everyone for coming. See you again on Friday.
Friday 22 December 2017 - Skylarkers
Six Skylarkers rocked up today, namely John, Tony, Ken, Dave, Lance and myself. Yarramalong was the chosen destination and the clouds got darker the further we went until we got spits and spots half way along Yarramalong Road. We all got wet in the face, then by the time we reached the cafe, it was dry roads again. We lounged around for a long time there and I forgot to take a photo plus our regular professional photographer (Rick) wasn't there. So I'm afraid you'll have to make do with one from Patonga at 7am on Tuesday!! 73 klms ridden in near perfect cycling weather -it only got hot homeward bound along the Rollercoaster reaching 35°C max. A very Merry and safe Christmas to all our club members and their families - see you in the New Year!
Friday 15 December 2017 - Coasters
Coasters Ride Report 15/12/17
Well what a change in the weather from yesterday, refreshing southerly with temperature to 25°C. Twenty-one riders turned up At Jenny Dixon Park to ride. I planned a ride to Wyong and coffee at Farm Gate Café, Graeme Chaston was our ride manager and Doug put his hand up again to Sweep thanks again Doug.
We had to have a slight change at the start, our normal path way was under repairs, so we had to ride up to the Cemetery and down through the Caravan Park, linking up to Main Road. over the bridge and working our way to Marks Rd. Then on to Tuggerawong Rd for a regroup at the bottle shop. After a refreshing stop it was down to Jensen Rd, where we had a regroup at the end of the road. Westley Steele informed us that he was not feeling well, due to a recurrence of the Ross River Fever, also Doug was not feeling great. After a quick chat, Doug and Westley decided to ride to the Farm Gate Cafe and freshen up and the rest of us proceeded to Wyong Toilet Block for a pit stop and freshen up. Then it was back to Pollock Ave up to the Highway then down to the Farm Gate Café for a refreshing break.
After coffee we decided to ride through Warnie’s Land out onto Warnervale Rd. Then up up Minnesota Rd. then Sparks Rd. then through the wetlands,up to the Highway and a regroup at Moala Pde. Moonie, Chris, Westley and Doug had left us to make their way home. Then down the hill right on the Corso, Main Rd. right at the lights at Dunleigh Street, working our way back to Jenny Dixon Reserve.
I believe everyone enjoyed the ride, which was approx. 41Km.
A big thank you to Graeme and to Jen. for taking over sweeping after Doug went home earlier and thank you everybody for turning up to ride.
Paul F.
Morning tea for Group 1 at Shelly Beach SLSC

Wednesday 13 December 2017 - Tuggerah Lake Circuit with Tumbi Road deviation
Big turn-up at Peel street this morning - 24 riders in Group 2.0i, and 16 in G1 (40 riders!), when we finally got them all. Hot weather, 31°C by the time I got home, but with a brisk NE breeze ranging from 5 knots at 0900 to 15 knots by 2.00pm when G1 finished. The breeze had a cool component to it, so it made the ride much more comfortable, even if it was a bit strong coming up Wilfred Barrett Drive.
Paul F led G1 and Barry kindly looked after the back end. At Wyongah Paul led us up Wahroonga Road and via Orchid Way to Johns Road and Pollock Avenue to the Wyong toilets. Once through Tuggerah we used Lake and Church Roads to get to Chittaway then along Wyong Road to Tumbi Road, before somehow finishing up at Shelly Beach SLSC for coffee. After that we had a re-group on the way to The Entrance where Paul advised us to make our own way back home, so we were all strung out, with Barry and I at the back. Paul waited for us at the new bike path terminus, so we rode out along Evans Road together. Baz and I stopped for more coffee at the Beach Parade café, then we went home. For me it was 66km - a good ride with cooling breeze, not too hard. Thanks Paul and Baz. See you all again next year. Don't forget if you want a ride on 27 December, just turn up at Peel Street and we'll think of something.

Group 2 report
Lovely day even though it was a little warm at the start for our ride to The Entrance and Picnic Point. James meet us all at the start but he was unable to ride today. Hope your knee is better for next week. 22 riders turned up for this weeks ride. We were missing some of our regulars, hope they are all just busy in the lead up to Xmas and are keeping well.
We left Peel St after John had given us the directions for the ride and Doug was to keep us all in check at the back. The first regroup was the cemetery, then John told the faster riders to take off and we would meet up again near the park at The Entrance North. When we got to The Entrance Simon was there to meet us. At this stage Ev decided she needed a coffee and to try to do some adjustments to her bike so John L’Est went to keep her company and enjoy a coffee and afterwards they would meet us for lunch at Picnic Point.
The rest followed the shoreline around the Entrance, Toowoon Bay and down Shelly Beach Rd onto the cycle path and onto lunch.
After lunch John wished Kevin, Doug and Mike a Happy Birthday. I would also like to wish James Happy Birthday for 11/12/17.
We then got onto our bikes for the ride home and this is when we had our only incident for the day. Paul had a fall at slow speed, not getting his foot out of the cleat in time and came down giving his head a nasty bang. He had to be patched up with bandaids on his nose and forehead. He may also have to ask Santa for a new helmet for Xmas. Hope you are feeling OK and don’t have too much of a headache.
We all made our way down WBD and our last regroup at the cycle path where we said our goodbyes to the Budgewoi mob. It was lovely to see Ray ride with us for the first time this visit from England.
After we got off the bike path it was time for Chris, Doug and Virginia to head for Toukley Bridge and home. The rest hopefully made it back to Peel St OK.
Thanks everyone for your company and an enjoyable ride. We travelled approx 43km with average speed 17.5kmh.
Regards Virginia
Beach Parade café. By the time we left, that picture window on the right was covered with Xmas signs.
Friday 8 December 2017 - Coasters and Skylarkers
Coasters Mystery Ride
Just the 24 of us today, plus Wes who didn't stay long due to unwelcome Xmas Party to attend. Col led the ride, in his inimitable style, and Paul conceived the ride and swept up afterwards. Thanks you two old geezers.
Conditions were ideal, with no breeze, sunny/cloudy and warm, 29°C by the time I got home at noon. Down to Budgewoi then through the back streets near Halekulani and out Walu Pde into Buff Point. A convoluted route to Edgewater Park, then up Highview Avenue to Doyalson, then down the hwy to Goorama Ave, San Remo, left, right and back to the bridge along the creek path.
Quite a few riders had no idea where they were half the time, but will remember it all for next time. Back onto the hwy at Charmhaven, then along the lake road (Lowana, Panorama, Malvina and The Corso) to the Toukley Bridge, finishing up at a new café on Canton Beach called Beach Parade. While we were there, enjoying our iced coffees and the wonderful view over Tuggerah Lake, some signwriters covered the front window with chrismassy signs, completely blocking the view and the light. The lady I complained to said we should sit outside if we wanted to see anything. Good call!
Thanks for coming everyone - a perfect ride day.
Tuggerah Lake from Beach Parade

The Skylarkers crew at Shelly Beach SLSC café
Skylarkers - Kangy Angy
Six Skylarkers ventured out today in almost perfect conditions for cycling. This was Rick's Route and idea to end up at Shelly Beach SLSC. Marks Rd to Wyong, up Kangy Angy and chasing Tony up Enterprise Drive where he thought he might lose us but we all held on like glue! (Just a bit of wingeing from the back end!!!) Lucky Rick received a puncture around chittaway area and as you can see, managed quite perfectly on his own!! Photo here.
Eventually arriving at Shelly and we see why Rick chose this spot, plenty of nice cakes to choose from!! Good on yer Rick, you deserved that after the efforts of fixing your own puncture! A blat up WBD without the help of the expected Southerly but it was a coolish Nor Easter making it comfortable. The Southerly came when we got to the end at the cemetery. 60- 70 klms done in very pleasant conditions with likewise company!!

Wednesday 6 December 2017 - Xmas Party
No ride official today, but a lovely party instead, with 64 guests, at the Colongra Community Hall on the shores of the beautiful Lake Munmorah (see photo below).
Plenty of excellent door prizes, and beautiful food, thanks to Lois (salads) and Anne L (mains and sweets). Thanks also to the helpers - Barry, John, Robyn, Ev, and many more whose names will remain secret pending security clearances. And citizenship.
Our presidente, Ralph, gave a good speech (contact him for Hansard copies). We now have 90 members, thankfully not all of them come on the same day. Well done you club members! We should be so proud of this club, with wonderful adventurous members travelling all over the world and in this country. You're amazing!
Thanks for coming today. Anyone wishing to add to or replace this sketchy report is welcome to send their manuscript to the editor at the e-mail address on this page.
Danny. Here's another photo:
President Ralph, Linda (you should get your eyes checked, Linda) and reluctant John
Friday 1 December 2017 - Skylarkers
Six Skylarkers slunk off to Swansea today to see Nige's old friend at Marks Point, without him!! Ken, Rick, John, Chris, myself and we welcomed back Fred who's been away concentrating on MTB riding for quite some time. Beautiful North Easter kept us cool on the way up. A little topple from Ken but he managed to continue on ok.
I must say what great value the food and drinks are at Marks Point there. A bike club was just leaving as we arrived which is just as well as there's not much room for two bike groups. As you can see, Fred is following his English roots with a nice cup of tea and teapot! A pit stop at Blacksmiths then the hard trudge home. However, the cool strong Nor Easter gave us a nice tail wind. We were back at JD'S in time to catch Pam and Anne chatting after their Coasters ride. A good enjoyable ride of 74klms and Ken did 139!
Ken, John and Fred     Ric and Chris    No Irene!

The Toukley Cycle Club at Josh Porter Reserve, Chain Valley Bay South
Friday 1 December 2017 - Coasters
Very enjoyable ride today, from Jenny Dixon Reserve, Norah Head, to Chain Valley Bay South, Josh Porter Reserve. Conditions were perfect, with sunny skies, no clouds, no rain and a fresh north-easterly breeze of 15 knots, climbing from noon to 25 knots at 2.30pm, when we were all home. Danny was the ride manager, and Paul was the sweep.
With 21 riders we had a full complement, at times a bit of a handful but if you listen to your ride manager you can't go wrong. Up to Lizzie Bay Drive to the highway where we turned left towards Tall Timbers Road, against all expectations, but that's what the ride designer had stipulated. Cross at the lights at the shopping centre and down the new path to Josh Porter Reserve for a quick break.
Back on the road again and down the hwy to Doyalson and on to the Armco rail gateway at San Remo, for a quick trip down Emu Drive to the river. Paul had rung the Lakes Beach Café to book our table, for 20, so it was all laid out for us when we got there. we had to re-arrange the tables a bit to keep out of the sun, but otherwise no complaints. Thanks very much for the superb service, Gay and Wayne - we will come back here again.
It wasn't till I got home I found out how hot the temperature was, 31°C. No accidents and no punctures, except for the one I got on the way home through Gorokan. I sat under a nice tree, on some nice grass, and fixed it. A neighbour came out to see if I had everything I needed, yes thanks!
Thanks everyone for coming on our ride, especially to Danny and Paul for keeping us safe. Cheers
Josh Porter Reserve, CVBS
Wednesday 29 November 2017 - Group 1 ride to Shelley Beach
Group 1 had a shorter ride scheduled than group 2 today but still managed to haul in 18 members. Weather was very muggy and rain threatened but never eventuated. Barry was very happy to lead without any paper notes as he knows the ride down to Shelly Beach like the back of his hand. Doug kindly offered to do the sweeping up. It didn't take long to reach our first re-group at the cemetery where Barry "set us free" to do our own thing down WBD. Stopping down at our usual spot before the bridge, we picked up Simon.
Winding round Marine Parade at The Entrance was absolutely beautiful as we stopped to view the start of the new Groyne. Apparently it was supposed to be finished by now but you can see clearly its not long enough yet. At least they were working on it today with big bulldozers shifting the rocks. In no time at all, we descended into the glorious Shelly Beach to have various drinks and food which all arrived in a timely manner.
After a good chin wag and relaxation, it was time to head off up the bumpy road turning right into Redmyre Street, through Lions Park, popping out at the traffic lights to cross over to the bike path at Long Jetty. We are so lucky to have this lovely section to cycle all along the lake side. After dropping off Pam, Robyn and Viv at Picnic Point, the rest continued home whilst I ducked into the car park after the bridge having cycled up early this morning from there. 38klms for me but quite a few members did more as they cycled from home doing extra before the ride.
I'm pleased to say it was an uneventful day out with no punctures or incidents and Barry did an excellent job of Ride Manager and of course Doug is just the best Tuckerer inner!!! Apologies for no photos today - no excuses, just having such a good time, I forgot!!

Wednesday 29 November 2017 - Group 2.0i ride to Berkeley Vale
What a great day for riding bikes! Forty members thought so, and turned up at Peel Street, Toukley, to join either group 1 or 2, with 18 in G1 and 22 in G2. What a proud club we are!
Today I was riding with G2.0, as it was longer, and I needed to go to Cycology at Tuggerah on the way. John Lon was leading this ride, and Frank (no Shirley today) took up the rear position. Thanks John and Frank!
Conditions were delightful, with warm (25°C temperatures), cloudy sort of muggy day. The cool 5 knot southerly was very pleasant and kept us from overheating. On the way down to Wyong Bernie had a blow-out at Tacoma, so that was the end of his ride. Margaret L actually rode her bike from home today, so clocked up an extra 10km and got a stamp in her book.
I noticed that a screw was missing from my pedal yesterday, so planned to visit Cycology at Tuggers to get a replacement, but unfortunately there is no such thing. So they just tightened the remaining screws. I had left the Wyong toilets early for this visit, and when I had finished i had no idea whether the rest of the Group had been through Tuggerah or not. I had a good look out for them, but decided they must have already ridden through. Only a phone call a couple of minutes later from Margie L put us all back on the right track. Thanks Margaret!
John took us all right around the Supacenter and under the bridge on our way down to Pindari Avenue. We made our way along that funny little track by Wyong Road till we got to Pindari, then I led them down to Lakedge Avenue, knowing the way as I do. At Lakedge Ave I turned left thinking everyone would follow me, but as I got near Blue Bell Park I realised I was on my own again, so backtracked to Pindari, but nobody was visible. I had figured out by then that John had taken the ride onto the bike path, so I followed them back along there. This is why my Strava totals are more than the others (60km).
After a very nice morning tea we set off again, straight to Wyong Road and back to the Wyong Toilets. Margaret left us there for Tacoma South, bet she was so glad she didn't have to ride back to Peel Street. I hived off at Wyongah, so I hope everyone got back safely. Thanks for coming on the ride everyone. Thanks to everyone who helped, and those who didn't. Yeah, I forgot to take any photos either!

But wait, there's more! James' report on Group 2 ride
The weather tried to play tricks on us today, lots of riders experienced heavy rain on their way to Peel street, and others none. On arrival at Peel street, threatening clouds looked like we were going to get a dump of H2O anytime soon, luckily, we had no rain during the ride, the temperature got up a bit, but a cooling breeze kept us comfortable, for most of the ride. Chris Boi did not get back from his holidays in time to manage the ride, instead John L put his hand up to be the ride manager, for our group of 22 riders, Frank B had the sweep duties, Bones and David F fulfilled the roles of Marshalls, thanks to all these blokes. The riders in sign on order were James, Paul F, Evi, Darryl C, Westley, Jill and Trevor, Bones, Ian, David F, Marg G, Hans, Berny, John L’Es, Diane and George, John L, Danny, Marg L, Frank B, Mike, and Robert W. We set off into a Southerly breeze of 15km/hr, and it stayed this way all day, although due to the different twists and turns we took, it felt like a N.E.
After our ride talk from John, we headed to H.M.O. with all riders getting across at the Main street traffic lights in one go, first time ever for group 2. We then headed for Craigie park for our first regroup, the hills in this area seemed a bit flatter today, for most of our riders, we must be getting fitter. After our short stop at Craigie Park, John advised that our next stop was Tacoma, and that if we wanted to go for it, put your foot down, our gun riders of course took up the challenge, with Ian, Danny, Hans, Marg L, John L’Es, David, Di and George leading the way. The rest of us were either in the Peloton or at the tail with the sweep. After a short break under a great tree, with great river views, we headed off for Wyong, unfortunately, Berny had a major tube and tyre problem, and could not continue, even with the best of efforts from Westley, using up 2 off his gas cylinders, luckily, Berny’s wife Jan was contactable by phone, and picked up her hubby, thanks Jan.
Our next stop was at the Wyong convenience, where Danny left us to do some bike part shopping. We than progressed to Tuggerah Station, where we thought Danny would be, no luck, so Mike and Dave went to Cycology, only to be told he had left 15 minutes ago. After deciding Danny must be in front of us, it was onto the Bunning’s loop, and then the Wyong road bike track, where we found Danny sitting patiently. The bike track has become a bit bumpy these days, due to the tree roots lifting the pavement, we had to be off our seats most of the time to avoid a jarring ride, hopefully the C.C.C. will fix it soon. We proceeded along the track till we crossed from the South side of Wyong road, after crossing at the new traffic lights [Chittaway Road], which only stay green for a few seconds, we had a mad scramble to ensure we made it across the road in time, before the lights went red, we then continued East up the now hilly track, until we reached Pindarri Avenue, where we turned left, and headed down the steep hill that presented itself, lots of fun riding down this hill, with a few round-a-bouts designed to slow us down. At the end of Pindarri road it was a nice flat ride on the bike path to Blue-Bell park, we came into the park, from the East side, instead of the West side as we do for most of our rides. On arrival at Blue-Bell park the pie shop beckoned for the pie lovers, the non-pie lovers, satisfied themselves with coffee from the great little take-a-way shop.
Tables were in short supply, so we asked a young woman if we could sit at her table. As it was, she was a fellow bike rider interested in riding with other people, after we had admonished her for not wearing a helmet, we gave her the details of our club, most of the people we meet this way generally don’t join us, but, we will wait and see. When lunch was finished, Mike, Bones, David, and Westley decided to return to Peel street, via the Entrance, leaving us five down. The rest of us headed for Wyong, returning via our normal route to Wyong road, bike track. Cycling along the track some young women moved aside to let us pass, one of them made a comment to one of our male riders, about his nice chest as he had his shirt open for cooling, she knew how to hurt a guy. After crossing the new bridge, another rider stopped us near Tuggerah station, and wanted details about our club, which we speedily gave him, with details about our rides, watch out Skylarkers, you may have a challenger, looked very fit and honed. We then regrouped at the Wyong conveniences, before heading off to Peel Street, Marg L left the ride at this point to return home as Marg had ridden to Peel street. Danny left us somewhere along Tuggerawong road, the rest of us headed for Peel street, our rear ends earning a well-deserved rest in a comfy seat.
Today we welcomed back John L’Es after a few months off due to his accident, he rode a different bike, when asked about the change, he said it had extra low gears to help him on his way, I don’t think he needed much help, the way he kept overtaking other riders. Hans also joined us today with his special bike. A few weeks ago, we said how bad our Central Coast drivers were, compared to those at Cessnock, well, today they were great, with lots of drivers giving way to us when they did not have to give way, good effort C.C. drivers. This ride is one of our better rides, especially riding underneath the canopy of trees on the Wyong Road bike track, some parts were like a rain forest.
We rode 54kms, speeds varied from 16km/hr at the tail, to 19.5km/hr at the front of the ride. We climbed 300 metres. The temperature varied between 22-25°C, although it seemed a lot hotter when we stopped moving, quite pleasant while riding. Don’t forget next week there will be no ride as we are having our XMAS party.
Friday 24 November 2017 - Skylarkers
Seven Super Skylarkers scooted off to Terrigal today. Nice to see John back safe from his Jollies! Terrific weather conditions with a cooling Nor Easter kicking in mid morning. Ken left us after coffee to get home before it got too hot and the rest of us took it easy on our return journey. Distance for Chris and I was 70 klms but everyone else did a bit more - 80 to 90. A great ride enjoyed by all.

Friday 24 November 2017 - Coasters
What a top morning for a ride! Blue Skies and temp.of about 25°C and nineteen riders turning up for enjoyable ride. Pam Young was elected to be Ride Manager and Waz put his hand up again for sweep( Thanks Waz).
The ride was planned to Bluebell Park and return, with Pam having a regroup at the start of WBD, sending off first any rider that felt like having a hit out and leaving the rest of the riders to enjoy a relaxing ride to North Entrance. After a refreshing stop, we pushed on to Toowoon Bay, enjoying the beautiful scenery of what the Ocean had to offer. At Toowoon Bay, I rang John at The Entrance and booked our number for Coffee (Reserve Seats) only the best for the Coasters!
Pam took us down Swaddling St. and then on to the bike Path and working our way to Bluebell Park, where we stopped for a well-deserved break and toilet stop. She then took us down Lakedge Ave. after riding for about 3km, we worked our way back on the bike path and then onto Toilet Block at Long Jetty, where we took a photo of Pam today and Pam when she little girl. Then it was onto our reserved seats at the Coffee Shop, where plenty of good stories were told.
After a refreshing stop, it was back onto the bikes then onto WBD and pushing into a fairly strong North Easter. Pam was doing a great job leading up front, but doing it a bit tuff into the strong wind, so Col and myself decided to take turns of the lead, making it a bit easier for her. Thanks Pam you did a great job.
I believe we all had a great ride, with everybody back safe and sound and no punctures, Riding approx 44Km.
Paul F.
[I had appointments so couldn't come today, sorry, Danny]

This is Pam now, and that's her in 1948 at the top right, as a little girl in a white dress.
Lunch at Brighton-le-Sands
Wednesday 22 November 2017 - Meadowbank to Brighton-le-Sands
Spiffing day down in the big city - eight riders, perfect conditions, lovely people... A bit hard to get to, if you drove you had to leave home by 0700 to make sure, train travellers caught the train at Wyong at 7.50am. Four riders used each mode of transport, and we all met up at Meadowbank rail, even if we didn't actually start the ride till 9.45am. You can catch the Central train to Eastwood, then you have to change to a local train to get to MBank. Opposite on the way home.
Those participating were Warwick, Westley, Dave, Danny, Barry, Paul M, Kerrie and me, Danny. All on good road bikes except Dave, whose MTB had problems later in the day with its tubeless tyres. In fact Dave rode the last few kms on a flat rear tyre - still worked OK but!
Waz knew the way, as did Paulie, so we very seldom got lost, then only because the roads were closed and we got re-routed. So Waz led the ride and Dave hung around the back end, thanks to you two.
This is a very interesting ride, through all sorts of terrain, along the Cooks River, which starts off as a pathetic little drain in a concrete culvert, but by the end develops into a full-blown river, with rapids and waterfalls (not quite). You have to pay close attention to avoid running into furniture, or missing a turn, but we only did that a few times. It's very interesting to ride through such strange territory, with distractions like large aircraft taking off near us, and many roads we had to cross, including zig-zag pedestrian-calming devices.
After pedalling along the sea-shore, we arrived at our lunchtime destination - a nice café on the water (see the photos). Everybody had a decent lunch, as well as coffee-type drinks, while enjoying the lovely surroundings. Eventually we set off again back the same way we came. The Strava map looks like one line between the start and stop spots, except where we had to detour, or took the wrong track, like Dave and I did for a few minutes.
Paul peeled off before the Parramatta River to do a loop to Silverwater for extra mileage. You win, Paul! When we got back to Meadowbank, the car drivers found their cars, while we train travellers found the platform to catch the train. I stopped to buy a paper, then to finalise my Strava, meanwhile the train pulled in and took off with the girls, and I missed it. While I was waiting for the next one, a Newcastle train roared through, so I knew I would never see Pam or Kerrie again, so I buried my nose in the paper and went home by myself. I used three trains to get home. I got home at 5.45pm, a ten and a half hour absence from home. Not complaining though, as it was a very enjoyable ride, thanks for coming you other guys. More photos are here.
Kezza, Wes and Baz by the sea

Wed 22/11/2017 TDCC Grp 2 ride. NVille-Budge-LakeMunrh-SRA-LizBay loop
With Group 1 at an OOT ride in Sydney that promised such a good ride, several of our group 2 riders decided to go to Sydney for the day, so we were expecting a lower than normal turnout. As usual, we were wrong, and 23 riders turned up for the ride, including some extra fast riders from the Skylarkers group. A large contingent from the New Zealand excursion were also present. The weather was perfect for the planned ride, with a Southerly of 10-15km/hr blowing in the direction we required.
The riders in sign on order were James, Darryl C, Trevor, Jill, Di, George, Doug, Ian, Frank U, Col, Paul F, Robert W, Peter H, Kevin, Berny, Frank B, Tony, John l, Marg L, Virginia, Bones, Mike S, and Ken L. James was the ride manager, though not the ride leader on the road, Frank B was the sweep, assisted by John L. Thanks guys.
After getting our ride instructions, we headed for the start point in Leonard St, then we headed for Aldi, not stopping for the Wednesday specials, and soon we were at Noraville heading down the road to Budgewoi. The Peloton and most of the riders went down the old road at Lakes Beach, with some riders hightailing it down the main road at high speed, assisted by the Southerly breeze. On arrival at Budgewoi, Virginia left the ride to return home, via the bike track, to attend to family matters, thanks for letting us know Virginia. After our regroup at Slade Park we headed under the Budgewoi bridge, then via Budgewoi circle headed for Elizabeth Bay, for our next regroup after the second round-about.
During the regroup, Tony advised us that himself and Ken L would part ways with us at the Pacific Highway, and turn left, to extend the length of their ride, thanks for letting us know guys. The rest of us turned right at the Pacific Highway, and after a short regroup due to the traffic lights, we headed up the Pacific Highway to Kanangra Drive, where we turned left, then did a U turn as there is no right turn into the SRA from the Highway. The ride up the hill to Kanangra Drive is made a bit harder than desired, due to the rough pebbles used in the finish on the road, a smooth surface would be nice Mr RTA.
After crossing at the traffic lights, we regrouped, before setting off on the roller-coaster road that meanders through the park. Thankfully, lunch was planned at Elizabeth Bay, and not at Tea Tree park, as the ride out is a bit tough. High speeds were obtained on the way down the hill to Elizabeth Bay, but six of our riders decided not to stop at Elizabeth Bay and continued onto Peel Street. The rest of us relaxed under the trees, with our coffee and goodies purchased from the local shop, some munched on home-made goodies. Ian told us about the trip to NZ, and how much the group enjoyed the trip. Ian said the hills sometimes were a bit steeper than what we are used to locally.
After a prolonged lunch we headed up the hill out of Elizabeth Bay, but it was hard to get our legs pumping. Once on top of the hill we found that the wind had changed from a Southerly to a North Easterly, so the trip back to Budgewoi was a breeze. Once at Budgewoi, we had a mass exodus of riders, with Jill, Trevor, Di, George, Ian, Frank U and Paul leaving us for home.
Last week it was remiss of me not to welcome back Frank U to our ride group, after his operation. For your info, Frank rode as good as ever, must have done some practice beforehand.
Also via Strava it was good to see John L’Es riding again, he tells us he plans to ride to Myrtleford in Victoria next March, and to ride with our people going on the holiday there.
Darry C was back riding after his little mishap last week. We experienced no bike or medical problems, no accidents etc, however, Bob W had a little fall while stationary at the finish line, luckily he fell onto the grass. Thanks to all the participants and helpers.
From Strava we travelled around 30km, the average speeds varied from 17km/hr for the tail, with the lead group travelling around 19.5 km/hr. I did not include Tony and Ken’s speed, as they went on a different route, but they ride about 25km/hr, very impressive. The wind was, as already mentioned, the temperature ranged from 21 to 23°C. We climbed around 230 metres. All-in-all a nice ride with no problems.
Tuggerah Lake from Toukley Bridge
Friday 17 November 2017 - Coasters
After overnight showers we weren't expecting too much riding today, but it turned out all fine and sunny this morning, albeit with a 13 knot NNE breeze. Fifteen riders made their way to Jenny Dixon Reserve, Norah Head, for the usual mystery ride with coffee. Paul organised the ride, and nominated Westley as the ride manager. Warwick volunteered to be Sweep, and did a fine job of it.
With the wind coming from the north, Paul wisely chose a route that went west, so we didn't have to fight against it all morning. Wes led us down to the Toukley Bridge and on to Marks Road, just to get the blood circulating. We then turned right into Wahroongah Road and followed that road to the end, at Louisiana Road, where we turhed left onto the path beside the Fire Station, and into Wadalba. Ignoring my suggestion of going up Mascord Avenue to The Ridge, we continued along Van Stappen Road to Orchid Way in a vain effort to avoid the hill, then down Orchid to Johns Road. I did have a little drama at the regroup on Orchid Way, but managed to land on my feet by sacrificing the bike. Bernie also had a fall somewhere, and scuffed his knee, but bravely pushed on.
Being a little more familiar with the area, I took the club along to Figtree Blvd to find the little pathway through to the highway near Macca's. Unfortunately Wes got a bit ahead of me while I was posting a corner and we missed a good chance to go straight ahead around Settlement Drive to the path, but we eventually made it anyway. After crossing at the lights we cycled down the Pacific Highway to the Dam Hotel and left into Minnesota Road.
In no time at all we were at the Charmhaven Nursery, half an hour early according to the café staff, and, after a chap decided to vacate the table in our favour, we all sat together for a nice m/t, with a lovely friendly waitress (can I say that?). It started raining at this stage and continued as we rode back. Didn't affect me much though, as I live only 1200 metres from the nursery. I expect everyone else got back to JDR OK. A very satisfying and pleasant experience, thank you to everyone who came on the ride. Don't forget next Wednesday we have an OOT ride for Group 1, starting at the Meadowbank railway station. Train leaves Wyong at 7.49am, change at Eastwood for M'Bank at 9.05am.
The crew at the top of San Remo
Wednesday 15 November 2017 - Group 1 ride to Chain Valley Bay North
Really nice day at Toukley, sunny, warm, a NE breeze kicked in right on 9.00am and kept increasing to 20 knots... Fourteen riders came to Peel Street. Col led the scheduled ride up to CVBN, and Paul Fl took on Rear Scout.
We had to form a Group 3 on the day for the slightly injured riders viz Barry, Ev and Lyn R. Lyn was even more injured by the time we finished as she fell off and scratched herself up. So G3 went off up to Budgewoi and across to San Remo for a shorter ride, and bumped into G1 at Buff Point as we came around the lake the other way.
So for G1, viz Col, Danny, Paul, Tony, Ric, Linda, Peter, Ralph, Ken, Marshall and Kerrie, we rode down to the Toukley Bridge and along The Corso and Panorama Ave to the Charmy Bridge, then back to Budgewoi. Up Lizzie Bay Drive, into a stiff NE headwind, to the highway, and right towards CVB Road, and up to Mulloway Rd.
After turning into Mulloway, we enjoyed the tailwind for most of the trip back to Norah Head. Back down the hwy to San Remo, down past Camp Breakaway to the lake, and back to Budgewoi, but trying to avoid the same roads, as Col had done that route for the 3rd time today.
Popped out at Budgie, then right along Budgewoi Road to Noraville and up to the Arc Café for coffee. I must say, with the riders we had, it was more like a Skylarkers benefit as the pace was a cracker. Linda and I got caught out crossing the road at Budgie, and by the time we got across, the péloton had ridden out of sight, and we didn't see them again till the cafe. With a total net ride distance of about 60km, and the fast pace, coffee was very welcome. My distance was 70km, and Tony, Paul and Ric over 70, Ken, of course, leaving us at the Armco fence at San Remo to ride back to Wyoming, rode 108km for the day.
Thanks for riding today, you fellow club members, I really enjoyed the ride.
PS Don't forget, next week is an away ride for Group 1, from Meadowbank.

Wed 15/11/2017 TDCC Grp 2 ride. Cessnock-Bellbird-Millfield-Ellalong-Kitchener-Cessnock loop
We thought that today’s ride would give some of our riders high levels of apprehension, due to the amount of undulating roads (Peter Holt’s words for a hilly course) we would encounter. Thankfully it did not turn off most of our riders, 19 spritely riders turned up at the big flywheel for our adventure through the farmlands of the Cessnock hinterlands. Warwick and Robyn travelled from Umina, and for a change the Lake Macquarie boyz, Darryl M, Darryl C, and Paul F had a shorter trip to the start line than usual. The weather was very pleasant when we arrived at the Big Wheel and stayed that way all day, with a cooling breeze present all day.
John L was the ride manager, Warwick, Frank U, and James shared the sweep duties. David F and Westley S shared the Marshalling duties. The riders in sign on order were, John, David, Robyn, Frank U, Warwick, Hans, George R, Di, Mandy, Kee, Kevin M, Darryl C, Paul F, Westley, James, Trevor and Jill, Marg G, and Darryl M.
After our pre-ride briefing from John, we headed along Aberdare Rd to Vincent Street. What is normally a congested crossing at the lights was made easier by a local Bus Driver who allowed all our riders to pass him on the left side before he turned left, thanks Mate. After meandering around the back streets, we turned onto Wollombi Road and headed towards Bluebell. John set a good pace but always kept a keen eye on the tail. We had a regroup before Bluebell Hill to get our breath and thoughts together, we then headed under the old railway bridge and up Bluebell Hill. Our gun riders rode it as though it was flat, the rest of us struggled a bit, although it seemed easier that our last attempts. After a short rest at the top of Bluebell hill we headed towards Millfield, the road was mostly downhill, so a fast and pleasant ride followed.
On arriving at Millfield and dodging the road works, we turned left at Sanctuary road and headed for Ellalong, passing the old pubs at Paxton and Ellalong. A few of the riders took photographs of the Ellalong Lagoon, which is an oasis in the middle of nowhere. Information signs indicated that plenty of platypus live in this lagoon. After leaving Ellalong we ventured onto the great named Sandy Creek Road. It undulated a bit more than we hoped for, still, we set a good pace to Quorrobolong Rd where we turned left. Up the road to the top of the hill is not that steep, but it goes on forever, and some of our riders struggled a bit and one rider ended up walking the last 300 metres. Unfortunately, on arrival at the top of the hill we stopped for a breather, one of our riders had a medical episode, and fell to the ground. Luckily, he was stationary at the time, and on the grass verge, so no damage was done to his body.
After an assessment of his condition, and from his prior experience with a similar episode, he asked us not to call the ambulance. Luckily two drivers stopped and offered their assistance. One nice lady offered to take him back to Cessnock, and the offer was accepted. The rest of the riders soldiered onto the Khartoum Hotel at Kitchener for a lunch break. By the time our rider had reached Cessnock, he had fully recovered, and assured us that he was ok to drive home. Apparently, the problem was low blood pressure, due to the pills he was taking. One of our riders rode ahead to check he was ok, and not left on his own.
Aside from the fore mentioned matter, the ride was a great success and tested our stamina, and skill, the ride was 36km long, the average speeds varied from 16 to 19 km/hr, we climbed 440 metres (seemed more), the temperatures varied from 21 to 27 degrees, the wind speed was mostly from the NE at 10 to 25 km/hr. Just a note about the Cessnock region’s drivers, they are much more courteous than us on the Central Coast, congratulations to the people of Cessnock.

Skylarkers at Lemon Tree. Ken, Chris, Tony and Ric
Friday 10 November 2017 - Skylarkers
Five Skylarkers ventured out to Lemon Tree via Dooralong today. Ken, Tony, Rick and us two. Countryside sooooo lush and green after all the rain. No wild animals straying across our path today Danny O'Shea. We found this lovely driveway to take photos and as we don't stop much on Skylarkers, there's not many different shots!! Tony and Ken got a bit excited riding "a hill too far" for me n Rick so Chris chased them down and you can see the determination on Ken's face to get back up the hill again! Approximately 80 klms done with coffee at the railway cafe, Wyong station. Nice day out, plenty of sunshine and no too hot.

Coasters at Soldiers Beach
Friday 10 November 2017 - Coasters local ride
A fine sunny morning brought 21 riders up to Jenny Dixon Reserve (JDR) for a mystery ride, as always. Ralph led the ride, with assistance from Paul F. Warwick looked after the tail end, thanks everyone.
Pushing off at 0900 sharp, we rode down to Budgewoi, through all the broken glass, but didn't have a puncture all day. From the bike path to Buff Point we detoured on to Buff Point Avenue to Edgewater Park. This road parallels exactly the bike path, so it's no quicker. After a leisurely pause at Edgewater Park, we continued on to San Remo, under the highway bridge and on a big tour of Blue Heaven. Almost the full length of Roper Road to Colorado Drive and back to the bridge.
After another stop at Edgewater Park, we travelled the full length of the path to Budgewoi, then down Budgewoi Road to Lakes Beach Café for a delicious morning tea/lunch. Thanks everybody for coming. From my place I totted up 51km, while the bare ride was about 35km.
Coffee at Lakes Beach

Alpacas gambolling on Ourimbah Creek Road
Wednesday 8 November 2017 - Grupetto 1, Hidden Valley
It poured rain for about 4 hours up till 8 o'clock this morning, then came over all nice, eh! Eight riders presented at the Wyong toilets, then we picked up Paul Murray at Tuggerah rail. Others in the grupetto were Paul Flacco, Nigel, Ric, Irene, Kee, Ken, Ralph and Danny, the leader (nominally). A slight southerly (Seabreeze® says 20 knots but I don't believe it) kept us fresh in the 20°C temperature.
After we got to the bottom of Tuggerah Straight, we found the path under the road fenced off, with a sign saying 'path closed', and another one saying 'use the traffic lights at Wyong Road, you dummies', so we did and it was very pleasant. Once we got over Kangy Angy and motored south for a while, we turned right at Palmdale Grove to reach Footts Road, past the crematorium. Turning right at the end of Footts Road, we entered a wonderland of nature and surprises. Firstly, there is no gravel section anymore as it has been sealed. This is what we saw on our journey (true dinks!): brush turkeys, possibly a satin bower bird, a king parrot, an eastern rosella, kookaburras, corellas, 2 kangaroos (crossed in front of us), alpacas (see photo), a blue-black waterfowl, sheep, cows, a bull and calves (like, cattle?), horses by the dozen, eastern whip birds (heard rather than saw), a fox (squashed on Enterprise Drive, I think it was a fox), currawongs and fairy wrens. No Indian mynahs, or noisy miners, or rainbow lorikeets.
Coming back, Ric had a flat, but used a gas canister to inflate it after replacing the tube. The program said lunch at Hidden Valley, but as there are no chairs, shops, toilets, coffee, anywhere to sit (wet grass), we quickly rode back down to Ourimbah and feasted in luxury. Funny café at the nursery but - no sandwiches, wraps, turkish or anything to eat under &20 except cakes. Unless they made them to order for you.
M/t finished, we snuck out the back way, after paying, and after a muddy grassy experience we were on Burns Road for a quick flash down to the railway bridge and Enterprise Drive. I led us down to Chittaway at 34kmph, with the tail wind, and on to Wyong Road. A quick detour around Reliance Drive and we were just about back. Paulie left us to catch the train back to Newc, and of course Ken left us at Ourimbah. Nigel and Ric both rode from home, for extra mileage. We maintained a quick speed, seeing as most of us were Skylarkers, and felt quite chuffed at our lovely cycle outing. Thanks for coming you guys, and Irene, and those who stayed away missed out.
The group. Irene took the photo but you've got lots of photos of her anyway.

Wednesday 8/11/2017 TDCC Grp 2 ride. Bateau Bay loop via Ocean Rd-Return via Long Jetty
With the rain clouds on the horizon, we expected a few less people than normal, as it turned out we had 18 trim and fit looking youngsters who turned up for our ride to Bateau Bay. This was a good turnup considering a few of our riders are in N.Z. enjoying the sights, and some steep hills. Barry S chose to ride with group 2 today, good to have you with us Barry.
John L was the ride manager, James the sweep, Frank B assisted with the sweep duties, Warwick and David acted as marshals. Thanks to all these people for helping.
The riders in sign on order were James, Warwick, Chris, David, Berny, Robyn, Lyn, Pam, Darryl C, Darryl M, Paul, John, Evi, Trevor, Jill, Bob W, and Frank B. Pam, Robyn, and Warwick rode from Long Jetty to Peel street, leaving their car at Pam’s place, so we wondered where the flash RED Mazda was on our arrival at Peel street. They had some rain on the way to Peel street, it was an omen for events later in the day.
After John gave us his pre-ride report, we headed for Leonard Avenue, then Evans Road, some of the tail got caught at the lights, so we had a regather near Harry’s Oval. From there we rode up the nice hill beside Darren Kennedy oval. We expected to meet up with Steph and Bob on WBD near the cemetery, but they were nowhere to be seen. We checked our mobile phones and found they had scratched themselves from the ride, must have known the rain was coming. John advised our next stop was the North Entrance bus stop. The faster riders including John, Barry, Chris, David, Pam, Robyn and Evi quickly pulled away from the Péloton, as the WBD hills were encountered. We did not stop at Magenta Shores as we were optimistic we could get to the Entrance without our normal stop. Thankfully magpie season is over, and our feathered friend at the North Entrance left us alone. The road from W.B.D. to the bus stop is now one of the best roads on the Coast, after being the worst. A couple of friendly lolly-pop ladies waved us through with big smiles, past the last bit of the road works. After our rest break we headed over the Entrance Bridge, luckily the wind direction was such that it did not affect our steering too much. The Entrance was having one of its quieter days, so we sailed around the foreshores up to the S.L.S.C. on top of the hill, where we had a regroup and chat over the hill just up from the S.L.S.C. All accounted for, we headed for Toowoon Bay for a regroup under the Pines, where some of newer riders were wondering how far to go to Bateau Bay. Just a few kilometres was the same answer a number of times. Apparently our riders were more concerned about the return ride up W.B.D. We advised, don’t worry we will have a strong Southerly breeze at our back on the way home. From Toowoon Bay to Bateau Bay was a pleasant ride with the road being mostly flat with a downhill section to finish. On arrival at Bateau Bay half the group disappeared down the road to the coffee shop, the rest of us chatted away in the company of a female Brush Turkey, I think she was looking for some food. The conversation at our table covered many subjects, mainly we talked about what a great time in N.Z. our fellow riders are having, one photo showed them walking up the hill. We couldn’t remember that happening on our local rides. We also shared our experiences in N.Z. from past holidays etc.
After lunch we headed for the close-by loos. Unfortunately School kids had taken over the area, and with a line-up of 12 kids or so, we decided to press onto the next convenience at Long Jetty. The ride back to Shelley Beach Road round-a-bout is flat most of the way, the last bit up the hill to the round-a-bout had a few of us gasping for air. Once over the top of the hill it was a fast-downhill ride to join up with the Long Jetty bike track. A few kays up the track, the promised loo was in view, so it was a race to see who got there first. Pam, Robyn, and Warwick left the ride at this point to pick up their big RED Mazda. Due to the overcast weather there was not as many people on the track, so we had a nice uninterrupted ride to Picnic Point at the Entrance. After topping up our water bottles for the ride to the new bike track, we headed off with a strong 45 km/hr wind at our backs, even the tail was going over 30km/hr, a bit of breeze certainly make a difference. As we left the Entrance light rain started to fall, nice at first but got a bit heavier later-on. With the wind at our back, in no time flat we were back at the new bike track. David left us at this point, and the rest of us headed up the track to the Vietnam Vets retirement village. Some of us got a rude shock at the end of the track, what used to be a ramp down to the road, has now been changed to a kerbing and guttering, a quick turn of the wheel avoided a nasty bump. From the bike track it was a quick ride back to Peel street with the rain getting heavier again. So, on arrival at Peel street we did not have time to chat, as we had to get things packed up and back into our dry cars. Very nice ride as always, even with the rain. [Group 1 had no rain at all down Wyong way]
Group 3 report, Ann L advised she is recovering well from her Op, but it will be after Christmas before she is back on the bike again, Frank U advised he has had his second operation and should be back on the bike in about 2 weeks. Good to see Tess has started riding again and is building up her strength. Best wishes to Ann, Tess, and Frank for a quick recovery. Virginia could not be with us today, as she had family commitments.
From Strava our ride was about 40kms in length, the ride speeds varied between 17.5 to 19km/hr, the wind speeds were Southerly most of the time, varying from 30-45 km/hr, we climbed 440 metres, the temperatures varied between 17 and 21°C and back to 17 at the end of the ride.
Don’t forget the ride next week starts from the big wheel at Cessnock, located in Turner Park which is on the left side coming into Cessnock.

The Vietnam Veterans Gardens at Toukley Bridge
Friday 3 November 2017 - Skylarkers ride to Yarramalong
7 Skylarkers today took off to Yarramalong on what turned out to be a hot sticky day despite an average of only 26°C. I stole Rick's photo cos I was too worn out to take one myself!! However, on a happy note, Yarramalong cafe has lots of cake choices now - so you need to get along and have a sneak peek!
About 75-80 klms done apart from Ken who did 103! A tuff ride for me - having a holiday made me lose some fitness!! Suffice to say, a fun day had by all. — with Lola Bido and Tony Kelly.

Friday 3 November 2017 - Coasters Batto Bay
Top day - sunny, slight breeze (10-12 knots North), warm (up to 30°C), élite group of cyclists... Seventeen of us made the effort, with Paul leading us down to Batto Bay, and Waz taking up tail-gunner pos.
Felt like a headwind going down Wilfred Barrett Drive (WBD), but turns out it was just us going too fast. Coming back it was a headwind, but not the strength stipulated by Seabreeze®, just enough to keep us cool. I didn't realise it was so hot (30°C when I got home) thanks to the wind chill factor.
Down WBD at a rate of knots to the bus-stop at North The Entrance where we had a little re-group. Hats off to Lyn, who has only been riding with us for a few weeks, but can cope with the pace and distance as good as some others. No flats or falls were experienced. Can't say the same about a lady on the bike path who looked like it was her first 100 meters on a bike, and who fell off, on the grass luckily.
After a good wander all over Batto Bay, we rode back to The Entrance for coffee at the DCE who had a table all set up for us. After yelling at everyone not to take the wrong drink, I myself accidentally stole Waz's coffee.
A good sprint back up WBD by Chris and me saw us first at the new bike path entrance, where we waited to wave goodbye to nearly everyone. Except for Graeme and Kerrie who caught us up just before there. Chris and I then rode together back to Toukley Bridge where we parted company. Thanks everyone for coming today - such a beaut day out cycling.

Pam, Tony, Paul, Ric, Waz, Kerrie and Irene at Tuggerah station
Wednesday 1 November 2017 - Group 1 ride to Berkeley Vale
Slightly chilly morning, max 21°C for the day, but fine and sunny, with a southerly breeze from 15 to 20 knots. Warwick led the ride , and Kee looked after the back end. Thirteen participants in this group, most are Skylarkers, or should be, so Waz found himself near the back most of the time. We struggled in the stiff headwind down to Wyong, taking the detour along the whole of Jensen Road, for variety, where Kee got a message that he was named as the grandfather of a new baby somewhere, so off he went. Waz nominated me to take over as the sweep, for a change, as I have never done it before.
Riding the Tuggerah Straight bike path, we took a trip right around the Supa-Centa to come out on the western side of Wyong road, crossing to the left side at Ourimbah Creek, using the nice bridge there. Then sticking to Wyong Road, over Chittaway Road and along the funny little path to Pindarri Avenue, which took us down to Lakeside Drive, then to our lunch spot of Blue Bell Park.
After a yummy lunch of a curry pie, I joined the group to make our way back to Tuggerah, via Church Road and Lake Road. By this stage Nigel had continued along the lakeside towards The Entrance and back up WBD to home for a modest 55km. Ken peeled off at the bridge, to find his way back over Kangy Angy and home to Wyoming to clock up 90km. We rode back to Wyong along Gavenlock Road, again for variety and extra distance.
At the Wyong toilets Waz gave permission for everyone to go as fast as they liked all the way back. That left me, Pam and Waz in their wake as they soon pedalled out of sight, never to be seen again. I lost Pam and Waz too, so made the lonely odyssey back home by myself for a nice total of 60km. I did see the Group 2.0 stopped at Wyongah, mistaking them for our group, until I was sent on my way.
Thanks everyone for coming, and thanks Waz and Kee and me for performing the thankless but essential tasks of whatever it is we do. Well done you speedy Gonzales!

Wednesday 01/11/2017 TDCC Grp 2 ride. Woodbury Park Loop via Old Dairy
After the hot weather disappeared, winter returned for the day at the start of the ride, with temperatures around 16.9 °C. This meant wind cheater jackets were worn by all our riders. Today we had 23 riders, with quite a few riders returning after long layoffs from riding. Shirley B joined us after a long layoff, welcome back Shirley. Eveline C also joined the group 2 after being out of action for various reasons, welcome back Eveline. Big Bob finally returned after his knee operation, and the complications that occurred afterwards, welcome back Bob. George R who is the husband of Di R joined us for the first time. George has not long retired, and goes kayaking with our related kayakers, welcome to our group George. We contacted Frank U during the week and he advised us his operation was yesterday, we will give him a few days to recover and give him a call to see how he is going.
Twenty-three riders turned up for the ride which is a mix of long flat stretches and a couple of short steep hills, Marg L was the ride manager, Di was the sweep, at various times Steph, David, Ralph, Bones acted as Marshalls on the blind corners. Thanks to these riders. The riders in sign on order were, James, Chris, Eveline, Lyn, Ralph, Jill, Trevor, Darryl C, Paul F, Westley, David, Marg L, Di, George, Kevin, Shirley, Frank B, Bones, Berny, Joe, John L, Steph, Big Bob.
With all our riders present, Marg gave her pre-ride story, and we were off, headed for East Toukley. Joe snuck into the group as we passed his house, then with all riders safely across Main Street we headed for Craigie Park. As we were going over the bridge on the road section, a Highway Patrol car followed us, he might have thought about all the money the Government would earn if we were on the footpath. Safely across the bridge we headed for Craigie Park. Shortly after turning into Marks road, Shirley dropped her chain, luckily Frank was nearby to fix his wife’s chain. All fixed, we powered onto Craigie Park, where we lost one rider for a short time. Before leaving, Marg advised that Tacoma was our next stop, so the big guns, led by Marg, really put the pedal to the metal - from Strava they averaged 25km/hr on some of the long sections. After a regroup at Tacoma, we headed for the loos at Wyong, where we knew Steph had a key. Some of us were more eager than others to reach Wyong. On arrival, we were greeted by Steph and Bob’s smiling faces. Just as we arrived, we saw Kee heading back to Peel street. As he started with group 1, we could not work out why he was going the other way, we will ask him next week [I can tell you now, a new grandchild was born]. At this point Lyn and Eveline decided to leave the ride, and head back to Peel street as they were not yet in peak condition, Ralph went with the girls to ensure they got safely back to Peel street [good one Ralph!]. With the toilets all locked up, we headed for Woodbury Park, about a third of the riders detoured on the way for Coffee at the Old Dairy. Chris left us at the Old Dairy as he had a prior engagement. The 2 groups then reconvened at Woodbury Park, Bones and Joe got talking to a C.C.C. employee, who was working in the park, we thought Joe may have been auditioning for a job.
After lunch, and much discussion about which route we would take on the way back to Peel street, Marg decided we would return via Hillcrest Avenue, and Jensen road thereby bypassing the worst of Wolseley Avenue and Tuggerawong Road pot holes, good choice Marg. On leaving Woodbury Park we headed South, along Old Maitland road, then turned left into McPherson Road, which brought us out at Tuggerah Straight just up from the Wyong Bridge. As no stops were required at the Loos, we headed towards Hillcrest Avenue where we turned left, and rode up the gently sloping hill to Jensen Road. Once on Jensen Road it was all downhill to Tuggerawong Road. We then had a regather at Wyongah shops, where we were passed by group 1 going hell-for-leather, must have been close to the speed limit. About 5 minutes later Danny and Pam arrived. While we were waiting for Shirley’s seat to be fixed, Pam decided to join our group, and let Danny go on his own, we assumed he was heading home, and not Peel street [keerect]. After Shirley’s bike seat was fixed, we headed up the road a few hundred metres, where unfortunately Joe sustained a flat, but he waved us on. He got home ok as we spotted him sitting on his porch as we drove home from Peel Street. The last part of the ride was a bit tough on the tail, with the Roller-Coaster section of Tuggerawong Road providing a challenge for tired legs. We had another mechanical problem, David was carrying another rider’s jacket in his saddle pack, when it dislodged, and got caught in his gears, luckily no damage occurred. The ride back to Peel street was uneventful, all riders were happy with their efforts on the day. Thanks to all those people who assisted in the ride. All the best to our riders going to N.Z.
From Strava our average speeds varied from 16 to 19km/hr, the distance was 42km, the winds were from the SW and South at various times during the ride at 30-45 kms/hr. The temperature was between 17 to 20°C. We climbed around 360 metres.
Friday 27 October 2017 - Coasters
A beautiful morning for bike-riding at Jenny Dixon Reserve, Norah Head, on the NSW Central Coast, apart from the 18-20 knot SSW breeze, which helped considerably going up to Chain Valley Bay, but nearly stopped us in our wheeltracks heading back to JDR. Danny led the ride, and Pedro backed us up. Seventeen riders signed on, and we gained two forlorn Skylarkers at Budgewoi, as every other serious rider was away.
Paul told me the way to go, so I followed his instructions exactly, despite moans of protest about the funny route. Who are we to question divine judgment? So along to Budgewoi, where the Skylarkers caught up, then out to Lizzie Bay, before grinding up the hill (3 hills actually) to the highway. Then turn left on the h'way and down into the powerful wind to Tall Timbers Road (TTR). Right down to the western end of that straight road with the wind, then struggle back to Scaysbrook Avenue for a visit to our beloved Josh Porter Reserve for a pit-stop.
Back to TTR and up to the highway, where we just selected a lower gear and did the best we could till we got back to Doyalson, straight through the lights and down to San Remo for a tricky move through the Armco rail at the bus-stop, and a slow trip down the usually fast Emu Drive into the wind to the famous Budgewoi Lake. Still copping a lot of the wind, we forced our way along the path all the way to Budgie, stopping frequently to let the slower riders catch up. Sorry if I didn't give you guys time to catch your breath.
A short but hard ride south to our café de jour - Lakes Beach, where we enjoyed delicious coffee and a range of yummy food as guests of the Hodge family, viz Wayne, Gay, Brian and Emma. Thanks guys, well done on looking after us, including having all the seats set out for us by the time we arrived (thanks to Paul for his complicity in that).
We lost Kenny at TTR the first time round as he had to pedal against the wind all the way to Wyoming for a total of 96km, or so. Doug abandoned the ride at the river coming back, fair enough, and Diane hived off at Buff Point to go and have coffee with George. After m/t the péloton split asunder as everyone more-or-less headed straight home, with only a few making it back to JDR.
A very enjoyable ride with a magic team of riders, thanks very much for coming everyone. See you next time. On Sunday the CCTCC is having a ride from Wyong, then Gorokan Fish Co-op, to Summerland Point, with me leading, so come along and support the Toukley contingent.
Click here for George's Drone-based video clips of Mudgee cycling:
Wednesday 25 October 2017 - Group 1 Gwandalan ride
Group 1: Group 1 started at Peel St, with no cars in the carpark. Thirteen riders headed to Budgewoi where Rick peeled off for a Dr’s appointment. Twelve continued to Elizabeth Bay and 7 riders went up through the SRA. Five followed the leader up to the highway to Kanangra Drive, Kenny departed here. So now we have 11. We continued on to Gwandalan via a loop for coffee and lunch at the Community Hall.
At 11.30 we were all back on our bikes via Mulloway Rd to Chain Valley Bay, through to the highway then down to Doyalson, to Emu Drive to the cycleway where the group split. Nigel was the only rider to complete the scheduled ride via The Corso to Peel St. Nice day, nice ride.

Wednesday 25/10/2017 TDCC Grp 2 ride. Ourimbah-Gosford loop via Racecourse Rd
On arrival at Ourimbah RSL carpark, the place was buzzing with parents, using the carpark as a drop off point for their kids going to school, which is just across the road. Once we found our group, we were advised that the starting point was changed to Sohier Park, which is just up the road, a left turn at the round-a-bout, then a right turn after we crossed over the railway bridge. Warwick stayed behind till after 09:30 hrs to catch any latecomers to the car park. Once all that was sorted out, we had 16 eager riders, ready to enjoy the sights of this new ride, which was designed by John L.
From memory the riders were James, John, Warwick and Robyn, Jill and Trevor, Di, Dave, Westley, Marg L, Darryl C, Paul, Chris, Pam, Kevin, and Bob W. John L was the ride manager, and Warwick was the sweep in charge of the tail.
Our ride started with a temperature at a pleasant 25°C, and a light NW zephyr of 10 km/hr blowing on our backs. Our route was South along Shirlee street, and Coachwood Drive, Lisarow, which is, in reality, one continuous road. It was great to ride on roads much smoother than our roads up North, no pot holes, but lots of speed humps which did not worry us, probably there to slow down the students late for class at the University. Marg, Chris, Westley, Robyn, Di along with John set a nice pace out in front of the group. For us slower riders, the pace was good as the gap between the front riders, the Peloton, and the tail was never a great distance, this was also helped by regular regroups for drinkies.
At the end of Coachwood Drive we turned right into Cutrock Road which name-changed into Tuggerah Street before turning right into Macdonalds Road where we joined up with the bike track beside the Pacific Highway. A few hundred metres further along we crossed the highway at the lights, then carried our bikes over the railway bridge to Railway Crescent on the west side of the railway line. Special thanks to David and Westley who helped James and Jill to carry their bikes up and down the stairs.
After leaving Lisarow we headed for Niagara Park, the road was mostly downhill, so it was an easy ride to the shopping centre at Niagara Park, where we went off road to the great little bike path, where we were protected from the elements by the overhanging trees. We went back onto the road at Narara on Narara Valley road, we then continued along Manns Road for a short period then turned into Showground Road which led us to the back of Gosford where we turned right into Racecourse road. Don’t know how John finds these bike tracks, but well-done John.
It came to our attention the number of cars parked on the road near Gosford hospital, don’t know if the new 800 car parking station will solve the problem. From the top of Racecourse road it was mostly downhill to Singos Butchery, before long we were crossing the C.C. Highway, and riding on the bike track and then the bridge over the railway line, coasting down the other side of the bridge. Some of us had coffee and goodies from the small coffee shop near the bike path, the rest continued further down the track to get the best seats under the trees near the swimming pool. During lunch Kevin told the riders at our table about some racing motor bikes and racing car history, including the midget racing cars at the old Showground, which was great. About 50 school kids were having lunch nearby, the laughter and squeals from the kids made for a pleasant atmosphere. It brought back memories of similar excursions when we were kids.
After lunch we planned to return the same way we came, but by this time the temperature had risen to around 30°, fortunately the wind changed to our advantage, and a Southerly of 15km/hr was much appreciated. Some of the boys got caught at the lights on the C.C. Highway and were caught for a few cycles before the lights changed, not enough hip replacements to change the lights. They eventually caught up with the group after we had a regroup near the Gosford High School. We were wondering why it took so long for them to catch up with the group. By the time we arrived at Niagara Park shopping centre the temperature had risen to 32°C, Phew, it was hot while we were not moving. The boyz again helped Jill and James with their bikes at Lisarow Station. The ride back to Ourimbah was non eventfull, no flats or other mechanicals, some of the group decided to extend the ride with a loop of the University grounds. Thanks John for your efforts on organising this new ride, a very enjoyable ride with a mixture of interesting ambiences. [As shown on the Strava table, Diane must have ridden from home and back as she clocked up 105km for the day. Legend!]
In relation to group 3, as Danny mentioned earlier on the CCTCC site, John L’Es had an accident with a four-wheel drive, John was admitted to hospital, but is now discharged, he is hoping to join us riding in a few weeks. Darryl M had to get a nasty thing cut off his leg, he should be back riding next week, all the best to these guys and Frank U, who we will check on this week.
The ride was 32km long, we climbed 270 metres, including the stairs, we averaged between 16-17 km/hr, the temperature varied between 25-32°, the wind started off at NW at 10km/hr, then went to SW at 20km/hr before eventually turning into a Southerly of 15km/hr.
Friday 20 October 2017 - Coasters/Skylarkers
Bit of a wet one today, only 1 (one) riders turned up at Jenny Dixon Reserve for today's mystery ride. The mystery is - where is everyone? Conditions were cloudy, slight breeze ( says 0 knots E from 9.00am till 12.00noon), temperature 22°C, oh, and some rain.
Danny led the ride today, and swept up after himself. Paul and Pedro arrived in their cars, and we went straight to Legends café without passing Go. Then I rode home, still in the rain. Thanks everyone for coming, well done Daniel! I think the Skylarkers stayed in bed.
Wednesday 18 October 2017 - Group 1 Tuggerah Lake Circuit
A perfect day for riding bicycles outside - nice temperature, sunny/cloudy and a NE breeze rising from 15 knots to 20 by lunchtime. Seventeen riders signed on for Group 1 (22 for G2, so 39 riders in the TDCC today!), with Paul Flacco leading us astray. Doug and Pedro followed up, but fortunately there were no punctures or mishaps once we got going. Some delays happened at the start due to equipment failure (bag fell off).
All riders were experienced and strong, with most of the Skylarkers with usso we kept up a good pace down WBD, and for the whole day really. Only two girls dared to join us viz Kerrie and Viv, and they were at the front most of the time. We rode on the bike track around the lake till we got to the Tumbi bridge, where we detoured to Wyong Road near Mingara and around our tough little diversion via Hansen Road and Leetes Lane, with some good hills included. Once we got back on to Wyong Road we headed for Enterprise Drive, which included another hill just as steep as the Leetes Lane ones.
Evenntually we made Bluebell Park where we flocked to the many shops there for coffee and a very yummy curry pie. Nothing much unusual happened after that, just pedalling hard into the strong headwind over 20 knots. Paul took us from the Wyong Toilet to Pollock Avenue, then the length of Jensen Road to Wyongah. I peeled off for home after that, and Barry a bit later, then Doug, I imagine, at the Toukley bridge. A good hard ride, for me, very satisfying and enjoyable, a good follow-up to our adventures in Mudgee. Thanks for coming you guys!

Group 2.0i - Wednesday 18/10/2017 TDCC Grp 2 ride. NVille-Budge-LakeMunrh-SRA-loop
On a very windy day, 22 of our riders turned up for the ride to the Tea Tree Lookout, in the Lake Munmorah SRA. Special mention to the riders who live out of town, and made the effort to join us for the ride. Mandy and Kee from Sydney, Robyn and Warwick from Umina, who left home at 07:30 hrs to miss the traffic, Frank B and Darryl C from Newcastle, Bob W from Terrigal, and Pam from Long Jetty. Some of our local riders wanting to do extra kilometres rode from home, they were Steph, Virginia, Ian, Jill and Trevor, Di, Westly, and Dave, a great effort from these riders. It was noted we had three sets of partners riding in the group today, congratulations to these riders. We also welcomed back Kevin McK to our group, Kevin has been on holidays and doing lots of sight-seeing around Australia, also Frank B returned after a few weeks off for family reasons. Lyn S, partner of Rick, joined group 2 ride today, to our knowledge, it was her first ride with group 2, welcome Lyn. The other riders not already mentioned were Marg L, Berny, and James who only rode a small section of the ride. We also welcomed back our riders who have been in Mudgee for the last week.
Steph was the ride manager and Di was the sweep. We set off from Peel street towards Budgewoi into a strong NE breeze of 30-35km/hr, some sections of the ride made us work hard, it was noted lots of glass on the road made for a lot of zig-zagging to ensure no flats were encountered. Lyn S joined us at Slade park Budgewoi. From Budgewoi we headed towards Elizabeth Bay battling hard against the NE wind, Steph giving the faster riders the go ahead to do their thing, which of course they did. We did not stop at Elizabeth Bay for our normal regroup, as everyone was feeling on top of the world. We continued to the highway at Lake Munmorah and had a regroup after we turned right into the Pacific Highway.
Steph gave us the instructions for the next part of the ride, which was to turn left at Chain Valley Bay road, then right at the dirt road that links to Kanangra Drive. Chain Valley Bay road and the dirt road proved a challenge to some of our riders, but soon we had a regroup at Kanangra Drive. From there we rode across the Pacific Highway to Tea Tree lookout in the SRA. Although the road in the SRA is good in patches, it still needed to be ridden with caution due to the pot holes and speed humps which seem to jump out of nowhere. We had lunch at the Tea Tree lookout reserve, where the said Tea Trees provided protection from the strong NE breeze.
After a well-earned lunch break, where most of the discussion was about the Mudgee trip and the upcoming ride in March, at Myrtleford in Victoria, the group headed up the nasty little climb to the top of the hill, from there it was all down-hill to Elizabeth Bay, with caution taken at the speed humps, with the 45km/hr wind at the riders' backs. It was a fast ride back to Budgewoi, where the locals left us for home, the rest of the riders headed for Peel street with the aid of the ever-increasing NE wind. Not too many riders ended up at Peel street, as most riders had either left at Budgie or gone straight home upon reaching Noraville.
Just a few words about our group 3 non-riders, Ann L has had her operation, and informed us she is feeling well, and that her recovery is coming ahead in leaps and bounds. Frank U has had his operation, but has told us he needs to go back for a second operation to tidy things up. Best wishes to Ann and Frank.
Just a reminder that next week’s ride is an O.O.T. and starts at the Ourimbah R.S.L. car park.
From Strava the average speeds varied from 16 to 19km/hr, we climbed 230 metres, the temperature varied between 23-24 degrees, the wind speed varied from 35km/hr at the start of the ride, up to 40km/hr at the end of the ride, the wind direction was NE all day. Although the going was tough due to the wind, still an enjoyable day out for our riders.
Mudgee Cycling Holiday 7-14 October. See Warwick's brilliant report here (PDF). Photos are here.
Friday 13 October 2017 - Coasters
Twelve Riders turned up at Jenny Dixon Reserve for our Friday Ride,with Doug and Di joining us from their week at Mudgee. The morning greeted us with blue skies and light winds and not a sign of rain. I was our ride manager and Doug was our sweep (thanks again Doug). We decided to head west for the Farm Gate Cafe, travelling our usual way . Unbeknown to me Ken had tagged on the back, but when we passed Chris and Irene going the other way, he did a u-turn and buddied up with them, we were happy for you Ken.
Riding on over the Toukley Bridge on to Marks Rd. and a regroup at Wahroonga Rd, where we all had a refreshing drink then on to Wadalba riding down to Minnesota Rd. Then onto Warnervale Rd, where we planned on going through the gate at Warnies onto the dirt road then onto the Farm Gate, but when we arrived we found the gate locked! Quick meeting and we could see the gate open in Warnies and we decided to ride on and keeping our fingers that the gate at the other end was open, which it was, everybody was happy about that [lucky!]. Then onto the Farm Gate, where everybody was happy to relax with coffee and cakes with plenty of stories from Di and Doug about their week at Mudgee.
After everybody was refreshed, we rode back along the highway, back on Minnesota Rd. Up to Sparks Rd. Through the Wetlands up to Lake Haven up to the gate, which we found was locked (thanks Danny) [sorry!]. We managed to climb over the fence and crossed the highway where we regrouped. Di left us there and Doug left us on the Corso, Barry left us Toukley Bridge, the rest of us pushed on back to Jenny Dixon Reserve. I think everybody enjoyed the ride with great company, riding 36km.
Paul F.
Friday 6 October 2017 - Coasters
Sixteen riders made their way to Jenny Dixon Reserve (JDR) in Norah Head, for a Mystery Ride managed by young Col. Warwick was our sweep, and Peter B did a lot of the corners, thanks you guys.
Conditions were quite nice, with the temperature about 22°C, and with a cloudy sky and a slight W breeze, which at ten o'clock suddenly changed to a 20 knot southerly, with matching wind-chill. The route Col took us on had us guessing all the way to the Warnervale wetlands - by then we had worked it out - morning tea at the Charmy nursery café.
First of all we rode to Budgewoi, then along the north shore of Lake Budgewoi to the Charmy bridge, back to Lowana St/Panorama Avenue to Gorokan, then the wChole length of Dudley Street to the main road, right, then left down Brennon Street which took us to Barry's house, but no, we didn't stop there, up Marks Road over the roller coaster to Wahroongah Road and up to Louisiana Road, ducking through the path by the sports fields, where Col got a puncture. He had it fixed in short order, but took 10 minutes to pump his tyre up.
Once under way again, we threaded our way through Wadalba to Minnesota Road, and rode the full length of that one too, popping out at Sparks road. To continue the mystery aspect, Col then took us up Hiawatha Road to Hakone, thereby completely missing the actual wetlands. When we got to the nursery, and rode through the sand and rocks shop, a guy came running out to abuse us for randomly riding through a busy workplace, but after a short discussion where I mentioned that this was the way out for everyone, he calmed down and was nice. Even so, I think that in future we should go up that last little street and through the gate to the front of the nursery to reach the cafe. Nowadays it seems the gate is never locked, it just looks that way. This is apparently not true either.
After a very sociable m/t (see photo above), we headed off back to the distant JDR, into the cold and boisterous southerly, except for those of us who had already ridden that bit, like me and Virginia, and Doug, so we just went home. Thanks for coming everyone, a lovely ride of 40.0km (for me).
By the way, welcome back to Graeme and Merrilyn after their amazing trip to Africa, climbing the cape and walking everywhere, such an adventure!
Wednesday 04/10/2017 TDCC Grp 2 ride. Budgewoi lake-BHvn loop-Noraville loop
Some of our riders who live around the lakes area would have had second thoughts about riding this morning, as a heavy fog had descended over the Central Coast. Their worries soon disappeared as the sun quickly burnt off the excess moisture. By the time we arrived at Peel street the temperature was 17°C, but with the wind from the SSW at 20km/hr, the wind chill factor made it feel a lot cooler, wind cheater jackets were soon being worn.
A good turnout of 20 riders arrived at Peel street for the short ride before a General Meeting of the TDCC in the Uniting Church at Toukley. Steph was the ride manager, we believe it was the first time that Steph had fulfilled this role, best wishes were made all around to Steph. Di was the sweep, John, Doug, Westley, Chris, and others fulfilled the roles of marshals at various corners in the winding ride around Blue Haven. Thanks to all these riders. We had one rider not familiar to most of our riders, we welcomed Jenny B who rode as a guest, and performed very well. The riders in sign-on order were James, Ian, Chris, Berny, David, Westley, Di, Marg L, John L, Steph, Darryl 2, Mike, John L’Es, Virginia, Doug, Hans, Mandy, Kee and Jenny.
With all riders assembled and after Steph’s pep talk, we headed for East Toukley with a regroup programmed for HMO. After all riders got through the traffic lights we headed for Gorokan where a pit stop was programmed. The wind at this stage had no effect on our riders. After a quick visit to the loos, we headed down The Corso, where Virginia’s maggie was having a day off work. Unfortunately she advised that a Noisy Miner had taken a dislike to her earlier on the ride to Peel Street. It was realised that the CCC would not put up a sign warning riders about Noisy Miners, so Virginia will have to take her chances. Ian, Chris, David, Westley, Marg, Virginia, Steph, and a few other riders showed their class on the ride to San Remo and led the main Peloton into San Remo, where we had a regroup at the bottom of the Wallarah creek bridge. Steph showed she has fully recovered her health matters and was always at the front of the ride. She had doubted her ability to lead, but her misgivings were unfounded. After a short rest at San Remo we set off under the bridge dodging those nasty barriers, where Mandy nearly came to grief. Luckily, Kee was close by to look after his missus. The ride through the Blue Haven loop was nice, as we kept to the flatter sections of the roads, however on our return to San Remo, we found that Berny had not caught up with the group, as he had dropped into his house to drop off his wind cheater. By this stage we had disrobed, well, partly. We decided to keep going, so we aimed for Edgewater Park at Buff Point, with again our lead riders heating up their tyres.
On arrival at Edgewater Park and after a call to Berny, Westley located his mate, he was behind us but catching us at a rate of knots, sighs of relief when he arrived. Lots of Mums, Kids, Grannies, and Poppies at the park, which is one of the better parks in the area. Unfortunately it was brought to our attention that most kids who were riding their bikes in the area were not wearing any helmets, we just shook our heads. Steph advised our next stop was Slade Park at Budgewoi, so we headed up the great bike path that links the two parks. Slade Park not the best due to the Sewer pump aromas. Knowing that a great lunch was waiting for us at Toukley, our riders took off with revised enthusiasm towards Peel street and the Uniting church. Those who chose Peel street had to ride up that nasty little hill leading to the Church, the rest of us took the clever route back to the Church where we had left our cars. A special mention for John L’Es, who travelled from Umina by train to be with us, he did not take a short cut in his travels, he rode from Wyong, instead of the easy way via Warnervale.
On arrival at the Church we enjoyed our sumptuous lunch which also included Sausage Sangers, salad, some nice vegetarian filling, ice cream and fruit salad etc, thanks to all those who organised the lunch and set up of the church, including Jill and Trevor, Pam and Richard, Waz and Robyn. Warwick will send out the minutes of the meeting for your perusal.
Best wished to Anne Lonard who goes into hospital next week for an Op.

Wednesday 4 October 2017 - General Meeting rides
Group 1:
General meeting today, so just a short ride to Batto Bay for G1, with Col leading us astray, Pedro on the back. Kept bumping into Group 2.0i as we all made our way through Toukley. So, down to The Entrance North for a quick breather, then into T/E CBD and on to Toowoon Bay for another re-group. Just the six of us to start, but we picked up Azi and Rolf on the way. Rolf came out to a flat tyre in the morning, so he did well to catch us up.
No stopping for coffee as we were expected back at St Bartholomew's Church for lunch. Stopped at Batto Bay at the new sandstone lookout where we took some photos and discussed going up Crackneck Lookout (I think they were joking). Then we headed back down to Tuggerah Lake and followed the bike path all the way back to Toukley (with a bit of road-riding on WBD).
Total distance was about 41km. We lost a few on the way back, like Ken and Azi who went home, and Lyn who raced ahead to get her car. A very nice lunch was enjoyed by the members, including fruit salad and ice cream, thanks Viv.
Don't tell Rolf I said this, but he rode with Di on Sunday, completing the 110km loop to Cedar Brush Creek. He doesn't read these reports. Anyway, well done everybody, for today and Sunday. Cheers
Of course Ken, down here, regularly does over 100km, riding to and from his place at Wyoming. And that's my little mate Viv with him at Batto Bay.
Wednesday 27/09/2017 TDCC Grp 2 ride. Wyong Farm Gate Loop
With group 1 having an out-of-town ride, we expected a few more people than usual, however 20 riders arrived for the challenge, a few group 2 riders rode with group 1, we also had a few from group 1, not a bad attendance thanks to a few new starters in the last 2 weeks.
The weather was perfect on arrival at Peel St, and a good ride looked promising. Shortly after arrival at Peel street, a Highway Patrol car pulled into the carpark, we were thinking - What have we done? Apparently some criminal activity had been going on earlier, a council ranger informed the boy in blue what happened, the officer then proceeded to carry out some type of investigation. Later some of our riders spoke to the officer, he informed us they are carrying out a blitz on bike riders not doing the right thing, such as not wearing helmets, and not obeying general road rules, so take heed.
He also checked out all our cars via his auto scanning number plate detector, thankfully no problems for our riders. Trevor turned up in civvies as he had to perform at a concert at the new Wyong Arts centre. Jill went on the ride like a real trooper, probably the first time they have not ridden together. [She often kayaks without him]
Chris B was the ride manager, Westley was the sweep, Carol, Steph, Di, John, and Mike performed the marshalling duties, thanks to all these riders. The riders on sign-on order were James, Jill, Robyn and Warwick, Chris, Di, Robert W, Paul F, Darryl C, Westley, Darryl M, Bones, Mandy and Kee, Mike, John L, Carol, Berny, Peter H, and Steph.
After getting our riding instructions from Chris, we headed off towards East Toukley via Aldi, having a short regroup at H.M. Oval. With all riders present we headed for Craigie Park for our next planned regroup. The wind at this stage was just starting to increase but it was still a pleasant ride. The hills before Craigie Park sorted out the better riders from the tail, but after a minute or so we were all together. Bones was a bit late restarting but showed a turn of speed to catch the main group. Chris led the main group to Tacoma setting a blistering pace. After a short break, we headed for the Wyong Loos. Mandy flew past us at a hundred miles an hour, John reckoned she turned on the after-burners.
On arrival at the loos we were met by Steph who had ridden from her home, and had a key - a lot of relieved faces, as it was another half hour ride to the Farm Gate. Her call of “last chance at the Loo” reminded some of us of the call at pub closing time, “last drinks please”. After restarting our ride, heading west, we cradled the edge of the Wyong River which was very relaxing. The next part of the ride was not so pleasant, as Hope street and its adjacent hills loomed. Some riders took short cuts gleened from our most experienced riders to avoid the worst of the hills. One of those riders was Mike, thanks Mike. We then traversed the back streets of Watanobbi, where the ride is very pleasant due to the variation from mild uphill to fast downhill sections. We were soon at the Farm Gate, by this time the weather had warmed up and the winds were getting nasty, so the cold water provided at the Farm Gate was most welcome.
After lunch, our plan was to ride to Warnies via the track, however the track was closed so we sauntered up the Highway and followed it to the Dam Hotel and into Minnesota Road, where we did a U turn, and crossed the highway. We then progressed past the fire station, and then onto Wahroonga Rd. Once over the hills it was all downhill to the lake and then onto Marks Rd. Most riders bypassed the Gorokan Co-Op. The tail regrouped and headed over the bridge. It was hard work with the wind trying to take control of the steering. Before too long we were all back at Peel street. Following our after-ride chats, we headed for home and left the car park to the wind surfers who by this stage had arrived in numbers. It was good to see Darryl M riding so soon after his hip Op, also thanks to Darryl M for encouraging Darryl C and Paul W to ride with us. Best wished to Frank who is in the sick bay.
From Strava the tail averaged around 16km/hr and the gun riders around 19km/hr, we climbed around 300 metres. The temperature varied from 20 to 23°C, the wind was NE, 30km/hr at the start climbing to 45km/hr at the end of the ride.

Wednesday 27 September 2017 - Group 1 - Cedar Brush Creek
Eighteen riders came to Wyong for today's ride up past Yarramalong to Cedar Brush Creek, about ten kilometres past Y'long. Many of our number rode from home, so lots of high distances were recorded. Moonie beat everybody again, with 107km, and Ken made 101km. There may be other better results, but I'm just going on what Strava shows above at 4.00pm. Some may still be riding home.
Conditions were very nice - sunny, 24°C, with a NE breeze which had us tricked into thinking it was NW on the way out. Anyway it looked like we had a headwind in both directions. At the end of the official ride several riders were faced with heading straight into it all the way home. Not a word of complaint - you are such amazing old people, you guys!
I was leading today, and Barry took the tailgunner position, but I never saw him again. John D did the tail on the way back, thanks (95km ridden). A good brisk ride with nobody getting lost, no punctures nor any accident. I only wanted to go 5km past Y'long, to make a 50km trip, but accidentally went 7.5km past, so we thought, hey, let's go to the gravel and make a day of it. Nigel, Kerry, Azi and some other freaks had gone on ahead, and we didn't see them till m/t, as they must have gone further up the gravel road just so we couldn't catch them.
After coffee at the almost-completed new servo and café at Y'long (no petrol yet), we just rode straight back to Wyong without stopping (most of us) into the wind, still keeping up a good steady pace. It was a very satisfying ride, as I felt stronger the further I rode. Thanks everybody for coming along. We did see Irene and Chris at Y'long, with the S.H.I.T. club, with Irene doing 134km. She must be a super athlete now.
PS I notice that on the Strava, Annie D and I did almost the same km, and exactly the same vertical, so you would think our phones did the same trip, but I forgot to turn mine on till we were 13km up the road, but made up the distance by leaving Strava on till I had driven home. But still the same vertical! 721m (Ken did 1319m!).
Friday 22 September 2017 - Coasters
Hi! Today we had twenty Coasters line up for our ride, and about 5 Skylarkers, who left from Jenny Dixon as well, heading for Redhead Beach, up the Fernleigh Track. Conditions were warm, and getting warmer, and a NW breeze of about 10 knots, sunny and beautiful.
We rode at a sedate 22kmh over the Toukley Bridge, and down through Wyongah, on our way to Tacoma, where we stopped for a while.Continuing along the 'river road' we eventually arrived at the famous Wyong toilets, where I opened up the toilets for our use. Pushing on, we rode to Pollock Avenue and up to the highway, where we turned left and rolled down to the traffic lights for a safe crossing of the Pacific Highway.
We had to spread out a bit, owing to our excessive numbers, and enjoyed a lovely m/t, most of which Margaret G spent trying to furl the blind to get more fresh air. After we felt fully refreshed we again mounted our grids and headed back up the highway towards Wadalba where Minnesota Road is, in case you didn't know. The full length of Minnie road then right at Sparky to the Warnervale Wetlands, where we zigzagged through the parklands to Arizona road, Charmhaven. I sent everybody ahead while I waited for Waz, up the little road where the gate is, but I was the only one to use the gate, which looked locked to everybody else, and by the time I got up to Moala Pde and the hwy, everybody had gone, so I just went home, as was my plan. I assume no incidents occurred, so a very pleasant ride with nice people. Cheers

Friday 22 September 2017 - Skylarkers
Skylarkers had 8 today starting from JD's, planning to ride to Redhead beach. Lovely to catch up with Coasters at the start before the serious business. Ken, John, Nige, Rick, Dave, Tony, Chris and myself. Ken had a puncture fairly early on the Pacific Highway - managed to find some shade while we waited then onto Belmont with no problems. Lovely shade up Fernleigh Track then a short trip out to Redhead. The view was wonderful but no decent cafe here as the normal one got burnt in a freezer fire! So we made do with only hot drinks on offer - no food or cool milkshakes. Tony got accosted by a little boy confusing Tony's hairy legs for his Grandad's!!
Refills of water at Blacksmiths then the hard hot trip home. Dave managed to get a puncture about 10 mins short of his house. Soon all fixed and Ken stayed with us all the way plus riding home, despite rumblings of maybe catching the train -he ended up with 154 klms as against 80 ish for the rest of us. A good ride despite the warm return. Irene's photos are on FB TDCC club page here.
Wednesday 20 September 2017 - Group 1 ride Wyee Loop
Sixteen riders logged on for this morning's ride in beautiful conditions viz sunny, light breeze (5-10 knots S), cool (max 20°C at noon). John D managed the ride, and Rolf held up the back, thanks you two.
We had only gone 1km when we bumped into Group 2.0, thereby re-forming into one whole club again for a few minutes. There were 20 of them so that made 36 - well done TDCC! That also didn't last long as Lyn continued down Evans road to go home for an appointment. Anyway, thanks for the advice about the Gym, Lyn. G1 then continued westerly with the bulk of the club riding on the road over the Toukley bridge, and safely crossing into the Fish Co-op. A few of us took the path over the bridge, then down by the Vietnam Vets Garden, before popping out from under the bridge, without taking any risks at all. It's a pleasant little ride by the water too.
After a wee break we continued on our well-worn track to the Charmy Bridge, where we looped under the bridge before weaving our way through beautiful downtown Blue Heaven to Aldi's on the Motorway Link for a re-group. I didn't want to hold everybody up so I took off as soon as JD gave the word, managing to ride almost to the M1 before being passed by Tony, then Nigel and Ric. I held the péloton off until nearly to Sparks Road, so we were all soon assembled up near Hue Hue Road.
I took off early again, but without the element of surprise most of them caught me fairly soon. I must say how impressed I am at how fit and strong all our members are, all of them passing me on the big hill further along towards Wyee. Well done you guys!
After a regroup at the Wyee tennis club we continued east along Wyee Road to Doyalson where we had another re-group. At this stage, Paul, Nige and Ric left to organise the tea and coffee for our lunch, which we ate at the Edgewater Park, in Buff Point. Thanks for the drinks chaps, and thanks again for the sandwich, John
I left the group at that stage and went straight home via Charmy, reaching 55km for the day. Others in this group did between 50km and, in Ken's case, 107km for the day. Thanks for coming, Toukley cyclists, a lovely ride and great company. Cheers

Wednesday 20/09/2017 TDCC Grp 2 ride. Lizzie Bay-Gwandalan-Doyalson Loop
At the rise of dawn today it appeared to be the perfect day for a ride, a total of 20 riders agreed and fronted the start line at Peel Street. John L was the ride manager, and James the sweep. Biddy joined us as guest rider for the day, welcome Biddy. It was great to see some stalwarts from group 1 joining the ride today, including Anne D, Warwick B, and Peter H. Mike S has decided he will do most of his rides with Group 2 from now on. The riders in no particular order were, James, John, Warwick, Pam, David, Mike, Peter H, Bones, Biddy, Ian, Di, Chris, Joe, Marg, Anne D, Frank U, Frank B, Barry, Jill and Trevor and Virginia.
We set off for Noraville via Aldi and Main Road East Toukley, we passed Joe’s house and Bones noticed Joe’s bike out the front of his house, as Joe was nowhere to be seen, we carried on. It was full speed to Budgewoi where 3 more riders joined the group, mainly Jill and Trevor, plus Frank U. After the pit stop, we challenged the nice hills to Elizabeth Bay, where we had a short regroup. The next part of the ride to the Pacific Highway was a bit harder with the fleet-footed riders really setting an impressive pace, the tail struggled a bit but soon the Peloton was sighted waiting on the side of the Pacific Highway after turning right at the lights.
John did another head count and found that Frank B was missing, after a few phone calls we found Frank B, who advised us to keep going and he would meet us at Gwandalan as he had received a phone call he had to answer. Without warning Joe then appeared in the distance and was welcomed into the group. It was decided that the main Peloton should go ahead as this conversation was going on. John gave the riders in the peloton the OK to go hell for leather, and that the people in the tail group would meet up with them at the round-a-bout leading to Gwandalan.
The ride up the hill to the lights was challenging, Kanangra drive proved to be one of the best surfaces we ride on, even the tail group sailed along around 30km/hr. After a regather at the round-a-about, we headed downhill to Gwandalan and stopped for lunch at the beaut park on the waterfront. Unfortunately, the takeaway food shop has closed, luckily, we all had some food for emergency situations like this. During lunch, we were thinking that Bones looked a lot younger and somewhat different, he then told us he had a hair makeover, and got cheers from the group when he showed us his new look, must have looked 10 years younger.
After a peaceful rest, we headed off back to the round-a-bout, where we finally met up with Frank B, smiles all around. We then set off towards the Pacific Highway setting a clipping pace due to the good surface on the road. Anne D, Mike and Peter H decided to return to Toukley via the State Recreation Area or whatever the new name is. The rest of us headed downhill for a change and arrived quickly at Lake Munmorah, where Jill and Trevor headed for Budgewoi. The rest of us headed for the bus stop at San Remo, where John L left the ride as he lives about 100 metres away. Warwick took over as ride Manager and guided us down the hill at San Remo to the bike track. Some Budgewoi folks left us at this stage while the rest of us headed for The Corso, but Virginia’s magpie was nowhere in sight, thankfully. On arrival at Gorokan, Warwick led us over the bridge and up Main Street to Peel Street where we had a fully deserved rest. Lots of Yobbos in cars with Red P plates on today, we commented that we excused them because their brains are not fully developed till they are 25. Again, a great ride in pleasant conditions.
From Strava the average speed varied from 17.5 to 19.5km/hr, the wind speeds were from the SE varying from 15-20km/hr. The temperature varied between 18 to 26°C. We climbed around 400 metres.
Friday 15 September 2017 - Coasters and Skylarkers
Skylarkers - Skylarkers attracted 7 again today with a view to shoot down to Avoca for a change. Nice sunny but windy day and we collected a stranger along WBD who hung with us till Foresters. We also by-passed Warwick and Pete on WBD and waved to the other Coasters when they were re-grouping at North Entrance. A few hills to negotiate on this ride so Rick was looking for Avoca train station take him home! We had to send out a search aeroplane to look for him but we found him doing a yoga stretch instead!! 80 klms approximately done by all except Ken, who did 98 klms.

Coasters Ride Report 15 September 2017
Fifteen riders turned up at Jenny Dixon Reserve to brave the elements!
We had quite a bit of discussion regarding which way to go - too windy to the west, and if we went north we would have to ride back into the south-westerly wind, so the only way to go was south.
We put up with a bit of wind on the way to North Entrance, but overall it wasn't too bad. Our usual regroup at North Entrance saw the Skylarkers ride past us on the way to Avoca Beach.
After a refreshing stop, we rode over The Entrance Bridge and worked our way around the waterfront, enjoying the beauty of the ocean, on to Bay Road and then another regroup at Toowoon Bay.
At this stage I think everybody was enjoying the ride. It was time to make a phone call to John at The Entrance and book for 15 riders for coffee and cake. Pushing on Bay Road, we made a right turn down Swadling st, across The Entrance Road and worked our way to the bike track and on to The Entrance.
On the way we had a toilet break at Long Jetty, where we admired all the old photos on the dunny wall going back to the 1920s. One that stood out was of Pam Young when she was ten years old. [Actually it is of Pam at the age of 3 and taken in 1948] Great photos!
When we got to The Entrance, our table was ready for us - well done John. Coffee and cakes were enjoyable and relaxing. When we left it was a very steady ride back on WBD with a nice tail wind. Linda said goodbye at the new bike track, while the rest of us pushed on to the JD Reserve. Total distance of 30km, not a long way but an enjoyable ride and no punctures. Big thanks for Waz. for looking after the tail.
Paul F
[For anybody wondering, I was on the beach near Cabbage Tree Bay, not far from JDR, with family, scattering Marie's and Monte's ashes in the ocean. First anniversary as well. Danny]
Wednesday 13 September 2017 -
Group 1 - Brisbane Water Loop: Well, today's weather promised high winds plus a top of 33°C in Gosford so I wasn't expecting too many would venture out but we have some "tuff" members in our club because at least 20 plus people turned up. I haven't seen the list so this is just my guesstulation! Doug was scheduled to be ride manager today and gave an informed briefing with Warwick taking on the sweep role. However, Doug's bike had different ideas and gave up the ghost at Gosford pool. He was still within walking distance of his car so he said he'd see us at Davistown. I offered to lead from hereon in as it's probably the only route I know inside-out being a local n all. By the way, Nige had cycled all the way from home to do this ride. Anyway, off we went (temperature already in the 20's) round Adcock Park, stopping just past the Marine Rescue Centre, then Koolewong toilets (no magpies here this year so far). It was windy but not too bad eventually reaching Woy Woy toilets for a re-group and water fill. Along the pathway to Lions Park, where Robyn and Pam left us for a better deal! Lovely riding alongside the water here and plenty of walkers about enjoying the summer-like weather. Around Blackwall Mountain and straight across the Rip Bridge on the road which wasn't as windy as what I expected. A quick re-group before heading up the little path avoiding the big hill at Daley's Point - there's a big hole in that path as Viv had warned us about earlier. Popping out at Empire Bay Road then onto the next little bush path which a few of us took for the scenery whilst some continued on the main road and met us at Mackillop Oval.
All on bike paths now around the water's edge to Davistown where, true to his word, Doug met us with picnic blankets to sit on for our lunch - good on yer Doug. This ride has lots of twists and turns plus hills but Warwick managed to keep us all tucked in at the back - he did a sterling job and lost no-one - thanks Warwick. After a nice relaxing lunch stop by the water in the shade, I left the crew here to cycle back home whilst the rest went onwards back to Gosford - hopefully without incidents. By this time it was 35°C so it was a top effort by everyone to complete this windy hot ride today. Most would have done 48klms. Nige's ride is not up yet as I write but I bet he's done at least 110klms. Ken did 96klms by doing the Loop twice!! Well done to everyone who came. Irene

Group 2.0 ride to Berkeley Vale
A summer surprise for everyone today - mid-summer in early Spring! It was quite warm at Peel Street even at 8.30am, and the breeze was a strong 15-25 knots NW, so the source of the hot temperatures. The temperature was about 32°C. Shirley and Frank joined us after being away on other duties up the bush.
I didn't enjoy the conditions at all, but when they started talking about the Wyong toilets, I knew I had to perservere. By the time we got there though, I was just sick of it, and went home from the toilets. Amazingly everybody else was keen to continue, even Shirley whom I rated as unlikely to finish. So, well done all you guys and girls. The wind wasn't all tailwind going back, as we had hoped, so it was still a struggle for me. So I don't know what happened on the ride after I left, so we'll presume the best. Actually, people started to break down soon after, with some going on to The Entrance for a lift, while Mike headed home up WBD, well done Mike. Drinks and stops became high priority. I heard all this second hand from James, who gave up at the start, so talk to someone who actually did the ride.
Friday 8 September 2017 - Coasters
Another good roll up of 20 Riders At Jenny Dixon Park for the Coasters Ride. I decided to put on a mystery ride, Danny wasn't feeling to well, so he decided to get the Coffee organised at the Lakes Beach later in the morning. My partner in Crime (Col) decided to have a week in Perth, half his luck!
First port of call was the Budgewoi Toilets, just for Peter Bones, pushing on we rode onto the bike track heading towards Charmhaven. On the way I took a diversion onto Buff Point Avenue to get some relief out of the rotten westerly winds. Edgewater Park was our next regroup and toilet stop. After a quick stop we pushed into the westerly towards Charmhaven Bridge. Half way there, I got a phone call from Danny to let me know the Lakes Cafe was closed, so a quick decision with the rest of riders and we decided to go to the Coffee Shop at Budgewoi and thanks to Danny who was going to organise it. When we regrouped at the bridge, we had a few riders who weren't feeling too well, Westley and Virginia decided to call it a day and Doug wasn't travelling too well with his hip. So I decided to shorten the ride up, the conditions weren't great.
We did a big lap of Bluehaven and worked our way back to the bike track and then back to Budgewoi for Coffee and cakes at the Anchor Cafe. It was not a very enjoyable ride, due to winds, unfortunately we have no control over the weather! We all enjoyed the Coffee and Cakes which was very relaxing.
I left the ride at Budgewoi and passed on the reins to Barry Smith who took the rest back to Jenny Dixon Reserve, thanks to Doug for tailing the ride. Total km. approx. 32
Thanks everybody that rode,
Cheers Paul F.

Friday 8 September 2017 - Skylarkers
Again, Skylarkers had 7 today - we just swapped Lance for John - fair swap! Thought we'd show John the scarecrows so up Yarramalong again. Slow start as Ken got a puncture before he left co-op carpark. Very windy so we all hid behind Dave!! I rode "gunshot" Danny O'Shea! What's happening between Big Bird's legs? (looks like he laid a blue egg!)
From the Strava table, looks like everyone rode between 75 and 103km, into that westerly breeze. Well done you guys!
Wednesday 6 September 2017 - Group 1
Well what a day for a ride, 30 Km westerly winds to start off, fourteen brave riders turned up to take the challenge. We started off on our usual route, past Aldi through the lights and making our way towards Toukley Bridge, before we got to the bridge, a woman in a van decided to open her door so we had to swerve to miss that. 150 mts up the road a truck driver decided to open his door and jump out on the roadway and we had to swerve to miss him, not off to a good start and we haven't got to the bridge yet.
Before we got to Marks Rd we had a quick regroup, all safe so far. Pushing on to Tuggerawong where we had our usual regroup. All fresh again we punched into the Westerly to Wyong Toilets (Thanks Danny for a lend of the Key). Down the Tuggerah Straight, then on the new pathway around past Bunnings and around the back streets to Wyong Rd, where we said goodbye to Ken to ride back to Wyoming.
Pushing on riding on the bike path parallel to Wyong Rd we came across this white van blocking the whole bike path and he was jammed in a tight situation and he wasn't going anywhere. Nige and Ric offered a few suggestions, but he didn't want to know us, so we walked our bikes around him and quickly got out of the way, we were all scratching our heads wondering how he got there in the first place!
Further down the road at one of intersections I got attacked three times by a magpie, then crossing the road at Mingara I caught the edge of gutter and ended up on the deck. Having a bloody good day! Pushing on I told Lynn Taylor take over the reins and she took us all the way to Shelly Beach where we had lunch and lovely coffee (thanks Lynn), very relaxing. After lunch we said goodbye to Viv, Azi, Lynn, Kerrie and Pam who had left earlier, they had all ridden up to Peel St earlier. It was a very enjoyable ride back on WBD, regrouping at new bike track and working our way back to Peel St. traveling 56Km, thanks Doug for tailing and to all the riders for a great day, no accidents or punctures.
Paul F.

Wednesday 6 September 2017 - Group 2.0i CVBN
Quite a big turn-up for the club today, despite the strong wind - Seventeen in G2 and 14 in G1. John L managed the ride for G2, and Diane looked after the other end, and Dave and I rode gunshot (thanks Irene!).
It was pretty cold to start with and only got to about 21°C. The Westley wind (where is that guy?) was a steady 25 knots, but wasn't always apparent, so we were lucky. Down to Budgewoi then along the rutile road, also known as LBD or Elizabeth Bay Drive. It was a struggle getting up the last part into the wind, but we all managed it. Even harder was Chain Valley Bay Road, more exposed than LBD. At Mulloway Road the thought that we had done half the ride wasn't a relief, as we knew it was against the air pressure. We reached Josh Porter Reserve to have lunch, but several riders decided that Jamaica Blue at Munmorah shopping centre was a nicer venue, so we lost them for an hour or so. Meeting up at the highway, we were all back together again to continue our slow southerly progress.
At Doyalson Jill and Trevor went straight home, then at Wallarah Creek John also left us to it, but put Moonie in charge. At Lowanna Avenue, after the bridge, the group headed towards Toukley, except for Virginia, Christian, John L'Es and me, as we had already done that bit. At Bunnings Virginia rode straight home, while Chris continued along the highway to Wadalba. I advised John, who was heading to Wyong rail to catch the train home to Talleygaroopna, not to go with Chris, as I reckon the Pacific Highway is no place for a bike, especially if you're 80 years old, so I took John across the highway to the nursery, but we didn't go in, but along the dirt to the big fence, where we found the gate unlocked and open! Hooray!
Continuing through the Warnervale Wetlands we eventually reached Warnervale Road, where I pointed John in the right direction and sent him off. He already knew where Johns Rd and Pollock Avenue were, so he should be OK. I then continued back up Warnervale Road, crossing the highway at the purpose-built pedestrian-crossing-refuge thing and home, for a total of 45km. Despite the negatives of wind and cold, it turned out to be a very pleasant ride, with nice people. Thanks for coming, and thanks to John, Diane and Moonie for helping. Cheers
Friday 1 September 2017 - Skylarkers
Lance joined us to make 7 Skylarkers today on a scarecrow hunt to Yarramalong. Cold to start with but the sun came out along with the scarecrows! Chris managed to shock himself and a poor horse, whilst leaning on on an electric fence for a photo shoot! Lots of cows and horses about plus a lovely lady on a fine horse who offered to take a photo of us all (Rick has that one). Yummy orange cake at the cafe. All in all, a great day out with animals and countryside. Photos are here.

Friday 1 September 2017 - Coasters
Coasters Ride Report for Friday 1st August 2017. [I only put this line in to show that Waz doesn't know what month it is.]
On very cold, but sunny morning, we gathered at Jenny Dixon reserve to ponder over where to ride. We started on time under the watchful eye of Pam Young, with 18 riders. I volunteered to sweep. We headed off down Wilfred Barrett Drive with the ultimate destination of Sutton Reserve toilets, (of course), at Bateau Bay. The wind was coming from the south, very cold, and reasonably strong. Stopping at North Entrance, having eluded the dreaded magpie by going along Hutton Road, we quickly re-grouped and crossed The Entrance Bridge. We then took the coastal route to Toowoon Bay and then on to Sutton Reserve. A long delay before returning to The Entrance Mall via Shelley Beach Road and the Long Jetty bike path. Coffee at “the usual” before returning up W.B.D., with the wind thank goodness. We then split up at the start of the new bike path in the sandhills and went our separate ways, most back to Jenny Dixon. The ride ended in fine and reasonably warm weather.
Group 1 Ride Report for Wednesday 30th August 2017
O.O.T. Morpeth
On a cold, and sunny morning, 10 hardy souls prepared to cycle off towards Morpeth through the rural countryside. Before setting off Marshall took a group photo for Facebook. We parked the cars at Tarro and ventured north to Woodberry before altering course towards Nelsons Plains. Over the Hunter River, on a narrow bridge shoulder, where we nearly lost Barry Smith to a delivery van, and onto Seaham Road.
We were heading north-west into a strong wind for a short time before turning into Hinton Road. This road was not very busy, but very picturesque. We climbed into Hinton on the only hill on this ride, (about a 3 out of 5) and stopped by the channel. Then we set off over the bridge for a short 3 Klms. to Morpeth. Lunch was at the usual park. Some brought healthy food with them and some went off to the shop. Carol was talked into eating on the large swing and Rolf joined her, back to back, while photos were taken.
Having eaten and checked the shops out, we set off, with the wind at our backs, toward Duckenfield. Riding on to Millers Forest, Woodberry and on to Tarro. We had done 45 Klms and finished at 1.00PM.
The weather was kind with sun all day, and some wind, which didn’t really cause any problems. A lot of pedalling because of the flat terrain.

Wednesday 30/08/2017 TDCC Grp 2 ride. BHvn-Doylo-Wyee-BushellRidgeRd-Warnervale Loop
With Group 1 riders doing an out-of-town ride today at Tarro, 6 riders from group 1 joined 12 riders from group 2 for the challenging ride to Wyee and Bushells Ridge road. James could not ride today, so John Lonard took over as the ride manager, Doug did the duties of the sweep. Thanks to John for passing on the information regarding the ride. Conditions for the ride were near perfect, and a great relief after the nasty winds of the last few weeks, the temperature was 14°C with a slight WSW breeze of 9km/hr. We also welcomed back Bob W after a few weeks away, Col, Paul, Linda and Lyn also gave us the pleasure of their company.
The riders took the normal route to the Co-Op, where Steph joined the ride. John advised the faster riders to go for it, and that the rest of the group would meet up with them at San Remo. The ride then headed for the Blue Haven loop, with that nasty little climb to Aldi. Originally the ride was to cross the Link road from the Pacific Highway, John deemed this too dangerous with so many riders, the safety barrier on the Link road only accommodates a few riders safely. So, the ride was changed so that the riders turned left at the Link Road from Aldi, travel a few hundred metres to the turn off to Thompson Vale Road on the right hand side of the road, where they merged into the right turn lane, when it was safe to do so, they then returned to Doyalson and turned left into Wyee Road, where Darcy W joined the ride.
Again, the faster riders took off and headed to Gosford Road at Wyee, the Peloton and tail duly followed. Some riders then had some trepidation about the condition of the dirt section of Bushells Ridge road. No worries, with all riders negotiating the pot holes and loose soil without a hitch. John advised that the CCC was in the process of upgrading the road to tar. He advised the riders to walk around this section as a safety precaution. The next regroup was at the end of Bushells Ridge road before it joins the Hue Hue Road hill, famous for its steep descent to the flats of Warnervale. After setting some speed records, it was full speed ahead to Warnies for lunch. Darcy left us at this point as he had a prior appointment.
After lunch John advised the group that they would ride back to Peel Street via a different route. Originally it was planned to go up the Highway to the Wyong hospital and turn right into Craigie Avenue. The revised route took the riders across the Pacific Highway at the lights near the Dam Hotel and then back to Gorokan, via Wahroonga Rd. Steph and the other riders who lived west of the Lake left for home at this point, the others continued onto Peel St. John advised that the riders all enjoyed themselves and that the conditions for riding were very enjoyable.
The average speed was around 18km/hr, the temperature varied between 14 to 18°C, the winds varied from 14 to 20 km/hr and varied from the WSW then to Southerlies. The riders climbed about 450 metres, the total distance was 48kms.
We forgot to mention a rather nasty maggie has taken up residence at the corner of Enterprise Drive and Wyong Road. Last week it attacked Mike, Steph and Virginia who seems to attract our feathered friends, so just keep a lookout if you intend to ride in this area.
Last week we mentioned the status of our riders in the sick bay, so here is an update. We spoke to Darryl and he has started to ride again, taking it step by step, he started at 1km then worked his way up to 15kms. Darryl estimated another 6 weeks before he joins our rides again. Chris is still a few weeks away and has started walking. Frank U is due for his operation this week, he should be back in about 2 weeks. All the best to all these riders. This week we will find out how Richard and Kevin are progressing.
Friday 25 August 2017 - Coasters
A cool but nice day attracted 11 riders to this morning's short ride to the west. Westley was our ride manager and Doug looked after the tail. A strong southerly breeze, so off we went on the usual rigmarole around Toukley and over the Toukley Bridge.
Didn't stop at the Fish Co-op but kept barreling along towards Marks Road and Jensen Road. We had planned to go to the Wyong toilets, but lost interest in that, in our mission to reach the coffee. Turn right at Pollock Avenue, and right at Johns Road, already heading back towards Toukley. But at Orchid Way we turned left and headed towards Minnesota Road, which we stayed on for its whole length.
At Sparks Road we headed down to the Warnervale Wetlands and threaded our way through that lovely countryside to Hakone Road and then a short sprint to the nursery for our morning tea. James couldn't ride due to medical issues, but he came for m/t. I had to leave to go home at that stage, so I can only guess that everyone found their way back home or to Peel Street safely. As I arrived home it started raining quite heavily, so I hope everyone was still at the café under shelter.
It's a mistake leaving it for two days to write the report, as I have forgotten most of it by then, so if there are any obvious errors, please let me know and I will fix them. Cheers
Wednesday 23 August 2017 - Group 1, Tuggerah Lake Circuit, plus deviation via Blue Haven and the M1 Motorway
Lovely riding conditions today, with a 7 knot NW giving way to an easterly later. Eleven riders lined up to join this group, but Ken decided almost immediately to just ride home instead for a measly 70km. Col led the ride, and Rolf looked after us from behind.
We had only got to the Gorokan Fish Co-op when Group 2 rode past on Wallarah Road while we were at the co-op. Margaret G found them irresistible and joined that group, leaving us behind. She did ring me to advise what I already guessed. I'd say you made a good decision there Margie - it was a tough ride with mostly Skylarkers in G1 - I struggled to keep up all day, and I rode 80.8km. That left us with 9 riders, viz Col, Rick, Nigel, Lyn, Irene, Rolf, Danny, Warren and Tony.
From Gorokan we headed up The Corso, Malvina Pde and Panorama Avenue to the highway, then over Wallarah Creek, using the bridge and separate pathway. Then up to Aldi's and onto the Motorway Link and down to the M1. On to Sparks Road and Hue Hue Road heading south. At Holloway Drive we turned left, as usual, and rode to the end of that Drive to Burlington Avenue. Except I entered Burlo at the top end, and saved myself a nasty hill on Holloway Drive.
Back on Hue Hue, we turned right at Alison Road and headed for Yarramalong, for about one km, then left into Old Maitland Road, up to McPherson Road, then into the Mardi housing estate to pop out at Gavenlock at the end of Woodbury Park Crescent. Up Anzac Road, then over the bridge and taking the back roads, Lake Ave and Church Road. Halfway along this road Lyn got a flat, but with plenty of blokey guys there she didn't have to do anything. I found a nasty little bit of pointy rock embedded in her tyre, so that made it easy. Between me and Rick, we had it fixed in a few minutes and were on our way. We had lunch at BlueBell Park at Berkeley Vale. Lyn had her car there, having driven up to Peel Street in the morning, so she went home.
We continued around the lake, with Col easing back the speed, as I struggled to keep up. At The Entrance, Irene disappeared, don't know where to. I made my usual shortcut up the path next to the bridge, don't know why nobody else uses it. Yes I do, I ran up the wall trying to negotiate that little hairpin halfway up. Anyway I was way out in front, and took the magpie attacks for my trouble, before the peloton passed me near the caravan park, but I stuck to the back like a limpet, into the headwind, feeling like I had a tailwind. Thanks for the lift, guys! Good old Rick led us all the way up WBD - what a trooper!
I peeled off at the new bike track down to Evans Road, as i was the only one who lives in the west. I had to do a couple of laps of the block to reach 80km, but that's permissible I think. I still rode it all! Anyway I feel terrific, haven't had a snooze, and finished the kayakers photos before doing this report. Thanks to Col and Rolf, and the rest of G1.0i.

Wednesday 23/08/2017 TDCC Grp 2 ride. Tkly-Wyong-Ourimbah-Enterprise Drv-Wyong-Tkly Loop
The lack of wind, rain, and the warm temperatures today encouraged 21 of our riders, to get out of their warm beds, and join their friends for a gentle ride to Ourimbah, via Kangy Angy, and return via Enterprise Drv and Wyong Rd.
Chris B was to manage the ride, but he had his plans changed as the Doctor brought his appointment forward to this week, John L graciously agreed to be the ride manager for the day, James was the sweep as Di had other commitments. The dedication of our riders is outstanding, John L'E travelled from Woy Woy by train to ride with us, Marshall also travelled by train from Newcastle, Kee and Mandy drove up from Sydney. We also had a new rider to Group 2, Darcy W used to ride with group many years ago, and he has decided to make a return to riding, welcome back Darcy. The riders in sign-on order were Jill and Trevor, David F, Berny, Mike, James, Mandy and Kee, Westley the man of Steele, Ian, Pam, Darcy W, Marg L, John L’E, Bones, John L, Virginia, Joe, Marg G, Steph, and Marshall.
John gave us a pre-ride briefing, and then we all set off for the start point in Leonard Avenue, arriving at the top of the hill with some of us huffing and puffing. As usual, Joe joined us as we passed his house on the way to East Toukley. We had a short regroup at HMO, then it was full speed ahead to Craigie Park, which was to be our first regroup. As we turned off the highway and headed for the ride around the lake, a blue flash was sighted in the corner of the sweep’s eyes, it was Marg G who had decided to leave the group 1 ride, and join our group, a phone call assured that the group 1 ride manager was up-to-date with the Marg’s change in plans. After a brief stop, we headed for Craigie Park, some of our riders found the short climb a bit harder than usual, the rest of the riders glided over the hill like gazelles. John then advised the riders with twitchy legs to let their hair down and go flat out to Tacoma. The rest of us would catch up at Tacoma where we had planned a regroup.
After a lengthy stop, we headed for the Wyong loos, Ian, Marg L, Marg G led the pack into Wyong, luckily one of our members had a key. At this point Kee, Mandy, Jill, Trevor, and Darcy mentioned they would bypass the Kangy Angy and Ourimbah section of the ride, and re-join the ride at the junction of Wyong Rd and Enterprise Drive. We all then headed for Tuggerah, where the main group headed for Kangy Angy, the little climb seeming a bit friendlier than usual [tail wind]. We had a regroup at the top of the hill, then it was downhill to the flats leading into Ourimbah. Large amounts of glass were on the road, unfortunately Berny picked up some of this in his rear tyre. With help from David F, Mike, and Westley we were soon on the move again. Left into Burns road, then under the railway line, left on Enterprise Drive and we were on our way to Wyong road for our rendezvous with the prior-mentioned riders. Steph and the sweep expected a tail wind, but our sense of direction was a bit out, a nice NE breeze slowed our progress a bit.
After our regroup, we then headed over the new bridge on the great cycle track, then onto the Tuggerah bike path. We were riding about 20km/hr when a young bloke on a human-powered scooter passed the tail, then caught up with the lead riders, it was a bit humbling. With our tails between our legs, we headed for the Wyong River picnic area where we had a well-deserved rest. Lots of stories were told, advice was given and some taken, Bob turned up with some goodies for Steph. After our fill of food and drinks it was onto the road again. Pam left us at this stage, as she had ridden to Peel Street, John L’E also left at this stage to catch the train home to Woy Woy. John again told the faster riders to go for it, and that we would meet them at Tuggerawong, Steph and Marshall left us somewhere between Tuggerawong and Wyongah, Virginia a bit further along, Burney left at the fish Co-Op, where we had a regroup. We then headed over the bridge and made our way to Peel Street, with locals like Mike and Joe leaving us at Toukley. On arrival at Peel street and after some chatting we were on our way home, a great ride in nice conditions.
From Strava, the ride speeds varied between 18 to 19km/hr. the winds were from the North at 10km/hr, increasing to 20km/hr from the NE at the end of the ride around 14:00hrs. The temperature varied between 16 and 21°C. We climbed around 360 metres.
It was noted that we had a few people in the sick bay today, all the best to Frank U, Chris B, and Richard who Pam tells us is out and about doing short walks, the only problem is that it takes him hours to do as so many people in his area know Richard and like having a chat with him. We don’t know the condition of Darryl but we will endeavour to ring him this week, we have not seen Kevin for a while so we assume he is still not up to riding, Doug was limping and did not ride with any group today, due to soft tissue injury, Bob is still limping but is getting better week by week. All the best to these people, and get well soon.
Friday 18 August 2017 - Coasters and Skylarkers
Friday 18/08/2017 TDCC Coasters/Skylarkers ride Blacksmiths Beach to Broadmeadow loop.
The winds from Wednesday followed us to Blacksmiths Beach, so we expected less riders than normal to appear for the ride. We were pleasantly surprised when 18 riders turned up for the jaunt to Broadmeadows, twelve Coasters and six Skylarkers. I assume this is a rare occasion, as I have not seen a joint ride in my memory. Danny will correct me if I am wrong [not that I remember].
On arrival at the launch site, the wind was already blowing its head off, with wind speeds of 42km/hr, and gusts up to 60km/hr. The temperature was 16°C, but the wind chill factor caused it to feel like 6°, data from Nobbys Head BOM weather station. The ride was put back to 09:15hrs to ensure all the riders got to the start line in time. Most of the Skylarkers started from Rick’s place in Budgewoi, Irene dropped Chris off at Noraville so he had a bit further to ride, Nigel rode from home to Rick’s place and Ken outdid everyone by riding from Wyoming. It was noted from Strava that Mike S also did the Fernleigh track today, but somehow, we missed crossing paths. Mike posted pictures of Newcastle, and of his favourite bike on Strava. The Skylarkers arrived in unison with plenty of time to spare before the start of the ride, good going guys.
Paul was the ride manager and Doug was the sweep, Danny performed marshalling duties when required. The riders in no particular order, were Paul, Col, Danny, Doug, Bones, James, Irene, Viv, Westley, David, Bernie, David A, Darryl, Nigel, Ken L, Tony and Rick. Hopefully we have not missed anyone. Paul gave us a pre-ride briefing before we set of towards Broadmeadow, and the Fernleigh Track. Paul advised us that we would be riding east and loop around to the highway as it was a bit dangerous at the departure point. Once on the highway, we progressed quickly to Belmont before turning left at the Gunyah Hotel where we encountered the full strength of the South Westerly wind, we then looped around the next right turn to bring us out at the traffic lights on the Highway, much safer this way. A few turns of the pedals and we were at the start point of the Fernleigh Track.
Paul advised the tail to carry on ahead so we could get a head start on the Peloton. Slowly but surely the Peloton overtook the tail and powered up to Whitebridge. Lots of Mums and Bubs in strollers, some gutsy riders, and some people out for a leisurely stroll. The ride to Whitebridge is not steep but it goes on for 10kms, testing out the less experienced riders. Once on top of the hill at Whitebridge it was all downhill to Adamstown, through the old railway tunnel, the Boyz amongst us could not help making funny noises as we traversed the tunnel, just a boy thing.
After arriving at Adamstown, we did a turn left, then right and few other turns and arrived at Maccas in Broadmeadow in no time short. Maccas provided a nice bike rack, which was greatly appreciated. The soft sofa type seats gave our saddle-sore bottoms a chance to recover before the trip home. Most riders had a great Maccas coffee or hot chocolate, friendly and efficient service as it should be in our modern times. After discussing and trying to solve the problems of the World, Paul called time, however he asked us to wait a few minutes as David A had gone for a ride to get a few more kilometres [he rode 108km today]. When David arrived back we set off back to the Fernleigh Track, battling the ever increasing winds, thankfully the Fernleigh track provided a bit more protection from the elements. We encountered an unusual event going up the Fernleigh Track, towards the tunnel, a bloke on a skate board was being towed along by 2 dogs, at a frightening speed, we pulled off the track as we were in danger of being collected by the leads attached to the dogs, as the rider had lost control of the dogs - some people!
The climb to Whitebridge was a bit steeper than from the other direction, but thankfully a lot shorter. Once we arrived at Whitebridge, the ride to Belmont was mostly downhill except for a few flat sections and small climbs. As the tail was going fast, we assumed the lead groups were really flying. Darryl left us at Belmont as he had started there. Nigel decided to get a head start on the other Skylarkers on their ride back to the Coast. The rest of us left in a group and rode down the Highway, all the while being buffeted by the strong cross winds, it was a battle to keep the front wheel straight. We returned to Blacksmiths the same way we came. The drive west by the channel to the car park was hard going as the winds were cyclonic. After a quick chat we all headed for home in the comfort of our cars. Irene took Chris home to save him the ride back. Nigel’s ploy to start early did not pay off, as we saw the other Skylarkers had caught up with him in the 100km/hr zone.
The Coasters rode 46 kilometres, with the Skylarkers all travelling different distances. From Strava the Skylarkers averaged around 24km/hr, the Coasters around 20km/hrs and the tail around 18km/hr. We climbed around 500 metres, the wind speed at the end of the ride was 57km/hr with gusts of 85km/hr ['Near Gale' on the Beaufort Scale]. The temperature varied between 16 to 17°C.
Thanks to Paul and Col for organising the day, also many thanks to Doug for keeping tabs on the tail. All in all, a good effort by all our riders in the conditions, especially the impressive Skylarkers.
Wednesday 16 August 2017 - Groups 1 and 2
Group 1 - Group 1 to Palm Valley Road, Tumbi Umbi:

It was a very windy day today from the West but we still had 11 tribesmen and women front up for Group 1 and with no dedicated leader, Lyn was asked as the ride led to her "home" area. What a good choice too as she knew all the little paths to take and issues like "workmen there, narrow busy road here, glass on that section" etc. etc. Anyway, we had Ken, Azzi, Linda, Lyn, Viv, Nige, Paul F, Col, Rolf, Rick and myself.
Paul offered to be sweep and after a very meticulous briefing, off we trouped. Up to Aldi then cemetery and WBD, heading left around the back streets at North Entrance to avoid the magpie - it worked. Crossing The Entrance bridge was quite off-balancing with the strong winds but we all took it carefully and survived to reach the lake edge cycle path at Long Jetty. Ken suffered a puncture but said he was heading for home anyway. After crossing the Tumbi Creek, we branched left to eventually reach Tumbi Creek Rd then finally Palm Valley Road - I personally would have got lost around this section so thanks Lyn! Leetes Lane, Tumbi Road where we stopped to drop Lyn off at home.
By now we'd battled lots of wind and hills and therefore made an executive decision to forget the scheduled Toowoon Bay lunch stop but to carry onto the DCE cafe at The Entrance for lunch. Everyone agreed and in the absence of a ride leader, Nige's blue bike naturally took the front and we all followed!! Left down the lovely quiet and smooth Bellevue Road. Right at the traffic lights to take us round the back of Shelley Beach, Toowoon Bay which was sheer heaven as the wind was behind us for the first time and finally to the cafe. The staff there are wonderful, helping us to put tables together, half in the sun other half in the shade, to suit all our requests!
After our sojourn, Viv headed home and as we left the precinct under the bridge, a magpie came out from nowhere to attack Paul, more than once - he didn't bother with the rest of us!! We were watching all the water rushing under the bridge and white caps everywhere. Crossing the bridge to head North was no mean feat with the wind being quite horrendous at that point. However, we all made it then I got in my car to drive home and hope everyone made up WBD ok.
What a day! A nice route, not done very often - 52 klms and and average of 21°C. Many thanks to Lyn and Paul. Well done to everyone for facing that wind and getting out on their bikes anyway.

TDCC Grp 2 ride. BlueHvn-LakeMun-CVB-ElizBay Loop
On the most likely windiest day of the year, 17 hardy riders turned up to challenge the conditions. Luckily the temperature was mild, so the wind chill factor was not so noticeable. A couple of keen windsurfers in the car park indicated we were in for a windy day.
Steph advised she would join us at Gorokan, Mike advised he would not do the whole ride, and Frank U advised he would not be riding for a few weeks. Warwick was the ride manager, Di the sweep and Danny took over the marshalling duties and John as always was looking for the well-being of all the riders. Much thanks to these riders. The riders in sign-on order were James, Bones, Jill and Trevor, Diane, Westley, Chris, Danny, John L'E, Virginia, Pam, Warwick, David, Berny, Mike, John L, and Steph.
After getting our ride instructions from Warwick, we regrouped at Leonard Street, then headed for Gorokan via Aldi, HMO, Main Street and then over the Wallarah bridge. After meeting Steph, and having the obligatory pit stop, we then headed for The Corso and the expected encounter with Virginia's Magpie. Fortunately he was having a day off, or it might have been too windy to do his dive manoeuvres. Di panicked when she saw a Police car with its lights flashing, thinking we were going to be booked for some previous infringement. Luckily a young lady in a car had broken some road rule and was a bit red-faced.
Warwick was setting a cracking pace considering the conditions, and after flying over the mild hills on the way to San Remo, we were soon over the Charmy Bridge and had a regroup. Warwick advised that we would not go via the Link road as we can no longer turn right at Aldi, so we progressed to the Power Station outlet. Mike left the ride at the outlet to pursue other activities. We then rode up the hill to Scenic Drive passing Camp Breakaway. Some of us cheated and left early while the others were having a pit stop. That climb is not steep but goes on for a kilometre or so. Made us feel good to get to the top of the hill before the Peloton. We then headed for Doyalson via Scenic Drive, a bit narrow in parts, however we arrived at the traffic lights without incident, and regrouped to turn right at the lights as one big intimidating group.
After a regroup we powered our way to Lake Munmorah with Warwick looking like a Le Tour rider. We then turned left at Chain Valley Bay Rd, then had a torturous ride uphill to Mulloway Rd, where we turned left and had nice downhill run to Teralgin Drv where we joined up to the bike track to CVB south. Instead of going to CVBS we took a left hook and rode up Carters Road and across the Pacific Highway. No dramas with the lights not changing, as a motorist set off the lights for us. The rest of the ride to Elisabeth Bay was downhill so we were refreshed by the time we got to the park where most of us had coffee. The wind in the park was not too bad to begin with, however after 20 minutes or so, it blew like a tornado. Discussions at lunch time varied, but our resident Kiwi, Diane, took it in her stride, and had a laugh when we suggested one way to prove if Barnaby was a Kiwi, was to get him to pronounce "Fish and chips". This joke must have upset the Kiwi wind-Gods who then increased the windspeed to double its previous level. Time to leave, we all agreed. We headed off down Elisabeth Bay Drv to Budgie, where Di and John headed home West. The rest of us headed for Peel street, feeling like champions after riding against the wind for most of the ride.
From Strava the speeds varied between 17 to 18km/hr, we travelled 40kms, the temperature varied between 23 to 21°C, being colder at the end of the ride, the winds varied between 40-50 km/hr with gusts up to 60km/hr, we climbed about 400 metres. Although a tough ride, we felt like we had overcome a challenge, so very satisfying.
Don't forget, this Friday's ride for the Coasters starts at Blacksmiths at the boatramp carpark.
Friday 11 August 2017 - Friday Rides
1. Coasters - Chain Valley Bay North
Friday 11th of August 2017, TDCC Coasters CVB anticlockwise Loop.
On arrival at JD reserve, it looked like some of the riders had gone to Blacksmiths, as many people were not present, it turned out we were a bit earlier than usual. Our Newcastle ride from Blacksmiths Beach is next week. The weather Gods gave us a great Spring like day for our ride, I don’t have the numbers with me but it was about 20 riders. Danny was given the job as the ride manager and Doug looked after the tail.
Col and Paul advised us that the route was a bit different to our usual ride to CVB, it was to be anticlockwise with a few secret detours. After our pre-ride briefing, we set off down the lovely Park street under the overhanging trees, always a pleasure to ride this street, we then headed for Elisabeth Drive, to get our thrills on the steep downhill ride to the Central Coast Highway (CCH), some speed limits were broken in the process. It took heaps of time to cross the CCH, due to the amount of traffic now using our roads, it used to be a sleepy old place years ago.
Danny decided to test our mettle, and put his body to full use, now he has finished his treatment. We continued along the CCH to Budgewoi, where we turned right into Ourringo St, and then onto Mimosa and Elisabeth Bay Drv, where we climbed the medium level hill to the top of Elisabeth Bay Drv, then it was downhill to Elisabeth Bay, where we had a regroup past the roundabout. Unfortunately, one of our riders had a close encounter with a wayward driver, who overtook them on the roundabout, it was captured on Go-Pro. After gathering ourselves, we continued up the climb to the lights at the Pacific Highway, where we turned right, and had a regroup. As Doug and James were not riding at their best, they took a short cut, and planned to meet up with the gun riders at the top of Mulloway Rd. The rest of the riders climbed up the Pacific Highway and turned left at the lights into Kanangra Drv. They then burned the tar to the link road that joins up with Mulloway Rd, where Doug and James were waiting.
We set a good pace downhill to Josh Porter reserve, where a pit stop was called. Danny again got out his whip, and set out for Kingfisher Shores, along the newly completed bike track, before looping back to Tall Timbers road. We then turned left at the Pacific Highway and ventured to Elisabeth Bay Drv. We turned left at Carters Road, so we could cross the Pacific Highway, unfortunately Doug and James were not heavy enough to set off the green lights [hard to believe!], so they ended up cycling over the Bridge. The Peloton was waiting for us and advised that the Green light came on as we were half way across the foot bridge. After we regrouped, we set off for Elizabeth Bay at high speed, our destination for coffee was The Lakes beach café. Our riders must have been hanging out for some caffeine, as they were out of sight in no time. James had a mechanical, with his chain coming off, after a quick fix it was full speed ahead to the Lakes Beach. Paul had rung through to the Café, and had them reserve our table. After lots of chats and coffee, we all went our separate ways, with the climb to JD reserve giving us a final challenge. Thanks to all our riders who rode today, a most enjoyable ride in Spring like conditions [27°C]. Photos are here.

2. Skylarkers - Wyong and Terrigal
Skylarkers had 7 today namely Nige, John, Ken, Chris, Rick, Tony and myself. Off to Terrigal via Wyong we decided but got 2 punctures along the way. Nige at Marks Rd Gorokan and Tony near Mingara - you can see Rick and I did a good job supervising whilst John and Tony did the work! We got a new recruit at Terrigal, in pink leggings (see pic). Nige set a cracking pace back up WB Drive and exhausted us all but he was just getting warmed up!! Approximately 75 klms done in lovely warm conditions for an August day. A good time had by all. Photos are here.
Wednesday 9 August 2017 - Groups 1 & 2 rides
Group 1 - Jilliby
Another beautiful sunny morning, and not even all that cold. JD was our ride manager, with Warren Barguil looking after the tail end. Seventeen riders signed on for a new ride of >60km, with plenty of hills and isolation.
Basically, Marks Road, Wahroongah, Minnesota, Warnervale and Sparks Road to get us to Hue Hue Road (HHR) where we had our first breather. Turning left at HHR we rode carefully down to Holloway Drive and turned left again. So far so good. Follow Holloway down to Burlington and turn more left. Unfortunately, even though I studied this ride with the UBD last night, I turned right into Burlington and finished up back at the top of Holloway and HHR. Wazz and I were out of sight of the main péloton and didn't see which way they went. When they got to our next road, Dicksons, they hid around the corner so we couldn't see them. Eventually we got it all sorted out and continued up Dicksons Road for miles till we got to Durrens Road.
A lovely spin through the countryside till we hit Jilliby Road. With the wind more behind us now, and on the way home, we flew along Jilliby tillwe found ourselves back at HHR. What a relief! Never been so glad to see a cemetery! Another danger-laden ride back along HHR to Alison then into the refuge of The Old Milk Factory for lunch and coffee.
It's a very nice café there, so we sat in the sun chatting. Eventually I took my leave to ride at my pace back home. I only saw Kerry and Nigel on the way.
A challenging ride (for me anyway) but very enjoyable and well-run. No punctures, falls or chain problems, Well done everyone.

Group 2 report from James
Wednesday 9th of August 2017, TDCC-Grp 2.0 Gorokan-BluHvnLoop-Budgie-NorahHead Loop.
After all the windy days we have had recently, today promised to be a bit calmer. The better weather encouraged 15 keen riders to front the start line, for a relatively easy ride to the Blue Haven loop via Gorokan, and return by Budgewoi and Norah head. We welcomed back Westley after a few weeks in the sick bay, John L’Es who became a member last week and rode with group 1, John lives at Umina and catches the train to ride with us, welcome to the club John. It is noted that John also rides with CCTCC, but can’t commit to Sunday rides on a regular basis, so he has decided to ride with us to keep up his fitness for his other love, Bushwalking. Pam rode from The Entrance, but did not participate in the ride, as she had to take Richard to the Doctor, so rode back to The Entrance. David Fuller also joined us today, it was his second ride after a long break, welcome to David also. Warwick was the ride manager, Di the sweep, John L did his usual thing and helped all riders at the front and tail, Carol acted as a corner marshal. Thanks to all these riders.
The riders in sign on order were, Warwick, John L, Westley, Marg L, Diane, John L’Es, James, Trevor and Jill, Carol, David, Ian, Virginia, and Steph. The day started with Ian’s much talked about new bike being given the once over by our riders. All agreed it was a very nice bike and a great bargain, the green tyres created some comments, Ian reckons he rides about 3km/hr faster on his new bike.
Warwick gave us a pre-ride briefing before we set off for Leonard street. With all riders assembled we headed for East Toukley and had a short regroup at Harry Moore Oval (HMO), from there Warwick set a pace that was just right for the riders on the day. On arrival at the Fish Co-op park, some riders decided it was too far to the next pit stop, so we made a dash for the conveniences. Steph and Virginia joined the ride at this point. After we regrouped, we headed for Pacific Highway via the Corso. The wind did not seem to affect our riders, with good speeds obtained all the way to Blue Haven. Some young lady in a van caused some angst, when she decided to break into our line of riders to turn left, naughty-naughty. Once onto the Pacific highway we set a good pace to Blue Haven, careful not to be booked by the Radar. We had a regroup near the bridge underpass. Warwick warned us about the broken glass under the bridge so this section was traversed on foot. Once back on the tarmac we rode the Blue Haven loop which is a relatively easy ride, most of the riders were glad that we did not have to ride up the hill to Aldi, thanks Warwick and John. After returning to Wallarah bridge, we headed for Budgewoi via the great bike track. James had a problem with his bike, so headed off home to Buff Point, to get another bike, he then rejoined the ride at Slade [McKenzie] Park where the other riders were having a pit stop. After a short chat, we set off for Norah Head’s Ark Café, for some well-deserved lunch. We mostly had coffee from the Ark, some pie aficionados had to try the offerings, and we were told they are excellent. At our table, the conversations included the upcoming club week away at Mudgee, see our web site for details, also the subject of E-bikes as distinct from petrol-powered bikes was raised. Some riders suggested we consider including them, as a way to get new riders into the fold. One rider suggested it would be a good way to get her newly-retired husband into our riding culture.
With our bellies suitably filled, we reluctantly decided to finish our break and head for Peel street. Warwick tried to scare us with some talk about big hills, luckily, he was joking. The Budgie group left us at this point, the rest of us headed for Evans road, Carol took over the rôle of the sweep. The riders from the West left us at HMO, John L’Es headed to Wyong for his train trip back to Umina, via Woy Woy railway station it was guessed. The rest of us headed for Peel street with no further incidents to report. It was noted that twice in two weeks, Virginia was attacked on The Corso by a very nasty magpie, must be something about her helmet, no one else was attacked. In our recent reports about the sick bay, we neglected to mention that Richard was not riding as he had broken his wrist in a fall while riding with Pam, best wishes Richard and get well soon, also Westley has been absent due a nasty flu-like virus,but he is now recovered. Darryl is recovering well, and hopefully he will be back riding in a couple of months.
The average speeds of the ride were between 16 to 18km/hr, the winds varied from SW to SSW during the ride and varied between 10-20km/hr, we climbed 240 metres, the temperature was 14°C at the start of the ride and climbed to 19° at the finish of the ride. Thanks to all the riders who participated today, a great ride.
Friday 4 August 2017 - Coasters Local Ride
A lovely cool winter morning, fine and sunny, with a 20 knot (like, that's knots!) NW breeze, with 23 riders signing up for the mission. Col led the ride and Doug brought up the rear.
Pushing into that fierce wind, we rode west to the Gorokan fish co-op and into The Corso. Then to the Charmy Bridge, as it's known, and beautiful downtown Blue Heaven. Col led us on a magical mystery tour, even he didn't know where we were, till Annie had a flat, then we all spread out over several kilometres, leaving a rider on each corner, till we finally wound our way back along the thread and met Annie and her retinue coming the other way. We may have been spread out, but nobody got lost, so the system is working.
Then up to Roper Road and along easterly to the last turn before the highway, then wove our way back to the aforementioned bridge. Somebody rang the Lakes Beach Café to warn them of our imminent arrival, but unfortunately the call got lost and they weren't even expecting us. At Buff Point we rode up Narambi Avenue to Scenic Road, and across into Walu Av, and Ulana Avenue, down by the lake to the Budgewoi Bridge, and on to Lakes.
Not a long ride, 32km, but longer for those of us riding from home (46km for me), and tougher in the strong wind, but very pleasant anyway. After m/t we all rode back to our points of origin, including Col. Graeme and Merrilyn parked their car at Gorokan fish co-op, so they rode back to there with Virginia and me (see photo above), before we made the final effort up to Lake Haven.
Great fun, thanks to the officials and to everyone who participated. Check the venue for the ride on 18 August above, up Swansea way.
Wednesday 2 August 2017 - Group 1.0 - Summerland Point (SLP)
Quite cool this morning plus a SW breeze of 10 knots made us feel cold, but at the same time we had a lovely sunny day, so who's complaining? Sixteen riders signed on at the park, plus Rolf intercepted us at Budgewoi. The ride was led by Col, and swept up by Doug. Thanks you guys!
For a bit of variation Col took us around the Budgewoi Lake bike path to Highview Avenue, then up past Camp Breakaway to Scenic Road. (You getting all this John?) Once on the Pacific Hwy we rode north to Tall Timbers Road to Chain Valley Bay South (CVBS) where we stopped at our favorite spot in this village - the Josh Porter Reserve, for a pit-stop.
On the way north again we headed back up the bike path and Mulloway Road, CVBNorth, to CVB Road, and crossed over into the Dirt Link Road which took us (well, we had to pedal all the way) up to Kanangra Drive. As SLP was our designated lunch spot we turned left and rode the smooth bitumen up to the roundabout and down to the shops. Trouble is Doug is the only one who knows his way around here, and he was at the back, so we did a scenic tour first. There is a grocers shop at the end of the shops, and if you go right in up to the back you find a wonderful deli which has hot food and stuff, so no need to starve. I had a Potato Bake - delicious! After a very relaxed and entertaining lunch break we set off again back to Kanangra Drive, going all the way to the end at the Pacific Highway. On the way Barry picked up a plasterboard screw in his back tyre, which let all the air out. See photo.
That quickly fixed we continued on to Blue wren Drive and down the SRA hill to Lizzie Bay and back to base. With all the hills and the relentless headwind on the way back, I felt quite puffed out, not to mention that I did 68km, so very happy to get home to write this report. Photos are here.

Wednesday 2nd of July 2017 - Group 2.0
WBD-Toowoon Bay-LJ BikeTrack-WBD Loop.
On arrival at Peel street our riders were greeted with ice-cool conditions with a brisk SW breeze blowing. Some riders left their arrival till late to see if the conditions warmed up a bit. The mood before the ride was good, as we expected the winds would drop and the sun embrace our bodies once we were away from the Lake, and so it was. Lyn T joined Grp 2 for the first time, to my knowledge, after riding from Toowoon Bay, Lyn normally rides with group 1, but was having her car serviced at Toowoon Bay, worked out a good fit. Lyn also advised us about serious amounts of glass on WBD near Magenta, thanks Lyn. Steph joined the ride after a few weeks' break and was greeted with cheers and claps, we are always happy to have Steph riding with us.
James was the ride manager, Di was the sweep, John L also helped as usual with general duties, sometimes at the front and sometimes at the tail. Seventeen riders in sign-on order were, James, Warren, Chris, Peter Bones, Diane, Lyn, Carol, Marg L, Jill and Trevor, Frank U, Virginia, Steph, John L, Simon, Josie, and Joe.
After a safety briefing we headed for Leonard street, then started our ride into the brisk SW breeze of around 20km/hr. We picked up Joe X as we passed his house. Safely across Main Rd Toukley we had a short regather at Harry’s Oval, before heading for WBD opposite the quiet place. The riders were given the go-ahead to expend some energy, and go for it towards the Entrance, with a regroup at the Nth Entrance Bus Stop, opposite the Loos. Luckily no sign of the recalcitrant Magpie at the Nth Entrance turnoff. We were joined by Josie, and Simon at the Nth Entrance. We were then advised our next stop was Toowoon Bay, and that the faster riders could scorch the tar, most did not do this until we hit The Entrance surf club, so we arrived at Toowoon Bay at around 10:30hrs, a bit early for lunch, but we decided to stick to the schedule. Virginia and Carol decided to go for a coffee at the Surf club while the rest of us sunbaked, out the way of the breeze. Steph announced the reason for her slower than usual ride was due a flat in the front tube, luckily her gallant husband Bob arrived to help fix the flat. Bob had arranged to join us for lunch, after fixing the flat, like a good husband, Bob went shopping for a hot coffee to keep Steph going. As we were early arriving at Toowoon Bay, we took an extended lunch break, Frank showed us his latest bird photos, Carol told us about her strong interest in photography, and John L was advising our riders about the River cruises in Europe that include bike rides, obviously much more was discussed, but memory limits come into play.
Lyn left the ride after lunch to pick up her car, and the rest of us headed for Shelley Beach Road, then down the big dipper to the Tuggerah Lake bike track. After a regroup at the start of the track, we powered along with the breeze at our back, Warwick and Bones decided the road was the better option. Not as many people on the track now the school holidays are over. Our next stop was at Picnic Point, where we met a Husband and Wife rider team from Victoria. They told us how nice it was on the Coast, and that they had cycled from Chittaway, Steph obliged their request and took photographs of them on the edge of the Lake. After our bottles were filled, we headed over The Entrance Bridge for our next stop at the new bike track. Unfortunately, the forementioned Magpie took a dislike to Virginia, and dive bombed her from behind, luckily, he did not attack anyone else, Carol reckoned it was because he had to regather his thoughts and stamina before another attack. After that episode, we powered our way to the bike track, with a great Southerly breeze behind us. Luckily, we had no flats from the forementioned glass that Lyn warned us about near Magenta. At our bike track regroup, Di, Trevor and Jill left for Budgewoi along WBD, Warwick took over as lead rider, and Carol the tail. As usual the West bound riders left us at Harry’s oval, while with the rest of us headed for Peel Street. Comments about the ride were favourable. On arrival at Peel street, Bob was there with his trusty steed to take Steph home, our little group had a final chat before heading home.
The ride speeds averaged between 18 and 19 Km/hr, with Chris, Marg, Lyn, Frank, and Joe among the lead riders. The wind was around 20km/hr from the SW at the start of the ride, and increased to 30km/hr from the South on the way home. The temperature was 12°C at the start of the ride and increased to 20° at the completion of the ride. We climbed about 300 metres.
Friday 28 July 2017 - Skylarkers<
We had 8 Larking around this morning: Ken, John, Nige, Chris, Rick, Lance, Dave and myself. Upto Wyong via Jensen and Pollock, Kangi Angi, VOD (Palmdale), Footts Rd, a race up Enterprise Drive, Shelley Beach then DCE for coffee at The Entrance. What a glorious day weather wise albeit a bit windy coming home up Wilfred Barrett - no attacks from magpies either!! We thought Ian Moon was going to join us on his newly acquired bike after seeing this number plate!!! I believe Richard Stevenson has some better photos. Skylarker photos are here.

Another chilly but beautiful morning attracted 22 riders to our little Friday coffee ride. Virginia was annointed ride leader, and Diane as usual took up the tail-gunner position. The breeze was about 10 knots from the NW.
We haven't been to the west for a while, so Virginia took us on a scenic ride through Toukley and Gorokan to Tuggerawong Road, Wyongah, and down towards the Wyong River. Despite heading into the breeze somewhat we managed to sit on about 26kph for the long bits of road. A bit fast for a coffee ride, but no-one complained. At Wyong I used my magic key to open the toilet, then we set off back up Pollock Avenue to Johns Road. There we turned right and flew down to Orchid Way and into the mystery world of Wadalba.
Popping out the other side in Minnesota Road we rode the full length of that beautiful strip of bitumen all the way to Sparks Road, where we turned right towards the Warnervale Wetlands. We soon found ourselves at Charmhaven where the nursery café had tables already set out for us, thanks to Paul for organising that. The only interesting thing that happened there was we somehow finished up with a spare sticky date pudding and ice-cream, which we shared around the most sincere table, even though most people had already had one.
At this point Paul took over the leadership rôle to take us back to JDR, Norah Head, except for those who wanted to go around Budgewoi Lake, or back to Wadalba, or to Lake Haven or wherever took their fancy. Thanks eveyone for coming today, it was a very relaxing ride. I had to go around the block again once I got home, as I had only clocked up 39.3km, so I finished up with 40.6km. Others rode 50km or more. The Skylarkers rode 65km over Kangy Angy somewhere. Hope we get a report from them. Well done guys and gals! Cheers
Wednesday 26 July 2017 - Groups 1 and 2 rides
Group 2 - Heatherbrae-Medowie
Twenty riders fronted at the Heatherbrae Pie Shoppe carpark for our usual ride around the Newcastle airport and Medowie. John L led the ride for pacemaking, under the management of Doug, who rides too fast for this mob. Conditions were very good, being cool but warming, no cloud anywhere and a westerly breeze of 15-20 knots.
Due to the strong breeze Doug decided to trim the ride by excising the Heatherbrae-Tomago-Masonite Road section, and just going straight down Masonite (or was that Minnesota) Road to avoid the traffic and many dangers lurking along the highway. This resulted in about 11km disappearing from the ride, leaving us riding about 39km, a nice ride, and well worth the 160km round trip to drive to Heatherbrae. I think.
We had a visitor, a mate of Paul Allen's, Dennis, who rode an unusual bike, with an 8-speed rear hub and belt drive. Unfortunately, although riding with him all morning, I never noticed the bike! Welcome, Dennis!
The ride down Masonite Road and along Cabbage Tree Road was a delight, with the wind overtaking us as we glided along. Up Medowie Road was a bit different with the breeze side-on, but not too bad owing to the many windbreaks along the way. Turning left into Ferodale Road was a different story as we copped the wind head-on. I found that as long as you tucked in behind someone else (thanks Rolf) it wasn't too bad.
In no time at all we had reached our lunchtime spot, next to the Grahamstown Dam, which, as I read, holds 40,000 million gallons of water and covers 9 square miles, and was whipped to a froth in the wind.
After lunch, if you had any, the ride was conducted along bike paths mostly hidden from the wind, till we reached Raymond Terrace, then back to the pie shop for a proper lunch.
I see on the Strava report above (while it's still there) that Mike did 118kms, riding home all the way along the M1 in an hour, so well done Mike, or did you forget to turn your Strava off?
Thanks everyone for coming, and thanks to John L, Doug, Mike and Diane for their work on the ride.

Group 2 Report from James
Wednesday 26th of June 2017, TDCC-Grp 2. Hbrae-WilliamTown-Medowie-HBrae Loop.
By the time the early bird riders arrived at the Heatherbrae Pie Shop, the delicious aromas of the cooking pies were drifting across the car park, sensibility prevailed and no riders decided to try the offerings, although a few riders had hot coffees in hand. The weather was not the best, with strong winds and gusts up to 45km/hr upsetting what hair our male riders had left. The temperature was relatively warm, but the wind chill factor made our riders rug up with wind jackets. The number of riders was 22 with Dennis F being a guest rider, Paul A from the CCTCC also joined us for the ride - hope you enjoyed the ride guys, we were impressed with your riding skills. The ride manager was Doug with Mike looking after the tail, Marshall, John, Mike, Danny and one other I missed performed the Marshalling duties.
The riders in sign on order were James, Marg, Robyn, Trevor, John L, Jill, Marshall, Ian, Frank U, Doug, Warwick, Rolf, Danny, Anne D, Virginia, Kerry, John D, Peter H, and Mike. Doug gave us his pre-ride spiel about safety, and changes to the ride plan. Due to the wind Doug reduced the ride by 10km, by cutting out the Tomago Road section of the ride. Doug explained although he was the ride manager, he would ride with John L who would set the pace. Doug was worried about burning out the group 2 riders when he put on the after-burners. From the sign-on sheet you can see lots of group 1 riders including Peter H, Rolf, John and Anne, Kerry, Doug, Marshall, Warwick and of course Danny joined the group 2 riders, which was great. Robyn had only her second ride with the club since hurting her hand, and having an extended break from riding. Being one tough lady, Robyn performed impressively, only having problems with one nasty hill that had a few of the riders puffing and panting. It was good to see Jill and Trevor, and Mike who alternate between both groups depending on the ride.
After leaving the Pie Shop, we headed East along Masonite road towards the coast. The strong NW wind helped us in this section of the ride which was ridden at a good pace, not much traffic, a good road surface, and drivers behaving themselves, made it an enjoyable section of the ride. Masonite Road led us to Cabbage Tree Road where we turned left and headed for Nelson Bay, luckily, we did not go all the way and turned left at Medowie road. As usual in this area it's very interesting for plane watchers, the air force put on a display especially for us, and we were buzzed many times on our way back to Heatherbrae. What an impressive sight they are to our riders. After leaving Willamtown we meandered along the bike tracks, and generously sized bike lanes on the road, it was a gentle climb to Medowie where we turned left at Ferodale road, heading for the bike track alongside the Grahamstown Dam. Once on the track the full force of the wind hit the Peloton and other riders, it was assumed the riders in the Peloton took turns to protect the other riders. Marshall and Mike did a great job helping the tail, Big Bob would have been helpful, hurry back Bob. We stopped at Finnan park for lunch, it had good facilities, we looked for Kenny the Dunny man as the type of toilets used in the movie were in place, Kenny was nowhere in sight.
After lunch, we rejoined the bike track, soon the bike track stopped, and we encountered a narrow dirt track, some mud, and a nice little creek, if a bit polluted. Soon Doug led us out of the jungle, and onto the suddenly-appearing bike track, we then encountered the afore-mentioned nasty hill, after that it was plain sailing back to Heatherbrae. On arrival at the Pie Shop most of the riders dropped in for coffee and maybe a pie or two. Some of the riders noticed Dennis’s bike did not have a chain, but a thick rubber belt, that joined to an enclosed gear box as in the old days, it was a nice BMC bike, very impressive.
Our riders appreciated the varied nature of the ride, and the good surfaces we rode on. It would have been nicer if Mr Wind had stayed away. No mechanical problems to report. Special mention to Marg, Virginia and Di who have been riding lots of kilometres, it shows in their form.
The distance pedalled was 40km, the speed from the tail to the Peloton was from 17.5 to 19.5 km/hr, we climbed 340 metres, which was surprising as it seemed flatter, the temperature varied from 18°C at the start to 24° at the finish. The winds were Westerly then NW varying between 20-45km/hr. It was noted by some of the riders that we should give our riders on the unavailable list a cheerio, so all the best to Shirl and Frank, Kevin, of course Darryl who is recovering from his op, Big Bob who is doing the same, and Ann L.

Group 1 Report - Col had 9 soldiers turn up for his Wyong loop ride today, namely: Linda, Lyn, Rick, Ken, Paul F, Peter B, Col, myself and a big welcome to Greg, whom we pinched from Group 2!
"Where's Nige?" we all wondered but he soon turned up at the cemetery, after apparently suffering a puncture en route. So we trooped off down to the Entrance where we gained Simon then along the lakeside path at Long Jetty, we coiled in Richard and Pam. Good to see them safely back from holidays albeit a bit jet-lagged. So our numbers jumped to 13 but it didn't take long to reduce them again. We re-grouped at Blue Bell Park for a pit-stop and natter where Linda, Lyn, Pam and Richard decided to take a shorter route to the Wyong lunch spot.
So back down to 9 of us to follow Col's pretty smart pace up through some sneaky secret footpaths eventually getting onto Berkeley Road, over some challenging undulations then Enterprise Drive and Wyong Road - confusion as the path was blocked. Ken left us to go home at this point. Zipping under the tunnel, we popped up along the Tuggerah Straight bike path (which had lots of glass on it) and finally reached our lunch destination, meeting up with the rebel group already there! A nice chin-wag and food in our bellies, we dragged ourselves home along the River Road and Roller Coaster. The weather was noticeably warmer today - the best riding conditions with clear blue skies and no need for jackets really. Peter B did a sterling job of sweep and despite the changing numbers, Col didn't manage to lose anyone but did a terrific job leading us on a very nice ride with all our mates - thanks Col and Peter. 50kms with an average temperature of 19°C.
Cheers Irene.
Friday 21 July 2017 - Coasters
Despite a very chilly morning about 22 coasters fronted for this morning's ride down to Tumbi Bridge. Conditions were fine, sunny then clouds later, 10 knot WSW breeze, so very nice. Christian was our ride manager and Doug was our excellent sweep.
There was so much traffic on Wilfred Barrett Drive (WBD) that we had to stay in two columns for miles before I made a break for it, sick of being jammed in between all the other riders. I was soon passed by a few younger fitter riders, then by everybody when I stopped to scratch my nose. We all made it down to the bus stop in Roberts Street, using the new roadway round the back, to avoid the magpies. As we left to head south, Pete Bones declared he had a flat tyre. Of course he was well looked-after by our caring team at the back, thanks you guys, you know who you are.
We meandered along the bike path over Saltwater Creek Bridge, then to Tumbi Bridge where we turned around, still before ten o'clock and with less than 20km on our speedos. A welcome toilet stop then back with a nice tail-wind to The Entrance. Nice to get out of that freezing wind! We set the DCE waitstaff a big task when we all fronted up requesting coffee and stuff, but they coped pretty well. No morning tea visitors today - too far away!
Then it was a lovely ride back up WBD with the wind. Didn't even see the magpie! Bones and Bernie passed me but I made it to the new bike path terminus safely. I notice there are warning signs before that point about bikes and pedestrians crossing the road. Hope drivers know what they mean. At that point we split up somewhat, with the westies heading home along the new path to Evans Road, and the rest continuing up WBD to JDR and homewards. The expected headwind going west didn't seem to materialise much, so we enjoyed a pleasant ride home. My distance was 51km and Chris, Diane, Paul and Col exceeded that. The Skylarkers ranged from about 75 to 100km on their Dooralong Loop, so good for them. Irene's report follows. What a life!

Skylarkers started with 9 today - Lance and Cindy came to say hello at the start then hived off at Hue Hue Rd -Phew! Then we had a breather! !! Anyway, there was Ken, Nige, Tony, John, Rick, Chris and myself. We rode to Dooralong then half way up to Lemon Tree, turning round at the Transformation Centre where Rick wanted to transform his legs and they wouldn't even give him some water!! Tony tried to jump on the back of John's wheel but John held steady. It was quite a cold and windy ride but we made it back to Wyong milk factory and sat under the "Rusty Udder". A quick retreat back to home and Ken had done 107 klms with Tony doing 101 klms. It was nice catching up with Lance and Cindy plus she showed us all her "war wounds"! A good day's exercise out in the saddle with friends. Skylarkers photos are here.
Wednesday 19 July 2017 - Groups 1 and 2
Group 1 - twenty-two riders signed up for this ride, west to Tuggerah via Old Maitland Road. While it was fairly cold, the stiff westerly breeze made it feel very cold. However we soon warmed up and embraced the headwind. Seabreeze said it was 5-10 knots at Norah Head but 20-30 knots at Newcastle. Can't believe either graph.
Barry was our ride manager and Douglas was kind enough to do the other end, thanks both of you. All the Skylarkers came with us on this ride, so that was exciting. Maybe I've been riding with G2 too much. Or not riding at all! Baz took us out through Wyongah and down towards Tuggerawong, but turned up Jensen road and Pollock Avenue for variety.
At the Wyong toilets I was able to use my new MLAK key to let everyone into the disabled toilets. We then resumed our trek up Alison Road and along Old Maitland Road all the way to Tuggerah, with its nasty hills and narrow bike-averse width. At this point we became the happy beneficiaries of a strong tail-wind, taking us back to Wyong where we had lunch. Everything was lovely until Margaret asked me to unlock the toilet again and I couldn't find my key. Despite her pulling my bum-bag to bits and everyone searching all my pockets the key could not be found. Bugger! Lost again in 18 hours after a wait of months to get it! So we had to ride down to the Tacoma footy ground to use their toilets.
A lovely ride with the wind soon took us back to Wyongah, where I hived off for home and left Barry to take the group to his place, where John D took over to shepherd the péloton back to Peel Street.
Thanks everyone for coming on the ride in such tough conditions. By-the-way, when I got home I did as instructed and emptied my bum-bag out on the table, and incredibly there was the key in with the smart-phone! Happy days! I immediately remembered that's where I put it but had no recollection at lunchtime. So I'm not a silly old duffer after all. Am I? I have now welded a huge lump of angle iron onto the key on a chain around my neck. I hope I remember where I put it.

Wednesday 19th of July 2017, TDCC-Grp 2. Budgie-LakeMun-CVB-LinkRd-SLandPoint-Ret SRA Loop.
Clear skies and a chilly Westerly wind greeted us at Peel street, our 12 riders were all rugged up, and some had face masks to protect them from the chilly weather, some of our riders looked like they worked for Homeland Security. Marshall could not make it today, so John L took the role as the ride manager, Di was the tail as always, keeping the slower riders moving along when their spirits sagged from tired legs. Various riders acted as marshals including Carol, Chris, Ian, Lori, and Berny. Virginia turned up with her bike and in riding gear, but did not ride with us, family matters meant she could not ride with us today, however Virginia still completed a ride equivalent to our ride before getting to Peel street, after her 113km ride in the weekend, a good effort. The riders in sign on order were James, Chris, Berny, Di, Ian, Carol, John L, Marg L, Lori, Warren, Jill, and Trevor. Chris, Di, and Ian rode from home so left the ride at points other than Peel street.
Once the ride was started it was noted that the chilly breeze at the Lake’s edge was not so prevalent further from the lake, thankfully so. John set a nice pace on the way to Noraville and Budgewoi where we had a short break at Slade park. Jill and Trevor joined the ride at this point. Jill mentioned that when we cancelled last week's ride, there were some riders waiting at Slade Park for us, as we did not know they were there, we could not ring and inform them the ride was cancelled. Maybe best in the future that riders inform us if they plan to meet us on the way.
After leaving Slade Park, we rode past the new Pontoon and wharf at Budgewoi Circle, good effort C.C.C. On our way to Elizabeth Bay, Frank had a flat feeling, so pulled over and with some assistance Chris and Ian, he was shortly on his way. Our next regather was past the round-a-bout at Elizabeth Bay. To get a head start on the faster riders, some of the tail riders headed up the hill to the Pacific Highway to save time, some of the faster riders then headed for the Lake Munmorah High School which was our next regroup point. Frank had another flat near the School, again with help from the other riders we were shortly on our way. Unfortunately, some young Lady in a big four-wheel drive abused our riders at the lights, it was partly our fault, so it was suggested from some of our riders, that next time after waving a motorist to proceed, we should not change our minds.
Chain Valley Bay North was our next destination via the nice ride through the wetlands, this took us to Mulloway Rd and then the Link Road to Kanangra Drive, where we turned left and rode to the round-a-bout that diverts you to Summerland Point, this road is a pleasure to ride with a nice hot bitumen surface, and a wide cycle track. From there it was a nice downhill ride to Summerland Point, where we had lunch by the lake, with the swirling winds not allowing us to remove out warm protection. As the lake side was a bit chilly, lunch was a short affair, it was noticed that one bloke snuck over to the pie shop, great pies if you are over that way.
John decided to take us on a different route on the way out, so we returned to Kanangra drive via Cams Bvd, John suggested it was an easier way out, although our muscles thought differently. With the wind behind us we arrived at the Pacific Highway and crossed over to the lovely named Blue Wren Drive in the SRA. After dodging the pot holes and speed bumps, we all arrived in one piece at Elizabeth Bay, where a rest room break was used by some of the riders. With this small delay, the tail and some other riders decided to challenge the nasty little hill out of Elizabeth Bay so as not to slow down the Peloton. Of course, they were soon overtaken, Berny one of our faster riders was waiting at the top of the hill for the Peloton and mentioned the sound of the tyres and gears sounded like the riders in the Tour de France as they passed. Marg, Ian, Chris, Carol, and Warren were part of these gun riders. The group spilt at Budgewoi, with those living to the West going their way, James had leg cramps so John nursed him back to Peel street, due to our slow speed, by the time we arrived, all the other riders had departed for home, thanks for your help John.
Best wishes to our riders who are in the sick bay, and we hope to see you riding ASAP. Although the ride is challenging, due to the number of medium hills, everyone seemed to enjoy the ride. From Strava the distance was 48km, the average speed was from 16.5 to 19km/hr. The winds were 20-45km mostly from the West and North-West. We climbed 423 metres, the temperature was 14°C at the start of the ride and averaged around 16°.
Friday 14 July 2017 - Coasters and Skylarkers
Coasters Ride Report 14/7/17
On a cool fresh morning 27 riders turned up at Jennie Dixon Park, creating a record number of riders. Col and myself decided to try out a new section for the ride. First stop for a regroup Budgewoi then riding up Lizzie bay Drv, where the quick riders decided to have a hit out and regrouping past the roundabout, then riding up to the highway where Graham had a puncture. Warwick was our sweep and riding with his wife Robyn, who was having her first ride back after an injury. Waz decided to head back with Robyn and meet up later at the Lakes Beach for coffee.
Mike put his hand up to go sweep, thanks Mike. Graham had more problems with his puncture and decided to meet up at Joshua Porter Reserve. Riding on, crossing the lights at Lake Munmorah and down Tall Timbers Rd. where we rode on the new pathway heading all the way down Tall Timbers Rd. And around the small village of Chain Valley Bay and then heading back to Joshua Porter Reserve for a well-earned break. Then back on the bike lane around to Mulloway Drv. Onto The Dirt Rd, up to Kanangra Drv and then onto SRA where we had a regroup. By this time everybody was keen to get back to the Lakes for Coffee. Down the SRA and back along Lizzy Bay Drv. Unfortunately Peter Bishop got a puncture on the SRA. Most of the riders kept going, thanks to the other riders who helped Peter with his puncture. Back at the Lakes, Waz and Danny had everything organised, well done. After everyone settled it was a big welcome to Tess, who will be permanently moving to Queensland. It was nice to catch up with Tess and everyone wished her all the best for the future. After a well-earned rest with coffee, tea and food we made our way home.
Paul F.

Skylarkers had 7 enthusiasts today: John, Nige, Rick, Tony, Chris, myself and a big welcome back to Dave who returned after a long shoulder injury. Marks Point, just beyond Swansea was the order of the day and as you can see from the photos, it was pretty cold having our coffee with plenty of wind and no sun! However, to make up for that was big hot mugs with free biscuits, marshmallows and all at a very cheap price -must be the cheapest on the coast. Coming back, Nige had a huge piece of glass causing a puncture on EBD near the caravan park. With that all sorted, we dropped Rick and Dave at home and eventually Chris, myself and John called into Jenny Dixon to see if we could catch Tess and say "goodbye". Luckily she was still there chatting to Margaret. 74 klms done in cool conditions - a good ride had by all.
See pictures below

Wednesday 12 July 2017 - Groups 1 and 2
Group 1 - Western Sydney, M7
Group 1 to M7: Well, can you believe 18 enthusiasts ventured out of the Central Coast and drove to Kings Langley today for a "Mike and Doug Special". Doug took a trailer load of bikes plus occupants along with other car-sharing between members. It was pouring rain on the Coast hence Group 2 didn't get "up and running" at all. So we were very lucky to arrive in sunshine at Pearce Reserve with enough warmth to start stripping before we began!
Doug and Mike had done a recce of this ride a few weeks ago so were highly efficient in telling us "where to go". With Doug leading, Mike sweeping and the rest of us in the middle, we couldn't get lost. So we got cracking on this new ride along the M7 bike paths which were smooth, flowing, uphill and down dale, trying not to do a "Richie Porte"! We traversed along a short gravel track which suited those who brought their MTBs. Eventually, we had a pit stop at a delightful little park called Nurragingy Reserve where Mike gave us a bit of a history lesson on how it used to be some years ago.
"De-watered and Re-watered", according to Mike, we continued back onto the M7 bike path, past some farmyard smells, finally reaching our lunch spot of Horsley Park Equestrian Centre (photos attached). Plenty of shade and spare seats for us to spread ourselves out and enjoy our picnics overlooking the dressage arena.
Our return journey was a quicker affair staying with the M7 bike path more, downhill and Doug taking on a new lease of life with new eyes and ears! I think he's ready to come back to Skylarkers now. A few members did some important cornering positions and we were soon back to our cars. A new ride for the club which allowed us to explore new places and bike paths away from our local comfort zone. 53klms ridden with an average temp of 14°C with no rain. I think we have to really appreciate Mike and Doug for going to the trouble to firstly recce this ride for the club then carry it out safely with us all today - 3 cheers guys and thank you.
Photos are here.
Wednesday 12th of June 2017, TDCC-Grp 2. Tkly-Budge-CVBS-Doylo-Tkly Loop.
The car park at Peel street was deserted except for a few diehards, group 1 riders were in Sydney, so the car park looked like a desert (except for all the rain). Eventually seven group 2 riders arrived, Tess and Virginia arrived without their bikes, Jill and Trevor were keen to ride, but after Jill got out from the comfort of her car, she had second thoughts. Bones and Chris were as keen as ever to ride, with both riding from home. James was not so sure after being drenched in recent rides. Eventually the matter was settled with another downpour, a check of the radar on our apps showed more rain on the way, so we departed for home, hoping next week would be better. John, Ian, and Steph called and said they could not make the ride.
Just a note, Tess mentioned she would meet us on Friday's ride to say her goodbyes. She may ride with us, if not she will meet us at our coffee stop. If you want to come for coffee, ring Col or Paul on the day to find out where we will be stopping for our coffee break.
Friday 7 July 2017 - Coasters
On very cold but sunny morning, we gathered at Jenny Dixon Reserve to ponder over where to ride. We were a little late starting because one of our number forgot their helmet. Paul Flack kindly agreed to lead 18 riders towards Soldiers Beach for some whale watching, and then on for a Mystery Ride before coffee at the Lakes Beach Shop. Dianne Rhedey volunteered to sweep.
We were lucky to see 3 whales frolicking just off Norah Head before re-tracing our steps back to Budgewoi where we stopped for our 2nd re-group, beside the toilets, of course. Then on around the top of the lake to the Charmhaven Bridge. We then handed the leadership over to Col Fowler who then took us under the bridge and far away.
Round and around all the back streets west of the bridge before ascending to the heights around Aldi, and then around and around the higher parts of Blue Haven. Yes, we rode past Col’s house, but no, we were not invited in for any refreshments, not even a drink of water from the front tap.
Back up to the highest point and then down into the new housing estate before making our way back to Charmhaven Bridge. Back along the bike path across the top of the lake until we got past the hot water outlet, where we made a sharp left onto soft sand before getting back on the road, Buff Point Avenue, over the hill and down past Edgewater Park. Doug and I waited for some slower riders and promptly lost the main group. With no riders maintaining corners we kept going until we got back on the bike path, where some of the group had waited. Back to Budgewoi and on to Lakes Beach for coffee. As usual, Paul had phoned ahead and the table was set for us. Mine-host regaled us with stories of his holiday on a South Pacific cruise and how much food he had enjoyed, (which was obvious). We then split up and went our separate ways, most back to Jenny Dixon. The ride ended in fine and reasonably warm weather.
Wednesday 5 July 2017 - Group 1
On a cold, but sunny morning, we gathered at Peel Street before setting off to Mannering Park, led by the brilliant John Daley. There was some discussion about a sweep before Peter and I volunteered to share the job. We had 18 riders at the start. Off to Aldi, the Sailing Club, the Co-Op and Charmhaven Bridge. Up through the new estate (Blue Haven), instead of the highway, and out onto the Link Road to Doyalson. Then out to Wyee, passing one of the best coffee shops around at the Nursery, and up to the west end of Rutley’s Road where we turned East towards Mannering Park. Down into Mannering Park past George Murray’s gnome farm to the baths for lunch. We were thankfully joined by Paul Flack who had brought coffee and light refreshments. It was cold and windy and the hot coffee was much appreciated. We warmed ourselves by singing “Happy Birthday” to Anne Daley.
We returned via Rutley’s Road, and met up with our 19th rider, Marshall, who had over-slept after a flight from Brisbane and missed the start, (and lunch). On to the Pacific Highway where John got us safely across the dangerous traffic. Then back to Doyalson, up through the Armco fencing at San Remo and down Emu Drive to the bike path. East to Budgewoi where Peter and I stopped to help Marshall with a flat tyre. Marshall insisted on fixing it himself and so Peter and I continued to the cemetery and back to Peel Street. Marshall ended up walking most of the way back, even after being offered a ride in my car.
The ride ended in fine, warm weather. A taxing but very enjoyable ride.

Wednesday 5 July 2017 - G2 Batto Bay
Wednesday 5th of July 2017, TDCC-Grp 2. The Ent via WBD-Shelly Beach-Long Jetty-Tkly Loop.
Autumn returned today for our ride, there were few leg warmers in sight as testament to the conditions, we were all looking forward to a warm, rain free day in the saddle, after last weeks’ outing. The weather must have had an influence on our riders, as we had 21 very fit and happy riders breasting the starting line, and one who joined us later in the ride. We gained a new member today, with Greg T handing over his $20.00 to Barry our Treasurer. From memory, Lori also joined us for the first time, we were told Lori kayaks with the Toukley Kayakers, so is well known to some in both of our groups. Barry Saxton also joined us for one of his rare appearances. Steph also joined us and informed us Bob would meet us for coffee. Warren McC also joined us after not seeing him for a few weeks. Ian joined us after his trip to Alaska, Marg also joined in after missing a few rides. Danny turned up but dressed like he was going on a date, however he advised he did not feel too well, and would give today a miss. Danny noted between groups 1 and 2, we had about 40 riders, great effort team.
Virginia was the ride manager, with John L taking over the role as the sweep, Lori and Di at various points acted as Marshalls on various corners, thanks to those riders. The riders in sign on order were James, John L, Chris, Di, Jill and Trevor, Berny, Marg L, Bones, Virginia, Mike Saw, Bob W, Richard, Barry our Treasurer, Barry Saxton, Greg T, Lori, Steph, Warren, Frank U, Simon, and Joe. Virginia advised that the coffee/lunch stop had been changed from Bateau Bay to Shelly Beach due to the nice weather.
Lots of our riders rode from home today to get extra Kilometres, those included Di, Virginia, John L, Richard, Steph, Frank, and Lori, some from down South, great effort from those riders.
Virginia gave us a pre-ride briefing, and as usual we assembled in Leonard street, then headed to East Toukley where Joe joined us, our first regroup was in Evans road, then Wilfred Barrett Drive (WBD). It was noted that WBD from the Norah Head turnoff has been widened to a proper bike path width, thanks CCCouncil. That said, Virginia gave the go ahead for the faster riders to burn up the tar till our next stop at The North Entrance loos. Duly done, our gun riders with the aid of the NW breeze were out of sight of the tail in no time short. We had a detour at The North Entrance due to road works on Magpie corner, the bumpiest road on the Central Coast, again thanks CCC. On arrival at The North Entrance Simon joined the team.
After a short break, we headed over the bridge with our riders being ultra-careful due to the strong NW breeze. We then rode along the waterfront at The Entrance, with the view as always spectacular, then onto Toowoon Bay pine trees for a regroup. We then wound around the back streets of Toowoon Bay to the round-a-bout at Wyong road, we hung a left and rode through the golf club which has the best location on the CC. On arrival at Shelly Beach we could not get our usual tables at the coffee shop, so settled on the comfy seats closer to the Ocean. As always people had things to say, at our table Ian told us about his trip to Alaska, Greg our new member told us he used to own the BP petrol station at Lithgow, which a few of us are familiar, due to working in that area in the past. Steph’s Bob was his usual happy self although limping from his operation, he is riding his stationary bike at home and hopes to join us soon.
The atmosphere at Shelly beach was great with kids on scooters and bikes dodging the adults, whales breaching and blowing out streams of mist in the distance, Mums, Dads, and Grandparents soaking up the Sun. Berny suggested we should have some means of restarting the group after lunch, as some of us tend to chat on, Di solved the problem with her whistle, no dogs this time.
After lunch Lori left us for home, the rest of us rode over the road bumps out of Shelly Beach, not a good feeling. We then headed for the bike track at Long Jetty, at this point Steph and Chris decided to return via Wyong due to road works in the Marks road area. The ride to The Entrance was again heavily populated with families on bikes and walking, Mike commented it was good to see kids out playing and not stuck in front of a computer. Simon and Richard left us at The Entrance, the rest of us started riding over the Entrance Bridge, half way across we had to ride on the footpath due to broken beer bottles on the road.
Di started to have problems with her bike, Mike and others tried to fix the problem, but alas, a bike shop visit seemed the only way to get Di going at top speed again, Di soldiered on in high gear the rest of the way home. After a regroup at the new bike path, the Budgie mob kept going, the rest headed for Evans street, with the regulars leaving us at East Toukley for points West. Only a few riders returned to Peel street after a great ride. Please note that next weeks’ ride manager will be John L as Ian has other commitments.
The ride was 40km long, the average speeds were from 18 to 19km/hr, we climbed about 300 Metres, the temperatures ranged from 14 to 23 degrees, the wind was mostly from the NW at 10-15km/hr.
Lastly, all the best to the people in group 3, that is, our riders in the sick bay, and those recovering from various medical procedures. [Thanks James]

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