Monthly Archives: September 2013

Newcastle Ride Report

Six ER’s – Goaders, Greg, Admin, Michael, Big Phil and myself – set off from the Railway bridge in Wahroonga (note to self, not the overpass near Abbotsleigh) at 5am for what was to be certainly the most epic ride I have ever done.

Stock standard ride up to the Pie in the Sky – which wasn’t yet open. There was a very lovely chocolate brown “guard” dog waiting for us near the entrance, begging us not to leave with big puppy dog eyes. Alas on a Goaders schedule, we continued onwards past the Glue Factory (doesn’t smell as good on Saturdays), past some magnificent black and yellow cockatoos (which almost caused Goaders to come off his bike) and down into Gosford. Stunning morning on the coast, pity about the yobbos in commodores who gave us the odd beeping. Having done 80% of the climbing getting to Gosford, it was a cruise along to The Entrance. We sat down to a massive breakfast only to run into one G. Boycey! Earning points taking his lovely wife away for their wedding anniversary.

The Central Coast Hwy, the long flat bit up to where we met the Pacific Highway, was awful. Rather dry and windy, rough surfaced, lots of sticks and with a small crappy shoulder that had us in single file (again copping it from Coasties). I was very relieved when at the end, Greg turned to me and said that part was easily the worst bit of the ride. Turns out it wasn’t but I was happy at the time! We did the rolling group thing (which was effective to a point) down into Swansea , enjoying blue smurf frozen ice things (half frozen sugar water basically). Taking Wilsons directions, we hopped on the Fernleigh bike path (an old railway line) all the way to Adamstown, which INCLUDED A TRAIN TUNNEL AND A STATION! I was very excited. So was everyone else when we realised were we going uphill for ages – it very suddenly got a lot easier!

Lunch at Newcastle was grand. We lost Admin and Phil to the lure of the train (and their families). Seagulls circled looking for every opportunity to attack Goaders. We all ate HUGE amounts of food – Mr Goad ordering a steak with potatoes and salad and then an extra family sized wedges. The sweet potato chips from the burger place next door to the Brewery are awesome, FYI.

Back on the bikes, the real fight against the wind began. Even on the bike path we copped it. On the highway back up to Swansea was even worse. If it wasn’t fully in my face, it was hitting me from the side and throwing me off path. Even drinking plenty of water, head started to ache at Swansea (where I switched to Powerade).

Gosford. FINALLY. After taking some random way through West Gosford industrial estate (full of meth labs no doubt). Everyone was hurting. Except for Greg, who looked full of the joys of spring when his brother turned up in his car. That said, EPIC ride sir. To get that far is an amazing effort given you had only ever done 100km once or twice before. Eating more food and drinking more sugar water, we gazed up at the lights at the top of the next climb. Getting 80% of the climbing done in the first section is great, except when you do the return…

I had a false injection of energy at Gosford, probably from excitement of being close to home (since when is Gosford close to home…). The climb up was pretty cruisy. The next climb, from the creek up, felt like it went on for 10km. Finally down the other side and across the Peats Ferry Bridge, only for Goaders to stop, take his shoes off and start scratching around like a giant chicken. Michael was stone silent and I was in stitches! It felt like we were dragging cement up the final climb. My ass was so sore I was out of my seat for a lot of it. We are all also going slightly mad at this time.

FINALLY we get to Asquith. Can’t possibly go further without sustenance, so we share a romantic Coke between the 3 of us. After finding out Hawthorn and the Roosters won, we set off again for home. I walked in the door, took off my shoes and knicks and lay on the floor for a good 20mins. I don’t think I have ever been that shattered and I’ve done some pretty crazy things.

Great riding all of you. Even those who made It to Newcastle – 160km is a massive effort!

Monday’s OTP

YHC hereby congratulates the ER legends of the Newcastle express.. consider yourselves “Hard” no quibble.

Another perfect start to the day, all settings seem to be set on “perfect” cannot seem to wind it back to normal.. 13C, viz 10,000 m or more,  sky clear, traffic still at holiday levels ( except on the turra bottleneck)  thus it was big Monday turnout..  YHC running a little early had a short rest at the Bullet point on PH before joining the fray into town.

Sunnies now are standard for the roll in, ER kit should now include  “eyewear”  perhaps our fashionistas could find a suitable manufacturer and then be able to supply at as a ridiculously low price to match the rest of the ER kit. ( just thinking out loud here )

A large gaggle of riders accumulated at the Gordon launch, no matter how many times  I tried to count it would not go above 20.. A Captains ride, ( astride the Pina.. adds at least 5kmh to his average )however in Rawhiti st over the first traffic calming bump, our fearless leader dropped his banana.. was forced to turn around and collect it, avoiding being one piece of fruit short of the full picnic.

Banter and bonhomie were the watchwords of the day, much to banter about, did I mention the 320 plus ride to Newcastle.. backslapping and much doffing of caps to the offenders.

What followed was a standard ER ride, courtesy, easy pace, everyone watching out for each other by calling hazards, and safe play through the junctions and intersections all the way to town.

No accidents, incidents, mechanicals to report.. unless you count Bullet on the bomber whispering to his rear wheel in Chatswood. In all perfect…

And thus it remains one of the north shores most enjoyable modes of transport, something to trumpet on street corners and begin this year’s new recruitment drive..

On that note, Have a great day all



Another superlative morning for a ride into town, YHC rolling into the car park at Gordon a sufficiently  polite time behind the Captain to avoid a conflict in car position.. the Captain’s reserved parking  duly performing its required task. Opening the car door to be hit in the face by a wall of cold air.. didn’t global warming fix that ?

There were initially a very small crowd girding their loins in the appointed spot, awaiting the appointed hour..but just as it looked like a “traditional” ER ride with only about 5 riders, who should show up but all the usual suspects..and a “traditional” ER Captains ride ensued.

BOF on time, sending Teflon ahead at a canter, and due to many calls of Car back, the remaining peloton filtered out on a single file basis, to string out into the HOD in a very ship shape and Bristol fashion.  Single file for most of it.. and slow like a pro Friday..even Drastic would have been impressed.  Traffic flowing freely, cordial relations, courtesy and safety hand in hand..just what you need for a tremendously enjoyable commute.

20 or so in the peloton, the heavy weights hanging back to assist Bullet with his rear, which is still slightly askew, probably needs a new axle, spacer and lock washer to hold things in place. Steady pace, and typical shredding through the Chatswood steeplechase, pulsations of ERs regrouping as per standard at Tindale for a well aspirated roll through Artarmon. The path again providing a single track for a single file and easy march through scaramanga, narrem burn, to the next regroup at Crow’s.. YHC rolled on as a safety group was called so stretching the ER elastic once more into a thin yellow line.

North Sydney did its thing as usual, however YHC having led the safety group forward caught all the greens, ( a privilege usually reserved for Andy Schleck..) and thus was first in the coffee shop..and in the sunny spot at that ( yes YHC was not at B&T.. having slipped through to Bar Fredo to sup and sip in the sun )

How good is that ? and to think some people actually take a train..

Remember to find some time to give the NSW gov some feedback..see yesterday’s for the URL…

Have a great one all

Fisticuffs starts at 5:15 for the GG  return bout.




OTP thursday

Traditional Egg and Tomato breakfast today, the flavour was ‘perfect’ , compliments to the Chef.. the plate was a little bare to start with as the entree was served early , without  condiments of GOTFR or Incidents.

Once the main course was served though, another crescendo of colour and frivolity, leaving the palate slightly overwhelmed.. had to bite my tongue through Killara as a Highway patrol wannerbee on a BMW MotorCycle tried to make intimate (*&%&) to Clutters.. OS had to have words at the lights, a muffled reply that could have been Russian was all our hero could grunt from behind his full face helmet and F1 flame retardant hood.

Suitably Spiced the peloton rolled through to the B&T for a cleansing Coffee and banter.. gently paced, well aspirated so spirits were high.. behaviour exemplary, but formation en route could be tighter.

YHC rolling past the Fort St school was waylaid by the very nice people from the City Of Sydney, who were there to pour oil on stormy waters created by the passing of a Force Ten puff piece about unruly cyclists nearly hitting the kids going to school.. ( Our very own Captain was due to meet with the principal of the school to discuss options and schmooze where BicycleNSW are MIA )

So picking through their freebie basket I trousered a Hi Viz strip ( and one for Bullet ) enjoying some witty conversation as one does , and the upshot is they are asking for all cyclists to visit the following site at some point and ‘have your say “ ..

B&T – wall to wall.. 30 plus shouting room only..waifs and strays , various chapters from all points converging for a quiet conversation and cool down having enjoyed the second best way to start the day.  ( where is our Flash ?? departed Turra.. but DNS )

We will be doing this all again soon.. can’t wait.

Have a good one all


OTPe at TD and Dobbo speed

After chugging down only 1/3 of the beast charred to perfection at the BBQ.. YHC was looking to expend a little energy on the OTPe this morning, and was up well before the dawn to pump up the tyres and oil the chain ( it’s all about performance ).

On the road at an early 5:45, the sun was well up, heralding daylight saving soon which only means even less sleep than required for good health.. but also a chilled 12C air temp whistling past the ears, therefore bike comfort only high when pedalling hard.

A strange quiet on the Old Northern Road, perhaps only 4 cars actually went past, no trucks, that magic sweet spot before the mayhem of Castle Hill rd and somehow more single person vehicles intent on averaging 80 in a 60 except where the speed camera resides.. YHC making the no left turn into Victoria in record time and then once more into the bliss of solitude and damn arrived at Loftus with 10 minutes to wait for the OTPe off.

DtB DNS ( under the weather was the excuse straight out of the Captains book  U and W ..soon will be scraping  XYand Z ) ZZZZZ being slept in..had to take the bus ..

TD and Dobbo providing witty repartee and wheels to chase, TD having visited the bike whisperer yesterday was suffering still from Crank Creak..perhaps he needs a little Teflon on them..( oh that’s right Teflon could not stand the noise so gave them to TSS to get rid of.. what goes around..)

The ‘ping road rollercoaster 3 spirited climbs later put us in the box seat for an early B&T arrival. And as that first swig hit the palate and shortly after caffeine to the brain, YHC worked out that it is school holidays so hence the delicious lack of traffic. No incidents, no GOTFRs, just the second best way to start the day.

Hopefully many happy returns this evening, choose your bus wisely





OTP Thursday

There is a cockerel somewhere near the garret on the col de Monte Colah.. and 4:05 is his witching hour.. calling the first rays of sunshine on the peak miles above the valleys..unfortunately this means YHC awakes with thoughts of Cock au Vin and or Creme Poulet.. administered of course with extreme prejudice.

Blearing out into a bright dawn and onto a bike though is perhaps the only remedy sufficient to change ones mood..and this morning’s extravaganza was written by a virtuoso.. moisture reduced to near zero, temperature raised to a balmy 12C, sun hung at a low angle streaming picture perfect rays onto the tops of the trees..yup even Dylan Thomas would not be  Raging into that dark night..( at least feeling a little relief )

Pushing off with murderous thoughts, quickly faded into the usual fight for breath and power, then once warmed to the task, and backing off into a suitably pleasant cruise, I managed my first GOTFR passing Salisbury road, our hero had to wait for me to pass so at the opportune moment provided YHC with a horned accompaniment, and YHC managed to maintain equanimity ..followed by a PB down Sherbroke to the roundabout. YHC managed a second GOTFR on the short section on Edgeworth David before turning onto Park Ave.. as usual I “command “ the lane by taking up a central position on the right hand lane .. which our hero obviously objects to.. the 100 metres is perhaps 9 seconds of hell after all .. having turned this hero actually speed forward and then took a parking space opposite the oval.. I gave him a tinkle on the bell and a smile with a good morning to polish off..

Catching a Bullet on the Pacific Driveway brought  traffic to a standstill, thus a sedate well aspirated transfer to the launch pad at Gordon..and the usual suspects all gathering for the fray.

20 or so on the OTP, led out by Dave on the snot of 6:45, a BOF rolling into the station seconds behind.. sometimes I think the rail could set their watches by us..

Rolling into the hills of death, a bulge of ERs finest, car back calls being bugled but due to sheer numbers there was a good lag before compliance into single file and by the time the front runners got the message the car was already making its way into the middle of the group.. hmm that safety group idea of 10 to 20 riders leave as soon as they can ahead of the main bunch is looking really good.

The roll into Archer was for some a sweet spot, greens and spaces aplenty, the rear riders managing to cop a red or three, hence you can ride the OTP but never experience the same ride twice. If only Schlecky were aboard, there would have been greens all round.

Tindale regroup turned into a charge through the park, well spaced and in good fashion, YHC managed a PB for that section..yup startled as I was to see it, apparently I have never really given that section any wellie.. even Drastic chuffed past me on his single speed MTB up the last blast..

A swell of riders for the Burlington burn.. ER traffic jam .. interesting to note that 30 single person vehicles in a minute made it through there.. just try that in  cars and see how much longer it takes..

The coffee sprint was comprehensively won by DLHK and Bucky, both had to warp time and space to do it but they were sat in the B&T having ordered before the ER mayhem took place ( alas DLHK had to fetch his own coffee after 15 minutes of waiting..awww )

The congregation was in fine form for a Thursday, fluffers and sniggles OTPs etc all arriving at the same time..ensuring the general public get a display of lycra, and a little glamour that lights up their lives..

Return busses are already reserved, pity there is a little work to do before departure

Have a great day all