Being a bit infected with deadly man flu, I thought I had better take it easy and stay off my bikes. Well, the ones you need to pedal at least. With the winter weather finally acting like winter in the sub tropics, it was time to go and scrub my new tyres in.
The standard south east Queensland/northern New South Wales route was selected for it's mix of interesting scenery, curves and generally quiet roads. A very nice 350km(220mi) loop.
I had some new AlpineStar SP-8 gloves to break in on this ride, as seen here modelled by young Will.
I made my way down to the border along the Mt Lindesay Highway. The road is as rough as ever in places and I had the added excitement of coming around a 35km/h bend to find the road pretty well completely covered in loose gravel( the white substance on the road in the video). The road maintenance crews had been patching potholes and not bothered to put a "loose gravel" sign up. Typical. But, as I was taking it easy it didn't cause me any concern, it just ruined the rest of that section of twisty, bumpy road.
The Summerland Way down into NSW is always a very nice ride with thickly forested hillsides overlooking the greenery of the valley. It opens out slightly as you approach Kyogle but it still very pretty country.
Riding into Kyogle I fuel the bike up, then myself with a coffee and the morning tea of champions, a meat pie. Having a cold I can't honestly tell if the pie is any good but I sense I have had better. It fills a hole though!
Leaving Kyogle I head out the Murwillumbah road. I have not ridden this road since about 2003, waay back when I owned my last road bike. Back then it was a narrow, bumpy bit of goat track and I am not expecting any different today. I am not disappointed.
But it does traverse through some amazing country. This area is home to the infamous hippy community of Nimbin. I say infamous slightly tongue in cheek as its detractors back in the day were probably just jealous that they couldn't drop out of society and smoke pot as well.
Nipping around the back of Mt Warning via Tyalgum there are some spectacular views over the valley.
Most of the roads are tight and twisty, staying under the tree cover but there are also some magic sweepers between the greenery of cow pasture.
Heading up and over the border via the Numinbah Valley is a must ride section of road. Not because of any great quality it holds but rather because the only other option is the multi lane Pacific highway. Been there-done that-got the flat spot on the tyre to prove it!
Speaking of tyres, I rediscovered how nice a new set of tyres feel. The bike just tips into and out of corners. It holds a line without any input from me. I just feels right.
The new gloves quickly softened up and felt good by the end of the ride. They will be perfect for hitting New Zealand with next year.
I am glad we finally have some proper Winter weather at last.