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The Hills are Alive; and Cool

By Wom Battle
Category: Rides

Heffy (formerly known as JP) and I were off to Coffs Harbour for a weekend ride.  We decided to take an indirect route there and the shorter Pacific Hwy route back.  We met up at my place at 7.30am this morning and headed to the local servo for fuel and we were soon on our way through Raymond Terrace heading towards Gloucester for one of our favourites, a Perenti Breakfast Pie and a couple of shots of Tobys Estate coffee.

The weather, despite the forecast,  was cool but sunny almost perfect riding weather and it took moments to relax into the ride and we were at Gloucester before we knew it.  It wasn't until we stopped that the coolness set in, and knowing that the next leg of the trip would see us head up the mountains on Thunderbolts Way to Walcha, some additional warm clothes were slipped on before we left town,

Of course we took some time out to stop and enjoy the never tiresome view at the "Love Dunny Lookout", which incidentally is now a place on Facebook and was originally named after Heffy took a bended knee and proposed to his wife at that very spot a couple of years back.  I suggested that he remain standing during this visit.  I digress;

Leaving the lookout and heading towards Nowendoc saw the morning become more chilly and by the time we got to Walcha and fuelled up we were ready to head to the Royal Cafe knowing there was a fire by which we could warm the gloves and some seats facing north from where we could enjoy the sunshine.  Normally from this location we would head east to head along the Oxley Highway, but today was a day to cover new ground so we continued north to Uralla and the New England Highway and turned right on the Waterfall Way towards Armidale.

Armidale, while we didn't stop, seems a place I'd like to visit again soon, very pretty but our next planned stop was Dorrigo.  The road was winding, with a good surface and while not as exciting as the Oxley can be was loads of fun and very scenic.  We grabbed some winter comfort food at Dorrigo (pie, chips and gravy) and then slipped into the local hotel for a refeshment before we were on our way towards Bellingen and the Pacific Highway. 

This part of the trip, particularly down the mountain, was a huge surprise.  We were almost immediately presented with tight corners, very low traffic and a great road surface,  yeeaah!  It admittedly took a few minutes to get my rhythm after lunch, I wasn't really expecting to have to get to work throwing my loaded up 350kg Road King around so soon.  But out went the cobwebs and on went the Queensland Blue replacing good sense and it was pure gold for quite a few k's.  It was pretty much all downhill in this section of the trip and as we went down and got closer to the cost it was very evident that it was starting to warm up a bit.

Bellingen was busy, crafty and was also placed on my to visit list but we didn't stop, we were trying to land in Coffs by 4.30 and on the way planned to stop briefly to stock the fridge at our accommodation, this time the Novotel Pacific Bay.  Once we got to the Pacific Hwy, well, it's not thrilling or scenic, but it was an easy end to the ride.

We are already planning to do this ride again!


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February 2023