Wintery Weather, Bus Rides East and – finally – a Great Riding Day: Uralla to Bellingen (Days 7 & 8: Sunday 26 April and Monday 27 April)

When I awoke on Sunday the weather was bleak. A heavy wet grey blanket of cloud had descended on Uralla. It was just about 10*C and the Bureau of Meteorology was telling me that the high in Armidale (my intended destination for the day) was set to be 14*C with wind gusts of up to 44 kph. Um, no. Just no. If I hadn’t been so tested already, maybe, but – why? This is meant to be fun not sadistic. New England Coaches run from Tamworth to Coffs Harbour and having texted the managers on the Sunday after ANZAC Day …

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Anzac Day – Uralla Style (Day 6 – Saturday 25 April)

I woke to a big, blue, clear sky. The sun shone strongly and hot; the breeze, especially in the shade, chilly with the plateau’s autumn. They’ve planted many exotic deciduous trees in New England and their red and golden dying leaves frame each roadway. At 9:45 am the great majority, it seemed, of Uralla residents lined the main street waiting for the balance of their neighbours and most of the district’s school children to parade past to mark Anzac Day: returned servicemen and women came first followed by children marching for parents, then those in local services – the Red …

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These Hills Seem Downright Reasonable or My First Riding Day Without Tears: Bendemeer to Uralla (Day 5 – Friday 24 April)

I first woke around 6 am, rolled over and woke again at 8. I dawdled through the morning – fearing more hills I huddled under the covers and got some writing done. But there was distance to cover and nothing to do but load up and cover it. As I was packing up the Kiwi cleaner nodded at my bicycle and said “You could get an engine for that.” To which I replied “I’ve all the engine I need right here (patting my thigh) and here (pointing at my heart).” That I could feel that way the day after Moonbi …

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An Unexpected Day of Rest and an Unexpected Day of Climbing

(Days 4 & 5 – Wednesday 22 April & Thursday 23 April: Nundle to Tamworth) I woke in Nundle to the sound of car tyres on wet pavement. I was grateful for the excuse to accept Scott’s offer of a lift to Tamworth. It was only light mist but it felt like we were in a cloud and it could start raining in earnest at any moment. I couldn’t ride another day in the rain just now. Scotty suggested a midday departure so I filled the morning with nothing much including a quick look around all that is Nundle. Scott …

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Holy Feck – That was hard (Day 3 – Tuesday 21 April)

The number of kilometres I’m meant to be covering keeps going up and yet I’m not completing them. That said I feel like the kilometres I’ve been doing are so much harder than one might expect that they are equal to double or triple the number of easy kilometres. It rained heavily in the night and I woke several times to re-inflate my mattress. It was raining heavily when I first woke around 6:30 am – I rolled over and hoped for the best. When I rose an hour later it had lessened but it was still falling. All around …

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