Easter Feast of Cycling



 

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A classic Australian road sign

Over the Easter weekend my husband and I had the pleasure of being part of the Support Crew, for friends Owen and Cathy who run this event every year. It’s called the Easter Feast of Cycling and it’s held at Laurel Hill Forest Lodge near Tumbarumba in NSW Australia.  It’s not the first time we’ve helped out at this event and it won’t be the last time.  I always come away from the weekend exhausted, but also inspired, and just plain happy to have been involved.

Why am I inspired I hear you ask? When you see a 71 year old woman who can out-ride many younger people (me included) over three days; a man in his late 60s who walks with a walking stick, a severe limp and who can only really use one one leg to pedal uphill but LOVES the downhills; a mother in her early 60s riding with her son; young people in their 20s and 30s pushing themselves to keep up with the older riders and every one of them doing it because they love the sport of bike riding – you can’t help but be inspired.

They loved the open countryside they cycled through, the quiet country roads, the company of others with similar interests, the crisp autumn air and the magnificent views as they rode along. The weather was gorgeous all weekend and it really was great to be alive.

I had the easy job of directing them along the way, complete with clapping and encouraging them, helping to feed them (they eat a lot!), picking up those who couldn’t pedal any further, talking to them about the area we were cycling through and about life in general.  The group was a mix of ages, from all over the place and from all different backgrounds but they came together for a fun weekend of riding, all organised by Owen and Cathy and Jimmy from Goodes Coaches. Many have been coming to this event for years but for some of the younger ones from Melbourne, it was their first time, and I’m sure it won’t be their last visit.

I was ‘subcontracted’ on the first day to be the driver for Siggy, the man I mentioned above, who had a bad leg but wanted to do the downhills.  I drove his car (he was very trusting) and picked him up whenever he had had enough riding.  I offered him his car keys back each time but he said he was happy for me to drive him so I continued as his personal chauffeur for the weekend. I had never met the man before but within minutes it was like we’d known each other for ages.

The weekend went something like this (taken from Laurel Hill Forest Lodge website):

Friday 25th March 2016

  • ARRIVE in time for a 2 hour ride from 2 pm to Batlow for coffee
  • DINNER 6.30 pm in the dining room at Laurel Hill Forest Lodge
  • Meet and greet your riding mates

Saturday 26th March 2016

  • CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST from 8 am
  • MOUNTAIN BIKE RIDE, including packed lunch, Medium to hard grade, approx. 35 km
  • ROAD RIDE, including picnic lunch, Medium grade, approx. 70 to 90kms
  • Sag wagon backing, transport home seeing some of the local sights
  • WINE TASTING of local wines
  • DINNER 7 pm in the dining room at Laurel Hill Forest Lodge

Sunday 27th March 2016

  • CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST from 8 am
  • EASTER EGG HUNT 8.30 am
  • MOUNTAIN BIKE RIDE, including packed lunch, Medium to hard grade, approx. 45 km
  • ROAD RIDE, including picnic lunch, Medium grade, approx. 70 to 100kms
  • Sag wagon backing, transport home seeing some of the local sights
  • DINNER 7 pm in the dining room at Laurel Hill Forest Lodge,
  • Including bicycle trivia and assorted frivolity

Monday 28th March 2016 

  • COOKED BREAKFAST 8 am

  • PACK UP AND DEPART AT LEISURE

 

It was just as much fun as it sounds!  The food was delicious, the company was fun, the weather was brilliant and the whole event was a great success.

I love riding too but I’ve decided that I’m soft.  I like riding on rail trails which are relatively flat and have a nice gradient to them. I like some hills but only so that I can rush down them.  I don’t like riding on roads very much but will if I have to.  We have done a few bike trips – a cycling and sailing tour in Croatia and we rode from Paris to Bruges a few years ago on a bike and barge tour (I’d recommend both these tours most highly).  We have plans to do the Otago Rail trail in New Zealand in the near future and we regularly ride on a casual basis around our area and often interstate.

Here are a few of the photos I took from the weekend.

What more can I say  – it was a great weekend of cycling and friendship!

Deb 🙂

Categories: adventure, Australia, autumn, blogging, Cycling, Health & Fitness, riding, TravelTags: , , , , ,

11 comments

  1. Sounds absolutely wonderful Deb, what a great way to get involved, make friends and enjoy your beautiful countryside at the same time. I love cycling but, like you, prefer a nice easy rail trail!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great event! Sounds like you were very busy and thoroughly enjoyed it. Good on you! Great photos too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I would have loved to join this event. It sounds fabulous and despite the exhaustive work you managed to have lots of fun, and got plenty inspiration to share with us, plus great photos to remember it forever. Kudos.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sounds amazing with great photos! There;s some beautiful countryside – a part of the country I’d love to visit. Well done for volunteering.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sounds a lovely way to spend Easter.

    Liked by 1 person

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