Black Dog Ride 2011 – Day 15

Coffs Harbour to Home

Sunrise

I departed Coffs Harbour relatively early to make time to visit Mal from the Port Macquarie Men’s Shed to discuss our visit on Oct 1st. The day started out with a few clouds and a bit cool but otherwise the conditions were perfect for a long day’s riding. I had a quick brekkie then said goodbye to Dave, Nerida & Kim before heading off to fill up at the first major stop I came to out of Coffs Harbour – Boambee. Once I was underway I was headed for Port Macquarie. I wasn’t aware of where the “Town Green” was but found it easily enough at the end of Horton St, one of the main streets of Port Macquarie.

Winston

I met with Mal & Dennis & their wives for breakfast where we got to chatting about various topics, including depression, riding, cruising and what we wanted to achieve with our upcoming ride to the Men’s Shed (as part of Riding4aCause). I headed off a little later than I wanted and hadn’t worked out which route to take so just barrelled down the Highway until I needed to stop. A quick pitstop in Kempsey, then continued on until the Taree Service centre where I stopped for a stretch and to refuel. It was here that I sawa sign to the Bucketts Way. I’d heard of this road before from other riders and here was the sign I was looking for – I had to take it! After a few km of this road I wondered what the fuss was about – the road was very bumpy, full of potholes and debris (leaves, logs, sticks, twigs, gravel and mud) and after about 15km I was thinking of turning back. As it was getting on for lunch time I decided to press on as Gloucester is a great place to stop for lunch.

Gloucester

Once past Krambach the road improved dramatically, and I could see why the Bucketts Way is a favourite bike road – the road surface improved dramatically and it became enjoyable. I stopped at the Mograni Lookout where you can grab a great view of Gloucester and the surrounding valley – As you can see from the pics, the sun was out and the wind was low which made it perfect for riding! I continued the ride into Gloucester and felt at home amongst the 15 or so other bikes that were parked along the main street. I ordered lunch at the Roadies Cafe where I chatted with another couple of riders who were headed back to Sydney after an early morning jaunt to Gloucester for lunch.

Roadies Cafe

The rest of the Bucketts Way was equally as fabulous as the run from Krambach to Gloucester – smooth road, open sweepers, some twisty corners as well as open plains to ride through. Traffic was light, and most were obliging to give me room to overtake so I could enjoy the bike and the road. Eventually I met up with the Pacific Hwy again north of Raymond Terrace and followed the signs towards Sydney.

Road Warriors

A quick refuel in Beresfield before hitting the F3 Freeway for the run home….although I detoured at the Central Coast Hwy to hit the Old Pacific Highway (aka “The Old Road”) for a bit more of a fun ride home. In recent years they’ve dropped the speed limit on this road to deter speeding – however most people believe it’s a conspiracy to raise revenue and deter people from having fun. It was late afternoon by the time I’d stopped at the Road Warriors Cafe for a stretch and a quick drink & bite to eat, but it was good to stop with other riders who had been out on their bikes enjoying the day too. I was tired by this point but knew the next stretch would be fairly easy then all I’d need to do is battle the Sydney traffic on the final run home.

I made it home by 6pm on Father’s Day and spent a wonderful evening with the family after being away from them for 2 weeks. Keep an eye out for my upcoming posts!


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