Words by Club Captain Cam. Photo's by AshE, ClaireR, ClaireH & Cam.
It was an early alarm and a nice run down the M1 to Burleigh Heads for the next adventure in our #12rideswithkpcc series: Numinbah Valley.
This is one of my favourite rides in South-East Queensland, and I couldn't wait to head out from the beach and up in to the hinterland for the views, the quiet roads and the country charm of a place where the locals are quite friendly and welcoming of cyclists!
Our group of 31 riders was split in to a fast group led by Craig, a moderate group led by me and a social group led by Claire all of whom would end up taking a different approach to our 130km adventure.
The first climb was Springbrook; a 6km / 5% perfect hot-mix bitumen beauty where plenty of other cyclists were out enjoying a morning on the bike. From there it's a fast and steep descent to the base of the Numinbah Valley where our fast and moderate groups turned south for the border and our social group turned north.
Our social group (1 spoke down after the descent) headed around the western side of the Hinze Dam before turning east for the coast in what turned out to be a 70km hills-fest with not a flat road in sight. ClareP tells me it was nearly 1800m vertical, which was surprising given how flat it looked on the old street directory while we were planning the route!
Our other two groups headed south through the Numinbah Valley to the border gate (which is marked by a wet and slippery cattle grid on a fairly heavy gradient) to head in to northern New South Wales.
On the way our moderate group enjoyed the company of two undercover police cars who took it in turns sitting behind us and booking anyone that engaged in a dangerous or silly overtaking manouvre! It was all good fun until DaveO flatted and our friendly escort came to have a chat... fearing the worst, we were pleasantly surprised as it turned out the friendly Constable was simply wanting to say thanks for assisting him with some 'revenue raising' and wished us well south of the border where he was no longer able to follow us.
By the time we were south of the Border the rain had set in, and it was white knuckle time on the descent in to Chillingham where we stopped at the Banana Cabana for a snack and the obligitory Choc-coated banana. This marked the halfway mark in the ride, and a little bit of sun helped to warm us up!
A few hills later (Hogan's Road and Bilambil) and we were back in Queensland and heading north for lunch. It was a reasonably uneventful ride back for our fast group, but my recently purchased Garmin 810 was not going to make it easy for the moderate group and I somehow neglected to keep the beach on our right shoulder as we wen't north and added a fair bit of extra distance and another few hills to the adventure correcting my navigational error...
After a long 130km day on the bike, hungry riders were met by drinks and food courtesy of MarkR on arrival at the Burleigh Heads Hotel and everyone stayed around for a few hours of social fun.
A big thanks to Craig and Claire for leading groups, everyone for turning up despite the rain and MarkR for shouting the table a fair bit of good food and wine! It's days like these that remind me why I joined KPCC and how much I enjoy getting out there with my Club mates and going for a ride. Who wouldn't!
Coming up next it's our annual Spring Classic: the Ronde van Brookfield-gem-beek-berg. This is a fun ride where everyone gets to ride together and ride as far and fast as they like along the way. Plus it's a retro-ride, so you get to wear kit that was cool in the 80's and 90's.