It was cold and windy with the probability of rain. Who would be silly enough to get themselves to Torquay to ride to Anglesea – especially as one of the options was a potentially difficult mountain bike course?
There were already several bikes lined up outside the ice-creamery in Torquay, including John’s recumbent. (John had ridden down from Belmont so was the only cyclist not complaining of the cold.) More cars appeared with a pre-dominance of knobbly tyred mountain bikes.
By 8.30 there were 11 riders for the mountain bike route, led by Dave S, and 6 riding the road circuit, led by Helen.
After the mandatory group photo, the cyclists set off in opposite directions. The road group consisted of John H, Barbara, Andrea, Fiona, Ben and Helen. John was delegated as tail-ender (swapping positions with Helen for the downhill sections: if you’re fast on the descents, flaunt it).
With a strong cold head wind, the first 18km were trying, as the road riders struggled up Darian Road, across to Coombes/Hendy Main/Sharps Roads, finally turning out of the wind for a beautiful quiet ride along Forest Road. This was followed by a fast downhill into Anglesea.
Coffee at Caffe Daniele was most welcome.
Within around 20 minutes, 11 elated mountain bikers appeared, looking fit and strong. More coffee and refreshments were consumed before the return. Dave quietly mentioned that he had a ‘secret’ return route for the mountain bikers. (See Dave’s report.)
The road group headed off up the long hill out of Anglesea, somewhat assisted by the tail wind. This hill is deceptively difficult as it’s never too steep, and has several sections of respite. After regrouping near Forest Road, the return to Torquay was easy, despite the heavy Sunday traffic. Fiona and Ben had discovered a safe off-road route behind the caravan path and past the surf club to avoid the fast two-lane roundabout right turn.
The sunshine had disappeared and dark clouds threatened as the road riders disbanded. John set off back on Horseshoe Bend road for home. There was time for a coffee and chat in the warm of the Beachfront Cafe, before the bright-eyed mountain bikers appeared once more.
Thanks to the ride leaders, tail-enders and all riders, this experiment in dual-mode joint rides for the two clubs was a resounding success.