Saturday morning at 10am a motely crew of young and less young, and healthy and not as healthy group of 7 set off from John’s place at Walloon for a ride to Hidden Vale and back. For the young and fully fit of which there was 1 – this was a training ride. The next young and mostly healthy rider was also out to train, but not as hard and the other young one was recovering from a nasty lurgy which saw him sit out The Epic last weekend so he was on his first ride back – lets call it a “Recovering” ride. The rest of us not so young anymore were out for a ride and would just be happy to get there and back and attack a few hills along the way.
Driving to Spicers Hidden Vale is pretty straight forward from Walloon, straight up Rosewood-Karrabin Rd to Rosewood and continue on through to Grandchester and turn off to Hiddenvale. That road is busy and we preferred the back roads that run sort of parallel to it the whole way, they are a mixture of bitumen and dirt roads and mostly are very quiet roads with barely any cars on them which makes for a great ride in the country.
While we road up Taylors Road the first of the hills presented themselves. The first one not too bad but the second one on Thagoona-Haigslea Rd I all ways find tough, so while I slogged it up hill the young fit ones did a couple of hill repeats and finally caught up to us near the train station at Thagoona. I had stopped to see if they were coming so had fallen away from my group, so when they caught up I yelled out for a tow/draft and thankfully they obliged.
After we crossed onto Ipswich-Rosewood Road John came up with the riding plan to tackle this long stretch of flat riding. Young guns to lead off and we all to follow in one pack. Good plan and Nicole managed to keep up with them but I was no hope and was thankful when I saw Erwin fall off the pack so we did it in two groups instead. Ipswich-Rosewood Rd is a main road but it has a wide verge and everyone was polite except for one idiot who showed us the bird! Nice!
The young fit ones took off to the top to Hidden Vale and rode back down to us slower riders for a bit of extra work. They also got attacked by the Magpie and so did Nicole. Hiddenvale road starts off as bitumen and soon turns into a narrow dirt road which winds its way slowly up some gentle hills.
Once we’d had our fill of views and goodies that downhill from Hiddenvale was enjoyed by all. We must of been going too fast for the magpie, as we didn’t see him again either. The young ones went all the way to the bridge for some extra work, but we turned up Cummings Road and wound our way along more country back roads and over some hills and back to Waters Road again. Everyone but me saw the already half dead Redbelly Black snake that Luke had “almost” bunny hopped. I was thankful I’d missed it.
So far we were all travelling along well. The less then healthy still alive and the young ones clicking up a lot more km’s then us. We crossed over the railway tracks on to Lane Road and after a discussion about distance home and back roads (longer) verse main road (shorter) we continued on and avoided the traffic. All was good until the hill up to Reinke Rd where Erwin declared that 2 hours and 50km was his usual limit before cramps would end his ride. Considering we had done over 55km and 3 hours of riding I thought that was pretty good. So while Erwin walked his bike up this little hill I waited and the young ones did yet more hill repeats! Once on Reinke Rd it was 3 rolling hills in a row and while the downs where fun, Erwin was now no longer enjoying the up’s. Nicole and I gave him one option…….left turn and down a side ride to the main drag and limp into Rosewood for a coffee and cake and we will pick you up in the car soon.
Now lost from the group we tackled the hills and rode up to Rosewood were John was waiting (and wondering) for us and the young ones were in the IGA raiding it of food. We could see Erwin in the distance not so much enjoying another small hill and apparently getting attacked by a magpie at the same time!
Homeward bound now it was head down and ride. Nicole and I took off and I shamelessly tucked in behind her for the long stretch along Station Rd to Thagoona Train station. John and the less then healthy young ones joined us and Luke who now just wanted to notch up 100km on the mountain bike took the long way around and down Ipswich-Rosewood Road and soon joined us too. Up through Rosewood suburbia and then we decided to take the shorter main road down to Walloon and to John’s house, where I personally endured rather then enjoyed the last slight uphill on Haigslea-Amberley Rd. Luke went the longer way and I spied him coming down Taylors Rd and thought he must be just behind me. Not so….he’d apparently only done 90km by that stage so went and did another loop to Rosewood suburbia and while we were all enjoying recovery food he rode in as proud as punch that he’d done a 101km ride on his mountain bike. Matt did 84km and the rest of us 70km
Erwin was well looked after in Rosewood and enjoyed his cappuccino done just the way he likes it and also found some yummy banana cake.
Thanks everyone for a great ride and thank-you Matt and Luke for the tows and Momo who on a couple of occasions found me on his wheel getting a free ride too.
Note: I found out later Matt and Luke did the whole ride at pace and only “recovered” when they towed me along. Thanks boys.