Summer arrives for Hill End ride
Category: Rides and events
Lead: Fred Madderom
Shotgun: John Holsinger
Sweep: Stephen Pike
Ride notes from Fred Madderom, pictures from Fred and a couple from Facebook.
Spike skirts the edge of disaster for that perfect group shot at the Lithgow Blast Furnace ruins.
It was an early day, with a 6.45am briefing at the Prospect McDonalds on the M4 West, and a 7am departure.
The group of 19 riders had an easy run up the Great Western highway to Glenbrook where we picked up Spike and then across to Lithgow.
We then rode on to Kelso for a comfort stop and fuel before heading through the old mining town of Sofala where proprietors came out to entice us into their shops.
To their disappointment we didn’t stop but carried on to the Mining and History Museum about two kilometres before Hill End.
This has an amazing, extensive and comprehensive collection of mining and Australiana items.
You could easily have spent two weeks there if you wanted to take it all in. We entered the mine and climbed vertically out via an extensive set of very tight passages.
After a little over an hour it was off the the Royal Hotel for the lunch fiasco. The first nine meals came out OK but the last six did not appear until the first nine were consumed and the riders ready to go.
Now running 45 minutes late we took some beautiful country roads via Ilford and the B56 back to Lithgow and the Bell Line of Road to try and make it to Tutti Frutti at Bilpin before closing time.
We arrived at the Tutti Frutti at 4.29, one minute before closing time.
The hospitality there was in total contrast to lunch and we indulged with their famous mixed berry ice creams. We said our farewells and headed down into the heat of Richmond and the Sydney Basin.
It was a great day of riding and riders covered just shy of 600k depending on where home is.
Cooling off in the shade. Strangely enough the temperature was a lovely 26 degrees. The group only hit severe heat as we decended out of the mountains into the Sydney Basin.
Two shifts for lunch at the Royal Hotel in Hill End. Don't go there if you want prompt and friendly service. When we complained about the food delay the message was "go away and don't come back".
The last leg of the ride back into Sydney was where the temperature peaked.
You can see all the photos available from the ride on the Chapter website. You'd find more photos posted by members on the Chapter Facebook Group.