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Summer fog on Blue Mountains ride

Date:
By the Editor

Lead: Fred Madderom

Shotgun: Dom Fedele

Sweep: Matteo Zanarini

Words from Editor Peter Cox, photos from Photographer Lifeng Ji

The Chapter Ride up to the Blue Mountains proves that a great ride doesn't have to be a perfect ride.

With Sydney forecast to max out around 22 degrees and a 14 degree maximum for Katoomba it wasn't going to be a typical Summer ride.

It was cloudy and cool - delightful for the time of year - as Fred led the group west and then cut around the back of Penrith for a climb up the mountain.

Those 15kmh hairpins on Old Bathurst Road above Emu Heights are crackers. 

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One of the Chapter's newer members, Julio, tackling the mountain.

The route wove back and forth to dodge as much highway as possible and, as warned at the ride briefing, it was a big day for corner marking.

Not a perfect day for corner marking, as a small group of us ended up missing a turn off. But the coffee stop was in Leura and that's hard to miss. So we headed up the highway to Leura as the rain started to thicken.

I took my chance to pull into a servo and get the wet weather gear on - the temperature had plummeted and an extra layer was welcome - and as I rejoined the highway I met the main party turning on from the other side and jumped onto the back of the group with the sweep.

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The littlest pillion, kitted with new gloves, took refuge behind Dad when it got cold and damp.

After hogging (Ha!) the footpath for coffee and snacks the group assembled for the next leg of scenic outlooks - and plunged into thick fog along the ridgeline.

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The camera never quite captures how thick the fog (or cloud) is. Still an exciting novelty for this Queenslander.

The original Megalong Valley lunch stop was off the list, as they had not responded to calls and messages, so the ride headed direct to Mount Victoria and the Causeway before heading back to Bilpin along Bell's Line of Road.

There are some very impressive pot holes along that road and a couple of riders put their suspension to the test.

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The Pan America was ideal for the Causeway potholes!

The replacement lunch venue was Hillbilly Cider Shed, home of some good pizza, plenty of relaxed seating and easy parking. The group settled in and dawdled over lunch, it was a great way to see out the 2021 Chapter riding year.

Our last stop of the day was to be the Tutti Fruiti but, as it turned out, I still haven't sampled their ice cream. It was closed. Fred diverted into Kurrajong but that looked like a western ghost town, no coffees for us.

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The village was deserted before the ride cruised down main street. 

We'd left the damp behind on the Causeway and the chill had subsided by Hillbilly Cider so, confident it would get warmer coming down the hill, I gambled on ditching the wet weather gear. That worked out and, less than 10 minutes after getting home to the Inner West, it hammered down. Score!

Perfect ride days don't give you many stories to tell. Judging by the smiles and yarns spun at every stop this was a great ride out. 

See you in 2022 for more adventures!

For more of Li's great pictures from the ride, including the now traditional shots of people pointing (this time Lindsay and, as usual, Tony) click here to check out the website.

 

2 comments

As an experiment, Blogs now have commenting turned on. We'll see how this works over the coming days. If the spam bots find this feature it might vanish quickly!

Posted by the Editor, 27/12/2021 8:14:19 pm

Great ride today by Fred, the Mountain Goat, master of the Blue Mountains back roads! Good story Peter, glad you got home dry...I nearly did lol.

Posted by Domenic Fedele, 28/12/2021 1:20:43 am

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