Marauding Mudgee

This trip was done in late January 1999

Day 1, Arrival

Well, a very unexciting day cycling wise, as we did none! But this is perhaps acceptable given that we drove for 4 hours to Mudgee from Sydney, had lunch and then hit a few wineries.

On this trip cycling was to take a less prominent role than on previous trips partly because we had friends joining us and partly because Mudgee has all those wineries which one just has to visit...

The friends with us were Lisa (flute player) and Colin (trombone player) who had to return to Sydney the next day and Simmi, Sibba and their daughter Linda who were staying the whole time and had brought their MTBs with them.

We were staying just out of town at Hithergreen Lodge, which is an ordinary motel, with very reasonable rates, excellent breakfasts, a swimming pool and tennis court, and plenty of land, much of which is under vine. Being just a few km out of town made it very peaceful, and the proprieters are the most friendly and helpful I've ever found at a motel.

Day 2, Lue

Fran and I decided to ride to Lue which is 33km from the motel in which we were staying. After breakfast we filled our water bottles, slapped on sunburn cream, and headed out along the Lue road.

The scenery is just magnificent along this narrow road. It winds through the valley floor, undulating but not difficult. We both felt strong this morning and despite a powerful headwind we seemed to be getting along at 20km/hr (which is OK in that wind!).

The road is narrow and has a rough surface, broken edges, and some nasty pot-holes and bumps here and there

This shot I took without getting out of the trike - the railway line is above the road, and this stream below

The road climbed slightly and we passed into the next valley with steep hills all around us, quaint farmhouses dotting the landscape and clouds sheltering us from the sun. Perhaps because it was Monday morning there was a lot of traffic on this back road, but mostly heading into Mudgee - shopping day?

On arrival in Lue, after a great downhill, we parked between the two churches on the edge of town and ate some dried fruit, had a drink and then headed back. Climbing back up the hill out of town was soon rewarded by a series of fast downhills and easy riding. As with our Parkes trip we had not realised how uphill our trip had been, nor how strong the headwind. (this despite the fact that we had an altimeter with us!) According to our altimeter the top of the hill outside Lue was 120m higher than our starting point in Mudgee.

We made excellent time back to Mudgee and met up with Simmi, Sibba and Linda who had done a 14km ride as a warmup for day 3...

Dinner was chinese take-away (acceptable but not great), beer, local wines and some chocolate. We sat outside around the motel pool eating, drinking, watching the sunset, and then the stars...

Day 3, Gulgong

Today all 5 of us are doing the same ride, that is, part of the same ride for those who are less used to the distances. Fran and Simmi and I will ride from the motel to Golgong, and Sibba and Linda will take their car to Home Rule (important sounding name, nothing there though) and do the last 10k or so with us. Then we will return the same way, the girls putting their bikes in the car and providing support for the 3 of us on the home trip.

Mudgee to Gulgong along Henry Lawson Drive is an excellent ride. There is a long slow climb out of town - the top is reached at the 10Km mark. To show what excellent cyclists they are Simmi and Fran made up a poem while ascending this hill (talking while climbinbg the hill - hmmm...). It was then encumbent upon the rest of us to make up a verse each, thus producing the world's worst cycling poem. From then a long not very steep downhill to the creek, and then a few windy bits, the odd rise and fall, and you're in Gulgong...oh yea, Home Rule is along the way, but don't blink or you'll miss the road sign (which is all there is anyway).

Simmi elected to do the entire ride with us. This was his longest ride ever, and he had no trouble at all - in fact he rode as well or even better than we did.

After such exertion we all needed a big lunch which we found at the Fairview Cafe down the road from the motel. Following lunch we had a rest, watched sme of the Australian Open tennis on TV and then decided to find a winery or two. Seldom Seen wines provided us with a pleasant afternoon chat and tasting session, and naturally we felt the need to add to our cellar...

After this we watched some more tennis until...blackout, no power! Well, lets play then. So Fran and I played a set (6-3, her way) and then joined the others in the swimming pool

Dinner was at the pub - Guiness on tap!

Day 4, nothing special

Well, be began by attempting a ride along the Hill End road out of town, but various circumstances thwarted our plans and we all ended up riding parts of a different route, not covering much distance, and doing some more wine tasting. All in all a productive day, just not filled with amazing cycling adventures.

The world's worst poem

The sun was beating down
The cyclists wore a frown
'cause the hill ahead was steep

Through sheer power and will
The cyclists got up the hill
And fell into a heap

Slightly tipsy from tasting wine
They couldn't cycle in a straight line
'cause the wine was fairly cheap

At the end of the day
We tasted more at Red Clay
And then went home to sleep

Food is what a cyclist needs
To obtain such wonderful blinding speeds
So we pigged out.

Destination Rider Distance Average speed Ride time Maximum speed
Lue Keith
Gulgong Keith

More of Mudgee

One afternoon we drove out of Mudgee past some very ugly mining operations to place with the most fabulous Scribbly Gum forest, and a rock shelf covered in Aboriginal hand paintings.

All the photos from here down the page were taken by Simmi & Sibba

Simmi (the viking) stands 197cm tall and he could not reach the hand imprints on the rock face

There were hundreds of these paintings on this long rock face which is only 800m walk from a small parking area just off the side of the main road to Cassilis

Linda wanted to ride Fran's trike around the motel carpark - it seems she found it a uphill going...

On the last evening we pigged out at a superb local restaurant. Simmi and Linda had recently had birthdays...any excuse...