“A HEALTHY MIX OF TARMAC AND GRAVEL, SWELTERING TEMPERATURES IN EXCESS OF 38'C AND FAST FLOWING DESCENTS...”
DAY ONE - 16th December 2017
158.9km / 1,554m Elevation
Early on Saturday Morning, seven eager Adventurer’s met in the heart of the Perth CBD for the first of the ‘Jackcyclesfar Weekend Adventures.’ A quick shot of caffeine and a short briefing later, we hit the road, en route for Toodyay and a weekend full of exploration.
Day one, a tough day on the pedals, saw us cover 158.9km (just short of an Imperial Century.) A few of the riders (myself included) were spotted completing ‘bog laps,’ around town, in order to hit the magic 160km at day’s end.
The famous ‘Bakers Hill Pie Shop’ played host to the Day One, lunch stop. A top shelf bakery in the midst of the Perth hinterland that did not disappoint. The riders left with bloated bellies having consumed excess calories required for the remote afternoon ahead.
A healthy mix of tarmac and gravel, sweltering temperatures in excess of 38’C and fast flowing descents through the Avon National Park, the riders experienced it all and reached Toodyay with smiles on their faces and in desperate need of an ice-cold recovery beer.
Note: One of the riders (I won’t mention names) opted for a shandy in lieu of a beer…this rider just may have been me…
Upon arrival and prior to cold beverages and showers at our pit stop for the night, ‘The Freemasons Hotel,’ we made a quick stop at the local Toodyay IGA. Food and drink choices ranged from fruit salad, to sushi, with a mix of everything in between. A special mention must go to Brian Saunders who opted for ‘Almond Milk’ as a protein source. Upon closer inspection of the packaging, we found that Almond Milk contained no protein. Better luck next time Brian!
The afternoon rolled into the night and the riders spent the last few hours of sunlight with their feet up at the bar, watching the closing stages of the Cricket over well earnt refreshments.
There were various dinner choices, however all but two riders opted for the Rump Steak with Chips and Salad. The bar maid kindly asked how we’d like our steaks cooked…why, I will never know, as they all left the kitchen ‘well done.’ It reminded me of steak from a ‘Sizzler Franchise,’ no matter what you ask for, you’re always presented with a ‘char grilled’ slab of meat. That being said, the steak was delicious and certainly hit the spot.
Dinner was followed by dessert. I’m personally not a big fan of desert, but when I’m on the road, I always make a concerted effort to consume the extra calories. Toodyay was no exception. The Apple Crumble was served with ice cream (or so the menu suggested…) When the plates came out ‘ice cream less’ Claire pointed out to the waiter that we required the extra calories (bravo Claire!) A few minutes later we received our bowls of ice-cream. Perfection.
DAY TWO – 17th December 2018
110km / 854m Elevation
We woke to rain and wild wind on Day 2. We’d been watching the forecast the night before and were hopeful that the weatherman would be wrong. Rain in WA in mid-December is almost unheard of! The riders were well prepared and had wet weather gear stowed away in their bags. It rained on and off until we reached Chittering Valley and was a welcome change from the heat of Day One.
At Chittering, we stopped in at a local Orchard for some freshly squeezed orange juice. The orange juice hit the spot and was the perfect energy source just prior to our climb out of the valley and back down towards Bullsbrook and the foothills of Perth. A strong ride by Jaimie Kirkwood and Tom Barrett had us flying along the Great Northern Highway towards Guildford and before we knew it, we were at the Guildford bakery enjoying lunch.
The final push down the bike path was incredibly enjoyable as we reminisced on the weekend that had been. We were gone for less than 48hrs but felt as though we’d been gone for a week. Memories that will last a lifetime.
A seriously fun weekend away with a great bunch of local riders. The next of the Weekend Adventures is scheduled to take place in Collie, on the weekend of the 27th and 28th January 2018. There are limited spots remaining so if you are yearning for adventure and a good weekend away with a bunch of like-minded individuals, then sign up now and secure your spot.
Tom Barrett – Master photographer and all round strong man.
Jaimie Kirkwood – The gentleman of the road.
Peter Pang – Owner to one of the most chiselled sets of calf muscles within the Perth cycling scene.
Clark Brannin – Conqueror of the gravel.
Claire Tyrell – Gravel descent extraordinaire.
Brian Saunders – The puncture specialist and chief of kit coordination.