Well, what a weekend that was! Over 450km with plenty of magnificent scenery and some decent hill climbing. It took my legs a good three days to recover, and I have managed to wreck the front forks on The Blue Flame. It all started with 175km on the Saturday, after I had arranged to meet Bindi from Uki for a ride in that area. Along the way I decided to head south over Tomewin (largely because I would climb it in the opposite direction twice in the following two days), and descent into the Tweed Valley, where mist cloaked many of the surrounding mountains, and provided a very pleasant ride into Uki.
We had decided to have a look at the local farmers' market in Uki, before taking a ride through Mebbin National Park to the south, and a loop home past the waterfall on the Kyogle road. Most of the early part of the ride was spent swapping touring stories, and I'm sure there's still plenty of information to mine on our next ride together. As it was, the Tweed Valley turned on a beautiful day, so we took our time, savouring the rainforest and the mountain views in what really is a very special part of the world.
One of the things about this area is the number of little things in the area that are often missed by passers by. One of the advantages of travelling by bicycle is the ability to not miss these things, and such it was with the waterfall where we had a picnic (of sorts). Along this road there are also a few various fruit stalls, some of which I've shopped at in the past. Bindi was quite keen on these, and I might have been too had I brought the carrying capacity with me on this particular ride.
We had a fairly gentle ride back to Uki, with me noting that the wind had now swung around from the North, as it has done almost every other ride for the last two years. I should almost have enough headwind practice to return to New Zealand by now. We parted at Uki and I took the "alternative" route back into Murwillumbah along Bakers road, before returning home via Urliup and Bilambil, noting along the way just how often the dirt section on Urliup road is graded these days, and how it's probably overkill as the surface is sticky from the grader more often than it ever used to get really rough before. Occasionally, I just wish people would leave things alone.
Returning home after 175km, the first thing I did was call up my usual riding partner Martin and confirm the next two days -- 100km tomorrow, and 180km the following day to close out the long weekend. I wouldn't want to live any other way.