Broadcast  Facsimile  To:
Brenda & Russell Baldwin       9997.4071
Steven Belfer                           9232.1118
Bruce & Vicki                           9211.5771
Sam Giglio                               9893.7302
Grainne McEvoy
Siggy Hoffmann                       9600.0836
Ian & Elfie Maguire                  9955.1225
Sylvia Martello                         9904.1432
Phil Johnston                           9378.2728
Wolfgang Salinger                   9874.0197

1.         “Gloucester Long Weekend” Wrap-Up  Disarray, hills, wooden bridges, a mountain to climb, humans impersonating cows,  torrential rain, leaky tents, caffeine at Ian’s”.
Thurs evening around 8pm, 3 Oct, Brenda, Silvia, Sig, Phil, Steven and Pamela experienced a memorable $7 all-you-can-eat “hot special” at the Hexham RSL [what the chef could rustle-up an hour after closing in the way of dried-up whatevers].  Stomachs bloated, our crew adjourned to the Ace of Hearts Motel, Tarro, for a night counting semi-trailers.
Having broken the back of the drive to Gloucester by knocking over the Syd-Tarro stretch the night before, on a delightful, sunny, Fri morning around 8am, after an hour and a bit of
follow your nose/stick to the beaten track and we would all be at Gloucester.  The Game Plan was simple, that is provided you didn’t put Brenda and Silvia behind the same set of wheels.  These two can talk under wet concrete with a mouthful of marbles.  90 mins later, Sig, Phil and Steven were sucking on caffeine fixes in a quaint little cafe in Gloucester whilst Brenda/Silvia saw the sights to Gloucester, via, of all places, Newcastle.  Apart, they are two mature, reliable, sensible adults, put them together and they can represent an accident waiting to happen.  Enough said, given Aust’s defamation laws.

Friday around 4pm, evidenced Steven sighting Sig, Brenda, Silvia and Phil lying on the side of the road
all but dead after 70kms of roller-coaster cycling from Gloucester to Bretti Reserve - what an innocent name for a torture ride, especially scary with Silvia riding 20mm slicks over old timber bridges with 30mm gaps in the slats - scary cracks.  After running out of H2O at the Reserve, we risked the river water and lived - after all, it was good enough for the cows, plus we managed to scrounge bulk carrot cake from campers at Bretti.

Humans impersonating cows!!!

A 72kms return ride to Krambach on Sat was a welcome respite from bloody Bretti.  Poor old Sig couldn’t take a trick, for as soon as Sig said he felt a bit tired at the half way point, Phil organised a race to the death home for the second leg.  Sig’s luck didn’t improve that night, as Phil/Sig/Brenda were talking a little loud around 11pm over a caffeine fix when one of the riders who had adjourned early for his quota of ZZZs recognized Sig’s voice and gave him a blast.  Luck had it, as Brenda’s and Phil’s voices weren’t so well known. 
Early Sunday, Brenda, Vicki, Silvia, Steven and Phil headed off to the base of a mountain only a stone’s throw away.  It really was within walking distance from the camp, however, we were feeling a little lazy.  Twenty minutes and ten kms of frantic driving later, after giant guffaws by Silvia, Phil and Brenda, we eventually found the start of the climb.  Half an hour later of
real Everest stuff, saw all of us make it to the top.  After impersonating a bunch of candidates with mad cow disease, over a few giant cow turds, we made it back to camp for breakfast.

Sig, Brenda and Steven went mountain biking, whilst Bruce, Vicki, Silvia and Phil took on the second leg from Krambach to Taree, returning via Wingham - 74 kms.  Our camp got dumped on real bad as arvo set in, which prompted Sig to grab a slab and some Chateau cardboard, and we all gathered in Wolfgang’s Arab tent getting, rapidly happy.  Bruce/Vicki bailed out of Gloucester, with Phil kipping in the laundry, ‘cause his el cheapo tent was under water.

Monday morning was as shocker - winter re-visited, so Phil and Silvia made a bee line for a dog and bone to scrounge an invite for the team back to Ian/Elphi’s pad.  Strategy was simple.  If Elphi answered, Phil would go into action.  If Ian answered, Silvia would
bung on the charm.  Ian answered and two minutes later smooth speaking Silvia had wormed the Gloucester team back to Ian/Elfie’s and out of a decidedly damp, windy camp ground.

2.           The Good Oil on “Around The Bays In A Day, Sun, 13 Oct -  Simply Don’t Do It!!!

Silvia, Brenda & Phil met up with the cycling contingent from Silvia’s and Russell’s Mosman gym Physical Factory at a swish restaurant at trendy Brighton on the Friday night before the ride.  Lucky Andrew from the gym wasn’t doing the ride and David still had 36 hours to dry out, ‘cause, the red wine bill for the table of 12 approached half a grand, and these two stalwarts drunk half of it.  Late Sat arvo, Silvia checked out her bike and detected a suss slit in her rear slick.  After batting her baby browns at Steven/Phil, the two gentlemen not only raced off to a cycle shop for a real tyre, but Steven was good enough to fit it.  Heaven help Silvia if she ever gets old and ugly, ‘cause she’ll have to do her own repair work.  Silvia is lucky she wasn’t born a dog.

Come race day, David had dried out and about 5:50am, Brenda, Silvia, David, Phil and Dominica [on a sherman tank that she called a mountain bike] started pushing pedals towards Westgate bridge and into a headwind which reputedly came from Geelong.  The day before, Phil had lifted the main anchor for the Queen Mary which Dominica identified as her bike.  Thinking he was on a safe bet, Phil promised Dominica a $20 bottle of champers if she finished the 210 click southern sojourn via Sorrento.  Four hours later, all but Dominica were enjoying almost an hour of gusty tail winds.  Only one problem, it was on the ferry ride from Queenscliff to Sorrento.

Phil and David picked up flats from the infamous Melbourne Wally who delights on spreading thumb tacks on a section of the course.  Nightfall arrived with all but one of the team over the finish line at Port Melb.  Dominica scored the bubbly by being probably the last rider in.  Only problem, we were all too tired to drink it.  The spirit was willing but the flesh was weak, too weak even to party.  Our thanks go out to a special guy from south of the border named Mark who provided yeoman’s service to our team and showed us some of Melb’s prettiest sights on the post-ride Monday.  Hope we are able to entice him to Syd to return the favour.

3.         Low down on Tuggerah Lakes Cycle Classic

Bruce, Vicki, Sig, Sara, Wolfgang and Eric gathered at Toowoon Bay at 8am for the 100km division of the Annual Classic which wound around Tuggerah Lakes onto Wyong and returned.  Our trusty team of five fixed out at the familiar Yarramalong Manor - bottom of Bumble Hill which happened to be the turnaround at Yarramalong Valley.  Whilst taking in the caffeine, they came across an interesting cove who was riding a three speed hub geared, ladies step-thru bike.  The chap is touring around Aust and judging by the old jalopy he was riding, knows how to cycle.   Sig reports that Sara blew the team away with some ferocious riding.  The women in our group always seem hell bent on burying the guys.

4.     Aborted Ride - Sun, 20 Oct

A little drizzle had almost everyone ducking for the covers.  Sig managed to coerce Ian and Phil to Hornsby to see the teams from this year’s Com Bank Cycle Classic off on their first road leg to Warner’s Bay.  Rumour had it that the rest of you cats piked out or was it, kipped in.

5.    Italian BYO Restaurant Night

7.30pm, Fri, 25 Oct - “Pino’s

49 Willoughby Rd, Crows Nest

Sara expects up to 20.  Leave a message on her answering machine 9428.4537 asap if you want to be included.

Phil Johnston  20 Oct ‘96    h:\winword\sport\cycling\cyclepat.doc