Working backwards from the time we needed to arrive at Patonga – for the 11.30 ferry – we concluded that we needed to leave around 7am. We didn’t have any supplies for breakfast in the motel, so (breaking my cardinal rule of ‘must eat before riding, otherwise I might die’) we hit out for the 14k into Gosford.
It was actually a good time to ride… Sunday morning, early, not much traffic.
And I found that I actually could ride on a virtually empty stomach (I did have a couple of bites of a nut bar.) (But you’ll struggle to get me to agree to do much more than 14k!)
Lucky for me there was a riverside cafe just opening as we coasted into Gosford.
Unfortunately they didn’t have anything more appealing than a banana to eat.
So, bananas, a coffee for me, and a milkshake for Marc, and we set out for a “proper” breakfast at Umina.
We took the signposted Coastline Cycleway shared path that pointed to Woy Woy… but a signposting #fail saw us missing a turnoff, and we ended up around the back of an oval and heading back towards Gosford. Hmmm.
And then a police tape strung across the path (with some incident down the other end of the path) forced us to about face and backtrack around.
(Frustration level starting to rise…)
We then had one more go at taking the ‘Coastline Cycleway’ shared path, which was all very nice away from the traffic, and a bit scenic, but slow, badly signposted, and ridiculously narrow in parts, especially when passing oncoming bikes.
Marc finally spat the dummy on that idea (Frustration Level = 10/10) and we resumed riding on the road (at more than twice the speed) through Woy Woy and then into Umina.
We donned rainjackets and booties… and then set out for the climb up the hill and over to Patonga.
The rain wasn’t so bad. The hill wasn’t so bad. (Marc had kept saying it might be – from the ridewithgps route elevations – to the point where I was starting to doubt whether we’d both get to Patonga, and also up out of Bobbin Head.
But on the downhill into Patonga we got our first (and only) flat of the whole tour!
On a hairpin bend, with no shoulder, of course. Marc did all the work, and I had to hold the bike on a steep slope up against the armco railing so it didn’t slide away on us.
Lucky we left as early as we did. We made it into Patonga with time for another coffee.
So, Bobbin Head, and a welcoming party standing in the rain! Roger had already been out riding (3 gorges, many ks) in the area, but came back down into Bobbin Head. And Malcolm rode all the way from Earlwood!!
So we had company (and guides!) up from the ferry, and the 10k into Hornsby.
We didn’t get too wet before lunch, but by the time we parted company, it was raining steadily. We had by far the shortest trip – a couple of kms to my sister’s place. Roger was headed back to Epping, and Malcolm took the train to Strathfield, before a wet 10k home from there. We got pretty damn wet, so they would have been beyond saturated.
From our point of view, well… a shame to finish on a damp note. However we were so bloody lucky with pretty fabulous weather all week. And we had absolutely no regrets about carrying rainjackets and the wetsuit booties.