Hervey Range Overnighter

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Salsa Powderkeg loaded up for its first cycle touring trip.

Saturday afternoon and perfect weather…we shut the shop half an hour early so we could get away at 1.30pm. The other eight people doing this weekend’s mini cycle tour  were leaving at various times and would meet us there. With any luck we would get to the Heritage Tea Rooms before they shut at 4pm for a scone. It’s not that we needed anything, we were completely prepared for our one night trip, but cafes on a bike trip seem to have a magnetic pull.

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‘Aircon photo’ at Hervey Range Lookout

There was a wonderful breeze pushing us along for much of the 40kms to Hervey Range. The sun was hot but, still being winter, the afternoon was pleasant to ride in. When we reached the Hervey Range lookout we conducted a ‘ride-through’, taking some ‘aircon photos’ as we looped around and took off again. ‘Aircon photos’ are our nod to the many people we’ve seen who pull up in their car to take a photo without even winding down the window or stepping out of the car.

The phone rang just as we were in the midst of climbing the final pinch to the Tea Rooms. Feeling responsible, we thought we should answer. It was Greg, acknowledging they were not going to make the 4pm Tea Room cut-off and asking us to buy the beers. Beers? At the Tea Rooms?! Who knew!

At 3.53pm we were walking in the door of the Tea Rooms, just in time to buy beers and get out before the strict 4pm closure. Rob and Charmaine had arrived before us and the others slowly trickled in one by one

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Bike parking at the Heritage Tea Rooms

Our campground at the Heritage Tea Rooms was beautiful! Mown grass amongst some shady trees made for a lovely spot.

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That esky looks too big to carry on a cycle tour…

Kev’s partner, Tracey, drove up in her car and brought a bunch of luxuries that Kev swore he could have happily done without (check out the esky in the photo above). He said he carried up all his essentials on his bike…and for the rest of the weekend had to put up with incessant teasing from the rest of us. We did enjoy Tracey’s cheesecake later that evening, but, apart from that, everyone had their own tents, food and cooking gear, carted up on their bikes.

Ashley missed out on the Tea Rooms, but made it before it got dark…

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Ashley was happy to be finished for the day.

Everyone had different set-ups. The one thing we all agreed on was that comfort was important, and that everyone has their own idea on what comfort is!IMG_0628

Rob and Charmaine have some lengthy cycle touring plans in mind, so were keen to test out their gear loaded onto a Vivente and a Surly.IMG_0620

It was a bit like a Trangia cooking festival that night, with three of them going at the same time.IMG_0633Ashley and Conrad had Jetboil cookers and Kev had a primus (we think that came up on the bike). Conrad arrived in the dark, not quite leaving enough time to get to the Tea Rooms before the light faded. He managed to get his tent up using a headlamp and quickly had dinner cooked up on his Jetboil.IMG_0641

We all felt the cold as it got darker and were happy to retreat to our tents and sleeping bags before too long…except Ashley, he’s a cold weather southerner and thought he would leave the sleeping bag at home to save on weight…IMG_0627

We took it easy the next morning, except for Rob and Charmaine who thought they would watch the sunrise from back down the road at the lookout. They missed the actual sunrise, but the sun was still technically rising when they got there.

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After cups of tea and coffee brewed up on Trangia‘s and gas stoves, everyone packed up their gear ready to have breakfast at the Tea Rooms, which don’t open until 9am.

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There are no arguments happening here…

We had booked a table, which was lucky because by 8.55am the place was full and there was a queue at the door!IMG_0682

A couple of friends rode up to join us for breakfast, which was delicious as always and filled up our bellies ready for the 40km jaunt home.IMG_0695

We must have had a tailwind for part of the way home because it was a pleasant roll back to town where we met up again and said our final goodbyes. It was a brilliant way to spend a weekend…IMG_0731

Our next mini cycle tour, or 24 hour trip, looks like it might head to Giru in a few weeks. Come in and ask us about it! The cooler months are quickly coming to an end and we need to make the most of it!

 

 

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