Distance travelled – 45.0 km
Avg speed – 16.1 kph
Max speed – 47.9 kph
Coffs Harbour, Pacific Highway, Bucca Road, Nana Glen, Orara Way, Glenreagh
The sun was shining this morning after a thunder and lightening storm last night. We were packed and ready to leave by 9.30am.
When we were leaving Coffs we were climbing a hill on the Pacific Highway. As we merged with some traffic from the left we overtook two cyclists on their way out of Coffs for a morning ride. It was dual carriageway with a narrow shoulder and a drain coming off it on the left hand side. The traffic became heavier and heavier and we could hear a truck approaching from behind us, (Mark in front, then me and then the two cyclists). The truck then started to sound its horn which was a bit worrying as we all knew it was coming as we could see it in our mirrors – was there another danger we did not know about? Mark moved over into the drain and stopped to let it pass and as it turned out it was a “wide load” with a big overhang. As Mark got going again he unwisely decided to ride across some water in the drain and his bike slipped away from underneath him. The result was the bike lying on its side with the trailer flag overhanging the road. Amazingly and perhaps on adrenaline he picked up the bike and trailer in one go and kept going. The task of picking up the loaded and bike and trailer is usually a bit of a fiddle. Watch the video.
Shortly after the incident we pulled over in a small lay-by and had a quick chat with the two cyclists behind us, Steve and his son Dillon. We mentioned we were trying to pick a route to minimise the hills, Steve looked at us with a big smile and said “Its not going to work for you that well” adding he was doubtful that we would make Grafton tonight (our planned destination) and recommended we aim for Glenreagh instead. Dillon was very enthusiastic about the Glenreagh pub’s meals.
We made a quick stop at the Big Banana for the obligatory photograph. As Mark pulled over I wondered why he was stopping so quickly after our chat with Steve and Dillon. I had expected the Big Banana to be much bigger and had not noticed it on my left.
I now know why the Banana Coast is named as such – it is because of all the banana skins that can be found on the shoulder of the Pacific Highway.
We took the Bucca Road to Nana Glen and there was one particular hill very early on that I found a bit soul destroying. It’s the big climb on our elevation profile at the 15km point. The bit in the middle was particularly difficult. Mark had the camera on for this section so if you want to watch 11 minutes of torment click here.
Thankfully after the climb and a short stop, where we caught up with Steve and Dillon again coming towards us.
The country was very pretty and we arrived in Nana Glen about lunchtime. We stopped for a drink outside the community hall on the outskirts of the village and heard the sound of the children playing in a backyard swimming pool. “That sounds like what I need” I said. We headed further along the road in search of a suitable lunch spot and came across the Nana Glen Community Swimming Pool. It is a lovely pool especially for hot cyclists and is only about 18 months old.
With such a lovely lunch spot and a recommendation from Steve that we stop at Glenreagh we found ourselves soaking in the sun next to the pool and were in no rush to get away. The atmosphere made us completely discard our original plan of trying for Grafton. In fact we think the photos of me sitting beside the pool definitely confirm we are in holiday mode.
When we reached Glenreagh we pulled up at the General Store to see if there were any alternatives to the pub for accommodation and got chatting to a cyclist who had stopped there too. He had ridden in from Grafton and was a sales rep for Cassons the distributor for Met bicycle helmets and Topeak products, which we both use. After reading on our GPS that sunset was at 5.20 he was quickly on his return journey.
We checked into the pub and went for a walk before dinner and discovered we could have camped at the recreation ground for $6.00 a night.
Zoom into the map and use the 'Satellite' layer
to see our new location.
View from Allambie Apartments looking towards The Jetty, Coffs Harbour
The Big Banana, Coffs Harbour
Nana Glen, Community Swimming Pool