Leader: Ian Edwards
Newcastle: Belmont to Newcastle Cycling Trails
4 April 2019
An 80 leaders walk
Photos: Innocent but conscripted bystanders
Ian Edwards, Robert Robinson, Michael Baker, Jan and Paul Mathieson, Shirley Hart, Graham Richter, Bob Taffel, Jill Green, James Yap, Carol Lee, Jennie Kelso, Mike Pickles, Ken Woodward
Broadmeadow Station to Belmont then back to Broadmeadow and on to Newcastle Harbour and back to Newcastle Station. This ride includes the wonderful Fernleigh Rail Trail. There may be a small extension to take in Nobbys and Newcastle Beaches. Limit 15.
Twelve of us met at Broadmeadow Station, and while the sky was overcast, the smiles were broad. We peddled off toward Belmont picking up two of the party on the way. Given the early morning start a coffee stop was necessary to top up the caffeine levels for a full day of cycling.
Off again along the magnificent Fernleigh Track, an old coal rail line which has been converted into a cycling and walking path. Once at Belmont a compulsory photo of the group was organised by conscripting an innocent bystander as the official photographer. Mission accomplished we then headed for Newcastle, about 40 km away.
Teamwork had been obvious on the way to Belmont despite there being a mixture of cycling skills in the group. The Leader decided to offer a 10 km special stage for the energetic riders. There was keen competition for the yellow jersey. The referee declared a dead heat between Carol, James and Bob.
The Leader had put some thought into the lunch spot. There were tables, chairs and toilets in Islington Park and he was sure the riders would not mind if the lunch was a little late. There were however no mosquitoes on the recce day!!!
Off again and in no time we had reached Newcastle Harbour. There has been tremendous change in Newcastle over the last 50 years. The steelworks were once very significant but nowadays the Port of Newcastle is the world's largest coal exporting port. The transformation of Newcastle of course has been much broader and one of the benefits is that it is possible to cycle along the full length of the southern edge of the harbour to Nobbys Beach. This we did. Another innocent bystander was conscripted for a photo before we continued onto Newcastle Beach.
All we had left to do was to ride back to Newcastle Station. After 55 km there were still smiling faces at the end.
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