Phil's Blog

Phil regularly posts here with his opinion on current races, cycling politics, and updates from the ground at Le Tour de France, La Vuelta a Espana, and other major races.

Ride with Phil Road Trip #3

Posted on: Monday, September 19, 2016


Our Road Trip continues and Phil has some really obscure camp in mind further north. A short ride, only 30kms or so, up to the Alexander light house before we left had the hearts pumping. A lovely recovery ride, the view was awesome and I managed to ride all the way up the hill. We could see for miles including the vista that was the scene of yesterday’s ride before returning to camp and our last hot shower, for perhaps a bit.


We headed to Minnie Waters but the first camp wasn’t so good and a solo car camping surfer recommended Illuka. Our rig was not going to cope with the wind where we were and another site had to be found.

We found the camp and after almost setting up on beach front site we pulled back into the camp and set up on a fence line of planted coastal shrubbery to protect us from the wind and potential storm. The rain came and Phil was diligent, supervising the camp and dumping the water off the roof for most of the night.

There had been talk of a 2 night minimum on this trip and when there were mutterings of a move after one night I put my foot down. It takes a good hour to set up, and then pull down. We had had a great ride, 50km of grass trails, (nana track) on a coastal walk along with regular road surfaces. We arrived back to camp with the threat of rain looming but the sun was out and we stayed. Resident plovers attacked anything that moved. The bush turkeys cleaned the camp ground and the caretaker was great, a photographer with loads of insight. After lunch Phil went out for a pro ride that was intersected by wild brumby’s while I went for a walk on the beach eventually diving in for my first swim of the trip, the water, compared to Victoria, just like a warm bath.

It rained all night but after a redesign of the rig we woke relatively dry.

Next Stop, Byron Bay, with a side trip to Nimbin en-route. Wet through and with the rain still falling we drove to the hippy capital of NSW. The plan, surely there would be some amazing organic food, some great bread and a laundromat. This trip has become a quest for great sourdough bread and just like the holy grail it is not to be found. We have been spoilt by our local bakery Irrewarra.

We thawed out in what is an extremely pretty town, Caught in a time warp on a road to nowhere Nimbin has been energised by a wonderful lifestyle, even if it is not for everyone.

Our belly’s full with some amazing soup, coffee and of course for Phil a pastry. I think he should write a vanilla slice review as he tries one in just about every town/bakery we visit, we pressed on and headed for Byron Bay. It really was the day we should have booked an Airbnb, the rig was wet and it was still raining. Phil looked at a few places but… set up camp we did in a tourist park. To be fair it was nice to have a hot shower, no timers, and to be able to use the camp kitchen. The rain had stopped but the wind had started.


Our little experimental tent system took a battering in BB and of course so did I. The planned ride was to a waterfall, over the hills and far away but another PA epic followed. It’s hilly around BB and dutifully I followed Phil who was always about 50 metres in front so that he couldn’t hear me yelling about the unsafe conditions. We bailed and went for walk instead.

We had planned a stop in Noosa, an invitation to stay in a lovely home with friends and so headed north to the glamour capital. 

We settled in Noosa for a couple of days and it is lovely, the riding perfect and the cannondale slates even better for the strada bianche courses we tried.


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