All smiles on a perfect Queensland winter morning! The 11th annual Winter Warmer was once again an outstanding success with ideal conditions for the 250km that was covered over the weekend. First timers were amazed at the stunning scenery and awesome quiet roads we take on this ride. There is something for all riders with none of the route covered twice apart from a few kilometres at the start and finish! For many the distance would never have been contemplated but with our friendly paced bunch they made it with ease!
A good rollup this year despite a date clash with the inaugural Peaks Challenge on the Gold Coast. A great new addition to our bunch was the Wood family who added a lot of fun and also class to the ride!
After about 50km we hit our first big climb...the 6km run up to Mt Mee.
The home baking was superb this year so a big thank you to everyone who contributed! It was also an awesome morning at the top of the first stop for the day. But no time to tarry and we were soon on our way to Woodford for our bakery stop and a grat chance to recover before the last big climb of the day.
As usual CJ's Bakery in Woodford is a welcome spot for a breather and a chance to take off the extra clothing for the last 40km up the infamous Stanley River Road. It felt like summer so sunscreen was definitely the order of the day!
Off we went and soon enough we hit the last climb and the final challenge before the welcome arrival at Tranquil Park!
As usual a great spread with beer, Guinness and some nice food and conversation!
After a fun night with great food and drink and some friendly rivalry over the Bledisloe Cup game on the big screen it was time to get some sleep before the ride home on Sunday.
The view we woke up to is something special!
As usual the breakfast is delicious and a shame to have to rush but we do have to get going!
A fresh morning but could be worse. The good part is the great downhill run to Peachester ahead!
The road to Wamuran is easy going through some great countryside!
Once again our hosts for our morning stop is CJ's bakery but this time the Wamuran branch. The last of the home baking is consumed and we head off for the tough little hills around the back roads of Caboolture on the way to Narangba.
There are some tough little hills after Wamuran and also cattle grids and skinny roads. We have a last regroup for a last drink before the last few kilometres home!
Around 2pm we hit Brisbane and the Lifecycle carpark. Some last minute refreshments and time to unpack and head our separate ways. Congratulations to everyone who took part and survived the distance. An especial thanks to our support crew of John Arrowsmith and Amy Thornburn because without them the ride would not be possible!
So that is the Winter Warmer for 2015! Our next big weekend ride will be the Spring Challenge on November 7/8.