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A not-so-serious cyclist's guide to Orange

Lyness Beavis

I had a great time on the Mudgee trip despite the fact that I wasn’t feeling super fit and a large percentage of the cyclists seemed to be true believers in long distance cycling.

Cool mornings around -1 to 1 degree, with a light frost, but it soon warmed up.  I was very glad I was in a cabin not a tent. Almost perfect cycling weather until the westerly winds started in the late morning.

The camp kitchen was a great gathering point at night to taste some of the local wines and food and swap cycling and travelling stories. Unfortunately, there was a total fire ban, so no open fire for us this year.

As a group we had a few good nights out in town, the Lawson Hotel being my highlight, with 2 for price of 1, cook your own steaks. Best red meet I’ve had in ages.

The town has invested in a cycling/walking track behind the Riverside caravan park, this crosses the Cudgegong river via a very smart suspension bridge. This leads to the routes out to the vineyards and to a number of the more challenging rides.

I only visited two vineyards on this this trip and plan to do more on my next visit. The Locals tend cycle out to the vineyards for coffee/lunch and then return home.

I rode both my road bike and mountain bike and only did around 45klms as a maximum distance. So very… relaxed. It is useful to have a mountain bike or more sturdy hybrid bike to ride to the vineyards, as a number of the vineyards are on unsealed roads.

The town was gearing up for the annual Wine and Food festival to be held on the following weekend and they had a number of side events on offer. A few of us did an interesting farm tour run through the local tourist office.

Mudgee is definitely a great town for a weekend away cycling, but to experience all that is on offer in the valley you really need to stay for longer, so a week was perfect.

Special Thanks go to Phil Burge for co-ordinating the Mudgee week.

I hope this will appear as a regular event on the BN calendar in the future.

While in Mudgee I also caught up with an school friend who is trying to raise funds to purchase these trishaws for the local retirement village.

I had a great time cycling around town with the Danish boys and observering how delighted the residents were to ride in the rickshaws.

P.S. A great hint from the local cyclists to prevent magpie attacks. A few of the cyclists had gum leaf branches threaded into their helmets. Looked just as silly as cable ties, but probably much more environmentally friendly. They swore it confused the magpies enough to put their aim off but didn’t stop them completely.

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