Nundle for Lunch

By Officer Hardass
Category: Riding Solo

After running the Melbourne Marathon on Sunday I was pretty keen for a good ride as with all the marathon training of late I have barely had a chance to throw a leg over the big girl.  Well, today that was about to change!  At first, I thought perhaps Gloucester and the Love Dunny Lookout would be a good option but as it was a cracking day that didn't seem far enough so I though going to Nundle was a better option and gave a nice 600km loop.


Striking out I headed for the Hunter Express Way and made my way up the New England Hwy.  From Scone I started to settle in and clear my head.  It was great cruising in the sun reflecting on the PB I just ran in Melbourne and trying not to think about the torture that my new running coach, Melissa, was about to put me through to see if I can crack a sub 3:30:00 marathon.


I briefly stopped at Willow Tree for fuel before exiting the New England Hwy for Nundle.  With all the spring rain we've had lately the farm country was spectacular.  That and all the cute, little calves running around made it pretty funny.  From here it was only 20 minutes before rolling into Nundle and arriving at the Peel Inn.


Stepping inside I headed to the bar and grabbed a beer before ordering lunch and sitting down outside in the beer garden.  Now, this pub has one of the best beer gardens getting around.  The sun just seems to pour in perfectly and if the breeze is a little cool you are still quite sheltered.  With lunch now in hand I had a little thought to myself that my best mate's father in–law would be jealous as he loves Nundle Pub—likely even more than me!  Now happily full it was time to head home before I booked a room and settled in for the afternoon, which was a very tempting proposition!


Back on the bike I headed out towards Dungowan as the road isn't sealed along Barry Rd and Forest Way.  Reaching Dungowan I made a right and headed down Ogunbil Rd to Nowendoc.  I really love this stretch of road as it is as windy and scenic as you will ever get for a country road.  It's a bit bumpy and tight but still a great stretch of road.  The closer you get to Nowendoc the more it opens up and you can really get stuck into it.


The next stop was the Love Dunny Lookout, more formally known as Carson's Pioneer Lookout.  Being back here on my own brought up a lot of mixed feelings.  A large part of me needed to stop here and say goodbye as part of healing and moving on.  For me, this place will never lose its charm or be tainted by one negative piece in a giant puzzle of incredible memories.  Content with facing these feelings and letting go it was time to move on, both literally and figuratively. 


Winding down the mountain the temperature really picked up.  I was on the border of pulling over to remove a layer but I was having too much fun in the corners to stop.  Before long I was passing through Gloucester and making a run for the highway.  On the other side of Wards River the camels were right up against the fence so I slowed down to have a giggle at the awkward looking beasts.  I really need to ride one of these as I'm pretty sure it would be quite funny.


Now on the highway it was only a short hop home.  Pulling in my driveway I felt content with a good ride but I'd give almost anything to hit the road for another week.  Some call it escape; I call it heaven.