Hawkesbury Howler 200 - Sunday 13 May 2012

Tom Carment, Tim Emslie, Phillip Jang, Peter Meyer, Ricky O'Brien and Carl Olsen set off from Waitara on a chilly Mother's Day morning to tackle the 200km Hawkesbury Howler. Peter and Tom recorded their adventure... a small field. Eighteen riders (presumably those with "mother commitments") rode the 150km River Ride the day before. Well done to Carl Olsen who completed both rides (150 on Saturday and 200 on Sunday).

Peter Meyer

The Hawkesbury Howler is a great ride, again covering some places and roads I have never travelled. The climb up to Springwood from Richmond and Mitchells Pass (descent) were firsts for me.

Tom Carment and Phillip Jang chilling on the ferryTom Carment rolling along Arcadia Rd

It was bloody cold when we started and got colder at Berowra Waters. You can see it in the photo of Tom & Phil on the ferry. I think a few of us needed some more clothing options today to deal with the temperature range of 5-20 C. Winter is coming so we will have to get used to it again.

Out at Windsor we battled some very strong headwinds on the back-roads to Richmond that turned flat cruising into a bit of a battle for a while. Headwinds combined with a few serious climbs made it quite a tough ride.

Carl Olsen, Tim Emslie and Ricky O'Brien departing Checkpoint 1Phillip Jang and Carl Olsen at the Olive Bar and Grill 

Tom Carment

The Purple Noon's Transparent Might by Arthur StreetonThe smell of woodsmoke was in the air yesterday (sensible people were inside by their fires with a book and a cup of tea) and the autumn trees had nearly lost their leaves. I managed to keep up with Peter till Halcrows Road then went at my own pace.

It was a bit of a struggle into the fierce headwind to Windsor and beyond but I loved the narrow bitumen roads through the river flats after Francis Greenway's old church. This is the country that appears on the left hand side of Arthur Streeton's famous painting, "The Purple Noon's Transparent Might" done from the western bank of the river.

I struggled with a very sore right leg all day and nearly threw in the towel at one stage (did something to it working on our roof last week) but the left leg felt good. The climb to up to the Mountains was fine after the first steep ramp as you said. I found a bakery in Springwood which served a good Vietnamese pork roll, which restored morale. The route winding to one side of the highway was a lot of fun and Mitchell's Pass was a revelation.

There were a lot of people on the road, visiting their Mums, and a couple of badly behaved drivers. I guess you can expect one of them about every hundred kilometres. It was "Elvis Day" in Windsor and I was serenaded by a man doing "My Way" as I drank coffee in the Mall.

I carried the red lantern into the Olive at 6pm.



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