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In early March Shoalhaven Bicycle User Group (SBUG) members completed an enjoyable multi-day ride combined and ending with a weekend at Moruya.

From Shoalhaven River to Affinity and Beyond!

The idea for this trip "came from the challenge to ride a series of continuous days from the mountain plateau of the Shoalhaven River to the headwaters of the Durra River, following the river’s course down to the sea," said Jim Florence, SBUG Publicity Officer and Committee Member.

 Shoalhaven BUG members gather for the start of the ride 

Twenty-eight Strong

Considerable planning went into this ride including plotting courses, coordinating accommodation and most importantly, setting up the socials! The result, a strong collaboration of twenty-eight adventurous Shoalhaven BUG members, with fourteen riders doing the three-day overnighter and fourteen riders joining at Moruya for the weekend.

Dick Dwyer and Denis Elford on the multi-day Shoalhaven BUG ride 

Strategically-placed stops

Quiet back gravel roads, rolling hills, green country scenery and spectacular vistas, were just some of the ingredients that contributed to a very rewarding multi-day cycling experience.

Florence mentions just a few highlights. "Strategically-placed pub overnight stops and two excursions enroute, numerous bush morning tea and lunch breaks in the mountains, lunches under shady trees alongside beaches, and a few most enjoyable lunches in cafes and one boatshed along the coast."

A 200km-plus trip

Gravel bikes, hard tail mountain bikes and some e-bikes were part of the 200km-plus trip from Yattah- Yattah travelling via Nerriga, Mongarloe, Braidwood, Majors Creek, Araluen, and Moruya, ending at Moruya Heads.

Riders had to be self-sufficient and carry all clothing and gear for three days and two nights. Staying at quirky historic accommodation at Braidwood and Araluen added to the richness of the travel experience.

Swims in Mongarloe and Duea Rivers

Warm weather facilitated enjoyable lunchtime swims  in the clear fresh waters of Mongarloe and Duea Rivers.

The riding experience was on par if not better that some of the rail trail rides offered in Victoria and Queensland.

Kath Beckeham and Lani Imhof enjoying the Shoalhaven BUG multi-day ride

The Moruya weekend

All good things come to an end, but not quite…

At the end of the multi-day ride, the fourteen SBUG cyclists joined up with another group of fourteen SBUG members for a weekend of riding in and around Moruya.

The cyclists based themselves at Moruya South Head campground and had a weekend of perfect cycling conditions. Rides were split into groups participating in five rides over the three days, including Mossy Point and return, Moruya district tour, Congo to Bingie Dreaming Track, and the Tuross foreshore. Cycleways were utilised, as were roads and bush tracks that took in local neighbourhoods, wide beaches, headlands, coastal heath and farmland areas.

Long journeys like these need downtime. For some this meant daily swims at the beach and gathering in the campground pool for sports activities. Warm balmy nights created a pleasant backdrop for regular outdoor drinks and dinner.

Special thanks

Huge thanks to Peter McLean (not the BNSW CEO!) for leading the rides and sharing his local knowledge of the area.

Many thanks to Shoalhaven BUG stalwart Sharon Whittaker for all her hard preparatory work as trip leader that resulted in a fantastic ride with no injuries and no breakdowns.

Why not join your local BUG and benefit from local guided group rides in your area and regional tours?

Then become a Bicycle NSW Member and support our advocacy for better regional bike riding. We have campaigned relentlessly for the roll out of Rail Trails in regional NSW, e-bike subsidies to make riding more accessible to all, and the end of the requirement to box bikes on trains.

Peter McLean (not Bicycle NSW CEO Peter McLean!) gives a pre-ride brief during the Moruya weekend (All photos: Shoalhaven Bicycle User Group)

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