So the fifth annual running of the Newcastle Overnight is done and well wasn’t that an enjoyable night out.
(photo: Jullietta Jung)
Perfect warm weather, a few gentle tufts of breeze and an absolutely beautiful sunrise over Newcastle Baths as the end.
Riders numbers were just over 220 this year ! A steady growth of the event.
(photo: Jonathan Vanenberg)
Prizes this year are supplied by Omafiets Dutch Bicycles in Redfern and consist of a $50 voucher for parts or servicing.
Most inappropriate bike:
This year saw a stellar effort on the strange bike front, many riders obviously realising the bar had been set pretty high in previous years(BMX, cargo bike, Brompton, fixie, tandem etc)
Laura Shane riding a rather heavy and extremely upright step through Dutch bike. Full Mudguards, rack panniers, lock and chain case didn’t stop Laura finishing the ride in a remarkably quick time.
Jason Sylvester on a 1960’s restored 3 speed Raleigh. Restoration seems to have included some rather sensible additions such as new tires and an overhauled rear hub (if you only have three gears, you want to make sure they work) but stalled when it came to raising the seat to a sensible level. Jason was spotted throughout the night, knees bent up near his chin overtaking all sorts of other cyclists.
Oliver Cashman was hard to miss this year riding a “tall bike”, two bikes backyard welded onto each other. With the saddle some 7 foot off the ground and festooned with red flashers and fairy lights it was enough to make some central coast locals question whether they were witnessing some sort of hovering apparition. A seven speed friction shifted cassette and a single functioning brake didn’t slow him down much, although the difficulty of dismounting and remounting may also have accounted for his apparent haste. (note: Oliver is also disqualified from prizes for being 1/3 of the organising committee)
But the prize for most inappropriate bike has to ultimately go to the woman on the five inch wide tired rolling behemoth fat bike. Terribly sorry we forgot your name (do get in touch) but to come back from racing that ridiculous bike across the Simpson Dessert and then knock out 170km on pavement is a stellar effort. It just goes to show that the Newcastle Overnight is a ride for bikes of all shapes and sizes!
Award for Camaraderie:
Ali Jones, Jacquie Fetchet and Rachel Hayden. These three deserve the prize for inventing their very own form of cycling formation. Deciding that the aerodynamic benefits of close formation cycling were negligible compared to the moral benefits of a looser formation, these three rode two abreast, sometimes three abreast (only on cycle paths of course). Countless hours of singing and story telling later they all arrived at Newcastle Baths a fair bit quicker than an ordinary pace line would have delivered them.
(photo: Ali Jones)
Other nominations include Phillip and Monica Moore for administering first aid to another injured rider, and Edward for helping Garth who had a puncture on his Brompton.
This prize was a little up in the air this year, given that everyone was a little quicker than in previous years. We stuck around at the finish till about 10:30am and a few folks rolled into the baths around then but no one came later as far as I know.
In the absence of a clear winner, the prize is awarded to Edward Fernandez who was in the group that came in very close to last. Edward is singled out from this group because this was his first year riding the Newcastle overnight and almost certainly his longest ride to date. Further Edward didn’t really want to keep riding beyond Gosford, his plan was to ride a bit further and then find some way to get home. Now as anyone who has ridden this stretch knows, once you pass Gosford there just simply isn’t any easy way to get home. We used to write this on the maps but then figured it might scare people off so edited it out. So for persevering and keeping on going (despite there being no other option) , Edward wins a prize.
Massive thanks go to:
Our wonderful Volunteers, with out whom this event could not function! Thanks for staying up all night and offering such an amazing spread of delicious treats and hot drinks! It really does make the ride special!
Providore: (if you ever wondered where all the food came from)
Massive thanks also to our other two pit stops for opening up specially for us! These guys again support the event year in year out and it really is appreciated.
Newcastle Baths Café
Thanks also go the the Audax Club of Australia for proving Insurance and support to the event. Check out their website and ride calendar for more events like this.
p.s. Another great ride coming up in the new year is the Southerly Buster, an overnight ride to Kiama! 14th January, Check it out
(Photo: Ali Jones)