A weekend away with a group of riders, staying at the pioneering town of Rylstone.
Hopefully we’re not the only people for whom when they hear the name Rylstone, the Glen Campbell hit “Rhinestone Cowboy” instantly springs to mind. If not, the title of this post will make no sense. “Ridin out on a horse, in a star spangled rodeo”.
The weekend was organised a couple of months ago by the founder of Sydney Easy Riders, the ever enthusiastic Simon. He is a great organiser so his rides are always fun and very popular. The long lead time meant that many watched the weather forecasts with concern. Rain was forecast, freezing temperatures were forecast and tornadoes were forecast. Ok, that last one was a lie but needless to say a trip west of Sydney at the end of June is a bold move. Sydney really is an area where a keen motorbikes can ride all year round but being mindful of ice and snow over the Blue Mountains is very important. There was much discussion in the group during the lead-up to the ride about strategies to manage the cold. I packed thermals and hand warmers.
The initial plan was to meet in Windsor at 8am, that moved to 9am to allow the forecast air temperature on the mountains, to warm up a bit. That’s the fab thing about the Sydney area climate, it might be super chilly overnight but as soon as the sun comes out the temperature soars!
Around 9am, 18 people on 17 bikes started to snake up towards the top of the range. Clear blues skies greeted us along with incredible views across the Blue Mountains. A brief petrol stop in Lithgow and then we took an old favourite back road to Bathurst via Tarana.
Lunch at Bathurst and then we headed northwards to Sofala and Ilford, then onwards to Rylstone.
Parking up the bikes in a couple garages behind the Globe Hotel (a pub with rooms, for those not familiar with the Aussie term) we were then free to explore.
Really this post is more about beautiful Rylstone than the route (as I’ve written about these roads before – which are excellent) so here are a stack of pictures of said tiny town:
Dinner at the bistro in the hotel was very good and then we commandeered the dart board as a great way to get to know new members of our group.
The forecasts for overnight temperatures were bang on. We awoke to frosty fields and cold bathrooms. Most people had slept in their thermals, it was a friendly pub but the heating situation is a work in progress.
We left Rylstone deliberately late the next morning, to allow the overnight frost to melt away and dry the roads a little.
Heading through the Bylong Valley was, as usual amazing. Here’s a couple of pics of us all stopped by the side of the road in Bylong.
Lunch at Bulga, a very decent pub lunch for around $15 at the Bulga Tavern before Gary, Perry and I took our selves down the Putty Road as quickly as legal to try to dodge the storm that was heading it’s way north, right towards us.
We arrived home not long before the rain came, our self assigned reputation as rain dodgers fully intact.