We have certainly embraced the shortest day of the year this weekend (even if it is a couple of days late). Firstly, we attended a bonfire at one of our neighbour’s homes last night. The weather gods were looking down on us as it was freezing cold but clear. On Friday night I drove through sleet on the way home from town, so it was much better than it could have been.
There is nothing better than standing around a big fire in the middle of winter eating a piping hot bowl of stew cooked in a camp oven.
Today we rugged up again for our Winter Solstice Ride. This is a tradition that started about 10 years ago, but due to us being away a few times and one thing and another it has had a few years’ break. The idea is that you go for a motorcycle ride on the weekend closest to the shortest day of the year, come rain, hail, shine or snow, and if you pike out because of the weather you would never live it down. Fortunately, to date we have avoided the snow.
After a bit of a ring around, we only rustled up four bikes, but that is a nice little group for a ride. The destination was a mystery devised by Mick and I. You have to go to the cold country, (which wasn’t all that hard at the moment) and then find a pub with a nice warm fire and a good counter meal.
This year we went on a relatively short ride, only a bit over 200kms, and didn’t leave town until mid morning – very civilized. There was no frost, but there was also no sun. I took this photo of a tiny bit of blue sky, as I thought it might be all that we got to see.
There is still a certain stark beauty to the landscape in the middle of winter.
We travelled along some quiet country roads to Black Springs, which has an elevation of 1210m. This is about the highest country in our area and quite often receives good snow falls. Heated handgrips came into their own.
From Black Springs we headed into Oberon, and to our delight also into sunshine.
What a difference that made. It was then on to Hampton for lunch and a bit of a warm up.
I forgot to take photos of our lunch, we were too busy tucking in.
From here we then took some more minor roads back towards home. Past the wind generators.
Through a tunnel of trees.
Up this incredibly long straight hill.
To our local cafe. All this riding in cold weather works up an appetite.
If it wasn’t starting to get colder and the afternoon closing in we would have been quite happy to stay and listen to some great music.
We all had a great day out and now have to work out when and where to head on our next ride.
I was going to cook some yummy spare ribs for dinner, but I think after all we’ve eaten today, it will just be a slice of toast.