We spent the Easter weekend at the Mudgee Bike Muster with a gaggle of friends and cyclists from many parts of NSW and further afield. The weather was rather inclement for either camping or cycling I'm sad to say with torrential rain, drizzle and mists, but our enthusiasm failed to be dampened and we enjoyed ourselves immensely. Even four rear tyre flats on Saturday didn't stop the pleasure, well, perhaps temporarily. Thankfully the weather cleared on Sunday and we had a splendid and dry day in the saddle.
Mudgee is fabulous for cycling, good roads, both dirt and bitumen, beautiful country side, wineries everywhere to rest the weary legs and taste the fruits of the vine, small historic villages with good pubs and cafes to lunch at, gold mining history, great artisans and crafts, farmers markets, very good coffee, lovely local cheeses, olives, hazelnuts, oh and did I mention wine at all?
The Australian Rural Education Centre who organised the Muster for the second year in a row ensured that the weekend was very reasonably priced. They also ensured that the Muster was extremely well organised by enthusiastic, friendly, helpful staff and volunteers and the AREC grounds were a great camping area, the camp ground was good, nice and flat, with powered sites, good drainage (the torrential rain proved that) and plenty of toilets but there was a lack of showers, only seven in all and only three for women but the organisers are onto this and promised to rectify it for next year.
The day rides were paced for all level of riders from mums and dads and their kids, to those wanting to extend themselves and climb a few hills or two and then things for the middle of the roaders like the 'wife' and I. There was also a fun trivia hunt on Sunday afternoon that ensured we got to know the town of Mudgee, including the hard slog up to flirtation hill to count the logs in the protective barriers, we felt extremely pleased with ourselves for coming third in the competition.
We were a bit disappointed by the food provided, especially the dinner option which was an add-on to the cost, none of our group enjoyed it and as Mudgee is a cornucopia of good food and wine we cannot begin to comprehend it at all. Next year we will self-cater.
That aside, the weekend was fabulous, extremely well organised by AREC staff and volunteers, with great rides and like minded cyclist keen to enjoy ourselves regardless of the weather.