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Jim Ireland & Neil Matthews complete the 2011 YOTS Sydney to Surfers Ride

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By El Presidente - Posted on 22 May 2011

The first week of May 2011 saw NSCC members Jim Ireland and Neil Matthews participate in the 2011 Youth Off The Streets Sydney to Surfers ride.

170 rides of all ages and abilities joined together in 9 packs to compete the 7-day tours, stopping in 23 towns en-route.

This was the fourteenth year of the ride, the first for Jim and fourth ride for Neil. Both Jim and Neil were allocated to Pack 2 along with 12 other chaps from Sydney and the Gold Coast.

The ride raises much needed funds for Chris Riley’s Youth Off The Street Charity.

Here is Jim’s and Neil’s story in the hope that it will motivate other NSCC to sign up for the 2012 Tour.

Day 1 - Hornsby to Morrisett

The introductions are made and the Pack Capatin lays down some important rules, then we roll, supported by a Pack Car carrying our day packs. The first stop is Calga for a quick morning tea then onto Wyong for lunch.

Day 1 weather is unkind and we get rained on several times, but none of it dampening our spirits.

Pack 2 in first to lunch then first to Morisset in a great first day at 117kms averaging 30 kph.

Day 2 - Morriset to Buladelah

One of the easier days with 128 kms being covered at an average of 40kph. No rain today, but some fierce westerly winds on offer.

The first stage into Hexham skirts around the edge of Newcastle, then after morning tea, the section from Hexham to Karuah sees Pack 2 get a quick rolling pace line and averaging around 40kph for the section. Everyone is taking turns on the front and the bunch is working well together.

Section 3 along the new section of the Pacific Highway is also quick and Pack 2 is first into town ... again.

Day 3 - Buladelah to New Haven

Day 3 continues along the Pacific Highway on most dual lane, so Pack 2 does some more quick roiling pace line riding. The terrain is rolling hills and the weather is great.

The distance today is 136 kms and we maintain a nice 32 kph average.

Day 4 - New Haven to Nambucca Heads

Day 4 is much like Day 3 continuing along the Pacific Highway for 136 kms.

Some of the highway at this stage is single lane, so riders have to “single up” for quite a few miles.

Day 5 - Nambucca Heads, Coffs Harbour to Grafton

Arguably the toughest day at 149kms, with plenty of climbs, dead pavement and rolling hills.

After morning tea, we leave the Pacific Highway and climb the range behind Coffs Harbour at Bruxner Park. The young guns were challenging each other for the KOM race up the 3.8kms (6%), but they were beaten by Neil who won the KOM ... notch one up for
the “old blokes”.

From here, it is into Glenreagh for lunch passing Russell Crow’s property at Nana Glen but we did not get an invite in!

As we go, we start to pick up other riders who had left from lunch before us and eventually we end up with a bunch of around 30 riders on the way into Grafton.

A great day’s ride.

Day 6 - Grafton to Kyogle

Another 130 kms today, but good roads, rolling hills and a south-westerly wind in our backs. The day is another fairly quick ride for Pack 2 and we average 35kph for the section.

The run into Kyogle was quick with some big turns on the front and a sprint for the last 500m into town.

There is a tradition, and 2011 was no different for the riders to frequent some of Kyogle’s water holes for the necessary carb-loading!

Day 7 - Kyogle to Surfers Paradise

Day 7 is one of the tough days at 127 kms and includes crossing the Border Ranges and climbing Terranora Hill near Tweed Heads. The climbing starts 3kms out of Kyogle and is steep for first summit. The roads are rough, corrugated with bad cambers so all
of us have to take it easy. The road is quiet and the scenery is brilliant!

There are 2 accents in the Ranges before we get into morning tea at the Phoenix Cafe near Nimbin. We then roll on through Uki and onto lunch beside the river at Tumbulgum.

The final section is back into town traffic for the run along the Gold Coast to the finish.

All the Packs meet at Burleigh on the Gold Coast, and assemble to ride the last 12kms under Police Escort to Sea World to finish the ride.

Many of the Queensland riders are met by families, after the 950kms ride.

Once again, the Engadine Rotary Club have organised an excellent ride and Jim and Neil challenge other NSCC riders to consider the 2012 edition.

For more information go to

More photos from the can be found at

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