My fourth ride of the eighth coffeeneuring challenge; each one different so far; equally good scenery to , but much better coffee.

We were going away for a four day weekend due to the Melbourne festival of horse whipping, drunkenness and gambling … err, the Melbourne Cup … and taking the bikes with us. It takes up too much of the day if I try and ride the whole 200 km from Melbourne to Lorne so I’d decided to wait until somewhere around Freshwater Creek or Moriac – depending on the route we took – and ride the rest of the way from there.

Our early morning start failed to materialise so it was lunch time by the time we got to Freshwater Creek, which is very convenient as this is the home of Freshwater Creek Cakes – a bakery that makes delicious pies and pastries as well as cakes.

Well fed on a tasty Moroccan Lamb pie I was on my way at 1 pm and heading straight south with a howling westerly blowing soldily against me. To add to the fun the shoulder had recently been re-gravelled and the entire section from there to Bellbrae was loose drifts of gravel and high speed close-passing traffic.

It was a pleasant relief to turn off into Bellbrae and climb the steep hill through the village, past the cricket ground, then turn right back into the wind to join the Great Ocean Road.

Bellbrae to Anglesea and then on to Aireys Inlet was more of a headwind, but at least there’s a half-decent shoulder on the road and no more of the loose gravel. I had a brief stop in Anglesea to top up the bidon, then back on the road and back into the wind.

I made a brief photo stop at the top of Urquhart Bluff to visit one of the bronze plaques along the coast – I think that a project for another day will be to find out how many of them there are and get a photo of the bike at each one… if I haven’t managed to do so already.

Arrived at Aireys Inlet just as the annual fete for the local school was starting to close up so I pulled in to have a look around – any excuse to get out of the wind. The remnants of a day’s stalls of artisanal olives, artisanal cheese, artisanal honey, artisanal wine, artisanal wood carvings, artisanal woollen goods and artisanal anything else you care to mention. I had a small sample of some very tasty cheese, olive oil and bread, but wasn’t really in a position to stock up on anything and was only using it as a break from the unrelenting wind.

A short ride to the far end of Aireys Inlet and the coffee of the day – the other members of the family had previously visited Onda’s Foodhouse and recommended it so I decided to make it my stop. I think anywhere out of the wind today would get a minimum of 45 stars, but it was a very pleasant spot to sit, out of the wind, facing west towards the sun and the wetlands of Painkalac creek. A thoroughly enjoyable warming cappuccino and a small coffee muffin, together with good music … even if the cover of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” did get stuck in my head for the rest of the ride to Lorne.

From Aireys Inlet its a further 15 km to Lorne, along the coast watching the surf for some of its length then twisting up and down inland around to Big Hill before finally coming back out at North Lorne. Turning inland at Devils Elbow into the forest was a pleasure, once again it got me out of the wind! Then twist and turn and climb to Cinema point, drop back down to sea level at Cathedral Rock and be astounded at the huge number of surfers out today – the surf was “going off” – then finally in to Lorne and up to the house to rejoin the family.



Airey’s Inlet, Anglesea, Bellbrae, Cathedral Rock, Cinema Point, Devil’s Elbow, Freshwater Creek, Lorne, Urquhart Bluff.

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