Not so ‘Loopy’ after all….
Sunday’s Loop Charity Ride alongside beautiful Lake Macquarie was a great success.
While there are people who are sad to see the route literally around the lake come to an end, the new experience has had the thumbs up from most of those who took the ride this year.
Four features were especially well received.
The Fernleigh track.
Once a railway route opened in the late 1880’s, it was used to transport coal from mines in the Lake Macquarie area to the Port of Newcastle. Evidence of some of the mines is still visible from the track. During the 1980s as coal mines along the corridor began to close down the line ceased to be used in 1991. The rails were removed and local Councils now maintain the scenic pathway for the enjoyment of residents (…and annually, the Loop Charity riders).
The Wallarah National Park.
Wallarah has an awesome collection of birds and animals due to the diversity of vegetation and habitats in the park. Watch for sea eagles soaring along the coast, honey eaters and lizards sunning themselves on warm boulders along the route. Many riders were happy to have another respite from the traffic.
Catherine Hill Bay.
Taking its name from the ship which ran aground there in 1867, Catherine Hill Bay is a small village nestled in the hinterland just south of Swansea. A former coal-mining town, the surrounding scenery is really beautiful. The area features a long, spectacular stretch of sand, overlooked by verdant hills and bushland dotted with rusted iron machinery and wildflowers.
The ride departs from the Pacific Highway to head towards the water’s edge of Lake Macquarie. Here the views across the lake are spectacular and before crossing the Swansea Bridge headed back to Spears Point, the smooth flat ride along Channel Street is a delight.
Most of ‘Loop the Lake’s traditional fans were uncertain whether the ride would be happening this year. Unfortunately we were only given final approval for the amended route in January 2019, too late to be included in many ride diaries, so the turnout was down on previous years.
This year, there will be no such lack of information. We are planning to update the website every month with information and stories about the ride and the developments and improvements being made by the 2020 Loop planning team. If you would like to receive a reminder whenever the website is updated, just register your email address HERE.
There will be great ‘early-bird’ registration options, so stay with us right through to March 2020.
The Loop Charity Ride is owned and organised by the Rotary Club of Warners Bay. Over the past 22 years the club has donated around 2 million dollars to the Children’s hospital and other worthy causes … all thanks to the one of the best run NSW rides on the calendar. We are determined to maintain that reputation even if it does need to be rebuilt after the route change. This year it has been hailed as a first class new ride organised by people who have always delivered a great experience for cycling enthusiasts.