Friday, a drive south from Sydney. A quick trip in traffic with two bikes on the roof and my best mate by my side, we followed the road to Twin Falls at Fitzroy Falls. The annual Bush Marathon was scheduled for the following morning at the property of a former professional cyclist and one of the most credentialed riders in Australian cycling. Brad McGee and his wife Sharni would, once again, play host to the running race in the NSW Southern Highlands, that – according to the T-shirt – is the ‘Toughest Marathon’. 

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My mate, my eight-year-old son, would do the five kilometre option along with Mr and Mrs McGee, their daughter and son, and a few hundred other participants in races of varying distances that culminated in the actual marathon run through the bush around Fitzroy Falls. This is where their lodgings are – five cabins in the bush above Kangaroo Valley, and bordering the National Park which includes stunning vistas of the namesake for the area: waterfalls from an estuary in a wonderful part of Australia. It’s a place where the family has been for nine years and although cycling is what introduced us, there are other things that also matter. By the end of the run, there was still energy left for some mountain biking, swimming, tennis… a few bouts of handball, some cheering of the marathon finishers, all rounded off with a egg and bacon roll from the stand beside the pool. There are trails on the property, with graded levels and path options for MTB and, of course, a little BMX circuit just behind the pig pen. Father pig, is still there… but Peppa and her five little one are off in another paddock behind the tennis court, beside the pool.

If you ride, you should visit. The bike, any bike, will be put to good use: road, MTB, cyclo-cross, BMX, and… I dare you: track. (The Bowral velodrome isn’t far away.) Twins Falls is what it’s called, it’s at Fitzroy Falls, and on 12 October 2013, it hosted the Bush Marathon.

Sport, it seems, brings people together. We saw that on Saturday morning.

‘The Highlands’ region, ±150km south of Sydney, is a playground and activity is everywhere. While the running was taking place, I spent the morning talking to a coffee shop owner (Gus), his staff (Josh), his clients (many), and cycling was a central theme. It is at Mezza Bar that they gather early. And then they ride. And later they return. And they drink coffee. And stories get exchanged.

 

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Many stories are born on weekend mornings. Often, in my world at least, cycling is part of the telling. Today I saw places that I cherished when I was young, fit, and rode my bike a lot. I remember baking in those hills up the range above Kangaroo Valley, and there have been times when the cold has been so extreme that it seemed to hurt when I moved. Memory and scenery offered a reminder of how lovely it is to have a road, a bike, some friends, and some time to enjoy it all.

 

Here are a few photos from my morning.

 

Did you see a story this weekend?

 

Rob

 


 

 

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Thank Gus. Perfectly served, and plenty of it. Great coffee.

 

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If you build it, they will come. The McGee Cycling Store for the equipment, Twin Falls Cottages for the perfect environment for a weekend of riding.

 

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Waiting on a hill. Part of the local tradition for the early morning training bunches departing from Bowral.

 

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The jersey spells it out: 4 Peaks…

 

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Josh Ewan. Face look familiar…?
“The wheel deal.”
Thanks for the stories. Looking forward to seeing more of your brother on the world stage doing what’s he’s been doing: winning…!

 

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A marathon and no road. Yep, the annual Bush Marathon at Fitzroy Falls…

 

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Of course a bike greets you at Twin Falls… it’s owned by the McGees, what would you expect?

 

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And it’s all downhill to the coast: the noise on this bend of Macquarie Pass was overwhelming: a cicada roar like I’ve never heard before.

 

 

 

 

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