Last weekend, I had the pleasure of joining the A’QTO Bici e Gusti cycling group for their weekend of picturesque rides and delicious food, including local produce from Gippsland’s finest and some tasty homemade pasta.
The weekend of riding took riders through the heart of the Gippsland Strzelecki Ranges, along the historic Grand Ridge Road and surrounding regions.
Along the way, I shared many stories, personal cycling experiences and enjoyed the company of the group, who had a mix of abilities and were all here because of their love for cycling and their tastes in fine food.
Having a support car follow us with fresh water, food and any essentials is a luxury I’m use to quite often from the Professional scene, but for most riders, it was a new opportunity to be fully supported whilst out on a ride.
Once atop the challenging but stunning climb towards Mount Tassie, we stopped for lunch, enjoying fresh baguettes, homegrown cherry tomatoes, Gippsland cheese and other tasty fillings.
It was definitely a nice reward to pedal through the beautiful rainforest of Tarra Bulga National Park, some amazing roads to ride on, making the hard work of climbing seem effortless.
A flowing descent from the top of Mount Tassie post lunch, provided a break from the hills before the flat roads around Yarram guided us back to our start and finish location of the Toms Cap Winery.
A feeling of triumph was reached by the end, with a respectable 2000m of climbing and 115km’s putting an end to the day’s ride.
A very comfy villa, delicious post-ride antipasti and stunning views from Toms Cap Winery eased our suffering, as we finished the ride reminiscing on what we had all achieved and discovered out on the road.
Although I had to rush off shortly after the ride to catch my flight for Langkawi, I took some time to chat with the other riders whilst enjoying a drink and some nibbles.
I had a great time and would highly recommend these Bici e Gusti ride and gourmet food weekends to anyone who just loves to get away and experience some great riding and great food with a great bunch of people. A’QTO do an awesome job at hosting the group and I hope I’m around to join in for next one!
By Brenton Jones