With a pessimistic weather bureau forecasting a “top temperature of 17C and the prospect of heavy rain, thunderstorms and hail”, it was not a promising start to our planned ride from Hastings to Balnarring and back again. Fortunately the Ghostriders are a hardy lot and I was thrilled to see no less than 23 riders turn up at Hastings for the start of our ride. The storms also turned up, right on time. As I tried to gather the riders together for the pre ride briefing, the skies blackened and the freezing rain started tumbling down on us. This was not the best start to a ride.
We all moved under cover until the worst of the rain passed over, then made sure our rain jackets were securely fastened, before making our way towards the impressive boardwalk that marks the start of the ride. By this time the rain had stopped (and by some miracle it stayed away for the rest of the ride). Soon the jackets were being unzipped as the sun peeped through the clouds for a shy appearance.
After successfully navigating the boardwalk without losing a single rider to the mangrove swamp it was time for the first coffee of the day at Stony Point. Then we joined the bike path that we to follow for the remainder of the ride. It was great to see that all riders were in high spirits and seemed pleased with themselves that they had not been deterred by the prospect of bad weather. We have seen this happened many times over the years, and this ride was a prime example of sometimes it is best to just forget your apprehensions and head out regardless.
An hour or so later we were all safely gathered at Balnarring for an extended lunchbreak outside the bakery. Then it was back on the bikes for the return ride back to Hastings, where we arrived around 3.00 pm. One of the traditions of this ride is to stop for an after ride coffee at the Pelican Society Café on the waterfront, so that is what we did. It had been a delightful day on the bikes.