It certainly was an unexpected manouver. With all the dexterity and desperation of a woman at a Myers Boxing Day Sale, Glenda slammed on her brakes and skidded to a sudden halt. Behind her riders scattered in all directions, some careering into the splintery handrails of the Woori Yallock Bridge, some almost disappearing over the edge into the swollen creek.
“Did you see that?” she asked as riders were picking themselves up off the ground. “There was a helmet down there in the mud” she explained “and it looked like a nice one”. At this point Peter’s interest was also aroused. WIth a little cleaning and a liberal coating of Armorall, such a treasure could find itself in pride of pride in Peter’s shop window within a couple of days. A price tag of $80 or more would not be unreasonable.
Following Glenda’s directions Peter slithered down the steep embankment and soon found himself up to his lycra leggings in soft mud. The elusive shiny blue helmet beckoned seductively as Peter used his forgotten military skills to navigate a safe path. “This reminds me of when I chased the fuzzy wuzzies up the Kakoda Trail” he proudly boasted to Glenda as she watched in awe from above.
A few minutes later he had succeeded in making his way to the elusive helmet. With a look of sheer avarice he plucked it from the mud, only to discover that the insides were missing. It was only the outer plastic shell. For a moment he seemed a little taken aback. I suspect that he was running thoughts through his mind as to how he might still salvage some profit from his stupidity. Perhaps it could be promoted as ‘the lightest race helmet in the country’ or something similar. Finally common sense got the better of him and he climbed back out of the filth and got dejectedly back on his bike.
Up till that point the ride had gone very well indeed. Glenda had set a new standard by riding all the way from Seville to Warburton and back, we had at least 15 riders in the group, the weather had been mild and even Crasher Lewis was back after his long absence. You could almost sense the first signs of springtime in the air as we made our way along the trail. Everyone was in high spirits as we joked and rode along together.
Fortunately the episode of the ‘virtual helmet’ did little to dampen our enjoyment, although Peter and Glenda might not agree. This has been a quite an incredible winter and, although it is obviously good for cycling, it does make you worry about the lack of rain and the prospect of a long, hot summer. We now have only two more Winter Thursday rides left for 2006.