In order to build up his speed for the Mt Evelyn Alps Bob started riding last evening from somewhere down near Warnambool. The weather bureau had promised us a fine and clear afternoon, but by the time Bob and I met at Mt Evelyn the skies were threatening and there was a definite smell of rain in the air.
After a brief discussion at to whether it was safe to proceed or not, we let our hormones make the decision for us and pedalled off down the hill to Wandin. It soon became apparent that the “all weather track” must have been subject to a recent deluge as we slithered and splashed along under a light misting rain.
We were soon covered in mud and even the secret Teflon coating on the Titanic was not sufficient to repel the rapid build up of dirt. It was obvious that this was going to be a different kind of ride to those we were familiar with. Since John had already phoned in his apology and we had not heard from Mal, we decided that the best approach would be to simply ride on to Warburton at maximum speed (and hopefully outrun the threatening rain).
Bob set a cracking pace (at least it was cracking pace for him but not for an elite athlete like myself) and we soon found ourselves near Yarra Junction. By this time we were getting so filthy we thought that the road looked like a better prospect than the track, so onto the bitumen we turned. With determination written on our faces we mocked the weather (and the HUGE hills) and pedalled on like supermen. Before we even knew it we were already in Warburton – about 40 mins earlier than our usual time. That gave us extra time to enjoy a leaisurely lunch and chat. We were even able to solve most of the world’s major problems in the space of about 45 minutes.
By this time the weather had improved and we were able to ride back under clearing skies. Our flashing pedals hummed as we purred back towards Melbourne. It was obvious that this was going to set a speed record that would shock Mal to his Shimano bootstraps. Although we tried hard to manufacture an incident, the remainder of the afternoon passed with no loss of skin or pride.