There is no doubt that Heather is a keen rider. Ever since she started riding the trail with us last year, she has seldom missed a ride and always displays a broad smile while she is fighting the triple demons of head winds, horse manure and hills. We all know that she has been suffering with a hip problem for many years and we were excited when she announced late last year that she off for hip replacement sugery.
Although this kep her off the bike for some time it was great to see her at Woori Yallock station, proudly unloading her bike from the car for her first ride with the Ghostriders since being fitted with a Titanium & Crackalock hip joint. For the first time since our inception the Ghostriders now have a rider with more metal in their body than Crasher Lewis.
Since I had been held up at the office I missed the official Mt Evelyn start and chose to drive to Wandin instead. When I arrived there at about 1.10 pm there was no sign of any other riders and hence I had no idea whether they were still coming from COGS or had already passed by. I decided to head off towards Woori Yallock and see if I would encounter any riders along the way. As it turned out I met Bob Andrews and “Rowdy” Wolstencroft about 2 km from Woori but there was no sign of the main peloton. We decided to wait and see who else would turn up. After some time we were joined by about 14 or so riders, as well as Heather and Mal who had driven straight to Woori.
The weather bureau had predicted a cool afternoon, but it certainly didn’t feel cool as we did a slow bake in the burning sun. I was glad to get moving again so that the moving air could evaporate some of the sweat that I managed to produce in biblical proportions. While riding Steve he informed me that the additional cuts and scrapes on his legs were caused by an additional three or four falls he had taken from his bike in the last few days. Those tight cleats were certainly exacting a heavy price from him.
Once we reached Milgrove I heard a roar from behind and it turned out to be Werner trying to set a land speed record on the final climb to Warburton. Two seconds later he was out of sight. With memories of the notorious Black Thursday in my mind I was somewhat fearful that Crasher might also have a rush of steroids and try to set off in pursuit. Fortunately sanity prevailed and the rest of us rode up the hill at a much more sensible pace.
A few minutes later we were all settled down at our watering hole, most us trying to force enormous creamcakes down our throats while we drank our coffees. Surely a ride without coffee would be about as good as a bike without a chain.
As is often the case, with full tummies the return ride was undertaken at a slower rate with most of the peloton staying at least within eyesight of each other. Since most of the riders had chosen to leave their cars at Woori, I was left to complete the final section with Crasher Lewis. He made maximum use of this time by telling me about his training regime and his preparations for the next National Titles. Somehow it seemed a longer ride than usual.