In Which the Eyes Have It

It would have been hard to imagine the level of our excitement when we heard that the day was predicted to be fine and sunny with a top temp over 10C. The prospect of peeling off the arm and leg warmers and exposing our white skin to the sunshine was one to quicken the pulse of every rider. I would have been even more excited if I could have believed that the surface of the Trail had compacted once again into a nice hard riding medium. After the battle I had last week with loose piles of soft toppings, I decided to begin my ride from Wandin instead of Mt Evelyn.

When I arrived at the Wandin car park I was somewhat bewildered by the strange sight that met me. There in broad sunlight appeared to be some wierd type of alien, strangely enough dressed in lycra. As a drew closer I learned that the manifestation was, in fact, Cheryl looking up into the sky looking for attacking magpies.

She had decided to follow Bob’s example (a rather stupid thing to do under normal circumstances) and adorn her bike helmet with a prominent pair of artificial eyes.

We enjoyed the sunshine for a few moments until we were joined by Johnny Come Lately and Lex who had started back at Mt Evelyn.

With the (almost) warm sun on our bodies we could have been forgiven for thinking that Spring had come early. It really was a blessing to be able to ride through such beautiful surroundings on a day like this.

At Woori Yallock we were joined by Hooters, Spanner Billson and Peter. It was good to see that Peter had brought Denise (our visitor from Vancouver) with him. He also introduced us to a new potential candidate for the Ghost Riders. When he informed us that Brendan was also a paramedic, we knew that even if we were attacked by the demented magpie, we could expect professional medical attention.

It was also at about this time that we were also joined by Bob, also sporting a ferocious pair of eyes on his helmet. No wonder that Eddy threatened to attack, but lacked the resolve to come really close. Maybe these eyes actually do work.

With a peloton of 10 riders we must have posed a formidable sight to other people on the trail. Just imagine what the spectacle would have been if we had all be wearing the coveted yellow jersey. Although Bob won a narrow victory on the sprint, we were generally not in a racing mood, being content to savour the magic of the moment instead.

At the coffee shop we just about took over the whole outside area and managed to cause them to “run out of mugs” for our drinks. We tried hard to convince Brendan that real riders know how to eat their cream cakes.

After lunch we set off on the scenic route back, crossing over the river four times on different bridges. Of course it was mandatory that Brendan also be introduced to the “secret warby’s business” at El Capitan. We were pleased to see him make a valient attempt but fall off just short of the signpost (to much laughter from those watching from a safe distance below.)

The picture below shows Brendan sadly admitting defeat a couple of metres short of the mark.

Spanner Billson also made a bold attack on El Capitan and impressed us all by his commendable result.

After our mountaineering efforts we resumed the ride and somewhat surprisingly managed to maintain a good peloton for much of the way back to Woori Yallock.

As we were passing through Launching Place it was suggested that we could become the stars of the next “reality TV” show, in the spirit of Sylvania Waters. Could you imagine millions of people all over the world dressing up in their replica yellow jerseys while they settle down in front of their TVs to see what the Ghost Riders are up to this week?

“I just love old Bob”, a white haired nursing home resident says, “you just never know when he will fall off next”. Her toothless friend looks back and says “but he hasn’t got legs like Peter – those legs make me go all weak in the knees”. “I reckon Hooters really looks like a true athlete”, adds another blind resident. In the nearby modelling agency a beautiful young blonde says “You can keep your hooters and spanners, it’s President Dennis for me”.

While I was thus daydreaming I almost failed to realise that we were already back in Woori Yallock. Eddy had again failed to attack. I think I might just take up the world wide patent on these helmet eyes!

While we were saying goodbye to Brendan and Denise, Lex set off to ride home. After all, he had only ridden about 85 km so far and wanted to keep up his 120 km per day average. (And this guy expects us to believe that he’s only been riding for a few months).

The remainder of the ride was taken at a most pleasant pace, but even so we still managed to get back to our cars before 5 pm. It had been a unique ride and one that I am sure we will remember for months to come.