With a predicted top temperature of around 32C it was always going to be a hot ride. Under such conditions our policy is to proceed with the ride, but at a slower pace than usual and with plenty of drinks/rest stops. As I unpacked the bike at Woori Yallock I was met by Paul Barnard who was just finishing his ride. He encouraged me by saying “It’s bloody hot out there”, before collapsing into his car.
They were not exactly the words I was hoping to hear but I tried to be optomistic and believe that a cooler change really was coming later in the afternoon. Heading off towards Mt Evelyn it did not take long for me to realise how true Paul’s words were. I changed into a low gear and tried to find a gentle rhythm that would get me safely to COGS without any undue wasting of energy. Even so, when I finally climbed off the bike at the meeting point, my mouth was dry and my body was hot. I cooled down by upturning my drink bottle over my head and waited for the peloton to form.
As the others started to gather I noticed that we were being joined by another new female rider. Although only standing about 4 ft tall, Melissa looked like she really knew how to ride. I suspected that we would certainly not be much of a challenge for her. I was soon rolling down the hill, enjoying the shadow of the trees and the cooling breeze flowing over my wet jersey.
In spite of the growing heat we still managed to reach Woori Yallock only a few minutes behind our normal schedule. Unfortunately in the next section there is very little shade and the exposed conditions soon had everyone sweating in the burning sun. It was great to see that our newly appointed Queen Glenda had come out for her first ride in some weeks, although her lack of riding soon showed in her slower than normal speed.
At Launching Place Pub we were all glad to huddle in the shade and replenish our hydration levels. I suspected that the temperature had already reached the forecast maximum and was eagerly looking forward to a cold drink at Milgrove. When we did arrive at the bakery I don’t anyone gave much thought to continuing on to Warburton – the prospect of iced coffees and cakes was just too enticing. We spent the next 30 minutes chatting about the recent heat wave and whether we would ever live long enough to see it really rain again.
On the return ride we experienced uncomfortably hot conditions in the open sections, but the trees offered some welcome relief. I have to admit that I don’t like the heat and was quite relieved to climb back off the bike at Woori Yallock. I felt sorry for those who still had the uphill section back to Mt Eevlyn ahead of them. According to the car thermometer the air temperature at Woori was 32C but it certainly felt hotter. I don’t know about you but I am over summer and ready for autumn.