Another fine day on the Warburton Trail. It is starting to look as if the normal winter’s rains have bypassed us for good. Not that we are really complaining about it. In fact I am very happy for the rain to tumble from the skies for hours on end – just as long as is doesn’t do it during one of our rides. As we powered off down the trail from Mt Evelyn it was soon clear that the trail had not seen heavy rain for some time. The surface was actually hard packed and quite dry making it very good for riding.
Although we had a couple of our regular starters missing from the peloton we still had a good sized group and I was especially pleased to see Jon and Glenda riding out to meet us near Killara. Since both of these riders will be participating in the 2007 China Ride it gave them a good chance to get to know each other on their bikes.
This ride also marked Glenda’s official end of her probationary period and earned her the right to be called a “real rider” (or maybe a “weal wider”). I could not help but ponder on the irony of Glenda’s determined progress. Although she has only completed three previous rides she is already riding further and faster than John Seamons, who has been dithering about on his bike for the past FOUR YEARS! Although this is certainly a credit to Glenda I am sure that any significance will be entirely lost on John, who would probably just again remind us that he is only a weckweational wider.
As the ride progressed I started to experience a minor malfunction in the famous HASA. The gears decided to jump between consecutive cogs, meaning that it was becoming rather tricky to ride. I decided to stop at Milgrove to check out the bike while the rest of the group continued on to Warburton. To my amazement Glenda also headed off after the pack up the hill. That girl really has determination in bucket loads.
I tried fiddling with the cables and turning a few knobs on the deraileurs, but seeing I didn’t really have a clue what I was doing, I wasn’t really hopeful of fixing the problem. It did however help to pass the time while I was waiting for my salad roll to be prepared. At least both tyres felt very hard when I gave them a squeeze. That’s always a good sign.
When the rest of the group finally arrived back at the coffee shop Peter looked a little agitated. It didn’t take longto learn the cause for his concern. Apparently he had headed off down the trail with his rain jacket folded in the rear pocket of his jersey. When he finally checked to see if it was still there he found that it had “jumped out” somewhere along the trail. Although he had lost his jacket, the large bulge at the front of his jersey showed that he certainly had not lost his “spare tyre”.
About this time Jon also made a frightening discovery – he had lost his glasses. I wondered what was about to happen next, after all my aunty always says “that everything happens in threes”. A quick check of my meagre cycling inventory seemed to indicate that, apart from my gear problem, everything else was OK. Sometimes it’s not easy being the President of a geriatric cycling group, but I guess someone has to look after them.
After a nice hot cappucino it was time to turn our heads towards home. With the sun still shining low in the sky, this really is a magic part of any fine winter’s day. The sense of peace that settles over the valley has to be experienced to be truly appreciated. When the conditions are like this it is hard to imagine a better place to be. As John often remarks “Beats working for a living”. That is one thing that I have to agree with him on.
The clicking gear problem progressively got worse during the ride back to Mt Evelyn so I guess it looks like more work for Peter. Somewhere near Woori Yallock Warren snapped another spoke with a resounding crack. Another job for Peter. Looks like we will be paying for his replacement jacket after all.