I know I’m a chicken, but I really don’t like riding the trail in pouring rain. Although I love cycling I don’t enjoy getting covered in mud and horse manure while my bodily extremities are suffering from frostbite. Mid way through the morning I had to admit that the meteorological situation was not looking promising. As I looked at my office window all I could see was black sky and steady rain. Of course this is great for farmers and ducks, but not so good for middle aged cyclists.
When the phone rang it turned out to be Gael enquiring as to whether the ride was going ahead or not. I loaded the weather radar and all I could see was a large blue mass covering most of the image. When I passed this news to Gael she replied “That’s great”. Obviously she had confused blue sky with blue on the weather rader (meaning rain). I guess it’s not easy being blonde. I tried to sound confident when I predicted that the rain would pass in about another hour or so.
In the meantime I had privately decided that my ride would be starting at Woori Yallock and not Mt Evelyn. That way, if the rain was still pouring down, I would only be saturated for about half of the normal time. As the day wore on and the time for departure drew closer, I was relieved to see that the rain did diminish and by the time I arrived at Woori Yallock it had stopped altogether. I unloaded the bike and pondered what to do next. As I had arrived about 35 minutes before the peloton would be expected, I decided to ride back towards COGS and meet the others coming towards me.
As it turned out I did not meet any other riders until I reached the car park at Seville. Phil Hession and Peter Booth infomed me that Mal, Gael and Glenda were further back up the trail. We waited for them to arrive and then rode back down to Woori Yallock. No other riders were waiting. Obviously the threatening weather had discouraged a significant proportion of our regular riders. Somewhat ironically the weather had improved to such an extent that we were even blessed with occasional bursts of sunshine. The rain had also done us a favour by dampening the trail so that our bikes were not covered with the usual layers of dust. In fact the riding was quite enjoyable. It would have been such a pity if we had just cancelled the ride.
Our small group had a most pleasant ride to Milgrove, although Glenda’s early high pace took its toll on her later in the ride. Sometimes it is not wise to spend all your pennies too quickly. At Milgrove I enjoyed a nice hot pie for lunch. Since I only had a short ride back to the car, there was not the usual pressure of time. After a protracted lunch stop we all made it safely back to Woori Yallock. Only Peter had left his car at Mt Evelyn and somehow I did not envy him his solo climb back up the final hill.
The moral of the story? Don’t be too quick to abandon a ride – you might just be missing out on a special experience.