Although we are all committed cyclists I have to admit that is is so much easier to turn out for a ride when the weather is warm and sunny. Such days are normally as scarce as hens teeth at this time of the year, however we have lately been blessed with a succession of them. Maybe it is because of global warming or maybe it’s just because of my superb foresight, but so far this year we have not missed a single ride through bad weather.
The usual crew were assembling at COGS when I pulled up, however there were also a couple of riders I had not been expecting. Vivienne Sandler and her partner Linton are both signed up for the 2007 China Ride and managed to both score a day off to get to experience the Warby Trail in all its glory. It would be good for them to get to know some of the other riders they will be travelling with.
Once we were out of the trees and out into the more open spaces it was possible to feel the warmth of the sunshine on our faces. Rather recklessly I had dispensed with the leg warmers for the afternoon, but my decision seemed vindicated. Peter and Glenda had set out a little earlier from Woori Yallock to get a head start on the rest of the peloton and it we did not catch up to them until we were near Milgrove.
We found that our familiar watering hole at Milgrove was closed for the day so decided to continue on to Warburton and revisit our erstwhile lunch stop at the Valley Bakery. It appears that the business had changed hands and the new staff seemed a little friendlier than we had experienced in the past. The change of venue also gave us a chance to spread out in the sunshine and enjoy the luxury of genuine winter warmth.
Surely one of the things that makes cycling so much fun is the obligatory cappuccino and leisurely chat. With the endorphins pumping and the caffeine infusing the bloodstream, the cares and stresses of everyday life quickly ebb away. I chose this moment to distribute the new Ghost Rider ID cards that I had produced. Hopefully these will be a useful way of introducing new friends to the group and we might even be able to arrange some discounts from cycling businesses.
On the return ride, the great conditions continued and we were able to ride into the setting sun surrounded by one of the most peaceful landscapes you could imagine anywhere. We really are lucky people to be able to have this rare privilege every week. But as John keeps saying “Beats working for a living”.