In which 3 old men are seen hiding in the bushes

Although the day began cloudy and threatening, we believe that we have this weather forecasting thing down to a fine art now, and decided that a ride would definitely go ahead. Unfortunately Duncan rang in to say that his courage and stamina had deserted him and that he would not be able to join in but wished the other (stronger) members of the club a good ride.

Bob overdosed on his new steroids and started pedalling all the way from Kathmandu (or some other far away place) and met up with me at Wandin. Since Mal was running late we decided to push ahead and let him eat our dust for a change. About 20 minutes into the ride my mobile phone rang and while I was fumbling to get it out of my pocket my lunch money flew out and disappeared downwind into the distance. There I was trying to talk on the phone while keeping an eye on my disappearing $20 note. Fortunately the errant note was eventually retrieved and the journey continued.

Although Mal was only starting a few mins behind Bob and I, we knew that he would have little chance of catching up unless we showed mercy on him. We slackened our pace down to a leisurely 40 kph and doddled on towards Yarra Junction. While crossing the Highway we were nearly collected by a senile old driver with a hat, tooting his horn and swerving all over the road. After we had finished abusing him we realised it was only John on his way to complete the last 2 km of the ride.

By the time we reached the Yarra Junction Reserve Bob’s steroids combined with his incontinence to produce a long “pitstop” at the toilets. During this stop we hatched a plan to get even with Mal and his “Lance Armstrong” impersonations. We decided to hide in the bushes and watch him race by, head down and backside up. After he had passed we would taunt him with mobile phone calls exhorting him to ride a little faster to catch up to us. So off into the bushes we slithered and waited (and waited and waited). The only problem with our plan was that Mal (cheat and poor sport that he is) had decided to take the short cut and ride down the highway!

Eventually, after more mobile phone calls, the peloton finally formed at Millgrove and proceeded on to Warburton, arriving at about 2.20 pm. While we had our usual fill of cream cakes and coffee we witnessed a spectacular escape by a mean looking chicken, pursued by its owner down the main street. Whoever said that nothing ever happens in Warburton ? Mal decided to try and get his name in the Guiness Book of Records by ordering a mug of coffee that was bigger than the Grand Canyon. His bladder was so swollen that he burst the elastic on his leotards.

Over lunch we decided that for a change our next ride would be along the Dandenong Creek to Carrum Beach, so watch for full details in the “next ride” section above. By this time the day had developed into another “blue sky diamond day” – and this is supposed to be Winter. We all set off in high spirits and rode back with a slackening wind and setting sun. (At least the wind was slackening until Mal disgraced himself on the outskirts of Millgrove).

After dropping John at Launching Place, Mal and Bob decided to punish me by increasing the pace on the long hard climb back up to Wandin. No wonder I finished with jelly legs and heart palpitations. And what’s that refrain we could hear playing in the distance ? I think it must have been John singing “Why do we do this …..?”(sung to the tune of Danny Boy)