A couple of weeks ago when Lothar and I were riding side by side we were trying to estimate how many times we had ridden the Warburton Trail. It did not take long for me to calculate that I had personally ridden it over 300 times. ” And yet every time, it is different”, Lothar added. I had to agree that, although we had been this way so many times before, it was impossible not to be impressed by the beauty that was all around us. Of course, when I sit down to record each week’s ride, the task is not so easy.
Back in the early days of the Ghostriders when Crasher and Hooters were regular attenders there were always events worthy of recording for posterity, either Crasher was falling off his bike (or worse still, bringing down the whole peloton with him) or Hooters was complaining about the excessive 12 kph speed we were maintaining. His cries of “why are we going so fast ?” punctuated every ride along the trail. Now Crasher stays home looking at his faded scrapbooks and tarnished medals with a nostalgic and sad look in his eye. Hooters has also decided that any ride over 5 km is too long for a man of his advanced years and seldom ventures past his front door. Now the highlight of their weeks is when the volunteers from Meals on Wheels tap on their doors each Thursday morning.
This of course does leave something of a vacuum in the pelotonic procedures. Without Bob’s crashes and politically incorrect ravings and without Hooter’s hooters and inane hollerings, we have settled into too much of a predictable routine. So much so that now we have reached the point where there is nothing left to write about.
Of course the weather, like every week, was absolutely perfect – mild, sunny and still. And we did have approximately 20 riders in the group – but nothing actually happened. We did manage to ride in good formation for much of the way to Woori Yallock, but nobody fell off, had a puncture or even belched loudly. In fact nothing happened. Connie was happily completing her third ride and was therefore 75% of the way to becoming a Ghostrider and Geoff was back from his recent digital illness, but nothing really happened. I was almost starting to miss those halcyon days when chaos was king.
It was not until we were almost at Woori Yallock that things took a somewhat unexpected turn. We could see a couple of yellow clad riders wobbling their way somewhat slowly and unsteadily towards us, but our ageing eyes could not resolve their actual identities until they were within a few metres of us. To our surprise they turned out to be none other than Hooters and the Spanner. (Editors note – For those who joined our group in the past two years you may not realise that Hooters was actually our second official Ghostrider, so named because of the enormous electronic hooters he fitted to the front of his Malvern Star. Spanner Billson was also an early regular Ghostrider, so named because of the enormous shifting spanner that he used to regularly attack his bike seat with each week. In more recent times both of them have been missing in action for an extended period).
With the latest riders amalgamated into the peloton we continued on towards Launching Place. I almost began to hope for a cry of “why do we do this?” or a warning that a “head wind” was coming but there were no such exclamations. We just rode along the trail. In fact nothing at all happened. We entered the fearsome region of magpie alley and I almost hoped for a feathered bomber to attack from 12 o’clock high, but NOTHING happened. No one fell off, no one broke a spoke – in fact no one (that I know of) even broke wind.
We arrived at Milgrove and all settled down to enjoy our coffees and cakes in the warm sunshine. Unfortunately no one spilled their coffee or got a sausage roll caught in their aesophagus, in fact nothing happened – just happy chatting around the table. On the return ride we made good speed and again managed to avoid punctures, magpies, crashes, bike malfunctions, wandering cows, the notorious Woori Yallock flasher and a host of other possible disasters to all arrive safely back at our cars.
Since absolutely nothing happened on this ride – what on earth do I have to ride about ? Crasher Lewis PLEASE COME BACK.