In Which Day Follows Night

Although I have now ridden the Warburton Trail over 200 times over the past 5 years, I can’t recall ever having ridden it twice in two days. And yet, here I was back at Mt Evelyn, only a few short hours after our late night nocturnal mud bath of last evening. It had really been a ride to remember. Not only did we have an impressive peloton of 14 riders riding in the dark, but we were caught out in a short deluge of biblical proportions which left us covered in mud from head to foot.

The night ride was also memorable in another aspect. When Ben’s tyre went flat he could not be bothered with it’s repair (probably because he came with no tools or spares) and proceeded to ride all the way back to Wandin on the rim! You could almost feel his bike crying with the pain.

The other dark aspect of last night was the pricing structure of the Wild Thyme Cafe in Warburton. Not feeling like eating a whole cake each (at a price of $7.50) we asked the waitress if we could have half a cake each. “No problem” she replied. It was only when we went to pay our bills that we discovered that they had charged us $6.50 each for half a cake! I guess they thought it was a quick way to multiply their profit for the night. And I thought that bare faced robbery was supposed to be illegal. It makes you wonder why the manager was not grateful to have 14 customers turn up at a time when his business was empty. Maybe he is still to learn the age old principle that what goes around comes around.

On the positive side it was great fun to be riding along the trail illuminated by our headlights. It was also evident that we gave a lot of pleasure to passing motorists and motor cyclists as they tooted and waved to us.

Since we had so many riders out for the previous evening I suspected that the Thursday peloton might be reduced in size, however we were to discover that we still achieved about 20 riders out for the afternoon. It was also amazing how quickly the trail had dried out. There was no trace of the rain that had turned the path into a quagmire a few hours earlier.

It was a relief to be able to stop for lunch at the friendly cafe at Milgrove. It was such a contrast to the previous night and their coffees were about half the price! We were soon happily seated around our new tables, drinking our coffees and spreading cream cakes over our mouths. This is surely the highlight of every ride. I wondered just how many people would turn out for a ride if we made a decision that we were to stop drinking coffee.

This also gave us a welcome chance to talk about last night’s ride and to discuss future rides. With the Wangaratta weekend coming up next in a few days time, there will be no scheduled ride next Thursday so we had a longer than usual lunch stop.

The return ride was completed without mishap or unusual occurence and everyone made it safely back to their respective starting locations. My speedo showed that I had clocked up 128 km on the trail in less than 24 hours. Maybe I need counselling….