In which disaster is narrowly averted

With the days slowly starting to get shorter this was probably going to be our last chance for a Twilight Ride, so we had high hopes for a good sized peloton. We had already decided to drop the starting time back to 4 pm in order to make it easier for some of our working riders to attend.

When the disignated time arrived Mal and I were soon joined at Mt Evelyn by Ross on his Massey and Bob on the Bismark. The greatest shock, however, came when John and Pete also arrived and announced that they were ready to tackle the entire ride from Mt Evelyn to Warburton. This would give us the largest starting formation we had ever had.

By about 4.10 pm we bade our farewells to support crew members and headed off down the ever roughening track towards Wandin. Due to the extreme dry weather the track is rapidly approaching the consistency of talcum powder, interspersed with large sharp loose rocks – just about perfect for stuffing up expensive bikes and causing frequent blowouts and crashes (but then that’s the way we like it !)

Surpringly enough the ride to Woori Yallock was accomplished without major mishap and there we met up with yet another new recruit. Nyall at 22 was the youngest rider yet to ride with the legendary champions of the trail, but he soon paired up with young Pete and the increased peloton (Septon?) resumed its charge towards Warburton.

At Launching Place we took the back road to enjoy some smoother bitumen riding. The extreme folly of this decision soon became apparent when Mal was nearly cleaned up by a careless motorist turning out of his drive without looking. The brave members of the peloton rallied to the defense of our endangered colleague by emitting a spontaneous outburst of verbal abuse at the driver. I am not sure who got the bigger fright – Mal or the driver, but fortunately disaster was avoided by several centimeters and we were able to joke about how brave we cyclists really are.

A few km further along we were harassed by another nuisance driver however closer inspection revealed it to be none other than Spanner Billson in his limo, with no less than two bikes attached to the rear!