I have a relative (from the other side of the family) whose soul pearl of wisdom is that “everything comes in threes”. The problem is that when she says it, she really seems to mean it. The inevitable result of living according to this strange philosophy is that, once you have been subject to two unfortunate events, you will be forever expecting the third one to be just around the corner.
Apart from the two previous punctures we had suffered so far this afternoon, the rest of the ride had actually gone quite smoothly. In spite of the rather threatening appearance of the sky, the weather had for the most part remained quite benign. With the temperature in the low twenties it would have been an almost perfect cycling afternoon, if it had not been for the Force Ten gale blowing in our faces all the way to Warburton. At least we could have confidence that our return transit would be wind assisted all the way back to Mt Evelyn.
We had just started the final bitumen section into Warburton when I became the latest evidence of the “everything comes in threes” rule. The rapid expulsion of air from my front tyre indicated that we had now suffered our third puncture of the afternoon. I could have been tempted to believe that there really was some element of truth to this strange doctrine, but I think it had more to do with the large amount of sharp sticks that were scattered all along the trail after the preceding windy weather.
The break to repair the tyre gave us just enough chance NOT to be able to dodge the rapidly advancing shower of rain. As I was constantly reminded at the coffee shop “If it was not for your puncture we would have stayed dry all the way here”. What am I suposed to say? Did they think that I deliberately punctured, just to get a rest?
As I looked around there were a number of our regular riders absent for various reasons. In fact the Ghost Riders are scattered all over the planet at the moment with Richard in Sweden, John and Kerry in Vietnam, Lothar in Tasmania and Cheryl in Sydney. In spite of the absentees we still managed a peloton of 11 riders. It was also encouraging to see Gavin Wright back for his third ride and also Phil from Waburton (as opposed to “Doctor Phil”).
The passing showers gave us a good chance to enjoy our egg sandwiches, drink coffee and rest for a while. By ten past three the sky had cleared enough for us to set off again. Since I had no spare tubes left I was a little apprehensive that some things might even come in fours, but I needn’t have worried for we all managed to get back to our cars without incident.
Less pleasing however, was the discovery that the howling wind was still in our faces for the return ride. By some (all too common) freak of meteorology we were subjected to that worst of all cycling conditions – the dreaded BDOH (Bi directional opposing headwind). When the BDOH is in full force you can even have two cyclists approach each other from opposite directions and each complain about the headwind as they pass by each other. If Einstein had lived a little longer he might have been able to shed more light on this subject, but in the meantime every cyclist knows that it DOES happen.
On Settlement Rd Gavin and I thought we had a sprint winning break on the rest of the pack, until Crasher appeared from nowhere and shot past at about 50 kph. We tried to pretend we didn’t care.
A couple of weeks ago we had been caught in a downpour on the climb back up to Wandin but on this occasion the rain stayed away long enough for us to get back to our cars in a state of dryness.
Next week we are beginning our Tuesday evening rides from Emerald. These are shorter rides for people to share in after work during daylight saving time. We will be starting from Nobelius Station at 5.30 pm and should be finished by 6.45 pm. Everyone is invited to participate and bring along their friends. Normal Thursday afternoon rides will continue as usual.