I had been looking forward to a ride all week and when the weather man said that this afternoon was going to be fine and sunny I could not wait to slip on the old lycras and hit the trail. The only trouble was that business has been so busy that for a while it looked as if I was not going to be able to escape for the afternoon. Eventually I was able to extricate myself from the phone, click the old bike on the carrier and head for the hills.
By the time I arrived at Mt Evelyn Bob was growing restless of waiting and was occupying his time doing sprints up and down the main road. I quickly got the bike down, and waited for Bob to return to the start of the Trail. We headed off in high spirits, Bob still proudly sporting his new “Magpie Decoys” on his helmet. I was convinced this was to be a memorable ride, and I was soon to be proved correct.
We had not been on the bikes more than 5 minutes before Bob had to stop to repair a puncture! The only problem was that the puncture was on MY bike. In fact after 12 months of riding this trail it was the FIRST puncture I had ever had. I put on a helpless expression and allowed Bob to demonstrate his prowess in changing the tube. The unfortunate thing was that we happened to stop near a huge group of senior citizens starting off on a ride, every one of them offering to help us as they passed. I was able to assure them that I had everything well in hand and was just showing my elderly friend (Bob) how to change a tyre correctly.
We soon were mobile again but within about 2 minutes I had the dreaded experience of another ^$#(& flat tyre! Could you believe it, two flats in about 1 km ???? It was beginning to look as if this was going to be our shortest ride ever. Fortunately Bob also had a spare tube and we stopped again to investigate what might be going on. We soon discovered that my rim tape had broken, exposing the rough ends of the spokes.
As we sat there pondering our misfortune, Bob had a brilliant idea – no, not that we throw my bike down the gulley and walk back to the car, but that he could unwind some insulation tape from his handlbars and use it to repair the tape. Sure enough after another 10 mins or so we were back in motion. The only problem was that I kept imagining I could hear “pfffff” noises coming from my wheels. We never-the-less summoned our courage and forged onwards – after all, we were the same men who had previously beaten the evil BDOH and scaled the famed DONNA BUANG, surely we could not be beaten by “PFFF THE EVIL DRAGON”.
While all this drama was unfolding John was quietly waiting at Woori Yallock wondering what had happened to his riding mates. We assured him that we were still coming and told him to wait for us at Killara. Bob and I gradually increased speed and set off in search of him. The only trouble was that when we reached Killara he was still was nowhere to be seen. We assumed that he must have fallen asleep in his car so we continued on to Woori Yallock.
While we were riding I kept hearing the faint sounds of some rare kind of native bird in the distance. It sounded like a forlorn “beep beep”, coming from somewhere far behind us. Because there was still no sign of John we kept riding and looking. After a few more minutes my mobile rang and it was poor John saying that he was behind us, trying in vain to catch up!!! Apparently he had been hiding in the bushes, waiting to frighten us. We sailed straight past, spoiling his little joke and then leaving him in our wake. He had been vainly trying to catch up ever since, tooting his hooter like lost duckling.
Eventually the peloton was formed and we proceeded to Warburton without further incident. The only problem was that we were about 45 mins later than usual and we were all starving. Over a short lunch, interspersed with bursts of some kind of noxious gases wafting through the town, we further refined our plans for the Upper Yarra Dam ride on Saturday. Just as we were ready to leave we were interrupted by a fellow wanting to know the real purpose behind Bob’s extra eyes on his helmet… We were able to tell him that they were a foolproof way of stopping magpie attacks and were able to sell him a pair for only $10. This product could be a sure fire money spinner!
The sky was starting to look a little threatening so we set off back along the trail. Bob and John took a perverse pleasure in making pfffff noises all the way back to Yarra Junction. I retaliated by staging a dramatic slow motion fall from my bike, further damaging my pride (and my kneecap). I guess all mishaps do come in threes after all.
Fortunately no further accidents or punctures occured and by the time we passed through Killara the skies had cleared and we rode back to Mt Evelyn in perfect riding conditions. As Bob said, every ride is unique in some way. I guess that’s what helps make this activity so darned addictive.