It’s no secret. I hate hot water. No. I don’t just mean dislike – I mean HATE with a capital H. Give me a nice cold day anytime rather than a putrid hot day with the sun burning down from a cloudless sky like a gas flame over a souvlaki. I don’t like sweat dripping from my chin before I’ve even started to ride. I don’t like being perpetually thirsty. And most of all I don’t like HOT NORTH winds.
You would think that by the middle of March we could safely expect that we had seen the last of summer, but it appears that now that we are apparently in the fearsome grip of “climate change” we should expect that summer will now last for almost 12 months at a time. I could almost be tempted to move to Tasmania but that is apparently also heating up at a rapid rate. Perhaps the Falkland Islands will be the new hot spot for real estate prices in the next few years.
In any case the prospcet of another day in the high 30’s was enough to set my spirits plummeting, especially when this was to be our last chance to ride before heading off to China for our third Great China Ride. I carefully considered all the options for at least 10 seconds and then decided to unilaterally announce that the ride would be shortened to an official start at Woori Yallock rather at Mt Evelyn. Since the announcemnt was not made until Thursday morning I was not confident that anyone would actually read it, but it would at least give me an excuse for a shortened ride.
You can imaginbe my surprise when I arived at Woori Yallock to find at least 6 yellow shirted riders already gathered for the start. Sometimes these guys really do surprise me after all. Maybe someone actually does read the web site after all? In any case I was relieved that I would not be the only one doing the easy option. It seemed that others were also quite happy that they would not have to ride 65 km in the heat.
Since we had a few minutes to spare we rode back as far as the shade at Killara before turning back to Woori Yallock. We huddled in the shade waiting to see if anyone else would have ridden the whole way from COGS and were surprised to see Crasher flying along the trail. Apparently he had once again been “sitting on 40” all the way (or so he would have us believe). Since there was no one to verify his story we gave him the benefit of the doubt and started out towards Milgrove.
I discovered that by riding at a moderate speed the evaporation of sweat from your body really does help to make it more comfortable than standing still. We sat on about 22 kph for most of the way to Milgrove, where I was quite happy to head for the shop and a milkshake while a few of the others continued to Warburton. It was also a relief to find that our tables were in shade.
When everyone had arrived we all enjoyed a LONG lunch and chat. Because we did not have as far to ride back to the cars we did not have to be in such a hurry. In fact we did not get underway until about 3.30 pm. It was even hotter by this time and I was thoroughly glad that I did not have to face the climb up to Mt Evelyn. Back at the cars Gael, Glenda and I were able to bid farewell to the others. We will not be riding this trail again for about a month.