After two months of weekly battles with freezing weather and Eddie’s rampant testosterone levels, we finally decided we had had enough. What we all needed was a nice warm ride in the sunshine – one with no hills, head winds or magpies in sight. When the weather bureau promised us a sunny day with a top temperature of 26C we all knew at once that this was the opportunity we had all been hanging out for. We decided to forsake our familiar Warby Trail and head down south to Carrum along the Dandenong Creek Trail.
As I unloaded my bike at Mulgrave Reserve I became aware of an unfamiliar sensation. At first I thought it might just be the new surroundings, but I soon realised that the warm tingling in my skin was, in fact, due to the presence of solar energy actually penetrating the cloud layer. Just as unfamiliar was the fact that my nose was NOT running. This was incontrovertible proof that the temperature must have exceeded 20C.
Within a few minutes I was joined by Bob, Lex, Cheryl and Johnny Come Lately. When Peter finally turned up we learned that the reason for his late arrival was that he had suffered another flat tyre. This guy is rapidly catching up on my unenviable deflation count.
We were soon on the trail and making impressive progress, aided by a, not inconsiderable, tail wind. This must be close to cycling heaven – smooth surface, warm sunny day, no hills, good friends AND A TAILWIND. The scenery flashed by as we careered around the tight bends. I was a little concerned for Cheryl who had bravely (recklessly ?) decided to ride topless, rather than miss out on such a fun ride. When we were unpacking our bikes she had discovered to her dismay that she had left her helmet at home, so here she was flying along the trail with her locks flowing free in the wind.
Hooters had decided that, even though there were no hills, he’d better not overdo things, and planned to meet us further down the trail. With our final peloton of seven riders the wind assisted leg to Carrum was completed at a respectable rate. Apart from a burst of stink from the nearby sewage plant, the rest of the ride was most enjoyable.
At Carrum we enjoyed a leisurely coffee and chat before heading off down to the seashore. A passing carload of juvenile oafs thought it a good idea to yell and toot as they passed by. I was disappointed that they managed to escape before we caught up to them at the next stop. After all – “Hell hath no fury like an elderly cyclist mocked”.
It was when we finally started back up the path that we were forcefully reminded that one man’s tailwind is another man’s pain in the backside. We were now faced with the long push back upwind to Dandenong. Even so, with the blue sky and pleasant warmth, the headwind did not seem really so bad after all.
On the final leg from Dandenong back to Mulgrave we noticed an idiot on a trailbike racing towards us at high speed alnong the bike path. This brought back to me unpleasant memories of another such mindless twat on this path who sent me off to the Emergency Ward at Frankston Hospital. As this new menace approached we gave him a few non-verbal signals to indicate that his presence on the path was neither warranted or welcome. At this point of time John (Hooters) and Cheryl had fallen a little behind and would no doubt have their own encounter with our motoring moron.
It was only some time later when we were back at the cars that we heard the rest of the story. Apparently when the motorcyclist approached them, Hooters dismounted from his bike and used it to block the path. Faced with the alternative of stop or crash the motorcyclist stopped to give John a verbal serve. John apparently responded by giving him a lecture on correct trail etiquette.
Considering that John is not capable of mustering up the courage to ride on real roads or to tackle any gradient greater than 0.5%, I find it absolutely amazing that he thinks nothing of performing a citizen’s arrest on any offending motorbike rider he happens to encounter. I guess some mysteries of the universe are better left unsolved, hence John’s weird selective valour will remain forever relegated to the great unknowable, along with other enigmas such as crop circles, spontaneous human combustion and the *BDOH.
In spite of these minor irritations, all agreed that it had been a very enjoyable ride and there was a suggestion that we should do it more regularly as an alternative ride.
*BDOH – “Bi Directional Opposing Headwind” – a weird atmospheric phenomenon well known to all cyclists, whereby you can ride in any direction you wish and the wind will always be directly in your face. It is even possible for two cyclists to approach each other from opposite directions and each complain to the other about the vicious headwind they each are facing. Einstein did spend some time in the 1930s trying to solve the mystery of the BDOH but eventually had to admit defeat and spend his time on simpler problems like his Unified Field Theory. Apparently related to the better known “BBQ Smoke Paradox” whereby the smoke will always be in your face regardless of which side of the fire you are standing on.