In which much bloodletting takes place

Since we had never planned a Friday afternoon ride before this was going to be something of an experiment for the Warby Riders. We also decided to vary the start time to 2 pm in order to assist Old Bob get out of bed in time to make the start.

When I arrived at Mt Evelyn at 2 pm there was again no sign of Bob, so after waiting for a few moments I decided to start rolling down the hill and let him catch up. It was a nice afternoon and after a busy week at work I was ready to enjoy the excitement of the trail, and, since I had not yet had lunch, I was also eagerly looking forward to the Warburton cake shop.

By the time I reached Wandin there was still no sign of Bob, but I did notice a couple of cyclists who had just pulled into the carpark. As I approached the lady rider called me over to her. She looked at me imploringly and asked “what is the trail like from here to Mt Evelyn?” Since I never lie I simply told her that it was nearly all uphill, but that it was a doddle for a superbly fit rider like myself.

She looked at her riding partner and said emphatically “That’s IT, we are turning around and heading back down to Woori Yallock”. Pleased that I had been able to assist less experienced riders, I remounted my bike and was soon joined by Bob on the Bismark.

We rode on down the hill, talking and dodging the numerous piles of fresh horse manure. At least the recent rains had settled the dust somewhat – a pity it was not sufficient to wash away all the poop.

Soon the sound of buzzing flies indicated that we had arrived at Woori Yallock and there waiting for us were Mal and John. We were especially pleased to see that John had even rounded up a new recruit – his son Peter. If he could complete the ride he would go down in history as the youngest rider to join our peloton. John had even supplied Pete with his old 1948 Malvern Star bike, although Pete had stripped it of its mudguards, chain guards, handlebar basket, streamers, ribbons, flappers, tooters, hooters, flags and the like. Apparently he had filled an entire wheelie bin with the unecessary rubbish he had removed.

John had not been idle either – he had remounted the set of enormous hooters on his bike. “Should be good for at least 80 db” he proudly boasted. The associated battery pack looked like it could power a small city for a couple of months, but when he was asked to demonstrate the new electronics all it could produce was a rather sick sounding “mooooooooo-ooooo”. Something was definitely amiss but he did arouse the curiosity of one other person at Woori Yallock. An elderly male rider on an even older bike and wearing baggy pants came over and asked “what the hooters were for”. We looked at him seriously and informed him that John was the new Track Inspector (a bit like the famed Highway Patrol). Our elderly friend seemed satisfied with this answer, nodded his head and went back to his bike.

Mal had showed up with his Pit Bull special but assured us that he had finally fixed all the holes in the tube. We mounted up and headed off up the track, but in order to welcome the new rider Bob and Mal disappeared off into the distance and neither of them were not spied again until we pulled into the coffee shop in Warburton.

In the meantime John and I stayed back to assist Peter up the hills and to make sure that he was able to cross the busy roads. We even had to make sure he did not crash into the large tree which had fallen across our path (Where is Ross’ Massey Ferguson when you really need it?).

John trying to move the tree

We were in for an even bigger surprise at Warburton when Warren pulled up in his chauffeur driven limo and proceeded to unload his new racing bike. After several moments of seat bashing and other fine adjustments he announced that he was ready to ride several hundred metres back down the track with us.

He even proudly displayed his latest trophy – a small cut under his right knee.┬áCan you see the cut ?

Can you see the cut ?

In order to help us see where the cut was, he had painted his entire leg with copious amounts of mercurichrome, zinc oxide primer and creosote. When we commented that it did not look like a “real cut” to us he disappeared for a few moments and reappeared with the modified version (see below).

Now it looks better – lots of blood

When he had successfully removed another layer of skin and ensured a good blood flow he seemed convinced that this would get him some bonus sympathy votes in tomorrow nights’ awards. We looked at him, shook our heads in disbelief and headed off back down the mountain.

Its hard going downhill with no blood!

The loss of blood must have weakened Warren somewhat since he even got puffed out riding DOWN the hill. None of us had ever seen someone wheeling their bike downhill before, but I guess there is a first time for everything.

Mal decided to have another go at his old foe the El Capitan of Warburton. he did manage to get higher than his previous effort before falling off and banging his head on the “KEEP OFF” sign.

While Mal was recovering Warren got his second wind (it’s a pity I was standing behind him at the time!) and we all moved off again. We formed a rather impressive peloton of SIX (is that a “SEXATON” ?) as we rode at some speed back to Woori Yallock. (It must have been at some speed because we did eventually get there.)

Back at the carpark Warren was able to bask in the new found glory of his longest ride (and his still bleeding knee). And if you are wondering at how the young Pete went – YES he did make it all the way, much to John’s surprise.

The first member of the “Junior Ghosts” ????

After saying goodbye to John, Pete, Mal and Warren (and 10 million flies), Bob and I remounted and headed off into the setting sun. Because we had started later the shadows were lengthening as we made our way back up the track.

Maybe that was the reason (or maybe it was the custard tart, or maybe it was because I was riding the heavier bike) that the hill back up to Mt Evelyn seemed a bit steeper than last week. At least I gave that couple the right advice when I told them what a frightful climb it was………