Lothar was obviously agitated and concerned. “I don’t know vot has happened to Jon”, he stammered “vun minute he voz riding vith me and the next minute he has disappeared”. The rest of us gathered at COGS could think of no immediate explanation for this strange turn of events. Certianly during the 6 years we have been riding the trail we have seen some weird sights, but had never witnessed a rider simply vanish in plain daylight before.
Rather than allow the others to panic, I suggested that we each come up with a plausible explanation for this unexpected turn of events. “Perhaps he was abducted by aliens” (plain silly) or “Maybe Lothar only imagined that Jon had given him a lift to Woori Yallock” (even sillier), “Perhaps the wind carried him away” (hardly plausible on a still day). I could see that we were not frequented by intellectual giants and sought an explanation of my own. “He probably received a mobile phone call and had to return home in a hurry”, I suggested. This was greeted by a few nodding heads and it appeared that the panic was narrowly averted.
You could imagine our surprise when Jon finally arrived at COGS, just as we were about to start the ride. He was then able to shed additional light on the mystery. Apparently he had left one of his bike tools on the roof of his car and only remembered it when he had ridden a few kilometres. Rather than have someone steal his precious toll, he U turned and bolted all the way back to the car park. Spoken like that the explanation sounded quite reasonable after all.
With Jon’s disappearance explained, there was nothing else left but to jump on the bikes and get underway. As usual the peloton increased in size as we made our way back to Woori Yallock. The arrival of Crasher usually signifies that the group is complete. “I had to sit on 40 all the way to Woori” he boasted. I was not sure what he meant but I could only assume he was referring to the number of haemorhoids on his backside.
Fortunately no other incidents occured till we were all gathered at Trailblazers for lunch. It was not until I had finished my lunch and was getting ready to leave that I was personally aflicted by a miniature block hole that had apparently stolen my sunglasses. I searched high and low for them but they had vanished without a trace. I was certain I had been wearing them when I stopped but somehow they had gone missing during lunch. It was only when I noticed that my chinstrap was a little tighter than usual that the mystery was solved. The glasses were actually on my head UNDER my helmet! And they reckon you have to be over 60 before you get senile. I could only hope that no-one else had noticed my stupidity and diverted attention by quickly announcing that it was time to leave.
I was somewhat relieved to be able to make it safely back to my car without other paranormal phenomena occuring to any of the peloton. Since this was the penultimate Thursday ride before we depart for China we only have one more chance for a big peloton before we head off.