While there is absolutely no doubt that all cyclists enjoy eating cream cakes and drinking coffee it is equally true that we would normally prefer to eat these while seated at a nice table with lots of parking space for our bikes and lots of seats for our sore bums. Looking around at the large group of Ghost Riders crowded together on the footpath I was placed on the horns of a dilemma.
It is certainly true that Trailblazers have looked after us extremely well, providing us well priced cakes and friendly service. The problem is that we have just grown so rapidly that the scene we now present each week is not such a pleasant one. With some riders forced to eat their lunches from the top of the wheelie rubbish bin and others sitting on the footpath trying to guard their coffees from being knocked over, it is becoming increasingly apparent that something is going to have to change.
I started to consider the options. We could always go back to the Valley Bakery in Warburton. They certainly had a lot of seating and the surroundings were very enjoyable, however the poor service we had experienced in 2005 was still fresh in my memory. After spending thousands of dollars there over the previous two years, the owner was not even prepared to shout us a complimentary coffee after our Christmas ride. In addition we had come to enjoy the better priced fare at Trailblazers. If only the Trailblazers had a better seating and eating area it would be perfect…..
It was while I was thus lost in thought that the young sales assistant came out onto the footpath to break the incredible news. Apparently the powers that be (ie the owners of the shopping centre) had seen our need and decided to open a new meals area in our honour. The girl went on to tell us that a large area on the far side of the car park was to be levelled, tables and chairs were to be installed and the entire area to be henceforth known as the “Ghost Rider Park”. And all this was going to be done within the next couple of months.
I could hardly believe my ears. After all our years in the cycling wilderness we were finally starting to get the recognition we so richly deserved. I could almost envisage a small grandstand being erected as well, just so our many fans could wait and cheer for us as we ride into the park each Thursday. Perhaps even a media box for the TV and Radio commentators, after all Phil Liggett would probably expect no less.
This was just the sort of news we had been holding out for. When this park is completed it will mean that we will be able to continue to grow our Thursday pelotons and not need to look for another bakery. A win win situation for everyone.
Buoyed with this great news the return ride was completed in high spirits, although the humid weather was starting to take its toll by the time we got back to Woori Yallock. Fortunately for the “senior” peloton we had a refreshing water splash at the Seville trough. This resource really is a life saver for those who ride in hot weather. What a shame there are not a couple more taps situated along the trail.
On a side note I should comment that we seem to have now developed a “nocturnal peloton” as well as the traditional “daylight peloton”. Over the past several weeks a subset of the Ghost Riders have been venturing out onto the Warby Trail with lights on their bikes to complete an evening ride. Maybe it’s time for me to get a set of lights and give it a go myself. Perhaps the night peloton will need to get special luminous jerseys so that they glow in the dark….. I will keep you posted on this interesting new development.