It was always goin to be touch and go whether or not I was going to be able to get away on time. Even though I had put up the “CLOSED” sign outside the office, the phone would just not stop ringing. By the time I was finally able to hang up and switch on the answering machine I was already at least 30 minutes late for the start of the ride.
I charged into the garage, grabbed the bike, clamped it on the car and within 10 minutes I was changed and at last pulling out of the drive. In spite of my best efforts, when I arrived at the Woori Yallock car park there were no others in sight. Thinking that I would just ride out towards Mt Evelyn and meet them somewhere along the way, I started pedalling and hoping that the imposing dark clouds building ahead of me would not culminate in a downpour.
Keeping a wary eye on the ever darkening sky I made it as far as Killara before the rain started falling. I decided to turn back and wait in the car until the worst of the rain past over. The problem was that within minutes the rain was cascading heavily, leaving me saturated from head to foot. I could even feel the water running down my legs and puddling in the bottom of my shoes. The trail was quickly turned to slush as I tried to find the dryest route to follow. Soon my mood was as dark as the sky overhead and, by the time I arrived back at Woori Yallock I was in no fit state to continue the ride.
I took the only alternative that seemed to make any sense at the time, hurriedly attaching the bike back to the car and grabbing a towel in a vain attempt to regain some dignity. It was a cold, wet and muddy rider that eventually shut the car door to consider his options. A great idea burst into my mind – Why not drive up to the coffee shop instead and grab a hot pie before they were all gone ? Not being able to think of a good reason to the contrary, I turned up the heater and demister and followed my instincts to Milgrove.
A short while later I was enjoying a lovely hot pie (and it wasn’t the sole curry and anchovy version that is often the case later in the afternoon) and coffee. Although I was feeling rather lonely and I was already missing the Thursday ride, the lunch was great.
On the way back home I noticed that the worst of the rain had passed over and that the sun was even starting to break through. There was a small voice that reminded me that it would not be too late to turn back and at least get in some of the ride. I turned up the radio and heater and continued on my way back to Emerald.