In Which Tight Cleats Get Revenge

There is only one thing worse than suffering the ignomy of a “decleating incident” and that is suffering such an incident witnessed, not only by the whole peloton, but by a wisecracking passing motorist as well. Surely such an incident is every cyclist’s worst nightmate, and yet the unthinkable happened on a bright sunny afternoon just near the end of Settlement Rd.

Up till then we had enjoyed a perfect ride, although I was a little surprised that the numbers were not quite as high as I would have expected on such a glorious day. What a joy it is to be able to ride along unencumbered by unsightly arm and leg warmers. With such an abundance of white flesh on display of course it is always wise to wear a darker tinted pair of sunglasses.

The peloton had already completed the major part of the outward ride and everyone seemed to be high spirits and thoroughly enjoying the privelege of riding such a beautiful trail. As we approached the Settlement Rd intersection Paul Barnard had taken on the role of head rider and was proudly pedaling away assisted by his new pair of (extra tight) cleats. It was only when he was about to ride across the road that someone shouted out “Car Left” alerting Paul to the impending danger that was only 20 metres or so away from him.

He braked suddenly and then proceeded to move directly into a slow motion sideways rotational movement that left the rest of us in fascinated observation. It was a bit like watching a moth fly into a fire – macabre but strangly enjoyable. A second or so he was rolling in the dirt with his bike on top of him. To make matters worse the car driver, obviously entertained by this unexpected turn of events, waved and tooted as he passed, just to make sure that we all knew he had witnessed the debacle. It was a low moment for the Ghost Riders.

Paul gradually regained his feet but it took him a considerably longer time to regain his composure. The back of his yellow jersey was covered with mud, dead leaves and horse manure as he resumed the ride towards Milgrove. I am sure it was a day that he would rather forget, but the rest of us could hardly stop laughing. It was such a dumb-ass thing to do !

At lunch we were surprised to see that Trish Humbert had decided to join us. It had been a long time since Trish had enjoyed a ride with the Ghost Riders and it was a good oportunity to catch up on what she had been up to. Judging by the dark tan she was wearing it was apparenmt that she had been doing a lot of cycling. It was also good to see Cheryl and Donald down from Sydney for a ride. Since they always seem to be on a perpetual overseas holiday, we have not seen them on a ride together for some time.

The return ride was undertaken at a somewhat faster pace than has been the recent norm, mainly because old Crasher wanted to show Trish that he hadn’t lost any of his old testosterone. I had to admit that, with the warm afternoon sun and the almost complete lack of wind, it certainly made riding easy.

This weekend is our Annual ride to Phillip Island and I am sure that we are all hoping that the conditions will be just as kind to us. Personally I would like a 20 knot tailwind and a blue sky to make it a ride to really savour.