The newcomer had been hovering around at Mt Evelyn for some time before finally coming over to us and introducing himself. “My name is Bill and I would like to ride with you today”, he said before adding “my friend over there will be coming too, his name is Bill too”. Well that was simple, at least we would only have to remember one name.
As I introduced Bill (and Bill) to Bob (crasher) and Bob (Leedham) another new rider came along and introduced himself as Paul. I responded by introducing him to Paul (Tubby) Clarke. This was starting to get confusing. Somewhere about that time Jon (Bate) arrived and I started to introduce him to the newcomers, just as a raucous passing motorist started tooting and waving at us. I looked up and saw that it was John (Seamons). I was half expecting someone to walk up and introduce themselves as Dennis, but fortunately I was ready to call a start to the ride and soon we were flying down our familar hill to Wandin.
The new Bills, Bobs & Pauls (but not one of the Johns) all acquitted themselves admirably and demonstrated that they were no slouches on two wheels. As is often the case the peloton grew steadily as we progressed and by the time the final count was undertaken at Trailblazers it showed a peloton of 22 riders. This rapid increase in the size of the crowd outside the coffee shop is starting to emphasise the shortage of chairs and tables. I thought I would drop a hint to the proprietor that they need to get some more tables but I am not sure that it registered. It’s a pity that the owner of the Trailblazer shop doesn’t buy the Valley Bakery and move his business up there. That way we could have great service AND plenty of room.
As has now become customary (on the few times that he actually turns up for a ride) John Seamons chose to start from Launching Place and once again complete a ride of Lilliputian dimensions. Even my grandmother can ride further and faster than that (and she’s been dead for years).
With the late afternoon finally starting to heat up it was nice to be able to spend a few moments at the water trough to refill our bottles and splash some water over Michael. This of course is a time honoured tradition to officially welcome new riders into our ghostly peloton. Michael had recently moved down to Emerald from Queensland and looks certain to become a regular member of future rides.
Back at COGS at the end of the ride I was able to have a brief chat with one of the Bills, but I am not sure which one it was. He seemed to have enjoyed his first ride and said that he would like to come back again in the future.
On the way home I stopped at the farm shed in Silvan to buy some lovely strawberries, raspberries and cherries to have for dinner. Does life get any better than this ? Would I rather be stuck in some desk job in the city, having to wear a tie every day ? You don’t need to be Einstein to answer those questions !