In a winter beset with coldness, wetness and persistant gale force winds, it was indeed a pleasant surprise to find ourselves looking at a completely clear blue sky. In fact I suspect that this was the best day we have enjoyed for some weeks. Riding in such conditions almost made it possible to forget the somewhat bumpy state of the trail.
It was also encouraging to see such a good turnout of riders. With the exception of Bob, who had apparently stayed home to play on the Internet, all of our regular weekday riders had emerged from their winter hibernation to enjoy a ride in the sunshine.
By the time we reached Woori Yallock our peloton was complete and it was impossible not to be in high spirits as we cruised towards Warburton. I suspect that the relative warmth of the sunshine resulted in our traditional sprints not being as fiercely contested as usual.
At Warburton we all sprawled in the open and actually felt the tentative rays of the winter sun on our faces. It would have been very easy to just sit in the sun and relax, but the hands of our watches are often cruel taskmasters and all too soon, we had to saddle up for the return ride.
It was about this time that we realised afresh that, although the sunshine was warm, the air temperature was actually in single digits. Riding through the shady regions with noses dripping and hands freezing, our thoughts were cast ahead to springtime – still over 7 weeks away.
At least the ride was completed with no punctures or mishaps. I suppose if we did not endure the winter we would not enjoy the warmer months so much.