In Which we have a Reptilian Encounter

With the long awaited Bairnsdale to Nowa Nowa ride coming up next weekend we made the decision to bring this week’s ride forward to Tuesday. One look at the perfect weather conditions that greeted us at Mt Evelyn suggested that we had made another wise call.

I was especially pleased to see that Cheryl had decided to revert back to starting at Mt Evelyn. “I think it’s time for a real ride”, she announced with a healthy degree of determination. We could only wish that Johnny Seamons had even a small amount of the same brand of grit. Unfortunately he had already signalled his intention to save his energy by starting at Launching Place.

Bob presented with the mountain bike that Lex had scored by entering the Great Vic Bike Ride. Lex was already waiting to start, although he looked a little the worse for wear. Apparently he had been battling some sort of wog but was still keen to get his regular bike fix with his mates.

We were soon on our way in high spirits. Looking around at the green paddocks and rolling hills it is no wonder that our rides are the highlight of our week. It is just such a fantastic feeling to be coasting down the trail surrounded by beauty, even though it contrasts sharply with the somewhat less than perfect countenances of my riding partners.

By the time John Seamons had joined us at Launching Place our peloton had swollen to 7 riders. Warren was again off in Japan, probably stuffing his face with sweetened sushi or Big Macs.

The outbound sprint was again hotly contested with a furious last minute rush. In spite of my best efforts I was again passed by Bob, even though he was riding Lex’s “free” bike. I guess second is still better than third.

Conversation at the coffee shop somehow found its way to the virtues of flooding the Yarra Valley at Warburton to increase Melbourne’s water supply. All it would take would be a big dam from Mt Little Joe across to Donna Buang and we would have all the water we need. I wonder why the experts had never thought of it before. And they reckon that cyclists don’t have brains.

On the return ride Bob actually staged a brave assault on El Capitan and succeeded. Well it wasn’t exactly the main slope, but it was the smaller “El Petite Capitan”, and he did make it all the way to the top. Bob’s triumph encouraged a couple of other riders, including Lex, to also tackle the slope and succeed also.

After dropping John at Launching we increased the pace somewhat as we headed to Woori Yallock. With the peloton actually riding in close formation I was surprised to see Bob suddenly swerve violently to the left. “Snake, snake”, he yelled hysterically, but it was all too late for Cheryl.

She had been following close on Bob’s wheel and had no chance to avoid the huge tiger snake that was making its way across the trail. With a quick “blip, blip” she rode straight over the top and left it stunned and angry. Nobody seemed inclined to go back and check on the state of its health and somehow the speed of the peloton was a little faster for the next few kilometres.

At about this time I was also alerted to the fact that my back wheel had developed a serious wobble. This turned out to be due to a broken spoke. Peter suggested I leave my bike at his car at Woori Yallock and ride his Avanti mountain bike back to my car at Mt Evelyn. This was a very generous offer until I realised how hard it is to ride a bike with the seat about 4 cm too low. Also not helping was the fact that I had cleated shoes and he had standard pedals. With my legs flailing and my feet slipping I eventually made it back although it had been easy. I would have to add that the fault was not with his bike, it was just that it wasn’t MY BIKE.

Next weekend we rejoin at Bairnsdale – HOORAY.