There is no doubt that Janna has set an incredible example while she has been our reigning monarch for 2016. Not only has she maintained an excellent attendance record but she has introduced a brand new ride which I am sure will be incorporated into our Annual Calendar from now on. I think it is a fantastic idea that each year’s monarch conducts a “Royal Ride” along a route of their own choosing. This year was our inaugural Royal Ride and Janna used it to introduce us to the mysterious region known as the “northern suburbs” of Melbourne.
The ride started at Fairfield Boathouse and then proceeded along the bike path to Royal Park (a fitting place for a Royal Ride I thought). From there we turned off onto the Upfield Bike Path and followed the train line for quite some distance. At this point I realised that I was completely lost and just concentrated on not letting Janna out of my sight.
With 16 riders in our peloton we made an impressive sight as we snaked and weaved our way around a collection of bike paths and back roads. At one stage I did recognise the Ring Road and it was about this time that some of those in our group started asking “where is the coffee stop ?”. It is evident that we can only ride for around 30 km without caffeine, and this distance had obviously been surpassed. Fortunately Janna had a plan and that involved a lengthy stop at the kiosk at Cooper’s Settlement. Many of our riders had never seen it before, but I dimly remembered that Dan had brought us this way a couple of years ago.
After our caffeine levels were sufficiently raised we climbed back on the bikes and were blessed with a lovely tailwind most of the way back to the start. This was a perfect way to finish a delightful day on two wheels. We were all very appreciative to Janna for showing us parts of our city that had been completely unknown to us.
If you look at the images you can see the actual route we followed, along with the elevation profile. You can also see that one of our riders also entered into the spirit of the ride by donning a crown on top of his helmet. Maybe we should all have decked ourselves in suitable royal regalia ?