stats. Distance 78.89km
With some misgivings I dragged myself out of bed this morning to go riding with Mark. Evan and Kelvin turned up on time, I couldn’t think of a better way to get from home to Carnegie so we rode up Gardiners Creek bike path, Kelvin muttering that he’d only been on his new bike an hour and here I was taking him around a myriad of right-angled bends on poor surfaces, determined to tip him off.
After a wake-up coffee we headed out along Waverley Road towards Ferntree Gully, being honked at by the first petrol head of the day shortly after turning onto the road. Rolling up and down the hills to the police academy, then screaming down the descent towards Jells Park. As usual on descents, Evan was well in the lead, clocking around 80km/hr and passing a four wheel drive and its rather stunned looking driver. From Jells Park out to Ferntree Gully it was windy and noisy, the usual mix of Saturday morning traffic on their way to the shopping or sports. A little bit of excitement turning off into the hills, someone had stopped their car in the middle of the lane and walked off, leaving it sitting there with the hazard lights flashing. It had either died so completely that they couldn’t move it to the side of the road, or they were of the common opinion that hazard lights let you do imbecile things like this. Either way, we managed to squeeze past and commenced the climb up the mountain.
Everyone settled into their own rhythm, Evan and I gradually getting further in front, Kelvin and Mark at the rear. Unfortunately somewhere along the way the latter two took a wrong turn and ended up on a side road going over the ridge and past a telecommunications station, meanwhile Evan and I sat at Ferny Creek shop and waited and waited for them to catch up, wondering what was taking them so long. When the miracle of modern telecommunications eventually allowed their two non-Telstra mobile phones to work, we found that they had gone over us while we waited, and were two kilometres further up the road!
Reunited a few minutes later, we continued on along the ridge to Olinda for a large, warming lunch of home-made soup and pies before considering the descent to civilisation.
Back outside the café we quickly realised that the warmth inside was due to the fire, not the sun! A quick chat with the motorcyclists who were also leaving at the same time and then it was back down the road to Sassafrass, hauling on the brakes to avoid running into the slower motorists. Turned off down the Old Mountain Highway and had an almost perfect run down to Bayswater, the wind dropping as we did, and the temperature climbing. About a third of the way down the motorbikes caught up after their regrouping in Sassafrass, and there was some good natured racing between the two types of bikes.
From there it was just a long boring slog homewards. Marko was worn out and kept threatening to catch a train, Evan and I told him to shut up and just ride along behind, that it wasn’t too far to Syndal, our first possible stop. It seemed to work, before too long Mark and I were turning off down Blackburn Road, leaving Evan and Kelvin to continue in towards the city. I was surprised at how quickly we got to Kath and John’s place in Syndal, Mark was just glad to get off the bike and call Lesley to come and pick him up!
Jo came over after washing her car and we spent an agonising ten minutes with her walking around hiding her left hand in her pocket before we could get both John and Kath in the room at the same time. Once the news was sprung there was a mixture of “Oohs” and “Aaahs” together with “and it’s about time too!” Unbeknown to us, it seems that people have been taking bets on when we’d get engaged every time we’ve been away for a weekend, or off on a holiday!