Distance 108.20km

28.5 °C, winds gusting to 100km/hr — yep, sounds like a perfect day to go for a bike ride. My one intelligent decision was to head north, into the wind, in the vague hope that this would make the ride home easier. Out towards Whittlesea on a dead-flat road the head-wind was holding me down to 18km/hr, occasionally slowing to 14 in the stronger sections — on a good day you can average 30 along here! Every magpie in Victoria seemed to be out to swoop me as well, an experience I haven’t had much of since leaving Canberra six years ago.

Turning off just past Whittlesea and heading to Humevale and up through the forest was as picturesque as ever, and a blessed relief to be out of the wind — I actually went faster up the hill in the shelter than along the flat in the wind. 21 minutes up the hill won’t set any records, but I think it’s the first time I’ve ridden up on my mountain bike. I surprised a swamp wallaby along the way, it didn’t hear me approaching, then bounded off into the forest.

Riding home was certainly faster, at least until I reached the city, I covered over 35km in the first hour after leaving the top of the ridge, and for around 10km out of Wittlesea was sitting on 44-48km/hr! From Mill Park onwards it was the usual mix of petrol-heads in Commodores and 4WDs back to the city, smoking tyres and shouting witty comments. Finally home at 2 pm, four hours twenty minutes on the bike, tired and covered in dust!