Fri, 09 Apr 2004
Deadly Treadly Tour, day 1: Moe to Mirboo North // at 23:59
Breakfast, finish packing, put the bags in the car and drive down to Alexandra parade to the start of yet another Deadly Treadly... somewhere along the way Jo asks whether I've checked that we really are starting from the same place as all the previous rides! We are, and about a hundred people have shown up, quite a few more than the last couple of times. A few quick hellos, we drop off the bags and then back home to pick up the bike. I said bike not bikes, because for the first time ever, we're taking the tandem on a tour somewhere!
Riding it with the clipless pedals is a huge improvement on the toe-straps. When we get home we must get around to buying some proper pedals for this bike! We survived the ride down Swan street, made it back to the start, then answered the first of a stream of questions along the lines of “How long have you had it?” and “What's it like to ride?”
Pedals off, bags into the bus, tandem onto the truck and then we're off in the buses out to Moe and to start the riding.
Amazingly, the bus driver managed to drive all the way from Melbourne to Moe without having to stop “to let us stretch our legs,” a euphemism that seems to have been used repeatedly over the years as the poor tobacco-addict drivers stop to desperately suck down two or three fags in quick succession.
A few passers-by looked on in bemusement as 100 people piled off the two coaches and started assembling bags and bikes — half of them anyway.... The other half stood around waiting... and waiting.... Eventually, an hour later, Arthur turned up with the second truck and the remaining bicycles. He'd been forced to provide statements to the police after some motorists ran into each other in front of him.
The local café failed dismally in an attempt to provide 100 people with coffees and salad rolls. Once the first ten had entered the shop, staff stress-level rose to record heights and everyone started getting in each other's way. There didn't seem any kind of system, so orders took longer and longer to fill, all the while more and more people joined the mob waiting at the counter!
Dinner at the Grand Ridge Brewery turned into a comedy of errors. Once again we found ourselves in a place with no order to their order system. After queueing at the counter to place an order, the only description we could give was along the lines of “that table over there,” and point, there are no table numbers, and no names were taken on orders. As a result, the night seemed to consist of a stream of increasingly harried staff coming out of the kitchen bearing plates, wandering around the room asking who had ordered a steak and a flathead. Not surprisingly, none of the customers knew which order was which either, so people were just grabbing whatever came past that sounded like what they had ordered!
The beer is very good though, and the happy hour prices of $1 a pot are outstanding! A few glasses of the award-winning Gippsland Gold almost made up for the kitchen! If only they didn't chill the beer to almost freezing point, it tastes too good to do that to it!
Moe, Thorpedale, Mirboo North