Sun, 10 Jul 2005

Time for a hill climb // at 23:59

< Photos for 2005-07-10 | MAIN | Roundabouts, Motorists >

  Odometer: 19810km
  Distance: 79.05km
  Maximum speed: 65km/hr
  Time: 3:25:37

Too many months of being lazy and only riding to and from work. No more excuses, time to go out today and ride up a mountain — a little mountain at least! After yesterday's miserable weather today was fine and sunny so I took the opportunity while Jo was out for the afternoon and headed off eastwards to Ferntree Gully and up and over Mount Dandenong. I'd forgotton how many of the residents of Knox and Ferntree Gully seem to drive dirt-encrusted 4WDs, and how many of them take delight in being obnoxious to cyclists, especially lone cyclists. Lost count of the number of times I was tooted at, swerved at, or showered in gravel as the morons swerved off into the side of the road after passing me.

It is definitely far too long since I last rode up a hill! The first few kilometres of the main tourist road are the steepest, and at times I didn't think I was going to make it. Proof that I need to do this more often.

Sassafras and Olinda were bumper-to-bumper with people out on their Sunday afternoon drives, people in cars being frustrated with people on foot crossing the roads, people on foot being frustrated by the people in cars as they tried to cross the roads. The newly reopened Skyline restaurant at the lookout was packed, every tourist in Melbourne seemed to have come up for the day to have a look around.

Sitting around at the top for a while I started to get cold, time to head back down the mountain to Sassafras and turn off to come down the old mountain highway. It's a wonderful swooping downhill run, winding down through the forest, but not so steep as to be frightening. The temperature climbed as the altitude fell, quite comfortable by the time I reached Bayswater for the trip back around to Ferntree Gully and home. A few more morons in 4WDs, a blast on the horn from some idiot in a ute — all standard outer suburb motorist behaviours — then the big hill back up Ferntree Gully road and home. Three and a half hours, a shade under eighty kilometres, more riding than I've done for months!

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