The plan was to catch the 8.25am train from Dimo to Southern Cross and proceed from there.
First problem is BasOMNI on the wrong side of the platform! Luckily rescued by Nick – the map man – Grange before the train arrived. Second problem was Ken – alias Shane C – ringing as the train approached to announce his bike chain was broken……Hmmmmmmmmmm. We thought bike chains usually broke during a ride, not before. Ken assured us he would have it fixed at 9.00am, and pursue someone else to talk to.
Arrived at Eltham Station a few minutes later to greet Lindsay – the Bloodhound – Clarke, ready for the challenge, but in telephone coversation with Leon – the Grandad – Higgins in sight but out of reach waiting for coffee company. Good luck Leon.
After arriving at Southern Cross, the “bloodhound” and the “map reader” lept into action. That meant that we took the longest possible route to eventually get to the Footscray Markets and beyond. Then the periodic signs declaring “track closed” were little distraction to our leaders, until eventually the big wire fence suggested the track was closed. Good news for BasOMNI who dashed into the bushes for a “diuretic delight”, while Nick and Lindsay pondered our future. Retracing our steps gave the bloodhound and the mapreader ample time to conjure up our next intuative diversion.Yep – hills – crossings – deadends – we did it all until we somehow managed to make it to “The Boathouse” on the River for coffee. Nice coffee overlooking the river. Staff outnumbered patrons easily, but presumably Gary has it under control.
Then the “easy mainly flat ride” took a turn for the worse. We staggered up the next hill on foot!!! But we are OMNI cyclists capable of taking anything a trail can throw at us, until soon after Nick – the mapreader, had his usual puncture. That makes something like 3 in the last 5 rides. I can only ask why such a skilled mapreader should be so haunted. Tyre fixed easily, but trying to get the chain back on proved a little more challenging until Nick to a more attacking approach – problem solved.
On to Brimbank Park, but this is a big park – trust me – and finding the cafe is not easy. At least when we got there, we were the sole clients – for some time I suggest – and the owner awoke from a deep sleep to provide the best toasted sandwiches we have had for a while.
That took well over 3 hours to cover 28 (supposed) kms, but actually took 33 kms with some (diversions) and consultation time.
The trip back was much better with the “bloodhound” and “mapreader” nearly in control – that means much less backtracking! BasOMNI just pushed pedals!
2 hours back to Southern Cross and a good trip home on the train had the 3 intrepids smiling on the outside.
All that aside, it was a great day with lots of laughs – sort of. The trail is picturesque, and gives a very different insight into life along the Maribrynong. Opulence is what springs to mind. It is a much maligned watercourse, but is much better judged from its banks as we 3 did today.
A great adventure that I would do again. Big thanks to Nick for researching it and initiating the day.
Cheers from BasOMNI