….. ride in the September rain! … and even the dogs would probably have serious second thoughts about it.
The morning started out optimistically – reasonably temperate and dry, though eyes were cast South and chose to ignore the dark clouds looming in the distance – they’ll pass (it was casually remarked). The good news was that Jay joined Ken & Nick for his first ride with the group after a long layoff – the bad news was that the short ride he anticipated was even shorter! It was also realised that today we were travelling without the three Bs (Bill, Bruce & Barry) who were otherwise engaged in various travel activities and dirty week ends – which was to be realized much later they were the more sensible things to be doing that day.
The trio from Dimo set off, casually passing through bits of track repair work and encouraging sunny breaks to meet up with Leon, Lindsay & Sir Brian at Eltham, literally, under a cloud – the weather was rapidly closing in on the group. Then followed bit of umming and ahhhing over the days destination – admiration for Lindsay’s sensible attire of T-shirt & shorts, which was about all he had brought along (“well it was sunny when I left” was his defence!) – someone hopefully mentioned coffee at Eltham Deganis – who was going to take the shortcut to avoid the local agro magpie – and the clouds began to deliver, oh so gently (at first) but (like true OMNIcyclists) the boys decided to push on. Well, the “push on” lasted for about half a K and ended with a huddle under the Metro Rail trestle bridge at Barry’s Bend with much more urgent talk of….. COFFEE!! ….. and, WHERE WAS JAY???. The steady downpour continued while it was deliberated that Ken and Lindsay would proceed to the Bridge Street bridge to rendezvous with Jarryd (Ken’s grandson) and, after a while, the rest of the intrepids decided make the sacrifice and return to rescue Jay from whatever fate had befallen him. Jay was eventually tracked down to Deganis where he was safely, warmly and dryly ensconced with coffee and raisin toast and a big grin – much to the delight of the rest of the team – not particularly that he was safe and well but more so that we had all ended up in the warm and dry café! The coffee and conversation were great.
Forty five minutes later was decision time – the sun wasn’t actually out but the rain had stopped so Ken, Jarryd, Brian and Nick waved goodbye to the sensible ones, Jay, Lindsay and Leon who had opted for more coffee, and rode on to pick up the original route south bound. All proceeded reasonably well until cover again had to be taken under Westerfold Park road bridge over the river where further deliberations were made to the point where Ken declared conditions “perfect” and shot off into a gathering drizzle. Which only left the others to follow with remarks like “it can only get worse before it gets better” – or was that “it can only get worse before it gets worser” ??? – must be something to do with Rampo’s Law!
At the top of “the Hill” the drizzle had stopped (momentarily) and Nick decided to part company and return to base whilst K,J & SirB opted to keep moving forward. Needless to say that it wasn’t long before the precipitation set in on a more permanent nature and Nick gave up all thought of shelter, and, with a hot shower in mind, soggily made his way to Eltham station.
The station at last – onto the platform and shelter – ummm! 40 minutes for the Hurstbridge train!!! – hurray, the rain has stopped! Back into the saddle, only half an hour to home – and,you guessed it – about a kilometre out of Eltham and it started again! Head down and put one pedal in front of the other……
…………………………. the shower was long, hot and fanbloodytastic!
The fate of Ken, Jarryd and Sir Brian you ask?? ….. we’ll just have to wait and find out.