The peloton gathers at the Eltham tennis courts at the hastily arranged time of 7.50 AM on a potentially rainy morning. This has arisen from the flurry of emails on the previous night. There is a need now to sort out the “spring/summer’ starting time. Ken has cycled solo from the wilds of Diamond Creek, Bruce, Rob, Leon and Lindsay from the comfort of their beds at Eltham. Where is Brian? As usual at the hint of wetness this man is clearly still in bed. How does he manage to have a shower if he dislikes water so much, does he get his head wet? The usual discussion – where to? Consensus is to aim for Tindals Rd via Warrandyte and stop on the way to show Lindsay and Leon the old Templestowe Hill Climb.
On the way and the rain is holding off. A bit chilly but a nice day really. Starting around the back way alongside the station parking lot, Bruce has warned the magpie near the school crossing is extremely active! Wish the crazy bird would finish nesting and let us get on with our rides in peace.
We stop at the old Hill Climb. Last used in 1987, Rob as the historian of the group informs that this, together with the Rob Roy Hill Climb was the only hill climb in Australia with a sealed track. We peddle up to the start of the big steep hill, approximately 45 degree steep and on a sharp curve. It’s amazing how those old cars managed to get up the slope. Bruce brags that he once peddled down the hill twice and lived to tell the tale. When challenged to repeat this today, his response is that he is now a lot older and a tiny bit wiser, so no thanks. Kind of sad to look at this site, and image what it must have looked like in its heyday, guys in old sports cars climbing up the hill, spectators standing right at the side on the track, now it’s a decaying relic of a long past era, in fact in twenty years the grass will have overgrown the track totally and it will be no longer recognisable as a once vibrant venue and an integral part of Victorian motor sport.
Rain looks likely so the decision is taken to just go on to Pettys Orchard for coffee. Seems like some members have a fondness for the apple crumble, watch that waistline! It’s a long coffee break, we have plenty of time to kill. In that leisurely time we manage to solve about half the word’s problems, which is not bad going.
On the way back, Bruce leads the peloton up our own hill climb. A rocky steep climb up a long and winding hill, then we pedal down again the other side and meet Westerfold’s park. Personally I think it’s a silly thing to do, ie just peddle up a hill for no reason but to peddle down the other side, but I guess that’s what the chicken thought as he crossed and recrossed the road!
On the way home the men’s shed group takes over and Leon leads us to various sites which may be suitable for the shed. One worrying aspect is that at one site the council has informed Leon there was a building which could maybe be used, but there was only a concrete slab there, maybe this will be a virtual mens’ shed. Maybe a word in council’s ear to updated their property register. We stop at the Eltham scout hall to check out some land there.
Finally we reach the tennis courts at about 12 pm, the same time we normally get there, but we only travelled a quarter of the normal distance. How did that happen? But this has been a great “boys on bikes’ ride. We had fun side tracking in different ways and lots of laughs and fun.