The weather turned totally around for this year’s challenge as Ken (Rampo), Bill (Mulga), Barry (Baz) and Nick assembled at Marngrook Oval for the start of this 100km ride in support of Ken & Norm’s efforts in raising funds for “Movember – Men’s health” research. It was good to see Norm there again, official start photographer (think you now have the annual job Norm!) and Lyn (Bill’s wife) sending the team off with cheery farewells. The morning proved clear and cool with a promise of warmer conditions later and a gentle Southerly breeze for the return trip – ideal cycling conditions.
7.25am – a stop and a chat at Eltham adding Lindsay and Bruce, picking up John (now an honorary OM:NI bloke) a half kilometer further the peloton were now on their way to be joined by Bernie on the trail at Ivanhoe, making up eight. A leisurely pace was the order of the day travelling along the Eastern Freeway, over the Chandler Highway and stopping for the panoramic view of Melbourne at the top of the Yarra Boulevard hill. Here the group was apprehended by the local constabulary who were not only determined to take photographic evidence of the ride but also to offer encouragement and take on the bragging rights for the bigger moustache! – it wasn’t grey either!
After the brush with the law ( or should we say ‘the law with a brush!) came a refreshment stop at the NMIT (now called, we understand, Melbourne Polytechnic) Nursery Cafe for a welcome coffee break, before heading on along the Yarra City trail through Collingwood, Richmond and Burnley, along the north bank arriving at Princes Bridge around 11.30am. From here it was one of those unexpectedly expected “Rampo’s Magical Mystery Tours” which took the boys over to the Hamer Hall balcony on the South Side for a scenic appreciation of this great city of ours – thanks for the experience Ken, and John for the photo.
The next move was up to Alexandra Avenue and well-earned BBQ on the banks of the Yarra …… it was now kilometer 50.03.
Bruce unfortunately had to leave the peloton here to return by train (thanks for the support mate) but the remaining seven started on the trek back at 12.45pm on a clear and sunny afternoon. So, along the South Bank across MacRobertson Bridge onto the Yarra Trail, a pleasant and uneventful section back to the Nursery Cafe for a refreshment stop after which Bernie left six riders to forge on.
The afternoon was warming up but remained pleasant with a gentle, and at times cooling,following breeze. Somehow the group got split up somewhere around Heidelberg but fortunately regrouped before the finishing post. A record freewheel down the Westerfolds hill was duly achieved (probably just to show off for John – but maybe more so due to hard tyres and a following wind!) – John and Lindz were farewelled at Eltham leaving Ken, Bill, Barry and Nick to (tired but happily) complete the 100km at Marngrook and a welcome committee of Lyn, Lynda and Bonnie (the dog).
A huge thanks boys for your support, your legs, humour and camaraderie, making it a memorable day in the saddle for the benefit of Mens Health.