This months’ ride coincided with the 180th anniversary of Melbourne Day – the founding of our ‘most livable’ city.
Today’s celebrations were billed to kick off at Enterprize Park at the river end of William Street (which actually turned out to be Enterprize Wharf right next to it). Even at 9am on an overcast morning there was a small but growing crowd of people gathering. I did wonder if half of them planned to attend or if they just stopped to see what all the fuss and flag waving was about (cynical me).
The Town Crier cried his proclamations, the Enterprize singers sang bawdy(ish) sea shanties, and the Australian Navy Band (Melbourne) played our national anthem and one of their personnel did a fine job leading us in singing it (just the first verse, mind you).
Once the crowd had been jollied along, the speeches began. Ho hum. As the promised flag raising hadn’t happened by then we decided to push off. We had a bike ride awaiting us, after all. Our Bromptoneers today were myself (Dayna), Cory, John and Angela with apologies from Stanley, Elsie and Stephen.
We didn’t make it far before stopping – this time as good citizens helping out a teenager with a flat front tyre. I hope he (and his mates) both learn a lesson and think to pay the favour forward.
Glass can be a bit of a problem around town. I passed a couple of smashed bottles on my ride in and was lucky not to pick any up myself. From what I gather, Swanston Street has a bit of a reputation for it, especially after Friday and Saturday nights. The Brompton tool kit comes with a few patches, and you can carry it and a pump in/on your bike without even thinking about them – until they’re required.
Unlike our ride to the Tram Museum in June, today we rode along the south bank of the Yarra. The only drawback of riding on this side is that there is still a section of bikepath closed along Alexander Avenue. Otherwise it was a very pleasant day to be out enjoying the Capital City Trail – and we weren’t the only ones to think so! There were plenty of people out – on bikes, on foot, with kids and dogs – so I haven’t taken very many photos to share.
If you’ve ridden (or walked) the Capital City Trail or Main Yarra Trail before, then you’ll undoubtably remember the climb up and over Dickinson Reserve. The trail spirals up a ramp to the end of Burnley Street. Crossing the river is no problem – the bridge is not very wide, but perfectly fine else wise. It’s the other side that is a little steep, so don’t be afraid to stand up on your peddles if you need to. It’s only for a short way, though. The long slow ride up the hill if you’re coming from the other direction could be more fatiguing.
The coast downhill is pretty good, but it’s not far before you re-cross the river and walk down three flights of rather steep steps to re-join the trail.
Then you’re just around the corner from Abbotsford and the Collingwood Children’s Farm (which is a farm for children to come and see livestock…don’t get any strange ideas, now.)
From this point I was on more familiar territory, having ridden this way a few times in the last couple of months. Between Abbotsford and Dwight Falls – even up to Heidelberg Road – is very popular. Today the Yarra River was flowing very strongly. I’m sorry I don’t have a photo to share, but the brown water looked like white water rafters would have a fun time on it (that should not be taken as a recommendation).
Hall Reserve (between the Eastern Fwy and Heidelberg Rd overpasses), is fun to ride from either direction, especially if you like a bit of speed on your descents, and a great reward after a hill climb. Always pays to keep an eye out for dogs, though.
But… where was Cory?
Of course, he stopped for a photo. That’s ok. We don’t mind. 🙂
‘One day’ I’d love to do a very casual ride along Merri Creek Trail and take lots of photos of Bromptons & Bridges because there great photos just waiting to be taken… but today was not the day.
Passing under Rushall Station we were back on easy ground as Capital City Trail follows Park Street all the way across to Melbourne Zoo. We weren’t intending to go that far without a break, though.
Time for a coffee and rest stop at Green Park Cafe, on Nicholson Street, Carlton North.
You know how it goes; you order, wait a bit, chat a bit, drink, eat a bit – and before you know it you’re a little short of time to finish the ride and get to your next rendezvous. Cory and I had a Skype chat with YarraBUG scheduled to talk about Melbourne Brompton Club and the upcoming Melbourne Brompton Urban Challenge (#BUCMEL), so we had to head off. John and Angela kindly also agreed to finish the ride there.
(Post Script: To listen to the podcast of our 3CR interview with YarraBUG click here.)
Regardless of not doing the ride as planned, it was another successful MBC ride. Thanks to John and Angela for coming; we hope you are able to attend many more rides in future. We always look forward to welcoming more Bromptoneers to our club.
Next months’ ride information will be posted on the blog as soon as we have details set – it will likely be the last Sunday of September. If you have any requests for the destination, or any general comments or questions, please leave a comment below, on our Facebook page, or tweet us at @Brompton_MEL