Did I touch wood at just the right moment when reading the forecast for this weekend? Or did I throw a cat over my shoulder and not the let salt cross my path? Maybe it was because there were 8 of us on the ride…
However it was that today turned out to be so good when the forecast was for rain (and plenty of it), somehow luck came our way and no one was complaining about it, that’s for sure!
With our Around The Bay ride only two weeks away, this months’ ride was the perfect opportunity for a few of us to get a longer ride in before the big day. A 50km ride might not seem like much to some people, but we all have to start somewhere.
The ‘somewhere’ that we started today was Cow Up A Tree at Docklands. Say what you want about Docklands (and most people will), at least it’s colourful down there. Cory and Miss 10-and-a-half amused us with a game of imaginary table tennis while we waited for late-comers.
Ping pong over (I think they lost the ball) we decided no one else was going to show up and headed off to Footscray to follow the Maribyrnong River Trail. Making our way along Footscray Road it was impossible not to notice the large number of motorcycle riders roaring along. I didn’t think much of it until I noticed some of them seemed to be wearing suit jackets. Then when we stopped to cross the road, another wave of riders pulled up at the lights. I was fumbling too much with my phone in my pockets to be able to get a good photo of these smartly dressed folk on their mainly vintage motorbikes, but in answer to my “Are you doing a tweed ride?” as we crossed with the lights in front of them, the reply came back, “We’re the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride”. Although, if you’re prepared to dress up, ladies are also allowed to join in the fun!
I hadn’t heard of The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride before, but it’s clearly a world-wide event. The ride raises money for the November Foundation, so good on them!
Unlike on previous rides, the Maribyrnong River Tail was very quiet today. No rowers in the river, not many walkers/joggers/bicyclists using the trail – it’s very clearly school holiday time. Even so, the path along the river is not quite wide – or deserted – enough to allow more than single-file riding food a good few k’s until we reached Chifley Drive.
Crossing the bridge to the north side of the river is your sign that the going is about to get a little tougher. There’s a nice switch-back section up a steep-sided hill, and five turns later when you realise there’s still more hill to climb, it can get tough…
But the view is worth it!
Cameras and phones came out to take advantage of the view, and shortly after that so did the snacks. And there we might well have stayed for even longer than we did, talking bikes, watching birds, eating Snakes (the confectionary kind!) had it not been for the cool breeze stealing our warmth.
We didn’t go any further along the trail. At the bottom of the other side of hill the trail is unpaved, and given it’d rained pretty much all of last night, we’d be riding through mud. While I would have done so if the group wanted to, the thought of all that girt accumulating under my mudguards made me cringe – I’d already cleaned a Brompton this weekend! I was happy when we all decided to make the hill our turn-around point today.
Miss 10.5 showed off her cornering skills on the ride down the hill – you can really come a cropper if you try to take it too fast! – and proved that she too can ride a Brompton just as well as the rest of us! Whether the same can be said for Cory riding her bike, well… let’s just say one of the pair was more comfortable than the other with the swap.
Our little group split up on the ride back; Paul farewelled us at the bottom of the zigzag hill, Cory and Miss 10.5 waved goodbye shortly after we left the river. Stanley and I farewelled Greg, Adam and Monica on reaching Capital City Trail – they headed one way to get to the city via Docklands, we headed upriver and parted ways at Flemington Bridge.
If you’d like to see what riding along with us was like, check out Paul’s YouTube video:
While we don’t have an “official” time or distance for this ride, I’m sure we all enjoyed it (which is the main aim of all our rides). Good company, good luck with the weather, and another ride – our 50km Around The Bay – to look forward to in two weeks time!
If you would like to sponsor our efforts in this year’s Around The Bay, please click one of the links below. All donations – and ONLY the donations – go to support The Smith Family help needy children. The riders’ registration fees only pay for Bicycle Network to organise and run the event.
Cory / Velo Cycles Team (They’ll all be riding Bromptons!)
If you’re inspired to JOIN us on the ride you’d better get in quick! Register here.
Otherwise don’t forget these dates:
- September is almost over, therefore so is Brompton’s Demo Month and your chance to win a Brompton just by test riding a Brompton at your local dealer. More details in store. #TryBrompton
- If you can’t make the Around The Bay ride, Sydney is hosting their first Brompton Urban Challenge on Saturday 8 October 2016. Registrations close soon, so get in fast to enjoy this scavenger hunt-type ride around Sydney! Register here: http://www.brompton.com/Events/Posts/2016/Event-BUC-Sydney #BUCSYD
- Ride to Work Day is Wednesday 12 October – rain or shine, that is the one day you should definitely start (or re-start) your #Ride2Work goals for the year (if you haven’t already). Get some colleagues to do it with you, make it fun, grab some breakfast on the way. Velo Cycles is not just doing breakfast for those passing them on the Capital City Trail… they’re also taking care of people who #RideHomeFromWork! How fantastic is that?! #YourBikeYourWayEveryDay
- Our next end-of-month ride will likely be 30 October – we might even make it a themed ride (Halloween springs to mind again), but stay tuned for more details closer to the date.
Happy riding everyone! : )