Canuck wrote:Looking like closer to home riding for me.
Sorry to read (and see) that you didn't make it this morning. It turned out I was the only slug in the ride today- HH, Mikeya and Gillies were at the start today, and I'm just trying to think of what would be the opposite of slug (vertebrate? mammal?- not MAMIL!-) because that's what they were this morning- relaxed and fast.
I made the mistake of trying to appear relaxed and fast as well, even though after a week off the bike enjoying the pleasures of the south-east coast I was certain I would be anything but, and sure enough I found myself up Deadman's having to stand up to keep pace with the others and then, after the turn in Whitehorse, needing to relinquish the lead so that I could slip back into the slipstream.
But unfortunately that wasn't enough to compensate,and on the second of the nemesis hills started to feel a little like I imagine a younger person must feel after a hard night of partying and drinking followed by a greasy breakfast. I grunted at Gillies, and dropped back to let the others go ahead. However they took pity on me, and slowed to a pace that showed they cared but nevertheless kept the pressure on me to start to feel better and rejoin- very crafty! Soon the feeling passed (did that mental berocca help?) and I gradually picked up the pace and managed to join back onto the back at a red light. I resisted the temptation to say "I knew that light was going to be red, and slowed to conserve my energy" and just accepted the ignominy of the situation.
From then on it was a great ride, the lack of traffic very much appreciated, the journey enlivened by HH's energetic grumbling about the slight but continuous drizzle that enhanced the experience of the ride for much of the route.
Along Doncaster Road we picked up Southseas, and from then on the five of us rode together. It was a great run of lights- at least three intersections from memory the lights could have gone red on us, but for some reason held on so that we could just get through before they changed. Those included the lights just before the crest of Westfield, luckily.
One of the things I found today was that my current non-lithe non-svelte figure really assisted on the downhills, finding that I could outpace everyone else on the downhills. I regard that as a profound skill, worthy of praise to a far greater extent than some dubious ability to ride fast up hills. As a result today, even though I was intending to just stay within the group, I found myself nevertheless simply rolling past the others so that I was first into Belmore, but surprisingly soon last up Belmore.
In the absence of Outlook I carried out an Outlook-esque charge up the hill to the Balwyn Road lights. No else believed I could make the green...and they were right. I was hoping to compensate for that by hanging behind coming up to the lights at Whithorse Road aiming to accelerate past the others while they were still clipping in. All that plan needed was for the lights to go green...to go green...to go green...Nup, another cunning plan out the window...
Gillies headed off home up Mont Albert Road, Mikeya continued on from Canterbury Road, I was a bit behind, was intending to go home as I had a few things to do, but was worried that HH and Southseas might be waiting for me so that we could choose a cafe (the Maling Room was closed today). So I took a detour via Maling Road, and was glad I did as they were in fact standing there. Thanks for waiting!
I rode off, pointing out an open Bohemia Cafe to the others as I did, and went home. Thanks for a great Labour Day ride- and wasn't it great starting an hour later this morning!