Tony Jones reports on the Club ride he organised for 5 Feb 2017:
Originally, the ride was to have covered about 320 km through the scenic rolling hills north of Melbourne before stopping for lunch in Alexandra before returning home via Yea, Flowerdale (stopping at the famous pub for refreshments, of course!) and finishing up at Whittlesea. This was changed when I realised the Herald Sun Tour and their support crews would be jamming up the roads in the area… bloody cyclists! Then there was a bushfire that closed the Bulla-Diggers Rest Road, which was on the revised route, and of course, Melbourne’s infamous weather which had forecast for torrential downpours and severe thunderstorms! Perfect day for a ride, you say?!
Not surprisingly, given the forecast, the turn up for the ride was minimal.
Jeff Gillman and myself waited at BP AA Calder Hwy Outbound until 9:00am before making our way across to Bulla (via the re-opened Bulla-Diggers Rest Road). Passing through Oaklands Junction, we headed for the Whittlesea coffee stop on twisty backroads via Konagaderra Road, Darraweit Guim, Wallan, and Eden Park on the superb Janna & Glenburnie Roads.
Ugo had just arrived at the coffee stop, so the timing was perfect! While we were enjoying our coffee, there was a very brief shower, which barely wet the road, but it did prompt us to check the weather radar! The plan was to ride to Flowerdale for a counter lunch at the pub via Strath Creek / Kerrisdale / Yea; however, this was scrapped when the radar indicated heavy rain to the north of us, smashing the intended route. To the south was clear and dry, so we headed for the Coach & Horses Inn, Clarkefield, on some outstanding roads that took us back through Wallan, Romsey, Kerrie Valley, and Riddells Creek.
After a nice pub lunch and an enjoyable ride, we headed back towards Melbourne Airport via Wildwood Road to Oakland Junction, where Jeff and Ugo turned towards the city, while I headed home to Sunbury.
All things considered, and despite dire predictions about the weather, it was a great ride of some 220 km or so on DRY roads under cloudy skies, which kept the temperature down to a very pleasant 27°C. Good roads, great scenery, good company and lots of laughs, and we didn’t get wet! Everything you need for an enjoyable day out on the bikes!