segueing as i was from the languor of a slightly extended weekend, albeit one interrupted yesterday by a little climbing in the dandenong ranges, and based on recent experiences, the omr ride this morning promised an energetic start to the week, but an energy which would be kept within limits- a tasting plate of lapin, perhaps, but without the need to consume the entire dish. and pleasingly enough what it promised it delivered.
although it could be said that i had a hand in that at the start, setting the scene if you will, as when i arrived at aa at the impeccably punctual time of 6.00 i was urged to continue riding rather than stopping, with the promise that the others would fall in behind me. despite what could now be called reasonably extensive experience at this mrr caper i find that i am still easily duped by techniques like this and so dutifully but enthusiastically i kept riding and led the ride down canterbury road, accompanied at the front by tjs, impeccably dressed in his best rapha gear.
up and over canty hills at a speed that earned complaint from only my muscles- although that complaining was very loud- and down the other side, we timed the green lights well, and turned into middelborough without interference from four wheeled vehicles. upon ascending deadmans we found to our delight that ness and markhor were sitting at the lights so as to trigger those for our arrival- although it has to be said that their timing was slightly out, and we in needed to stop there for a moment or two, a short time which allowed for discourse with our new-found friends.
the minor party leadership changed at this point, although tjs kept the number 1 position, and we enjoyed a nice run as a cohesive group all the way around to the top of westfield, although it has to be said that the cohesion broke down a short distance before that summit when i swapped my line from the right to the left, and ness let me know in his a very economical way that what i had done was not the sort of thing that should be done by any right-thinking rider, and that in his opinion i had fallen short of the standard expected for participation in the ride. i have prescribed myself twenty repeats of toto played at an uncomfortable volume as punishment.
there was short regroup at westfield and it was down towards tram road, where some of us made it through and others missed the lights. i watched as ahead of me gdb made a superb high speed turn into elgar, bike banked, his body leaning centripetally, his tyres resisting centrifugal forces. around the corner i flew, hoping to pass tjs on the outside but not quite sure of which line i should take to do so, and could see gdb well ahead accelerating very hard down the hill. tjs and i followed, but not as quickly. which was just as well as the great leveller of the mrr- the red light- came into play, and stopped gdb's progress. with that i slowed so that i could roll past when the lights went green again- and did just that, passing not only gdb and tjs, but also kaos_jo who had miraculously appeared- just like that!- in this very spot.
a nice fast turn into belmore from elgar and the great question of our lives began resonating in my head: should i ride hard up belmore or not. i decided to hold off on that decision and see what the others did, and so started up the hill in a sort of medium-try-hard-but-not-too-hard-but-standing-on-the-pedals-so-it-looks-to-others-that-i-am-trying style. which of course fooled no one at all, as gdb simply dialled up his cadence, rocked his bike slightly and scorched off into the distance. followed by many of the others. it is clear that i need bowi to return to the ride to bring some perspective- and much needed personal abuse and scorn- to my belmore climbs.
a further regroup allowed the slower riders to make a break for the kov, although quickly caught before the roundabout. from there down to the roundabout it was play "catch the greythorn lights" (fail) and "freewheel after the others" (successful).
after that it was nice procession along balwyn, although i still had a trick up my sleeve as i managed to get green at mont albert when no one else could, backed that up with green lights at canty, and so it was a very relaxed me who pulled in at the maling room with plenty of time to casually park the bike, adjust its position a couple of times to make sure that it was sitting just so, turn my lights off, take off helmet and gloves, adjust the seating and put on jacket before the others arrived.
coffee this morning was ordered through a variety of technological and non-technological means, and as a result arrived in a happily random order. these were conditions that outlook could have taken great advantage of, but luckily for those who like to drink the coffee that they have actually ordered, he was not there.
thanks all for yet another excellent start to the day and the week and, in this case, the month.
getting older but still enjoying cycling