If your "final destination" is in the hills maybe you could join the Peak Hub Heidelberg shop ride? leaving on saturdays at 6.30am from Burgundy St., so from Brunswick take off needed by 6.05 at the latest.
There's a couple of us Brunswickians doing the ride - the ride to Heidelberg is an excellent warm up!
The saturday ride goes from heidelberg, greensborough, hurstbridge and then it's a full on race to st. andrews. Some then go up Kinglake, others stay on the St. Andrews Loop (Kangaroo Ground - Eltham - Lower Plenty - Heidelberg).
There are re-groups, but the fitness level is pretty good.
On Wednesday, but at 6.00 am, the same crew rides from Heidelberg to Eltham for the Mt. Pleasant loop.
Can vouch for how friendly and welcoming the guys are.