Pizza, Planes, Potholes, Pain and Panache in Melbourne

Last week end I spent some time riding and hanging out with mates and cyclists in Melbourne. A good time was had.

I stayed at my mate Danno’s place on Thursday night and we stuffed ourselves with pizza and a very nice red from his enormous collection of fine wines. The down side to this, I crashed before the Tour de France even started. Friday I spent some time in the office before heading out the aerostation.

My Ride to Melbourne

Arriving in Melbourne, the weather looked ok, but the forecast was for 90% chance of rain. Fish and chips for tea for me and then I managed to stay up for the whole stage to watch David Millar take the win. Excellent result considering Garmin Sharp’s tour to that point.

Saturday morning it is off for a ride with woodsy. We were meeting Duke at Altona. Woodsy hadn’t been on the bike for a few months but showed surprising speed on the way to Altona. When we got to Altona, he had to use the space age toilets there.

Space Age Crapper

I found some chocolate cake. I took a photo of my bike.

The Blue and Orange Beast

Then Duke showed up and it was on the bikes and off to Point Cook for our first coffee of the day.

Me and Duke

We sent woodsy on his way and Duke and I headed for Williamstown. First Duke took me along the most pot holed road in Melbourne. Then we got lost. We finally got to Williamstown and it was time for another coffee and some food.

Nom Nom

On the way back to Dukes car it started to spit with rain. Bugger. Luckily it was only light and didn’t get any worse all day. When we got to Duke’s car, he wanted to give my bike a once over to try and find the creak that Lewy and Sam are always complaining about.

Duke, Bike Mechanic

I was a touch concerned when he pulled on the rubber gloves. At one point the whole front of the bike was in pieces. Grease was being liberally applied to any moving part and the steering felt tremendous when he was done. I bid The Duke farewell and from there is was a 20km trip back to Woodsy’s place. Obviously a couple of large mochas and a custard doughnut weren’t sufficient sustenance, as I bonked about 5km from home. Finally made it home and had a shower and spent a relaxing afternoon on the couch. Fell asleep before the Tour de France coverage had even started.

Sunday and it was an early start to get down to Geelong for an 8:30 meeting with the guys from the Tour de Kids Plus Charity bike ride that I am doing in September. I met the guys and Tony’s wife Wendy who was there taking photos.

Tour de Kids Plus 2012 Riders

Tony, the guy organising it, had planned a 60 km loop around Geelong and surrounds. I didn’t realise, but it was to include the killer climb that was part of the 2010 World Championships in Geelong, Challambra Cresent. Oooh, interesting. Little did I know it would be at the 3km mark of the ride. I hadn’t even warmed up. I didn’t even realise I was on it for a while. Then it hit me. Then ot got steeper. Oh my, what a bastard of a climb. I was warming up in an awful hurry now. I made it to the top 4th of the group. I was happy with that. The video was posted the other day, so here is a photo.

The Hill That Never Ends

We had to wait a bit for all the guys to get to the top, and had a bit of a chat. We took off again and hit a huge downhill. A right at a round about and god almighty, another 2km climb. I managed to sit on Matt, the 17 year old whippets wheel til about 400m from the top when he dropped me. Here is Tony and I riding to the crest of that climb.

Tony and I

And a closer look at me suffering.

Pained Face

I look better than I felt. That is saying something!

From there on there were a few more hills, mainly into the wind. It was a nice area to ride, but I was cold and the wind was biting. I was happy to get back to Tony’s place for a sausage sizzle.

Time for a BBQ

I said goodbye to the bunch, I wont see them all again until we set of on the ride in September.

We went and visited woodsy’s dad, who is recovering from a stroke. It was good to see Max and Megan. They are great people. Get well Max.

Home and hamburgers for tea. Then another night of lights out before the Tour de France started. I think the ride took more out of me than I expected.

Monday and woodsy dropped me off for my flight home.

Flying Buses

I managed to get out of the hell hole that is Sydney pretty quickly, and was home for dinner on Monday night. It was a terrific weekend.

Thanks to woodsy and his whole family for putting up with me for 3 days. Thanks to Duke for the bike maintenance. Thanks also to Wendy and Tony for their hospitality. I really appreciate it.

A week off work and hopefully I wont be falling asleep before the Tour de France starts for the next 5 nights.

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3 Responses to Pizza, Planes, Potholes, Pain and Panache in Melbourne

  1. Lewy says:

    Did you come back 10kgs heavier after that trip:-)

  2. Sam says:

    Sounds like fun Norbs. Did you manage to get rid of the squeak after all that repair work?

  3. Bridgee says:

    I know exactly where you were riding in Melbourne! Those space age toilets are terrible! I refuse to use them, much better ones, just across the road or further down the beach towards Point Cook! And that potholed is GREAT fun after rain when the ford is flooded!! Sounds like you had a great time!

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