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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Big Al Rides 200

My helmet visor broke just before the ride....

and this was the fix, replacing support from the visor with....

support from 2 cut-up tent poles.

Bike Path near Maribyrnong River

Mick Creati, using his phone as a camera, or maybe a bluetooth speaker control

View over Melbourne

Robert Wilkinson near Maribyrnong

Shepherd Bridge, Footscray, Mick's speaker is pumping out Reggae Tunes

Gravel Trail, Upper Maribyrnong

Maribyrnong River
The map!  200k on bike paths around Melbourne

Last Saturday I finished a 200k Audax bike ride around Melbourne organised with great aplomb by Robert Wilkinson.  Besides Robert, I was the only repeat offender returning from the 115 k ride a few weeks before.

A day or two before the ride I smashed my helmet visor and did a quick but satisfactory repair on it the night before.  All traces of the original yellow helmet visor were removed and I used bits from a fibreglass tent pole to support the corflute - and cable tie visor.  Works well sofar.  The gap between visor and helmet lets air through, especially important at speed when the helmet can flip up because of trapped air.  For a while during training I was riding my recumbent without a mirror, and I was ok with this but found myself riding on quieter paths and avoiding turns across traffic on busy roads.  As well, on the Kew Boulevarde which is a common training track for Melbourne cyclists, I wouldn't see or see or hear cyclists coming up behind me, so they would just overtake, and I couldn't stress or react about someone approaching from behind.

So anyway, the 7am start at Box Hill was easy to get to, I only had one pair of gloves and got very cold hands in the first part of the ride, but it soon warmed up.  Our first leg was back to Westmeadows Bakery, and then on to new territory for me, along the Western Ring Road bike path , then down a steep drop to the upper parts of the Maribyrnong.  I was a bit behind on the gravel roads but able to stay near the front on the flat smooth paths leading along the river to the city. Mick Creati who was with Graham Signiorini and me on an Oppy ride had a buetooth speaker pumping out Dad rock from his bike.

When we got to the Shepherd bridge near the city the tune was Bob Marley, and as a sucker for music, I started to sing "It was a funky Reggae Party / in de middle of de bridge / Mister can you pass me dat spliff" and dansce a bit.  Later on, wizzing down beach road it was "Anarchy in the UK", and leaving the Mordialloc Beachside Caf it was "Throw Your arms Around Me".

So it was pretty easy going from the Maribyrnong all the way up to Carrum where we turned on to a gravel trail leading to Dandenong.  Slightly hard going for me, and I punctured 15 or so k from Carrum.  All the others waited for me while I fixed the puncture, but I was a bit of dumbass for a while and was unable to locate my 20" tube even though I had tied it to the lid of my tailbox.  Anyway, got there in the end, and headed off to Dandenong and a middle-eastern cafe for late afternoon tea / dinner.   The light was fading as we headed onto bike paths for the last leg home.  I was a bit slow up the hills and a couple of us were lagging a bit, but the for the last 10 or so k, Robert always kept us in his rear view mirrors so checked we didn't fall off the back and lose the way. Very Grateful for that!

Thanks for organising the ride, Robert, see you next time.


Steve Nurse

Update, June 6, 2018

My Brevet Card and selected bling of choice arrived back from Audax control central, here is the pic.