How wet can you get?

What do you do when you wake up to rain on a Sunday or Wednesday morning? To ride or not to ride, that is the question. Sometimes it is too easy to snuggle back in bed or take your time over a leisurely breakfast. Guilt sets in when the sun comes out and you imagine the brave souls who chanced it laughing at the missing wimps.

We toughed it out twice this winter. The first occasion was Bob’s July ride from Brighton Baths to Moonee Ponds. It rained as we got in the car, and as we drove to Brighton, and as we unpacked the bikes and as we rode to Melbourne and as Bob explained the solar system sculptures along the Esplanade and as we sat steaming inside the Port Melbourne café – all seven of us brave souls.

I think it stopped raining as we rode to Moonee Ponds and it is just possible the sun came out and we could laugh at the wimps. We had to sit outside for lunch at Queen’s Park as the café was packed. Fortunately it wasn’t raining then.

As we headed back to Brighton we had a good run almost all the way, then as we neared Brighton Baths the heavens opened and our dampness became wetness again.

We scrambled into our cars and turned the heating up full blast and we gradually changed from blue to pink as we drove home.

Wet or not, we laughed a lot that day – well, Julie was there and you know you can’t help laughing when she’s around.

The second ride was on a Wednesday. We slow riders - just Ian Duncan, Bryan Phelan and Angus and I - set off from Cabinda Rd in Dandenong South in light rain. We stopped at Chesterfield Farm for a welcome coffee and the fast group, such as it was, caught up with us there, so we weren’t the only idiots out on our bikes.

We took a short cut through Knox city shopping centre to the Arboretum at Ferntree Gully. Past experience has had us sitting in sunshine in this lovely park, but this day the rain was falling with great determination and the only shelter was under a large pergola.

As we approached it we could see a couple playing guitars! We politely but firmly stood in the same shelter as we ate our chilly lunch. The duo were practising folk songs for a club they belong to and what they lacked in skill they made up for in enthusiasm.

How often do you get a musical accompaniment to your lunch? See what we would have missed if we had stayed home?

                     .......... Sally Harding (September 2011)