Well, it is still 2020, so of course nothing could possibly go wrong could it?
“Mark” joined us at Lilydale for his very first ride with Ulysseans and once introductions and briefings were done, we headed out to Coldstream with Samuel doing TEC duty. That’ll teach him for arriving wearing a yellow vest!
Euroa - our destination with Santa and his sleigh in the background
We rode out through Gruyere and checked out the scenery through wet visors, used Maddens Lane and looped back to St Huberts Road and got onto the Melba Hwy at Yering. The traffic was then extremely heavy to Yarra Glen – possibly market related. Of course, it rained quite heavily through that section which was doubly frustrating as we could see the sun shining on the hills only a few hundred metres to our left. Once through Yarra Glen, we enjoyed a good run at the speed limit over the mountain and the rain eased. We detoured via Murrindindi and enjoyed the roads away from the traffic. Sadly, the early slow section in heavy-ish rain, followed by water trickling down my jacket meant that I arrived in Yea feeling cold and wet in a region we’d prefer not to feel cold and wet. That was punishment for not dressing properly. We were greeted by Vince, enjoyed a leisurely break and chatted more with Mark. By chance we also met Ian Taylor, who was out on his own n his BMW outfit ensuring he had fixed some gremlins. It was great to see him. Samuel “retired” at that stage and our president Brian took over as Tail End Charlie.
We rode out towards Seymour, turned right and rose into the higher country around Highlands and Caveat. The weather made that quite an experience. At times I was literally riding through clouds of steam and it was quite hard to make out the road surface. At one stage I was racing a pigeon which was flying beside me and we were both doing somewhere between 60 – 80 KPH. On top of that, we were dodging quite a bit of forest litter on the road and battling squalls of wind interspersed with rain and sunshine. Oh, the joys of Victorian summers! And I had my heated grips on too! We then descended through Gobur, joined the highway briefly and turned off at Merton before riding the delightful (in my opinion) and challenging “Merton Gap” and came past some huge granite boulders on our way into Euroa where we discovered the bakery where I had planned to stop wasn’t open. Clearly, I was having one of those days! We made do at another bakery, had a chat with another group of riders and some locals. All very convivial and then it was time to head home again.
We crossed the freeway, bid farewell to Vince and headed back towards Caveat via Creightons Creek which provided some good scenery. Sadly, I believe I despatched a magpie as I rode back through the hills. We did some of “the same road” but it’s different in the opposite direction, so no problem there and had a good run back to Yea. I then enjoyed the climb up “Junction Hill” which is one of my favourite climbs before bidding farewell to Mark, Mike and Brian. Colin, Stewart and I then rode home via Break O Day and I actually had a better run home along the Melba than usual.
Did everything go to plan or as expected? No. Did I enjoy myself? Yes. Many thanks to all who came along.
A few photos Here https://ulyssesmelb.com/ride-album/euroa-ride-6-december-2020