Ride Report: Lilydale to Yea 23 June 2019
Ride Leader: Pat Ryan
Tail End Charlie: Terry Haighney
Reporter: Pat Ryan
After a really cold and wet week I woke up on Sunday morning and looked out the window to see no rain. As ride leader I had no choice but to go to the ride anyway so I got ready with anticipation of a dry day. It was going to be cold however so on with all the thermals I could find and waterproof pants and jacket and fired up the Tiger. Of course I turned on the heated seat and grips and my heated gloves which proved sensible as it was to get down to about three degrees on the ride.
Heading out to Lilydale through ever denser fog I started to think I would be alone on today’s ride but as I turned into the start point there were already two riders there. Over the next twenty minutes lots more turned up giving us eighteen starters in total. Pretty good for a cold winter’s day.
The briefing was a bit sombre with talk of fog and wet roads and the possibility of ice, particularly on the Black Spur. I also gave the speedsters amongst us clearance to pass me on the Whanregarwen Road but more on that later.
Off from Lilydale in the fog and straight to Yarra Glen where we skirted the racecourse and headed straight for Healesville. Still foggy but not dangerous as you could see thirty meters or so ahead and there were hardly any other bikes or cars on the road. There was a sign at the start of the run up the Black Spur “Oil on Road”. Not good for bikes but they had spread sand on the spill which unfortunately went most of the way to Dom Dom Saddle; sand is also not too good for bikes so we went a bit carefully. Traffic was a bit slower going up the Spur and the fog started to clear so we would come around a corner to be blinded by sunshine until the next turn. No ice however and we managed to maintain close to the speed limit anyway so all was good and we all made it OK except for one of our members who decided enough was enough and turned for home. From the top of the Spur the sky cleared down the other side and we continued in bright sunshine and pretty dry roads.
Turning right towards Marysville and the chance to hit 100kph in clear air was good. Rick’s bike however wanted to turn onto the Acheron Way but he managed to convince it that today was not a day for slippery dirt roads and he stayed with the group. Morning tea and a hot drink warmed everyone up in Marysville before heading out towards Buxton and Taggerty and on towards Alexandra in beautiful weather and travelling at a reasonable clip. Then we turned onto the infamous Whanregarwen Road with its long sweeping bends, perfect surface and virtually treeless paddocks affording clear views through most of the corners. Most of the riders took me at my word and flew off past me at speeds varying from very fast to pretty darn fast. I wasn’t going all that slow either so I don’t know what the others were doing. Just as well that Mr Plod was not stationed on the road is all I can say!
We regathered at Molesworth and headed to Yarck where we turned left back to Yea through Gobur, Caveat, Terip Terip, Highlands and all those names without a town to slow us up. We often ride this great road in the other direction starting at the Ghin Ghin Road but I thought I would be a bit different this time and head the other way. Glad I did as it is just as good, if not better, in this direction and in spite of bits of trees being scattered on the road we all made it safely to Yea for lunch with smiles on our faces.
Lunch was at the new café setup by the owners of the Giddy Goat Café in Yarck who are trying to replicate their success in Yarck at with a branch at Yea. Same food and lots of the same staff but a much bigger café and plenty of room for us all. Another good day out for Melbourne Ulysses Club with a good crowd and interesting ride. Thanks to all who participated.