On a cool, but certainly not unpleasant morning, five riders gathered at the usual spot in Balyang Sanctuary. Given the slightly foreboding forecast of clouds and rain, the small numbers were not unexpected. As it happened, some misty rain was all that was experienced during the ride.
Mike C and David F set off at 9.30 on the longer ride, with David volunteering to be the Whip! Crossing the Barwon, they headed along Barrabool Rd, Wandana Dve, the south end of the Ted Wilson trail and Pigdons Rd to Bunnings and then followed the old highway, now a quiet country road, through the Waurn Ponds valley to Cochranes Rd. From the roundabout near Bunnings it’s a beautiful ride through bucolic countryside with little traffic. The hills on Cochranes provided a challenge but the reward was a great run down the hill to Merrawarp Rd. Crossing Hamilton Hwy the route followed Friend-in-Hand Rd to Dog Rocks Rd and into Batesford and then back along the Ballarat Rd back to the rendezvous.
Five minutes later, Rod, Stella and Chris set off on a leisurely ride around the river to Hyland St at Fyansford, from where Rod slowly but surely ascended the big hill on the road in fine form, with Stella and Chris dismounting as the path steepened. It was quiet and peaceful along the disused rail trail to Church St, which led to the lovely smooth, and not very busy, Ted Wilson trail. The ride followed the trail beyond Creamery Road (an extra little loop, as the group was ahead of time). After zooming down the hill, the trio turned off the path and made their way around to the old bluestone railway bridge. A little climb, ridden by all, took them back to Creamery road, then back along the path beside the Ballarat road to the Moorabool Valley Chocolaterie.
It was great timing as the short course riders were just seated outside, enjoying the rural views when David and Mike appeared, along with Heather Howard who was joining us for morning tea. The hot chocolates served proved worthy of a chocolaterie and the coffee was also good.
All riders decided to take the Ted Wilson back towards Balyang, with riders drifting off along the way in the direction of their homes.
For Chris and Mike, as new leaders, it was a very enjoyable experience.
Congratulations to Chris and Mike. There have been lots of comments about how enjoyable this ride was. We look forward to its becoming a regular on the calendar.