Cycling is still a big deal for me at the moment.
December 2010, rather than having wine before dinner with the boys I was living with, I went for a run.
Short story: Shattered tibial plateau, detached patella tendon, hospital two weeks, bedridden at home 1 week, hospital 1 week. Couldn't walk unaided until July, couldn't ride until August after a bending procedure.
Once I could move again, it's all I wanted to do.
(skip to the end...)
So I rode from Lilydale towards Warburton last Sunday, where I learnt a very important lesson: Don't ride when incredibly hungover.
1. You haven't yet been able to have a decent meal;
2. You don't have ibuprofen;
3. You've left your sunnies at home; and
4. It's hot, so not only are you dehydrated to start, but you're going to continue to sweat like a very sweaty thing.
A very rough bridge. A kid went the other way, making all the noises. At what point do you move from finding bouncing fun to nauseating?
Now, I didn't go all the way - only 30km along. And back. Plus 15 km earlier that morning. Mostly limited by the points above. And the fact it was mostly done one legged. And my bra strap was too tight. Turns out that's important.(Fortunately, although gravel, the trail was smooth enough that it was comfortable enough to ride with it unclipped.)
However, I was disappointed by the urbanity of the trail for the length I did ride. If I'd thought about it more, it would've made more sense - the trail is a RAIL TRAIL and therefore built to service population centres. Although some areas were very pretty (I had lunch/afternoon tea by a very pretty creek that made all the right noises), and it was mostly through paddocks, there was still an awful lot of houses around. As my main reason for going for a ride was to get away from Melbourne, it seems I will have to be more selective. And yes - engage brain, THEN decide.
(I was also disappointed in the lack of signage in Lilydale, you're riding along, you come to an intersection where none of the paths look like a continuation - where do you go? Whilst several places where it was obvious where to go [ie, no alternative] WERE signposted. For all the effort that's been gone too, a couple of extra signs would sure be easy enough. Yes, I had a map. But it would be nice to not have to pull it out constantly - especially as several streets weren't signposted either)
The thing that gets me - my friend K and I rode Bittern - Red Hill and around Sunday before last, and it felt much more rural. (Mind you, we also found a forest and rutted gravel roads. On a hill. That always helps... :) )
But there were carrot flowers. I know it's a weed, but for me, it's a nostalgia inducing one.
All in all? A pleasant ride, but not one I'd do again just to do it... except that there's the aqueduct trail nearby, which I have every intention of checking out soon.