It's probably not the case but it seems as if it's been every New Year's Day since the Ex-Marathoner took to the pedals that our tribe has had a big family ride and picnic on January 1. They used to be on the old Warburton Rail Trail but in recent years, with kids starting to turn their own pedals, it's been on shorter routes. For one reason or another (usually due to living interstate), MLSP and I have missed them all until last year. This is our first Christmas/New Year without the Ex-Marathoner but regardless we went ahead with what is now a firm family tradition.
The original plan had been for Grandma, the Co-Pilot, MLSP, and I to strike out from Nutrimetics and rendezvous at Bayswater Park with the Home Brewer's mob, who would ride out from the Brewery. But as it turned out the Bus Walker was a bit sick this morning (claiming she's not hungover, thank-you), so to allow for some shuffling of bikes we all met and departed from the Brewery.
It's a short ride from there to the Dandenong Creek trail which we followed a short distance before diving off for the Stud Road path. The party divided here because MLSP, although leg fit from our recent touristing, still finds the going tough when churning the treadle. We'll get her cycling legs going soon enough. Anyway, she and Grandma (with the Brewer's no. 3 on back) stuck with the Dandenong Creek trail, while the rest of us headed on.
Along Stud Rd to Knox City Consumer's Paradise, to where the trail skirts the carpark and then follows Blind Creek. This trail we had more-or-less to ourselves today, which is one of the side benefits of riding on Jan 1! Underpasses and quiet street crossings eventually brought us to Underwood Rd and the trail beside the railway line, a left turn taking us back in the direction of Bayswater.
It's not a stunning route but once you get off Stud Rd, I rather enjoy this loop. And it's an easy enough ride for a reasonably strong nearly-nine year old rider to make it comfortably on her own.
Despite scorching heat in the last few days, the weather wasn't on our side today. The sun never really came out and as lunch approached, so did the rain. Unfortunately for the Co-Pilot, he had a moisture problem of an altogether different kind - his mother and I have never seen leakage on quite this scale before! With rain seriously threatening we scoffed some lunch then improvised a change of clothes for the little guy using my t-shirt and a towel that Grandma happened to have with her. I threatened to hold it all together with electrical tape but Grandma wouldn't hear of it, producing a little tension belt - again I was left astounded that she just happened to have the right thing for the job at her fingertips.
The Co-Pilot and I made a dash for the Brewery, where some fresh clothes awaited him. Not long away from Bayswater Park the wind and rain was upon us, but we pushed on. He was a bit quiet in the back seat there - probably cold - but he managed a good giggle at my huffing and puffing up the last steep pinch. The Bus Walker was up and about by now and gave us shelter. A good thing too because the rain really came down shortly afterward - drenching the rest of the party and this idiot who went back out again to meet them.
Oh well, it wasn't much of a picnic but we got the riding done and that's the important thing.