Sunday, November 06, 2011

What a great weekend in Melbourne  - the sun gods were shining on us.

Melbourne gave us 30 degrees this weekend. It went quickly, in a blur really. It seems Friday night to this very moment have been in fast motion and its back to work tomorrow.
 It started with a boys/girls night out. The boys decided to watch a promo video of a cycling event in Tuscany called L-Eroica, an event that takes you along the "Bianca Strada" the white gravel roads of Tuscany. It's a 200 km event for classic bikes. Oh yes, and by classic riders. I'm told that riders over 60 and from overseas will be allowed an entry regardless.

Naturally we ate pizza and drank Italian beer and Vino. Two of our members may be doing the event next year and as we are in France, I won't be one of them but maybe 2014. Love to go back to Tuscany.
And the girls - well they had drinks somewhere else.

Saturday morning we were greeted by an almost windless, cloudless sunny morning - having seen the DVD Friday night we were inspired for our usual Saturday morning ride. The bayside views at this time of morning are something we will never tire of.

I found this on the shelf of our local wine merchant and since we are returning to Chinon next year, I thought it might just be a nice drop- it was.
We'd invited friends for a night BBQ in our backyard and conversation came to comparing our travels. Our guests Kim and Michael are seasoned travellers and unknown to us, they had also stayed at Menton on the border of France/Italy. We drank a Rose and that's when I mentioned that we sat on a balcony of a Menton hotel overlooking the Mediterranean. Those views of our Port Phillip Bay always remind me of the same view albeit the colours between the two hemispheres do differ.
It was an early Sunday morning start for our friends at the BBQ as they and I were to ride in the "Nongs".
That's the Dandenong Ranges - now I'm not much of a hill climber but I do love the Nongs. It's lush with rain forests and lovely winding roads that encourage cycling, motor cycling and motoring. There's tea houses, cafes and lots of antique - knick-knack stores to take up your time for a Sunday outing.

The Puffing Billy wanders through the Dandenongs - now for tourists but this narrow gauge railway served the locals and transported timber, etc in the early part of last century.

The forests of the Dandenongs are no more than an hours drive from Melbourne CBD.

For us - well me, it was lots of pain with gradients to 12%. I even saw one hill with a sign telling me the rise was 30% - OUCH!!!

22 of us headed out - superbly trained elite athletes - Ha!! We arrived back happy but exhausted from the constant inclines of the Dandenong Ranges.

The start of the ride with zero kms on the computer - 3 hours later it read 68 kms.
The Dandenongs has many lovely old homes from the rich of the early 1900s. They are hidden behind high hedges. It also has some of the most nurtured and cared for gardens.
Some of the photos you see here are not mine as my colleagues wouldn't take the time to be tourists - they were on a mission to smash each other over the inclines of the Dandenongs.

sorry that this photo is a little fuzzy but so was I at our midway stop at the bakery.

 Maybe Sue and I will return in the car or even stay a weekend in a B and B to bring you a more interesting post soon.

From September to October, the Dandenong residents open their gardens to the public.
The legs of a very tired "old" warrior cyclist enjoyed a few hours of being horizontal on Sunday arvo. Although it was a lovely ride - I will wait till next year's event and hopefully have recovered.
 Several of the above photos were taken from the internet to illustrate this blog.


  1. Great photos, even if some were pinched from the internet! Love the old puffing Billies but not sure what they do to the environment!
    Dandenong Range sounds like fun, that is if I was 30 years younger. Is it in fact possible to do a 30% on a bike?? Good pair of legs there :)) Diane

  2. Hello Diane.
    Arn't weekends fun. A chance to unwind. Yes, the Dandenongs are certainly a lovely part of outer Melbourne.

  3. Ah, it's that time of year. You're rolling into summer and we're being dragged into winter. Is it April yet?

  4. Your April or ours Walt??
    Only 6 months till we return to a French Spring.


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