“Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike” – John F Kennedy
Today we have no drama to report, no issue to raise or indeed technical advice to offer. So if you are looking for tales of adversity, change the channel now.
We write rather about the sweetness of a ride on backroads and country lanes away from the hubbub of city life. No cars were overcome with rage, no canines enforced sprint training on us - it was the day Ferris Bueller would have had if he had the wisdom to be riding a bike on his day off.
It starts with a change in the taste of the air and the noises around us. The bedlam of the city starts to give way to a quiet and a freshness as the city falls away. With thanks to the foresight of our forebears and an emerging set of bike friendly urban planners, trails along creeks, train lines and even freeways lead us in a steady progress to the hills and forests that wall in this city of Melbourne to the east. It is certainly pleasant to avoid the bigger roads where possible or even roads at all.
When we speak of hills and forests, we mean Mt Dandenong as our destination and the magical forest of mountain ash that frames most of the rides here. How blessed are we to have this so close to home? Damp and lush, the wet sclerophyll forests laden with ferns and moss are a tonic all of themselves. And on a weekend in particular, the lyrebirds are outnumbered by the species lycra folia.
Go up, go down, go paved or go gravel, there is a dash of everything good here and some fabled roads. The 1 in 20, now a sweet hot mix run bottom to top, the ever popular wall and the infamous Terry's Avenue if you are in the mood for 20%+ and a dash of pain are just a few of the choices.
Throw in some gravel options and some great coffee stops (Emerald bakery is a personal favourite) to complete the mix and you have the perfect day off. Just ask Ferris Bueller.
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