Three brave souls departed the Hume Caltex in the now heavy rain that alternated between heavy, light, drizzle and showers. We knew Ride-Leader Andrew would be towelling himself dry after his nice hot shower grinning at the opportunity to skip such a wet ride, given its probable cancellation. We had decided to head south all the way to sunny Cooma and on to Dalgety for a brew. Cooma wasn’t so sunny, and the spray peeling back from Mike’s RT was a distraction from the trickle of cold rain that was running down my back. Cooma came and went, the almost dry back-track to Dalgety being a godsend after the downpours along the road to Cooma. Rob was wondering why he should keep me as a friend. It always rains when we ride.
Mike pulled up well-short of Dalgety, the forbidding darkness on the horizon being the signal for him to put on his full wets. Rob and I headed for Dalgety and coffee, trusting the weather-God to hold the big rain until we were there. We imagined Andrew eating his warm toast and sipping hot Milo, dressed in his flannel pyjamas and thankful that the ride wasn’t on due to the rain. Rob and I reached Dalgety in good time and slowly removed our sodden gloves and checked out the damp patches that had snuck through our ride gear. We stopped shivering by the time Mike arrived. It was down to 12 degrees and not quite the balmy dry that we usually get when we do this run.
The lovely young lady that served our coffees was surprised to see bikers out and about in such atrocious weather. We agreed that the weather was atrocious, and were also surprised that we had ventured out. She gave us quizzical looks and started making coffee. We imagined Andrew slipping on a second layer of clothing to ward off the heat emanating from the log fire he was probably sitting in front of. It would fill his day since nobody would be silly enough to be out on the bike. Our next stop was the designated ride destination of Adaminaby. It wasn’t far away, but the rain was setting in again and we knew it was getting colder as the brass monkeys started clanging in our ride pants.
About halfway between Berridale and Adaminaby the temperature dropped to 9.5 degrees. The wet roads and blurred visors were becoming dreary, so the weather-God stepped it up a notch and gave us thick fog as well. We imagined Ride-Leader Andrew stepping into his warm car from his warm garage and zipping down to the shop for a dry newspaper to read at his dry table in his dry and warm house. We imagined lots of things about Ride-Leader Andrew, but most are not printable. Adaminaby appeared out of the gloom and we rode directly to the bakery. We did not pass Go and did not collect $200. The bakery was good, the coffee was hot, and the Big-Trout toilets were not far away. Mike and Rob sought them out as the cold made bladders shrink and peeing more urgent.
All good things must end, and it was soon time to head home. Rob and I collected some fuel from the local servo. Mike had enough to do the return, and decided to follow us north for a change. We lost him in the gloom and the freshening rain as we headed to Cooma, still watching the rooster-tails of spray from our bikes and streaming rivulets across our visors. We imagined Ride-Leader Andrew sitting in a comfy arm-chair in his warm and toasty lounge room sipping hot chocolate while he watched some trashy Sunday-afternoon movie and pondered the wisdom of not doing a bike ride on day such as this. There are no words to describe what we were imagining in response, but Andrew would not approve. The ride from Comma to Bungendore was wet, uneventful, and boring as always. Rob and I headed for Bungendore and crossed the in-town causeway which was dry. A half-hour later after a coffee and farewell, it had half a metre of water across it and I had to detour to get out of town and home to Gungahlin. Even the big GS has its limits.
Three brave souls did the ride today. We survived a soggy perambulation into a wet, wild and wintery NSW, but achieved the aim of the ride without so-much as a hint of Ride-Leader Andrew in attendance. We can imagine him sitting in the same comfy lounge chair in front of the same log fire reading all about a soggy ride that he didn’t lead. Perhaps he’s lying butt-naked on his bear-skin run in front of said log fire as he reads this. If so, we all hope a glowing ember pops out of the fireplace to burn him on the butt. A long and soggy ride in the rain will soothe the blister.
Love and kisses from Mike, Mick and Rob who co-jointly satisfied the programmed ride irrespective Ride-Leader Andrew’s absenteeism.