I can’t believe it’s Monday already! How was your weekend?
By the time I got to Toolangi, a substantial (though beautiful), climb later, it was about 8 degrees and hard rain interspersed with hail. I was wearing all my clothing – which was just a vest, short pants, arm warmers and undershirt, and I was cold. I had to wear my sun glasses to keep the hail off my face, but it was dark and they were wet so I couldn’t see much. The high winds of the storm were blowing big branches off the trees so I had to dodge around those – hoping all the while that one wouldn’t actually hit me! My cold legs were still driving me pretty well so I made reasonable time up the hill. I had to in order to stay warm.
At Toolangi there was a sign saying 2km to
A detached part of my brain was observing myself going through the stages of hypothermia but I knew that a) there wasn’t much I could do about it here, b) when I got to King Lake I could go into a café and warm up again, and c) if I got too bad I’d flag down a passing car (hopefully not one of the rally cars since they don’t have a rear seat) and get a lift. My criteria for “too bad” was if I fell off the bike because I couldn’t steer anymore. I was in a bad way.
Finally I reached
As I was thinking this, a party of 5 elderly hikers came in, and one came over to the fire to dry herself off. We started chatting a bit and I enthusiastically agreed that I was pretty cold (this was probably very obvious anyway!). She eventually went back to have coffee with her friends and then came back a bit later and said “can you take your bike apart?” Gears whirred and clicked in my brain and I said “If you’re offering me a lift, then the answer is yes please!”. Sure enough, they were heading for Eltham and were offering to drive me there. I jumped at the chance and ordered another hot chocolate while they finished their coffee.
We got the 4 of us and my bike into one of their cars (a Subaru Legacy wagon - yay for the suby!) and headed off. It turned out that the driver – who’s name I have completely forgotten to my shame – didn’t like the King Lake–St. Andrews road so she was going via Whittlesea. That route takes us much closer to my place than Eltham, so somewhere around Mernda I asked them to drop me off, and after checking that I really was in a fit state to ride again, they went on their way.
By that time, the rain had stopped and there were actually patches of blue sky (typically changeable
All in all, one of the least fun rides I’ve done, but the route was superb and I can’t wait to try it again in good weather! Without the hypothermia and rescue that is.