In my early days of riding, I took a day of Annual Leave to do some Mountain biking in the Nong’s. I drove up to Sherbrooke Road & the plan was to do a loop around Sherbrooke Forest………
With my wallet & mobile phone in the car (I know in hindsight). I headed off for some very challenging Mountain biking. The ride was hard with some very steep climbs, and some scary descents (maybe I walked small sections). Well the long & the short of the story is that I got lost!
I didn’t know the Dandy’s well, and thought I was near the car. Somehow I came off the trails onto a main road that turned out to be at the top of Belgrave Fernee Creek Road (Terry’s Avenue). I honestly thought that the car was parked down the hill so rolled down Terry’s. When I stopped at the base of Terry’s, and looked down upon Belgrave (which I didn’t recognise at the time), and wondered where the hell I was. I didn’t have a mobile, or wallet so it was useless going down into the town. I had no idea where I was, but knew if I backtracked that I could find my way back (I hoped). So I turned around, and went up Terry’s Avenue, and of course it started to pour rain.
I got soaked, and being inexperienced and going up the monster all I could do was walk my bike up the hill, and boy did that hurt!
My back was screaming in pain the whole way. This was the start of a hate, hate relationship I have with Terry’s Avenue. That walk back up was hell and seemed to take forever. Quite a few cars passed me. They must of thought me the biggest idiot walking up the ridiculous steep hill in the rain.
I went too far, and passed the path I came out on, and ended out on the Tourist Road. When I got there, I saw a sign: “Ferntree Gully 6 km’s left or Olinda 8 km’s right”. Not fun being lost. My car was just off the tourist road, but I had no idea whether I had to go right or left. I was exhausted and couldn’t bear the thought of climbing anymore. The thought of climbing that hill up the Tourist road filled me with dread. If I went left and got it wrong I knew there was a Petrol station down the road. I could possibly beg to use their phone (on the corner of Churchill Drive).
With a 50/50 choice and of course I got it wrong.
I turned left and went down the Tourist Road, and within a k, realised that I was going the wrong way. The Petrol station turned out to be shut down, and my back-up plan was ruined. I was now further away from my car, on dead legs with no money and no phone. Of course it started to rain harder. What had I gotten myself in for?
There had to be a solution. I remembered that there was an information centre down in Ferntree Gully. I had a hope that if I rode down there, they would be nice enough to call me a Taxi for free. Then I would be able to get to my wallet to pay for the Taxi when we got back to the car. Given that I’d only done a couple of climbs before. My experience descending was non-existent. Descending the Devil’s Elbow in the wet was a nightmare.
There was school traffic around as it was 3:30 pm in the afternoon, and there was a bit of traffic on the road. I also had difficulty seeing, as the water from my front wheel was being flicked right into my eyes. I didn’t want to brake too much and envisioned a car cleaning me up from behind. My descent was spent absolutely crapping myself. It was one of the scariest descents I’ve ever done, but managed to get down to the Tourist centre. The wonderful ladies there called me a Taxi.
$25 later I was back in my car, and could only shake my head at what a disaster the day turned out to be. It would be nice to lock this one away in the vault, but it’s good to look back and laugh at where you come from.
This ride didn’t deter me from my riding thankfully, and was the start of many adventures.