I had really wanted to get down to one of the Rowville Riders rides for awhile now. I’ve known its founder Aaron Twigg since early 2014. Aaron came down to meet me at my very first Everest attempt on Perrins Creek Road. Whilst the day didn’t turn out to be a success. I was really thankful that he had made the effort to come & offer some support.
The Rowville Riders
Rowville has a regular Beach Road Sunday loop, and over 30 riders showed up for the ride. Foolishly I went for a jog on Friday & last time I did that I ended up straining my Achilles. This time I was lucky just to strain my quad. I could ride, just couldn’t use any power. To accommodate, I was forced to use my right leg to take up the slack & push harder and really had to take it easy.
I picked a pearler of a day to join the ride. There was a rare easterly & and it was blowing a gale. We were set for a beautiful tailwind out to Beach Road, but then……
The pace was relaxing to start out with. We had the wind blowing us along & my sore legs were thankful for that. I jumped from rider to rider happily chatting away. Everyone seemed so friendly & welcoming. The ride flowed & before I knew it we were turning onto Beach Road. Into a gale of 50kmp+ winds. I don’t mind riding into a head wind but this was sheer nasty.
Out the front, I was setting a decent tempo for a short while. Taking the wind but found my sore quad wouldn’t cooperate & had to drop off the pace. It was a hard section to do. The trip from North Road to Springvale was chaotic. The wind was battering us from every which way. Everyone was being thrown around like a paper planes. Boy was it was challenging to ride in a straight line. I was hoping that no one would touch wheels on a day like this.
On one of the short rises this fool who wasn’t part of the group cut right in front of me. Forcing me off my line & onto the next lane. Lucky there was no car there at that moment. I went pretty close to crashing. He then did the exact same move to cut in front of one of the Rowville Riders in front of me. Never did a head check, never motioned that he was cutting in. Just rammed his way in on a day with 50+km headwinds that were throwing everyone around like a rag doll.
We were in the middle of a group of about 20 riders. The idiot should have realised he was stuck in the bunch and had nowhere to go. It was extra dangerous given we were being thrown around by some pretty strong cross-winds at the time.
Lucky no one was hurt.
We stopped at Mordialloc for a break & there was a collective relief to be out of those winds. Everyone jumped in for the traditional Rowville Riders group selfie. None of us wanted to head back out into that headwind but guess we had to get home somehow.
It was only a short ride to Springvale Road & a relief to be turning away from those crazy winds. We were buffeted from the right by a strong cross wind from here. The wind was slightly behind us & whilst it made me work I enjoyed the ride from here up to Wellington Road. Lost in thougt & chatted merrily the whole way.
The last part would be just nasty straight into a headwind, and looked forward to it. I tried to get out the front & take the wind whenever I could. Puing as hard as I could with my sore quad and enjoyed working into the wind.
I’ve been to a number of social rides now. The thing which most got me about the Rowville Riders was there was a sense that they are more of a community than just a bike group. You could tell there was pride amongst them. With a large portion of the group was proudly wearing their Rowville Riders kit. There was a sense that there was a strong bond amongst the group & that the group had brought a number of people together. The ride was really relaxed and it was all about the ride. And the pleasure of riding not to just go out & smash themselves. Amongst the group were riders of all abilities & there was no egos. No pissing contest. Everyone helped each other out & that was special.
The ride like any great ride finished at a Café. You could tell the comrade and friendship was strong & I felt welcomed even though I was a stranger. New to the mix. I had a great ride & will be back for sure.