Ride on 22 March 2019
It was a perfect autumn day for cycling – no wind, light cloud and little or no sun. 22 cyclists took part, some riding from Collingwood/Clifton Hill, others arriving at Burnley Station and a couple at Kooyong Station.
We met at the junction of the Gardiners Creek Trail and Yarra Trail, just near St Kevin’s College, and proceeded along bike paths edged by water, parks and shaded by large trees. This is a fabulous route because it’s bike paths all the way, with just a few quiet suburban streets to cross.
There was a convenient water station early in the ride, and a couple of sets of toilets on sports grounds further up the trail.
We took the right fork where the Gardiners Creek and Ferndale Trails converge, then joined the Anniversary Trail and rode along the disused railway route to High St, Ashburton, for coffee.
Café staff settled us into one very large table and, despite incredibly slow service, we had good coffee and vittles. We then checked out the café over the road, and on Fridays they have two baristas, plus a big room upstairs. Next time we’ll try that and see how the quality of service and coffee measure up.
After an obstinate bike lock was freed with Audrey’s impressive bike tool, we split into two groups for the ride home. Pam took half the group on the Ferndale Trail which looped us back to Gardiners Creek and then to our starting point at St Kevin's. Some riders headed for the train, others rode to Richmond or the city, while the remainder took the Yarra Trail back towards Clifton Hill.
Bob took the other half on the Anniversary Trail for Clifton Hill and points west via Alphington. This route offered long glides through the greenwood of the old railway cuttings, and led over the new series of attractive bridges linking the Darebin Creek path to the Main Yarra Trail at Kew Billabong. The only drawback was the steep pinch up to Darebin Parklands and Alphington station. Nevertheless, all riders showed their mettle in negotiating this, and ambled on comfortably to Clifton Hill.
Thanks for coming everyone, and special thanks to Peter for acting as sweep on the outward leg, and to Veronica and Jonno for sweeping on the return legs.
If anyone wants to shorten this ride (it’s about 35km round trip from Collingwood), they could catch the train back to the city from Ashburton Railway Station. Or you could follow the directions in Ashburton Circuit from Burnley Station. There’s also a café on the Ferndale Trail, on Glen Iris Road. More public toilets too, in the park just before you reach this café.