Although having to face some challenging terrain and varying weather conditions, the cyclists made the most of the rides, well planned and run by Ride Director, Bernie Simmonds.
Thanks also to the efforts of the very obliging team at Yarra Valley Catering, not only was the quality and variety of food exceptional, the attendees were also treated to being waited upon at the venue by the catering staff.
On Day 1 some decided to tackle Mount Donna Buang as a warm up, whilst others were happy to cruise into town for a coffee and a look around. Whilst the participants tucked into the first night evening meal spit roast, we were warmly welcomed by the Warburton Holiday Park owners Dave and Simon.
After a hearty breakfast of bacon and eggs with all the trimmings, the first official ride on Day 2 saw the riders take on the O’Shannassy Aqueduct Rail Trail. This included having to man-handle their bikes over a very large tree, that had fallen across the trail the night before.
Luckily the riders were back before the skies opened up and the evening two course buffet was served to everyone in the comfort of the Park’s Cedar Lodge Bunkhouse, complete with an open fire.
The guest of honour was Wayne Morgan, the Warburton RSL President, with his two children in tow; and who were assailed by many obviously well practiced grandpas.
Despite the threat of rain, Day 3 saw everyone set off on the 103 km fully controlled return road ride to Noojee. The relatively narrow road frequented by log trucks (hence the need for the ‘Perentie’ lead vehicle and a Sag wagon) traverses some of the most picturesque parts of the Yarra Valley, and riders were able to ‘enjoy’ the variable road conditions of open country with mountain views, stretches of wooded laneway, undulating sweeps and a couple of lumpy bits through the forest.
The rain held off but we did manage to lose one rider, although he was soon recovered by the able support crew (Tom, Alex, Clive, Ray and Les) and only missed his ‘seconds’; lunch having been supplied at the Noojee half way point.
As usual the final night dinner was held away from the venue and this year the group were taken by bus to the Upper Yarra RSL, where they enjoyed a sumptuous three course meal.
The guest of honour was Aff Binoore, President of the Outer Eastern Vietnam Veterans Sub-Branch, which has an outreach service covering the Yarra Valley.
The combination of some decent riding and plenty of good food upon which to refuel, saw a great deal of comradeship in evidence; true to the spirit and intent of the organisation.
Some photos are viewable at https://vetride.org/warburton-ride-nov-19/