Le Grand Départ

After a little longer than anticipated I was finally ready to go. I’d picked up the last few bits needed to finish the bike, built the wheels, and sorted out the gear I’m taking. The morning of my departure, a few people had gathered to escort me out of the city. There were eight in total, which was a pretty good turnout considering that the previous day was ANZAC day and the morning was very grey and promised showers.

We rolled out at around 10:30 from the docklands near the Melbourne CBD and followed the cycle trail around the coast towards Williamstown and onto Altona. It was quite windy but a good ride and it was nice to have and a little company at the start of the ride. We stopped in Altona for some lunch, where the others turned for home and I continued on alone along the Federation Trail. The trail is a 22km cycle route following the old sewer to Werribee. The cycle lane suddenly ends rather abruptly depositing the cyclist onto the shoulder of the Freeway. As I reached the end of the trail the heavens opened and as luck would have it I was passing under the freeway so I had plenty of shelter.

The showers continued on and off all evening so about 20km from Geelong I called it a day and pitched camp down a little trail off the road. I haven’t put up the tent in over a year but it is so in-grained it took all of 5 minutes to select a good spot, pitch the tent and get in out of the rain. Rain and cold on the first day isn’t exactly the sunshine and heat I’d imagined the trip would begin with but it’s good to be back on the road. The only minor setback was that I could not find my lighter so no hot food for dinner.

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