RUGGED COAST RIDE

15 Mar 2021

Our farm retreat on Philip Island didn’t look far from the coast on the map, so we decided to go exploring on the bikes.  After riding east along the main road for a few minutes we turned off onto a gravel road. 

It was loose, rough gravel and was heavily corrugated from the traffic which hurtled passed at 80km. The corrugations were intense, my vision blurred and my skeleton rattled.  

“This is lethal!” declared David, and I was inclined to agree. We pulled off the road to decide what to do. 

“Let’s turn back and go around the other side of these farms” I suggested. “That road might be paved?”

Back onto the main road heading west this time, until we came to the next side road leading down to the ocean. This was much nicer riding: paved, no traffic and undulated through the countryside. It lead us directly to a boardwalk leading down to a golden beach set between grassy headlands. 

“We could go and explore down there if we didn’t have the bikes” David observed. 

“We could carry the bikes down there?” I suggested half heartedly.

But we could see the walking track that follows the coast west to Pyramid Rock and set off in that direction instead. 

The walking track was surprisingly rideable much to our delight. A broad track cut through the grassy fields. Wide enough to look for snakes, grass being their natural habitat. I loved the colour of the grass against the blues and greens of the sky and sea: blonde shimmered with pewter.

We came across a modern house perched on the cliff tops.

“What a great spot!” Admired David. “Let’s live here,” he chuckled. “Would you sell everything we own, to live like this?” He asked.

“If it means I don’t have to work, then YES!” Because commuting 90 mins to Melbourne everyday doesn’t sound fun. Enough daydreaming, lets’ ride.

The track climbed around a headland to an unofficial lookout with a spectacular view of coast in both directions. I couldn’t believe how perfect the whether was for riding today. 

“Awwwww mate! How good it this?!” I said making David chuckle. 

Pyramid Rock sits just off the end of a narrow peninsula. We rode along the boardwalk until we reached stairs and then shouldered the bikes and carried them up. 

“This is why we bought carbon bikes” I reminded the Minister of Finance.

We haven’t seen the sea since leaving Sydney, four weeks ago. This ride made us realise we had missed it. Luminous colour, the sound filled our ears and we breathed in that familiar salty smell.

Rather than ride the dreaded corrugated dirt road back to complete the loop, we decided to ride back they way we came and enjoy the views from the opposite direction. 

Because we weren’t stopping to photograph everything, we picked up the pace on the way back. And that was fun!

“This is great!” Exclaimed David in his excited voice. “What a great day we’re having!”

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