A good crowd turned up despite the chilly start and during the pre-ride social chit chat I was disturbed by my phone. Peter was on the line reporting a bout of sickness at home and also that Ronny had punctured on the way in. I had a quick chat to Russell and Mark to check they were OK with their groups and hooked up Carol with a new rider, then after a very brief outline of the rides I started set off with Main 1. I must have done 5 metres when one of the Main 3 crew stopped me and asked who was leading their group – that would be me then. I watched as Main 1 disappeared up Coode St (still too big a group) and introduced myself to the 6 riders I would be accompanying – Owen, Gaz, Herbie, Paul, Dave and new boy Eddie (fresh from 5 years in Singapore and vowing to go shopping for some warmer gear that afternoon!)
Owen said a pace of about 30 km/h was the norm so we set off with everyone taking turns with me on the front with me. The lumps in North Lake Rd took their toll as I tried to keep up with Main 2 in front. However, a couple of lights enabled everyone to get a bit of a rest. Into Bibra Lake and everyone was warming up when Owen punctured, but after a quick repair, we were all back on the road. Around the back of Jandakot we had a good roll through going – with the complete absence of traffic helping things along.
A couple of the guys were pushing hard and still keeping up, so we maintained the pace into Warton and Nicholson Rds with the improved roads in this area making this route pretty good. By the time we got to Albany Hwy everyone was still together so I picked it up a little for the trip home. We arrived at the bell tower just before 9 and with smiles all aorund. Average pace of 30.5 km/h and everyone saying it was great to have gone that little bit quicker. I really enjoyed the ride as it was a great opportunity to meet a few other members of the club and help them along – I would recommend it to others as well.