Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Hillarys calling

Variety is the spice of life and indeed, this applies for bike rides as well. Today, we decided to go beyond our usual Point Walter towards Fremantle, and head northwards all the way to Hillarys Boat Harbour.

It was 7am when I got an unexpected knock on my kitchen window while I was preparing breakfast. Lo and behold, it was Uncle Ken. His bright smile lighted up the gloomy and dark morning. Temperature check - 4c! I gobbled my food and we scampered towards our usual rendezvous point, just in time to see Rod sailing in. After last week's 70km long ride to Mandurah, we all were getting fitter. We arrived at PW in a record time of 50 mins. It was Kenneth C's first foray beyond PW and its great that he always has a marvellous sense for adventure. The bright sun did help warm things up just a little, but as soon as we went under the shade of trees, the bitter cold laid siege on us again.

Passing through Fremantle was not pleasant with all the big container trucks roaring rudely but once we hit the coast, we entered a brand new world. There is something special about the smell of fresh sea breezes, the rhythmatic sound of waves crashing and the unobstructed view of beautiful blue skies meeting the sea far out in yonder. We stopped at the grounds of the famous Indiana Tea House, Cottesloe for our morning tea. Although the debate for the best beach in Australia has been going on ad nauseam, Cottesloe is always in the running and its easy to see why.

Uncle Ken shared his birthday present with us, caramel macadamias from MacNuts WA, and we greedily savoured every sweet piece of his generousity.

As expected, the pesky seagulls hovered around waiting for a quick snack and we disappointed them. Going to the beach has a magical effect on us oldies and it turned Grandpa Rod into a little boy once again - doing a cheeky seagull stance (check out last part of video)!

We had to mosey along as Patrick was going to meet us at City Beach, 8km northwards at 1030. Sure enough, a muscular guy in black on a red Bike Friday showed up.

We have not seen Pat for several months and it was so nice to shake his hand. He is always up to something new and his latest interest is barefoot running. Pat knows this area like the back of his hand. We stopped at the famous Peter's-by-the-sea at Scarborough and enjoyed their magnificent kebabs.

When Alan Bond was buying up every shop for his multi-mega development, good old Peter stood his ground and that earned him a bit of a hero status.

After such a satisfying meal with priceless view and even more priceless conversations, it was hard to muster up the saddle. But we had to. Passing Trigg, we stopped at the Life Saving Club where Pat and his family are volunteer life savers there.

The stretch between Trigg and Marmion must surely be one of the prettiest beach views in the whole of Australia and I was very glad we could soak all that in this morning. For some reason, my legs started to get soft and I was tail-end Charlie till we finally reached Hillarys Boat Harbour, some 50km away from my home.

We have answered the call of Hillarys and felt very satisfied indeed. We headed inland and rode another 5km to catch the train back home from Greenwood Station. It was certainly one of our best rides ever, spent in the company of great friends. A bit of variety can certainly greatly spice up our riding days here in beautiful Perth.

Friendship - “knowing the heart of another and sharing one’s heart with another”

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