Our friend that we are staying with just bought a new mountain bike (and quite a nice one at that). He was itching to take it for a ride, but had no one to ride with. I joked that I wanted to go, but forgot to pack my bike. Micky started the search to find a bike for me so that we could go riding. He eventually borrowed his brother’s bike, which to be honest was a quite small for me, but it wasn’t so small that I couldn’t ride it.
It was a slow start that was compounded by a series of errors. Firstly, Micky didn’t really remember where we were going, so had to print out some trail maps (http://www.youyangsmtbinc.com.au/maps.html). Secondly, we needed some chain oil. Thirdly we arrived at the wrong part of You Yangs (the flatter area at Kurrajong, instead of the more downhill area in Stockyards) – there was coincidentally a rather large cross-country race on, but the trails were still open to public. Fourthly, we’d nearly run out of fuel (so we drove back to the nearest petrol station).
Finally, when we returned to ride the Stockyards area, we didn’t get to the right starting point, so we rode around and around on fire trail looking for the start of the mountain bike trails (the fact that there were so many signs saying no bicycles should have been a good indication). We ended up at a picnic area up on a hill, and from here we could see where we were, and where we needed to go. We had two options, return the way we came along the fire trail (think of plain unsealed road – boring), or along a walking track that was much more direct (steep, twisty – fun). We knew that it was a walking only track, and that as a cyclist we weren’t welcome, but we apologised to walkers as we came across them. It’s a shame that it was a walkers only track, as it was perfect for riding (and I’m certain that it was a bike track previously). The only problem was the extremely slippery red gravel – I struggled to stay on the bike around some of the corners, and thought I was going to crash in front of a large family gathering…
We returned to the car and drove a little further to the Drysdale Road car park. The maps that we had didn’t actually show that it was a car park here, and this wasn’t actually where we were trying to go. But, there were plenty of trails starting from here, and as it turned out, it was probably the right place to start from. Micky finally had a vague recollection of the area, and after a nice warm up (track 5 – nice flowing single track) we headed to an intermediate downhill course (track 13). One of the first things that I noticed here was the involvement of the national parks. The trails were immaculately maintained and there were signs (including elevation gain, length, and trail maps).
In an unexpected stroke, Micky offered me his brand new bike for the first run (which meant that we’d have to climb up this hill to do it again). I wasn’t going to say no (the bike I was on was a hardtail with v-brakes) but was still a little cautious about taking his brand new toy down something that could very well damage it, but he insisted… This track was divine, just the right amount of difficulty for me (it’s been quite a while since I rode bikes seriously). The giant bermed corners, fast flowing single track, nice rock gardens and big jumps (which I wasn’t game on his pedals and my cleat-less shoes) was amazing. I still couldn’t believe how well prepared these trails were. We rode back up and did it again, this time I was on the old hardtail bike with the v-brakes, and it was still great fun.
Micky had a buck’s night to get back to, so we had to keep it short. We did a nice loop along flowing single track (track 2), up some twisting single track (track 4) and then down a really, really good rocky downhill (track 9).
Micky was going to be late, I was going to be tired/sore, but we both agreed that it was totally worth it. Such a fun day, and I wish I went mountain biking more while we were travelling.
We later joined up with other friends in Fitzroy, hipster capital of Australia. We had dinner at Vegie Bar, which could have been the hipster centre of the hipster capital, luckily it wasn’t actually that pretentious. It was a really interesting restaurant, matched with a very interesting menu. I ordered a Raw Living Stack, which after ordering I wasn’t really sure of the difference between it and a salad… labels aside, it was good. Others ordered a meat-free meat lovers pizza (with all the fake meat products, like Facon) and Risa had an awesome baked mushroom. It was actually surprisingly affordable, too. But, I left there with a solid craving for a cheeseburger…
We walked up and down Smith Street in Fitzroy for a while. The original intention was to visit a bar called Titty Twister that had a burlesque show (a friend had a contact at the bar), but we’d arrived too early so we wondered around town. Risa and I had a craving for karaage (Japanese fried chicken pieces) and since there were so many Japanese restaurants on the street, we thought we’d walk around and find one and fulfil our meat cravings. We stopped in a few places (one bar, Havana, had a cute little girl playing pool. Another restaurant, Peko Peko had a Japanese lady with the most bizarre hair and makeup, but no tables and no understanding of Japanese) before we found one that kinda had karaage. I say ‘kinda’ because they had it in a salad… and I’d had my salad quota for the week already, so I wasn’t that keen. We ended up having drinks and deserts instead. Oh, and speaking of affordable… they had $4 beer on tap! And it was good! Interestingly it didn’t have a name, just a description – organic beer… so I wonder if it’s someone’s sneaky homebrew…
The evening ended and we all parted our separate ways for home. Risa and I walked back in to town so we could catch a train home and I’d joked that I’d love a cheeseburger if we could find a McDonalds. No sooner had I sad that did a McDonalds come in to view. But, for whatever reason, we ended up at a Mexican tequila bar called Mamasita. No tequila for us, but we did get some tacos… (our third meal/snack of the evening). Tasty, but small for the price. Neither of us are big tequila drinkers (or alcohol in general) so I was surprised at the huge range of tequila they had there. I had no idea there was so much variety in tequila…
１４４日目 １０月 ５日（土） メルボルン探検とニセコ仲間との再会！
昨日から食べたかった、エビの餃子を注文。 ほんとうは皮の薄い、エビシュウマイみたいのが良かったけど、分厚い皮のエビ餃子でした。 でもうまかったー。 ともちろんお決まりの大好物小籠包も注文、 これはあんまりジューシーじゃなかたったし、ちょっと残念。。
その後は、ニセコでお友達になって、現在はメルボルンに住んでいるゆみちゃんとサイモン夫婦。 あいかわらず息がピッタリのステキなおもしろカップルでした♡ と、こちらもニセコで一緒だったアンドリューと彼女。
1年ぶりにみんなと再会したけど、1年ぶりとは思えない！ いつも楽しいメンバーです。 やっぱメルボルンはいいなぁ♡