I suspect that not too many Melbourne cycling blogs will have been added to in the past few days since our focus has been more than somewhat directed elsewhere.
The horror of what is happening/has happened in the rural and semi-rural areas just a couple of km away from us is hard to comprehend.
The mix was all there..hot hot hot days, tinder dry bush (my lawn was so dry it crunched as I walked on it) plus high winds. Add someone with a warped idea of fun to the mix..cos in some cases arson is definitely known to be the cause...and you all know the rest. The general feeling seems to be that many were caught unawares, the fire moved so quickly.
I live in the outer suburbs of Melbourne, so any ride I do going out of town quickly takes me into fire prone areas. The fire damaged areas closest to where I live will be known to readers of this blog..not too long ago I wrote of a heave up from Yarra Glen to Xmas Hills..I spoke of riding into YG looking up to the ridge where I'd soon be riding..that's one of the areas now gone.
The 1 in 20 is so far unscathed..its part of the Dandenong ranges, a heavily wooded and also heavily populated area just a few km from my door.
Despite all this TRAC has moved ahead with the first weeks results in. Of the 80 teams involved, we've had scores from about 60. We're allowing a couple of weeks for the system to bed in before getting strict about getting scores in by Tuesday 0830! The furthest team are away up the coast towards Brisbane, the slowest still in Victoria. The vibe about the project is good with many compliments coming my way.