Today was a day of going for a ride rather than "training", since my program called for a 2 hr social ride. Responding to the urgings of locals to return to the Yarra Valley, I rode to Yarra Glen and back. I wasn't sure what to expect, when and indeed if I'd see signs of the fires 'cos I really had little idea of how close to YG the fire had got. As I neared the town I looked up to range of hills on the left expecting to see black, but this side of that particular range was unscathed.
The far off hills were still behind a bit of a haze, but I guess this is gradually going. Rubber necking left and right I saw hectares and hectares of parched but not burnt looking grape vines and then suddenly, very suddenly the paddocks on the left were black. And it was weird cos change from burnt to un-burnt was, in this particular paddock, a straight line. Closer to town the burnt area was on both sides of the road. I was very very tempted to stop and take a photo but in the end decided not to.
The road into YG was very busy and quite a few times too busy; at least 3 times I was more than somewhat scared by being overtaken far too closely. There was the trailer with its load falling off the back while overtaking me and the time when I was being monstered by a 4 wheel drive...the usual for that road really as its narrow as well as busy. There were also quite a few cars with trail bikes ..no idea where they thought they were going to ride......I also saw some coming back towards town...looking just as clean as those heading out!
Back to work tomorrow, then the state track champs on 21 and 22/3 followed by the nats 1-3 April, then Easter, then back to base training to build up for the worlds in October.....
Poor Queensland..while Victoria has been garnering all the news and sympathy, they've had immense floods and now Cyclone Hamish is giving them an equally tough time as it batters is way down south along the coast
Australia...a land of contrasts.