This ride was a family ride: 2 adults and 2 kids. It had been a while since the family had attempted a significant cycling challange. Consequently, this ride proved to be quite testing for most of us.
The weather was execllent for cycling. When we left the house (at around 3pm), it was about 20C and fairly sunny.
In order to entice the kids into this trip, we promised them that we would stop at the cafe in the Fawkner Cemetery for some Milkshake. This would explain the first leg of our trip. From the Upfield Bikeway, we cycled straight to the Cemetery. The Mikeshake really hit the spot for the kids. They certainly had new-found energy for the ride.
We back-tracked a bit to Boundary Road and crossed Sydney Road to travel on Queens Parade which led us to Merri Creek. This section of the ride was overall downhill but with the undulating terrain expected of a path following a creek. We deviated from the Merri Creek trail at Harding Street and took an informal unpaved path just to make things interesting. The adults were riding on mountain bikes and the children’s bikes are essentially mountain bikes anyway. So going off-road did not pose too much of a problem.
We emerged from the unpaved trail near Moreland Road. Following the rest of the Merri Creek trail led us to Rushall Station where it joined the Capital City Trail. This section of the trail is also called the Inner Circle Rail Trail. On certain parts of the trail, one can see rails embedded in concrete or tarmac. We took this trail to Park Street and decided to ride down Park Street instead of continuing on the trail to Princes Park. Park Street took us to the Upfield Bikeway and from there it took us home.
The total circuit was about 24 km. It took us slightly over 3 hours with a number of rest stops during the ride. Looking at the elevation profile above, it looks like when the ride started, the altimeter in the GPS had not settled down yet. The GPS in question is a Garmin Oregon 300 with altimeter set to auto-calibrate. I should probably have turned on the GPS for a few minutes prior to the ride.
Before the ride, I had expected 2 hours of riding time but it took us more than 3 hours instead. It would appear that the family has lost some of the stamina we built up last summer. In the past, we had cycled longer distances than what we did today. We might need to start training up again.