Well, I blinked and the holidays were over. But, clearing out my phone gallery, I did find a few snaps of a ride that I forgot to post at the time. I had caught the train south to the end of the Armadale Line and cycled the rest of the way to the Borrello Cheese Dairy. I know it's no surprise that the incentive for a 50km ride was food. I have been buying Borrello Cheese locally for years. I love their baked ricotta drizzled with a little honey and a side of fruit for brekky.
The day was seriously threatening rain the whole time, but, the cycling gods were kind and I had my own personal pocket of sunshine for the whole trip, which didn't stop the occasional nervous glance over my shoulder.
It took longer to get out into the country upon leaving Armadale than I expected. It's not just north of the city that new 'burbs are springing up seemingly overnight. Eventually though I meandered into horse territory and then out onto country roads.
After a short spell on busy Thomas Rd, I saw the farm sign and turned into little more than a lane. As I pedalled closer to Borrello Cheese I could see the cows being moved along to a farther field. I have an unfortunate urge to converse with cows whenever I encounter them, so, it took a superhuman effort not to call out and thank them for their efforts and let them know how much I enjoyed the fruit of their labour. After all, I didn't want the lady behind the counter (and keeper of the cheese) to think me a complete nutter . . . At least, not until I'd filled my panniers!
A poor snapshot I know, but, that's as good as it gets, because exactly 3.5 seconds later the wrappers were off and I was chomping my lunch, right there on the dairy steps. It doesn't get much better; a ravenous appetite from cycling, sunshine warming my back, fresh air, crunchy apples and creamy cheese sprinkled with rock salt.
The weaving through new suburbs and the blue-metal road surface made me think that perhaps it might be a while before I cycled to the dairy door again. Then, on my way home I met a lovely fellow on a tiny folder out for an afternoon ride. He told me there was a bike path running all along the Tonkin Hwy straight into Armadale via Forrest Rd. Beautiful bitumen surface, same scenery and only one right hand turn before I clapped eyes on the station. Nothing like a little local knowledge!
After a small amount of rain areas of farmland along the bikepath were quite swampy . . . guess what terrain the new 'burbs are built on?
Along the way I stopped and purchased a bucket of sweet mandarins from a small orchard for the princely sum of $2. A little later, I hopped off along the train line to visit a friend. I swapped some cheese and mandarins for afternoon tea and, as the sun sailed over the yardarm, a wee dram (or two).
It was a pleasant afternoon especially as, glancing at the thunderous clouds, I had nearly stayed at home to sort my sock drawer!