I found this sign worth to stop in the pouring rain on this cold Sunday morning … luckily only a view ‘mad’ cyclists and runners were willing or forced to leave their comfort zone and therefore the promenade wasn’t to populated.
The rain set in during the night and never stopped all day, until we reached Phillip Island. And it was a cold and wind battered rain in Melbourne. Day temperatures 20°C below normal. The ‘Melbies’ seem to be unimpressed by such conditions. There were quite some runners and cyclists on the trails this morning. We also passed two sport events, which took place this morning; a women run and a triathlon. So we were not the only ones sent into the cold …
Today was a race against the time. 96 km in the cold headwind to Crib Point, from where the ferry should start at noon to take us to Cowes on Phillip Island. The next would go at 4:30pm, if we miss the noon one. I was riding with Eric and we advance quickly. However, we missed a turn in Melbourne, but thanks to Garmin and Google Maps on the smartphone, we found our way to Beach Road and reconnected to the route. At lunch at around 63 km we saw a bit of a sun through thinner clouds. But soon it was grey in grey again and continued to drizzle. 30km left to the ferry port. We arrived there at 11:50am just to be told, that there will be no ferry today, as the weather was too bad. What!? We were cycling all morning in bad weather, how can a ferry be ‘grounded’, if we can ride under such conditions. Nevertheless, Andreas was already there and soon we were on a train back to Frankston, leaving our bikes behind. From Frankstone we had to take a bus to Dandenong, from where another bus would take us to Cowes. Five and a half hours later, cycling clothes were almost dry again, we arrived at camp, just in time to setup our wet tents and enroll the wet sleeping bags and matrasses. No time to dry anything. Dinner was almost ready, although Mark was sick today and most of the other staff members were busy getting back to the ferry port to collect bicycles and remaining cyclists, who were not with us on the public transportation. It was 3 am the next morning, when Max returned from the last trip to Crib Point. Big Thanks to all that all the bikes were ready the next morning, to continue into another day. Due to the late arrival in Cowes, we were not able to visit the ‘Penguin Parade’, a beach 12 km away from our camp, where the penguins come to the beach at dawn.
Due to bad weather conditions the ferry to Philip Idland is canceled and we have to take the train back to Frankstone and 2 more busses to get around the bay and onto the island to our camp site in Cowes.
Strange, we cycle 96km in this sh…ty weather without cancelation of this stage. Maybe TdA needs to take over some ferry rules for bad weather conditions
Cycling from Medan / Sumatra to Sydney / Australia