On 1/08/2009 I was one of 10 riders who left Deepwater Point in Mt Pleasant for a leisurely ride (for some of us) to The Vines and back. I must admit I was quite disappointed when I saw the route as I am not a huge fan of Principal Shared Paths (PSPs). The route took us on about 25km of PSPs and then across the railway lines I crashed on and up the dreadful West Swan Road. Last time Andrew and I rode West Swan Road it was at night, in the rain, in heavy traffic. It was a nasty experience I was dreading repeating.
I could not have been more wrong about the route. The weather was beautiful. It was sunny, but cool and clear. The first part of the ride along the banks of the Swan River was spectacular. The sun was shining on the water and with little wind, the water shone a deep blue. The fast group had gone ahead, so I cruised along with Grant as we made our way across a dodgy bridge at Guildford and then over the Swan River. On both sides of the bridge canoeists made their way down the Swan for the Avon Descent. That was the start of West Swan Road, the section I had been dreading.
In the day though, West Swan Road was fantastic. There is a lot to see and some of the scenery was very relaxing… a mix of vineyards and paddocks with sections of trees. I really enjoyed that section of the ride and found we were turning off West Swan Road a lot sooner than I expected, where last time that sections of road seemed interminable.
The run to the Deli at the control point was quite quick but I was disappointed that there was no coffee, no muffins and not even a sandwich to buy. I opted for an iced coffee (in a carton, not made on site) and after a break we headed back.
I was hungry by then and was tantalised by signed offering free chocolate, free icecream, free wine and cheese and even free vodka! I resisted temptation though and rode on, determined to keep up with the three riders not far in front of me. The rest of the ride back was pleasant and uneventful. The Swan River look even more spectacular on the way back. We are really lucky to live in Perth and have such great cycle paths (so smooth after some very rough roads) and picturesque views as we ride.
I finished (last) feeling tired (from not eating) but very satisfied having enjoyed a very relaxing ride.
This was almost an Australian Cycling Forums ride, with myself, Andrew (Aushiker), Perry (cavebear2), Grant (toofat), Stuart (Baalzamon), Dave (vanwonky) and Brad (bradwoodbr) representing the forums. Well done to Dave who completed his first 100km ride.
Link to the Map of the route