The inaugural CyclingTips #FridaySickie Ride

by Matt de Neef


Last Friday we held our inaugural “Sickie Ride”, a 130km loop which featured roughly 2,500m of climbing on some of the most spectacular roads just east of Melbourne.

The idea for the Sickie Ride came about a while back when we realised we’d been talking about getting out for a Friday ride virtually every week, but it had never happened. Something always came up and we never ended up going. I figured that if we put it out there publicly, then we’d be fully committed.

I’ve learned that come a certain time in your life, all-day rides become few and far between. Getting home by 10am on a Saturday morning can even be pushing it and the post-ride coffee is the first thing to be dropped. It’s not a bad thing though — life’s priorities are shuffled around and the luxury of an all-day ride is, for me, now at the bottom of the list.

However, chucking a Friday sickie once in a while is a way to get that back. Golfers have their beloved “Golf Days” and somehow they’ve managed to make it sound like a work duty or networking necessity. An overused adage is that “cycling is the new golf” but I have to strongly disagree. They’re nothing alike. Cycling is so much better for you, much more social, and brings masses of people together at once unlike golf was ever able to do.

And so a few weeks ago we announced the first CyclingTips Sickie Ride to our newsletter readers and sent the details out last week. Thirty-three people showed up to Warburton for the start of the ride — the perfect number to give everyone a chance to meet some new faces and to keep things relatively orderly out on the road.

We began at Cog Cafe in Warburton before riding up the magnificent Reefton Spur, up Lake Mountain, then down to Marysville for lunch.

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After lunch we climbed out of Marysville with a full belly of food and made our way back through the enchanted, partially unsealed Acheron Way. Most of our group had never ridden Acheron Way and I was happy to introduce them to the icing on the cake on what had already been a memorable ride.

Fortunately we only got a little bit of drizzle on our descent back to Warburton but it was short-lived.

Thank you to everyone who chucked a sickie to come along — I hope you enjoyed yourself as much as I did!

We’ll be chucking a Friday Sickie once a month and making sure the ride is something more special than your regular route. If you want to be notified about further Friday Sickies, please sign up for our mailing list. We’ll notify you in our newsletter a couple weeks before the ride.

Hope to see you there next time!