MOVEMBER 2017


It was the last Thursday in December and again the OMNIcycle boys kept the tradition of the annual Movember ride from Diamond Creek to Melbourne City.

Due to predicted high temperatures up to 35* Celsius  Bill, Barry and Nick set off from the Marngrook oval in Diamond Creek at the earlier time of 7.30am to meet up with Steve and Bruce at the Eltham tennis court rendezvous. It was good to see Ken there also to see the boys on their way and also took charge of taking the start photos.

The riding was warm, as the min temp had not dipped below 22*C, but with a following breeze was reasonably uneventful with the usual stops and coffee around 10.00am at the Fairfield Campus coffee shop. From thereon it was a gentle ride down the Yarra through Collingwood and Burnley across the Morell Bridge to Alexandra Parade to bbq on the banks of the river.
Daryl……
….the 1982 Mercedes fired into action and loaded with BBQ goodies it headed into Mighty Melbourne along the banks of the muddy Yarra River in Alexandra Avenue South Melbourne, it was a very hot day 34c and windy.

Lady Florence, Lynda and Sir Daryl pulled up in the shade of some mighty oaks to be greeted by the ever vigilant southern sea gulls. It had been an eventual trip with no air conditioning and a car pile up on the freeway plus bridge repairs on Swan st.

With the river as our vista plus river ferries traveling to and fro we fired up the council electric BBQs ready for the hungry and thirsty 5 riders, that had ridden from Diamond Creek and Eltham in support of fund raising to help with research to reduce prostate cancer, they had at this stage raised $300, this is an annual event held in late November.

All the bike riders arrived safely at 11-30 to the aroma of cooked sausages onions and tomatoes, cold drinks were most welcome and food hungrily took a close second place.

With lots of hugs and handshakes followed by many photos we all enjoyed a very happy time together, but we had to get home, the riders headed to Jolimont station for their return train trip and the support group headed back home along the highways guided by Linda with her vast knowledge of the city pointing out many historical sites as we headed back via Ivanhoe Rosanna and Greensborough.

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The Labyrinth at Diamond Creek


When the Nillumbik Shire Council recently completed another footbridge over the Diamond Creek, it opened up to the public, parts of the Diamond Creek Reserve many had not seen before.

OM:NI – Mens Discussion Groups within Nillumbik Shire thought about how this experience might be enhanced. The northern part of the reserve has Marngrook Football Oval, Lawn Bowling, Netball, Community Centre, Child Minding, Children’s Playground and Off Leash Dog Park.

OM:NI felt a more passive opportunity was needed. They came up with the idea of a Labyrinth. Labyrinths are known to have existed in many parts of the world for over 4,000 years. With no knowledge of each other, they all had the same purpose. To provide a space for people to be quiet and to meditate and contemplate their place in the world.
Nillumbik Shire Council has built a ‘Pop-Up’ straw bale labyrinth for citizens far and wide to experience and to ‘like’ and to comment on Facebook at Diamond Creek Community Hub. Visit the site or take a drive out to Diamond Creek.

Photo – Peter Clark, Hurstbridge OM:NI, Leon Higgins, Eltham OM:NI, Nick Grange and Ken Ramplin Diamond Creek OM:NI.


***** In Greek mythology, the Minotaur was a creature with the head of a bull and the body of a man or, as described by Roman poet Ovid – as being “part man and part bull”. The Minotaur dwelt at the centre of the Labyrinth, which was an elaborate maze like construction designed by the architect Daedalus and his son Icarus, on the command of King Minos of Crete. With the aid of Ariadne, the keeper of the Labyrinth, the Minotaur was eventually killed by the Athenian hero Theseus.

Mystery At Barry’s Bend

Barry’s Bend – July 2013

We return nearly four years to one of the very first posts on this blog – to July 2013.

BARRY’S BEND on the Diamond Creek Trail was commemorated with a plaque dedicated to the, then, newly inaugurated OM:NI cyclist Basomni (2nd from the right) who on his first or second ride with the team had an unfortunate encounter, at speed, with the wire fence under the Etham railway trestle bridge – sadly the fence won the contest!

After stalwartly regaining the saddle and finishing off the ride he was, the next day, inopportunely found in the hospital with a punctured lung and various cracked ribs. This fateful incident was to see him off the bike for some six months but meanwhile his Omnicycle mates would ride past the spot almost weekly and recall the unfortunate incident. It was sometime on one of these ridebys that one Omnicycle ‘wit’ referred to the corner as ‘Barry’s Bend’ – and the name stuck!

Some months later, undaunted and recovered, Basomni declared his intention to return to the peloton but before his return ride a certain (ex master tradesman… hereby referred to as Kenomni) and member of the team handcrafted a sign which was suitably attached to the offending fence (see above photograph). The occasion, on a chilly winter morning, being duly recorded for the Omnicycle archives.

So, to continue the story…… The sign from then on became a bit of an icon and a conversation point but not quite a GPS locator (never actually made it onto Google Maps!) though It managed to stay in pristine condition until it came to the untoward attention of the local graffiti ‘vandals’ (we don’t ever  refer to them as ‘artists’ – that esteemed honorific can only be attached to a few people like Banksy – but we’ll not continue that discussion here).

Barry’s Bend – March 2017

After a couple of years the sign was ‘tagged’ … then ‘tagged’ again untill eventually it was totally obliterated with black paint. The Omnicycle riders would pass it in the last six months or so and occasionally thinking should they do something to restore it. So imagine their surprise a week ago when passing Basomni’s calamitous bend that the sign had received a surprising makeover –
..Aha! They said “that looks like the work of that master Omnicycle ‘tradie’ who originally made and erected the sign – well done!” But on being confronted with the information the said tradie, categorically denied having any part in the restoration of this DC Trail icon. Subsequently it is obvious that non of the Omnicycle riders are responsible for this refurbishment (or at least non that are owning up) …..so …..

………Who then is the mystery keeper of Barry’s Bend?

Ken’s Pedal for Prostate – 2016

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It was the 4th year for Omnicycles supporting Ken and Norm with the Movember 2016 Pedal for Prostate ride. It was great morning start at Marngrook oval, Diamond Creek, 10*C cool, clear, and sunny with a promise of warmth to come.

Seven riders, Ken (sporting his half-grown mo for Movember), Bill, Steve, Joe (sporting a snazzy new helmet), Bruce (sporting sniffles and a dodgy throat), Leon & Nick were sent on their way at about 8.20am, by Norm (the official start umpire and photographer) assisted by Lyn.B, to the first stop at Eltham 20 mins later where Ken took off for administrative duties.

The peloton proceeded along the usual route at a leisurely pace heading for Melbourne city stopping for a brief stop at the Heidelberg junction to farewell Leon who had to leave the peloton there (thanks for participating Bro). It seemed like the local wildlife took much interest in this year’s ride as not only the usual magpies, cockatoos and blue wrens (a few rabbits as well) came out to cheer on the team but along the Heidelberg/Ivanhoe stretch Joe & Nick were accompanied by a large grey kangaroo who decided to pace them for about half a kilometer, crossing the trail in front of them a couple of times. A bit of a worry as, at that point of the trail, on one side was the river and bushland and on the right was a busy four lane highway – fortunately ‘Roo’ decided to leave them on the bush side.


10.45am and a welcome coffee stop and breather at the Fairfield Polytechnic campus Nursery cafe for coffee, conversation and a breather.

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11.20am – set off from Fairfield Campus running a bit behind schedule but no one was worried about it as it was only 14 km to go before lunch. The morning was beginning to warm up quickly now with a strengthening northerly breeze to take them down the Main Yarra/Capital City Trail through Abbotsford, Richmond & Burnley. index4It was somewhere half way along that a rather large tiger snake showed some incling to joining the peloton as it slithered up from the river bank and onto the trail. Joe and Nick, being ‘tete de la course’ at the time, quickly overtook it and must have put it off its stride for it thankfully decided to find somewhere else to go and was fortunately not encountered by the following peloton.

12.10pm – The team had a quick regroup before crossing the Morell Bridge together and turning right onto Alexandra Avenue where the backup team of Flo, Lynda, Daryl and Ken were busy setting up the BBQ lunch – many thanks for their support. Cool drinks and lots of fantastic Hurstbridge butcher’s sausages (even Rusty approved), onions, cole slaw, home-made tomato & plum sauces – what more could the hungry riders need – besides a well deserved sit down and convivial company.

Unfortunately at turnaround time the wind and temperature were making for a most unpleasant return so, sense prevailed and the Metro was engaged for the journey home – the team would do the next leg on some later, more conducive, occasion.

…thanks boys …. looking forward to next years challenge.

Happytash

The opposite of handy

I will be the first to admit that I am not what you would call a handyman. Quite the opposite, in fact.

My lack of handyman skills was apparent from an early age. The only test that I ever failed at school was in woodwork, when we were given pictures of a variety of tools. We had to name these tools and write down what each one is used for. I couldn’t even tell the difference between a screwdriver and a chisel and any tool more complicated than those two baffled me completely.

Two years into high school every boy in our class had to do a woodwork project. I attempted to make a very basic small folding seat. It was a disaster. I just couldn’t do it. I was saved by the fact that our woodwork classroom had to be relocated near the end of the school year to another part of the school premises, around the time when our projects were due to be completed. Such was my desperation that I smuggled my attempt at the folding seat out in my school bag and dumped it into the bushes on the way home.

After we had moved into the new classroom, the teacher asked to see my project.

“I can’t find it, Sir. It must have been lost when they moved our stuff to the new classroom.”

In my first year at university I struggled to find my feet. I kept changing courses and was unable to find direction. Eventually one of my lecturers arranged for me to have an aptitude test.

A few days after completing the test I had to go and discuss the results with the person who had administered the test.

“Your aptitude test results are very mixed,” he told me. “I would recommend studies that would lead to a career in the diplomatic service.”

I was still digesting this, thinking how I could never become a diplomat in the service of the Apartheid regime, when he elaborated on the test results.

“Now, when it comes to mechanical skills, I have to tell you that you have achieved the lowest score of anyone that I have tested over the years. I suggest that you never try working with your hands. You’re an intelligent kid. Just stick to using your brains, but not your hands.”

Over the years my lack of handyman skills has become the stuff of legend, as becomes someone with as spectacular an aptitude test result as mine.

A few months ago I was standing outside a shop in Diamond Creek, talking to my mate Ken, when Digby from the local Mitre 10 hardware store came by.

“Hi Ken, How’re you going?” Digby said.

“I’m good,” said Ken. “This is my mate Tim.”

“Oh, I know Tim,” said Digby.

Ken was astounded. “Where do you know Tim from? Surely he’s never set foot in Mitre 10?”

“Oh yes, he does, sometimes. He comes in with his wife, that is. She buys the bits and pieces that she needs and if need be she asks me for advice. Tim just comes along for the company and to help her to carry stuff.”

Gill, my wife, contends that my inability to fix or make things is a matter of attitude, whereas I insist that it is a matter of aptitude. I have tried really hard, once or twice, like the time when we bought the wheelbarrow at KMart. It came in a cardboard box and we had to put it together ourselves.

“That’ll be simple,” Gill said. “Can you do it please?”

I asked her to find me the necessary tools and then I laboured for more than an hour, before realising that there were some components missing. “Bloody Kmart!” I raged. “You’d think that they would check that all the pieces are there before they sell the thing.”

Gill cocked her head to one side, inspected my handiwork and picked up the screwdriver and spanner. Within less than five minutes she had disassembled my construction completely and had reassembled it into a working wheelbarrow.

*        *        *

Sharing a house with someone else is challenging at the best of times, and so it is with us. I cannot stand background noise, but Gill likes to listen to John Pain (Faine) on talkback radio every morning and to that irritating Macka on a Sunday morning. She also likes the noise of the television in the background at times, whereas I love it when the house is dead quiet.

As if this is not challenging enough, Gill is a collector and a hoarder. I am a minimalist, but our house is full of stuff, small and big. Although I detest clutter, I cannot escape it in our house.

“If you cark it before me,” I told her grumpily one morning, raising my voice over John Faine’s, “I’m going to conduct proper interviews and have selection criteria for choosing my next wife. I’ll ask them if they like talkback radio, and whether they have ever collected anything.”

“Good idea!” she replied. Without missing a beat, she added “And while you’re at it, ask them whether they can fix things.”

Random thoughts from the Town Fair September 2015

 

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Five years of OM:NI at the Diamond Creek Town Fair 

   and we’re loving it!

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Another Birthday

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Hard to believe we have another Birthday coming up – our third! Any doubts anyone may have had about a random group of Blokes from the Diamond Valley area getting together in Diamond Creek for a chat have been soundly put away. In fact, this group has been so successful, we now have a world wide following -through this blog! Statistics available to the administrators show that we have visits from many places including Norway and Canada. We’d love to have a comment from those viewing our happenings from either of those places- or any part of the world!
March 18th is our big day – and don’t forget everyone, wear a hat and come prepared for all the fun of our birthday. And Norway and Canada, we’d love to see you here too!……….kr