Monday, August 27, 2007

Jells Park (MEL)

No more excuses! Due to circumstances, I had not touched my bike in more than six months. With temperatures predicted to rise up to 25C however, it was time to ride. The first time back on a bike after an extended break is always difficult. Your mind still remembers the speeds at which you were riding but try as you might, your legs just refuse to push those pedals around any faster. The second time back on a bike however, is just pure pain. Your ‘sitting bones’ are so sore from the previous days ride that every bump instantaneously results in mind numbing jolts of shooting pain. You even begin to wonder why you had upgraded to a light weight saddle (read: ‘no padding’) just to shave off a few more grams. All those thoughts and discomfort soon float away as your pick up speed and the breeze starts rushing by again.

Located in the Dandenong Creek Valley, Jells Park is a popular 127 hectare park that draws close to 1 million visitors a year. Its diverse vegetation includes melaleucas, gums, and stringybark. Jells Park is also a haven for birds and attracts over 150 species. Some migrate south from as far as Japan (during their colder months). My personal favorite is the wide-open spaces, perfect for our kids to run, and run, and run (and sleep soundly at night). The lovely open areas are perfect for picnics too. There are also three different playgrounds for kids. Several paved trails snake around the park, perfect for walking, rollerblading, or cycling.

wide open spaces
Wide open spaces


Tea House
Anytime is a good time for tea at Madeline's

Cycling on a multi-use paved trail can sometimes be tricky, as we tend to move a lot quicker than pedestrians. I usually end up just pedaling along slowly, making eye contact, and a friendly “Hello!” On this occasion, as I rounded a blind corner and got ready to greet to friendly older ladies, I hit a bump on the trail which then sent a blinding jolt of pain up through my head resulting in flashes of light and stars. Unfortunately, my vocal chords had begun to utter the word “Hello there!”, and instead I yelled out “Ngggarrrrrrkkkk!!!!” Add to that, my nose was running like a busted faucet (oh how nice spring pollen can be), they literally jumped 20 feet back in fright.

Magnolia in bloom

The park has several designated BBQ areas all set up and ready for you to throw some steaks or sausages on. Note that Jells Park doesn’t have trash facilities, you have to carry everything you brought in, back out. If you drive by car, you can get to the main parking area off Waverley Road (Melway 71 J5). There are multiple other entrances if you are walking or cycling in. For more information, check our their website. Located in Wheelers Hill, Jells Park is right smack in the middle of civilization, so getting food after your walk shouldn’t be a problem.

Windy day

I’ve gotta go now, there’s this big group of people gathering up there, something about looking for a loony on two wheels…

Source for punishment and pleasure

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