Modern living is fascinating. As people, we do all this stuff. So much stuff…but how much of it makes you happy? Or how much of what consumes our time is necessary? Maybe you’ve got a great balance going, or maybe you were like I was last week when I spoke to my brother.
‘What’s on this weekend?’ I asked. ‘I’m heading to the train station and the first country train that departs, I’ll be on. Then I’m riding home. I’m doing the Mystery Ride’ He informed me. ‘Can I come?!’ The randomness and simplicity was exactly what I was after.
On the Friday evening we met at Melbourne’s Southern Cross station. The rules were simple, jump on the first train and let the adventure begin. That was our first mental hurdle, as the train was destined for Seymour (only 100kms from Melbourne).
For some reason, we envisaged visiting a distant location. Maybe Warrnambool or Bairnsdale. We had the option of waiting two hours for the Sydney bound train, but decided to stick to our initial rule. Seymour it is!
A quick Google search on the train and our accommodation was booked for the evening. After sleep, the next pressing matter was food. That was determined by the flashing lights of the Indian restaurant opposite the Seymour train station.
As we entered the Spice Villa Indian restaurant we were greeted by Martina. This was of course not her real name, we made that up during the first 30 minutes of Saturday’s ride. ‘Martina?’ I put to my bro. ‘Nah, didn’t seem like a Martina.’ On it went until we settled on....Agnetha!
Next stop was the Seymour Hotel. Reecie, the new owner, greeted us at reception. Reecie, a kind gentleman of Peruvian decent, was fascinated by our arrival. Two crazy dudes riding up to his door in freezing conditions must have appeared weird. After a long conversation, we left Reecie telling us for what appeared to be the fifth time, ‘the best plan is no plan.’ Right on Reecie!
Within the first 30 seconds of riding from the Motel, we were faced with a choice. Which way? We could go straight to Shepparton and maybe Bendigo or right to Avenel. The Avenel Road looked quite. Avenel it is!
And that was the story of the day. Be guided by the basic things. ‘I’ll be hungry soon’…ok, we’ll stop at the next town. ‘I wouldn’t mind riding some hills’. Ok, we’ll head right to the hills. All in all we did 150km’s of pure bliss. Little traffic. Great company. No deadlines. New scenery.
As I sit writing the rules of the Mystery Ride, my brother quips - ‘Rules? Seems a bit complicated from what I remember.’ Fair enough I say. ‘Maybe they should be more like guidelines.’ That sounds better I think to myself….
Guidelines for the Mystery Ride
- Jump on the first train
- Don’t plan (or overplan)
- Initiate conversations with strangers
- Let mother nature determine the way
- Use the Askin, not the Garmin (ask for directions)
- Listen to your body
- Pack light
- Tell people about the Mystery Ride (ignite a sense of adventure in others)