Exploring Squiggles Less Traveled in the Tour de Edmondson

Tour de Edmondson

The W.A. crew take the roads less travelled on the Tour de Edmondson in the latest story by Vicky Rowe.

By Vicky Rowe

The routes for our monthly EMRs are usually carefully crafted by Eddie. He even goes to the trouble of typing up instructions so that people can navigate themselves if they fall off the tail of the group. However, it is a long running joke here in WA that we rarely follow his plans, even though he is effectively lead navigator for most of these tours. I drive; he navigates; everyone follows. They’ve given up trying to follow the written plan.

Ed, skilled now at watching the map on his phone as we travel, calls the turns just in time. His written plans certainly do indicate at which streets and distance to turn, but out there on the open road I’m usually too busy looking ahead to be watching for the next turn. Wouldn’t it be great if we had full pace notes for every EMR, detailing the severity of every bend and highlighting any adverse conditions? But that really would be a lot of work. This on-the-run form of navigation works pretty well, however, allowing me to maintain some pace, trusting Ed’s directions and noting some specific warnings he provides, based on his recall of the roads.

Sometimes our ‘last minute’ diversions are based on something Ed notices on his phone map. Never wanting to pass an unexplored squiggle on the map, we go off to explore with the group in tow.

The March EMR started with a written plan, as usual. With York as our end destination, the most accurate aspect of the written plan was that we had 6 Elise, 2 Exige and that we left the Guildford station car park. Almost immediately Ed decided to divert from the plan. You see Robyn and John are currently building their dream home, complete with massive garage, and it was sort of en-route.

John took the lead and guided us up around the windy streets of Jane Brook. Finally driving down a long narrow driveway we arrived at a large clear area at the foot of a building site. Through the trees was the beautiful vista John and Robyn will enjoy from their new home, providing spectacular views across Perth. The walking tour of the partly constructed residence began in the space between the house and the massive workshop / storage area, necessary for their impressive Lotus collection. Room by room, the layout was made clear by the fully constructed double bricks walls. Also, fully formed is the concrete pool aligned against the front of the house. I know it’s been a long haul to get it to this point, but I think John and Robyn’s commitment and perseverance will deliver an outstanding home they will fully enjoy.

Moving on, eventually, to our plan, we headed out on some familiar roads that we thoroughly enjoy, including O’Brien’s road that claimed the life of the late great Peter Brock. I guess it’s because I’m always so focused on the road rather than a map, but I can rarely identify exactly where I am at any given time. Ed asked me if I recognised the road, and I did, but the true value of a navigator is their ability to give you the details you need, when you need them. Ed cautioned me as we approached the infamous bend. It does appear innocuous on approach, but then something unexpected happens as you take the bend. I think it’s a change in camber. We’ve seen several damaged cars just past the bend, caught by the invisible tug. If we had some pace notes this bend would have one humongous CAUTION!

As the drive continued, Ed took us on a recently discovered gem of a back road, which twisted and weaved through the local farms of Beverley towards York.  Enjoying the road so much, we missed our turn off by about 5km.  Oh well it was a great road, so why not! Lunch in York was as usual at the Old Mill as you enter town and is a great place to chat.

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