The weather forecast was promising; it was a public holiday (Melbourne Cup), and Syndia and I are leaving Melbourne soon, so what better excuse for a ride?

Surprisingly, the actual weather turned out to be even better than the forecast, and it was a beautiful day as we departed from the Nunawading McDonald's. Syndia was riding pillion behind me, and she now seems comfortable enough that she doesn't upset my riding and I don't upset her sightseeing

Our first stop was the Yarra Valley Dairy. From the outside it looks like an old milking shed (which it was), but the inside has been beautifully renovated into a restaurant/cafe, and there's seating outside as well. It being such a lovely day we of course decided to sit outside. Scones with jam and cream were the order of the day, along with English Breakfast tea for everyone except Syndia (who just had to be different and ordered Earl Grey). Yum...

Some nice, smooth sweepers followed as we blasted through Toolangi State Forest on our way to Yea (except for the twisty part where a couple of very slow riders didn't seem to realise we were behind them). The last stretch of the Melba Highway before the town was where Gordon blasted past me and spooked me (I thought it was a police bike!) on the last ride there (when I was still on the ZZR250 and he was on a rented YZF-600), and we pretty much re-enacted the scenario again for Syndia's benefit - he rocketed past and we managed to spook Syndia a bit

More food at Yea, at a place called Marmalade. This is where we had morning tea on the last trip to Yea. They make (and sell) their own jam, their own fruit toas and a whole bunch of other stuff. It's very good, but since we'd just had scones etc at our last stop we only felt like something light and savoury. Mmm... nachos...

Our final stop for the day was at a cafe in Whittlesea, where we sat around drinking apple juice - all except Syndia, who again had to be different and ordered a latte After that we headed for home and arrived tired but in good spirits.

This was Syndia's first long-ish ride (certainly her first day-long outing) and it all seemed to go pretty well. She tells me she's looking forward to the next one