What can I say for the first ride I led, terrifying, nervous, exciting, scary â€“ all these and more. We were to meet the Geelong Group at 9:00am so we had to leave Ardeer on the dot at 8:00am. Well that is quite early for a Sunday. The turnout was absolutely wonderful. I arrived at Ardeer about 7:30am but went exploring to determine how we can get back onto Geelong Road. Anyway arrived at the service station about 7:50am, filled up then went in, greeted the group, sat down, took a breath, stood up and with a heavy heart as some of the riders had just purchased their coffees, informed everyone to saddle up as we had to leave. We took off at a nice steady pace with my Meanie simply purring along (Well growling if you have to be accurate). Turned onto Geelong Rd and sat on 100km/hr (or there about). No issues, no problems. In Geelong, traffic was relatively light. Ended up at Waurne Ponds about 9:10am. There were about 90 Geelong riders and pillions as they combined the pink ribbon ride, so the group was quite large. (I took lots of photos including some of a trike. That's what I'll be riding when I can no longer balance). We took off quite briskly. The Meanie growled into life and I put her into her paces and sat about half a dozen riders behind the ride leader. Riding through Deans Marsh, the roads were relatively twisty with medium tight curves. The Meanie handled well and I was leaning into the curves with a good rhythm. I was following a metric cruiser which seemed to not like the curves as much but so be it. We ended up in Lorne by about 11:30am. At that stage I had to leave the group as I had to be back in Melbourne by 1:30pm. I decided to ride along the Great Ocean Road as I have never ridden that road before. What a hoot. The Meanie came into her own. Not having any riders in front of me she leaned into the curves like the wild beast she is. Growling away, she smoothly took the tight corners without a single hint of rebellion, on the contrary she and I became one unit, riding the curves at a steady pace, wind blowing through the helmet with the slight sea-breeze odour and the mildly stinging salty taste of clean crisp beach air. Rather than ride through Torquay, I turned off at Bellbrae towards Geelong. Just past Freshwater Creek, Iâ€™ve got the Meanie cruising at about 100 kliks (obviously no more as cops do read this forum). I see a couple of Magpies getting ready to fly off from the side of the road. Closing up to their location quite rapidly, one of these silly birds decides that it is better to turn towards me rather than fly away from me. Now, whoever has seen the movie â€œWild Hogsâ€ will know what it looks like to have a firkin bird plastered on the side of your helmetâ€™s visor. I see the silly thing heading straight for my face so I ducked my head hoping it would fly over me but I hit it square on with the top of my helmet. The force was so great that it actually jerked my head back even though I was face down with my head pointing towards the direction I was heading. If I hadnâ€™t ducked my head instead of insects on my visor I would have had a whole blooming Magpie. It was the funniest thing I had ever experienced and couldnâ€™t stop laughing as I could just imagine rolling into Geelong with a bird stuck on the side of my visor. That is my first bird-in-face experience.