Learn English while learning about daily life in Australia, with Rob McCormack
Podcast Number 117 – Riding in Country Victoria – A Trip to Seymour
(This podcast is 10 minutes and 8 seconds long.)
One of my favourite pastimes is riding my motorcycle (see podcast 10 https://slowenglish.info/?p=236). Riding in the city is not much fun nor particularly safe, as there is too much traffic and it usually crawls along, so of course I prefer to ride into the countryside outside Melbourne. I ride with friends or alone and I am also a member of a club for older motorcyclists like myself. We like to visit the many smaller country towns which lie outside Melbourne, in order to visit the cafes and enjoy each other’s company. In this podcast, I would like to tell you about one of my solo rides to a town called Seymour, which is around 80 kilometres north of Melbourne.
When I ride my motorcycle, I generally avoid the freeways. I prefer to take the backroads which are much more interesting and with much less traffic. You get to see the countryside and the beauty of Victoria’s rural areas. You also get a longer ride and can ride on roads with many more curves and corners. That’s where the joy of motorcycling is, in my opinion. It’s all about the corners. Leaning the bike over to go around a corner is a wonderful feeling. Every corner needs to be taken seriously. If you make a mistake on a motorcycle when going around a corner, it can lead to an accident. At the same time, successfully riding smoothly around a corner, especially at highway speed, is a great feeling. It takes skill and concentration, so if you can do it well, it is not only a lot of fun, it also gives you a feeling of satisfaction and success.
On my trip to Seymour, I once again took the backroads. I started my journey in Warrandyte, a small village just outside Melbourne which is not far from where I live. Warrandyte lies next to the Yarra River and has many cafes and places to eat. My wife and I like to visit Warrandyte on the weekends to enjoy the country atmosphere and a coffee or two, not to mention the occasional cake (or two). It’s quite popular amongst Melbourne people for that reason. The village also have a vibrant amateur theatre group which puts on some interesting plays which we have attended and enjoyed.
Once I had crossed over the bridge at Warrandyte, I rode along some twisting roads for around 25 kilometres to reach Arthur’s Creek. Arthur’s Creek is a very small village and consists of a sports oval, a primary school and a few houses. This primary school is typical of many small country primary schools in Australia. The school has around 80 students from around the area and it provides a great education in an environment close to nature and to the local rural community. In the fields next to the school horses and cattle can be seen grazing.
Next I rode another 18 kilometres to Whittlesea which is a great little town I know quite well. This is where my motorcycle club meets twice a week before we head off to visit somewhere nearby on our motorcycles. It too has cafes and a well presented main street with shops and good facilities for its residents.
From Whittlesea, I then rode around 48 kilometres to a town called Wallan and then on to Romsey. Both these towns are reasonably small. Wallan has around 8,500 people and Romsey has around 5,000. The road from Wallan to Romsey goes through some wonderful countryside, with rolling hills and large farms.
I always enjoy this particular road as it has relatively little traffic and there are wonderful views of the surrounding farming land. You often pass a tractor on the road and you must be careful to slow down and give them the room they need. I like to wave to the farmers who are driving them as I pass.
After Romsey, I rode through Lancefield, another great little town which has a great café. Just outside Lancefield I made a right turn onto a backroad which leads past a small village called Pyalong. From there I headed on to my final destination of Seymour. This last stretch of my ride from Romsey to Seymour was 70 kilometres.
The last part of the ride from Lancefield to Seymour is for me the most interesting and enjoyable.
The road is always quiet, with very little traffic other than the occasional farming vehicle or other motorcyclist. The countryside is especially interesting, as it has large outcrops of granite rock which are quite striking in appearance. They range in size from under a metre high to several metres. They lie around on the ground as if they have been tossed there by a giant striding across the land. Some are quite jagged while others are rounded as if they have been exposed to the wind, rain and sun for many, many millions of years, which of course they have been. There are some which are quite large, being as big as a bus. These boulders make the scene look a bit like a moonscape. Nonetheless, it’s great farming and grazing country and you can see sheep and cattle grazing around the rocky outcrops. It is very picturesque and the bitumen road is in good condition. It’s a joy to ride it.
Finally I arrived at Seymour which has a population of around 6,500 people.
It too is another interesting small town in country Victoria. I have a favourite café which I go to where the food is excellent and the service from the ladies behind the counter is great. They always smile as they serve the coffee and cakes.
I never tire of visiting Seymour on my favourite backroads.
If you have a question or a comment to make, please leave it in the comments box at the bottom of this page. Or, you can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you. Tell me where you live, a little bit about yourself and what you think of my Slow English podcast. I will write back to you, in English of course. If you would like to take a short quiz to see if you have understood this podcast, you will also find it on my website. Goodbye until next time.
Podcast 117 Quiz - Did you understand the podcast?
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Question 1 of 10
True or False? – Rob prefers to ride on the freeways.Correct
Question 2 of 10
True or False? – Rob thinks that the best part of motorcycling is going around the corners.Correct
Question 3 of 10
True or False? – Warrandyte is a village near Melbourne with a country atmosphere.Correct
Question 4 of 10
True or False? – Arthur’s Creek is around 25 kilometres from Warrandyte.Correct
Question 5 of 10
True or False? – Arthur’s Creek Primary School gives an education in an environment where the children can experience nature.Correct
Question 6 of 10
True or False? – The road from Wallan to Romsey goes through flat countryside.Correct
Question 7 of 10
True or False? – The most enjoyable part of Rob’s ride is from Lancefield to Pyalong.Correct
Question 8 of 10
True or False? – The countryside on the road from Lancefield to Seymour is different because of the rock outcrops.Correct
Question 9 of 10
True or False? – Rob’s favourite cafe in Seymour has excellent food and but the service could be better.Correct
Question 10 of 10
True or False? – When Rob rides his motorcycle to Seymour, he enjoys the journey as much as the destination.Correct
accident = when something goes wrong, like a car or motorcycle crash
amateur = not professional, when no-one gets paid
atmosphere = (here) the feeling you have, how a situation feels
attended = to go to an event
avoid = not to do something
backroads = roads which are away from the main highways
bitumen = roads are made of this
boulders = large rocks
community = all the people who live in your town or area
concentration = when you think only about one thing
consists = is made up of
corners = where a road changes direction
counter = (here) the high desk in a shop
countryside = the land away from the city or town
crawls = (here) goes very slowly
curves = (here) the shape of a road as it goes around a corner
destination = the place where you are going to
education = when you are learning things in a school, college or university
enjoy each other’s company = to be with other people because you like them
environment = the natural world, or a part of it, in which we live
exposed = to be outside in the rain, sun and wind
facilities = buildings or equipment which make it easier to do something
giant = (here) an imaginary person who is 10 times taller than a real person
granite = a type of rock
grazing = when farm animals eat grass
head off = to leave
highway speed = the speed you drive on a highway, the speed limit
jagged = with sharp corners
leaning = not upright, at an angle
lie = (here) is located, is found
main street = the centre street in a town, where the main shops are
member = when you are in a club or group
mention = to speak about
moonscape = looks like the surface of the moon
occasional = sometimes
opinion = when someone believes something which they may not be able to prove
outcrops = things which stick out of the ground
oval = (here) a place where sport is played, usually covered by grass and shaped like a circle
pastimes = hobbies or activities which people like to do
prefer = like
quite striking = (here) is interesting to look at
reasonably = not too high and not too low
residents = the people who live in a place
rolling hills = hills which have gentle sides which go up and down
rural = areas away from the city
satisfaction = when you are happy that you have done a good job
solo = by yourself, alone
stretch = (here) a part of a road
striding = walking with big steps
success = when things have been done well
tire = to become tired
tractor = a machine used by a farmer to move heavy things on his farm
traffic = cars, trucks, motorcycles, buses etc which are travelling on a road or highway
twisting = (here) when a road has lots of curves and corners
typical = an example of something you see many times
usually = often
vehicle = car, bus, motorcycle, tractor, truck – anything which can go on a road
vibrant = when something is exciting and interesting
well presented = when something is neat and tidy