Seventeen enthusiastic cyclists congregated at Rippleside Park for Allan’s Mystery Ride. This was the last of this year’s On Ya Bike! series for Seniors Month.
After the usual bicycle mutual admiration, the cyclists headed out of Geelong via Ballarat Road for Batesford and Bannockburn. The wind, as usual, was westerly, but not too strong. After a brief stop at Bannockburn (where Maxine headed off to visit a friend) the riders continued to Teesdale along Bannockburn-Shelford Road. The headwind was strengthening and the road has lots of potholes and no sealed shoulders. Luckily the fast-moving traffic was cyclist aware, though the drag from large trucks is sometimes an issue on windy days.
At Teesdale, after a puncture break, the riders turned south on Teesdale-Inverleigh Road through the beautiful Inverleigh flora and fauna reserve.
Coffee was at Inverleigh’s organic foods cafe – The Red Door. (It was necessary to stock up on fuel for the return journey – Annie’s Slice, homemade sausage rolls and the gluten free almond and apple cake went down a treat.)
Now wind assisted, the ride returned to Fyansford via the Hamilton Highway. Traffic was relatively sparse, the sealed shoulder mainly smooth and there were enough undulations for interest. At Fyansford, the majority of the cyclists were faced with Highland Street – one of Geelong’s more difficult hills. From the river, the road rises 50 metres in around 700 metres. Still, everyone made it to the top (though there was some resorting to two-foot gear). The climb was rewarded by a long downhill ride down Church Street to the Geelong Waterfront and back to Rippleside Park.