Five starters, Karen, Barry, David, Michael and leader Helen set off bright and early from Rippleside Park into a fresh south westerly. The headwind did not abate as the cyclists turned from the Hamilton Highway into Merrawarp Road. After the Barwon crossing, the road begins to rise, but the beauty of the Barrabool Hills and the quiet road were a delight. This climb, along with the climb up to Ceres on Barrabool Road is rated category 4. Despite the increase in incline, the turn to the east on Barrabool Road gave some wind assistance as the riders straggled into Ceres.
Then it was pay back time. Turning into Cochranes Road, the riders enjoyed a flying descent to the old highway at Waurn Ponds. The only traffic was spinning bicycle wheels. The highway, which used to be bumper to bumper motorists, is now a dead end – not a car in sight. Turning onto the new path beside the Geelong bypass freeway and then under the freeway to Ghazeepore Road and Freshwater Creek, the cyclists were again faced by a strengthening southerly wind – not a problem as, from Mount Duneed, the route is downhill.
Coffee consumed (most resisted the cake shop’s many delicacies), it was back to Rippleside via Anglesea Road, the freeway bike path, and on through Highton and Belmont to cross the Barwon at the MacIntyre Footbridge, the river path, Swanson Street and the waterfront. The return journey was assisted by a tail wind. Congratulation to all riders. A shortish ride (50km) was not without its challenges and rewards (including two fast descents).