12 intrepid riders left the Colac Information Centre at about 9 15am in two groups for rides of 80km or 50km.
Both groups cycled via the old Geelong Road around Lake Colac, then a short section on the Princess Highway and onto the road to Beeac. Owing to road works on the Colac-Beeac Road all the riders took a bypass into a strong head wind. Kelly, David and Neville kept up a brisk pace of around 22kph, with Helen almost hanging on to their shirt tails.
The wind took its toll on the riders in the short ride as well as Allan & Coralie (and Helen). Shane decided to stay back with the short ride as support because it was now longer than planned. When the lead group arrived in Beeac with a extra 9km on the speedo & a strong NNW wind Helen made the call and suggested the longer riding group to go on. Allan arrived and agreed – the aim was for everyone to arrive at the lunch stop at around 1pm. Coralie arrived soon after. As Allan, Helen and Coralie were riding too slowly to ride the longer route (into a brisk northwesterly wind) and make it to lunch by 1pm, they decided to take a short cut – joining the 50km route some way down the Beeac Cororooke Road – and ending with a ride of almost 70km.
Allan and Helen’s route went north and turned left into Grassy Vale Road, where they waited for Coralie, who pedaled stoicly past without looking either right or left. Allan took chase- a valiant effort into the strong wind. Back on track the riders joined up with a Colac Veterans racing circuit at Warrion, turning right into Warrion-Dreeite Road. After a short wait to regroup and give Coralie a map, it was off again towards Coragulac. Allan explained to Coralie that there was only one more turn – a left turn into Corangamite Lake Road, which then wends its way past Red Rock, through Alvie and Coragulac and on to the lunch stop at Cororooke.
Well what a lovely ride Helen & Allan had along Melrose Road with all of it’s dry stone walls & fences & going all the way around a hill not know to Allan (marked Warrion Hill on the map) and its small farms. When they reached Corangamite Lake Road the wind was finally on their backs. Knowing the fast group would catch up with Coralie, Helen and Allan sped down the road to lunch. At Coragulac Helen stopped at the start & finish of the Veterans bike race to take a pictures of the Bike Race warning sign. There must have been about 200 riders racing. The roadsides and Coragulac Hall car park were full of cars & bikes.
Helen and Allan soon arrived at the Café where they were joined a couple of minutes later by the fast group (Kelly, Neville and David). The fast group had passed Coralie just before Alvie. As lunches were ordered, the short ride team arrived. Due to the strong wind, and the detour adding extra distance, theshort circuit riders took a shorter route from Warrion, straight down Cororooke Road. There were no comments made about this alternate route. Where wasCoralie? With the strong tail wind, she should have arrived a few minutes after Kelly, Neville and David.
Back to the Café & most riders were seated & their meals ordered when Coralie finally arrived. She had taken a wrong turning at Alvie – adding at least 10km but giving her a view of Lake Corangamite.
Coralie at the end of the ride – 80km the hard way.
Donna, the owner of the Café was only too obliging. The table was already set up to seat the entire, and she even organised special meals for those who needed them. Would we go back there again? You bet ya we would! After lunch everyone headed for Colac. David Fisher dropped off to his mother’s house as it was on the road, and Neville left the group in Colac. The riders arrived in Colac at about 2.30pm, where Allan and Kelly packed the bike trailer (which performed splendidly). Allan went into the Information Centre to thank them & to give the Café a good rap up and to ask about the old rail way line going up the Alvie Road it turns out that it was called the Onion Railway line from Colac to Alvie. We then headed home with a lot to talk about.
Thanks to all the cyclists who supported this ride, to Roxanne who came as driver support, and to Kelly who drove and towed the club trailer.
A very special thanks to Allan, who led the ride admirably, from pre-ride reconnaissance, mapping the routes, organising the bike trailer and general support for all on the ride.
Ride Leader Allan Marshall
Click each map for details a full page map of the three Red Rock circuits.