Chris and Mike’s Chocolate Ride: Sunday, November 16th, 2014

Report by Chris Rennick

It was great to see a large turnout of riders despite the predicted rainy weather. As it happened, the 16 riders enjoyed a cool but often sunny ride without any rain. Present on the longer ride with Mike were Helen L, David F, John M, Doug M, Tim W and Shane B. Chris’s ride included Stella G, and her two friends from China, Blu and Guang, Trish B, Larissa S, Judi, Alex M, and Sandra M.

Chris’s group enjoyed a leisurely ride along the river, a walk most of the way up Hyland, then along the old cement works trail to Church St. We rode up the Church St hill to the Ted Wilson trail where Blu and Guang enjoyed seeing the great view over the ring road and the Moorabool valley. The ride along the trail was easy and we rode the extra section beyond Creamery road, enjoying the downhill then looping back up the hill from under the old bluestone bridge. Back at Creamery road, we headed up to the Ballarat road and took the roadside path back to the Moorabool Valley Chocolate by Design morning tea venue.

Before long, they were joined by Mike’s group. These had come via Barrabool Rd, Wandana Dve, passing Deakin and Bunnings and along the old Highway through Waurn Ponds. Riding into a stiffening westerly, they had faced and conquered the challenge of Cochranes Rd hill and then enjoyed the downhill run from Ceres. Along Merrawarp Rd, John and Mike raced ahead but all made good time along Friend-in-Hand and Dog Rocks Rds to Batesford. Tim pointed out an interesting alternative to the highway route up the Batesford hill and finally it was an easy run along the Ballarat Rd to our coffee stop.

Heather H and friend as well as Roxana, Tim’s partner, joined us there for a variety of delicious drinks and eats at an outside table in a lovely setting.

The consensus decision was for us all to ride home along the Ted Wilson, with riders breaking off to head for home along the way. Chris, Mike, John, Doug, David and Sandra said farewell back at Balyang Sanctuary.

It seemed to be a ride that was really enjoyed by all so it will no doubt become a regular ride led by Chris and Mike!

Editor’s note:  It was a most enjoyable ride – with challenges – the long hill (Hyland Street) on the short ride, and the longer ascent of Cochranes Road against the wind for the long ride.  Thanks to Chris and Mike, our admirable leaders.

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