Despite the road closure along the waterfront, twelve riders arrived at Rippleside Park for this morning’s Northern Spring Saunter. Congratulations to Pam for a record fastest time from Leopold to Rippleside – 35 minutes. We decided that we’d just call riders Peter or David – three Peters on this morning’s ride, only one David (but there are often three on Cycling Geelong’s rides). This morning’s riders were Peter O’B, K and J, David F, Ian, John H, Doug, Noel (who met the group in Staceys Road), and Pam, Karen, Colleen and Helen (ride leader).
It was good to see Colleen and Peter from Cycling Geelong who are from our regular Saturday riders, and completed the full 66km circuit, including two detours.
Suburban streets led to a short steep (11%) ascent of Neil Street to Rollins Road, then on to the lovely descent of Bluestone Bridge Road under the bridge and a sharp ascent to the Lovely Banks ridge. Anakie Road was quiet (except for a few motorbikes) and Ballan Road busy with some sort of vintage car tour of vehicles of the 1950s and 6os. It was good to turn into Staceys Road (magpie swooping not withstanding – it pays to be in the bunch here) and the long sweeping downhill to Bacchus Marsh Road. After touching the You Yangs at Branch Road, Flinders Avenue took the riders back to Six Ways Lara and the new coffee shop at West Lakes. (For several of the group it was their fourth trip to the shop in a week.)
The return to Geelong was on Hovells Creek, with a short detour to Melbourne Road at School Road due to powerline works. The expected northerly tail wind became an easterly sea breeze along Hovells Creek, but the drop of a few degrees in temperature was welcome.
For the first warm sunny ride of spring, this was a perfect shortish circuit. Thanks to everyone for making the ride such a success and John Hagan for the photographs.