Ride report from ride leader – John Hagan (GTC)
This was certainly a ride of attrition. If the ride leader is judged by returning with 100% of the riders – returning with only 43% is not a high mark! We started off from Sth Geelong Station at 9am with Helen, John M, from Cycling Geelong, and Peter J, Rolf, Ross, John H, from GTC and Mike Currie from both clubs. We proceeded along the Barwon River path until, just short of Balyang we encountered a cross country run, so took Balcombe Rd to avoid the runners and join the river further up. At Fyansford Helen, who had time constraints, decided to do a shorter ride, and the rest proceeded into a very strong headwind along the Hamilton Highway. At Murgheboluc John H, Mike and Rolf got ahead of the group on a long downhill. Meanwhile, behind drama was brewing… (see Ross’ account for this part). When the 3 riders didn’t appear at Brislanes Rd John made a phone call to Peter to find out what had transpired. John H, Rolf and Mike then headed off to coffee at Le Due Sorelle Cafe in Bannockburn and then returned via Batesford to Geelong.
Ross’ account of what happened to the rest of the group:
I was sitting at the back of the pelaton as we passed Burnside Road. After a long drag into the wind, everyone changed up a few gears and set off to take advantage of the big downhill. Immediately in front of me, John M accelerated away then as he changed up again, the chain jumped and locked the back wheel. Smoke poured off the tyre for about 5 seconds then there was a loud bang as the tyre blew. John “fish tailed “down the hill for another 25 metres as he tried to bring the bike to a stop, finally stopping and toppling over on the verge. A most impressive demonstration of bike control. As John dis-entangled himself then the chain, Peter J came back up the hill to help. The derailleur was badly bent. The tyre was destroyed – all tread gone over about 10 cm and worn right through the casing in a couple of places. Luckily, both Peter and I both were carrying a tyre boot, and with the holes patched, a new tube and the gear that produced the least noise selected, we headed back to Geelong.
John had a lot more confidence in the repair than I would and led the way at a good pace with the assistance of the strong tail wind. We rode back to Barwon Edge for a well-deserved beverage and conversation before we each headed off towards home. Not quite the expected outing but most entertaining.
Thanks to John and Ross for these reports. See ride photos at GTC website (you’ll need to scroll down the news list).
Editor’s note: Although I started this morning’s joint ride, with the strong wind and a strong team of fast riders, I realised that my slow speed would really slow down the group. So I bailed out at Merrawarp Road and rode my own circuit. This proved sensible as, on returning home after 63km, I spotted Rolf cycling past – after the real ride of 73km and a coffee stop (and associated drama from our noble president).