Cycling conditions were perfect for this ride. Seven riders assembled at Rippleside Park – Helen (leader), Karen, Margie, Stella, Kelly, Lynton and David J. For once, women outnumbered men. Karen and Kelly (our Corio contingent) – had already ridden a fast 20km.
After ambling along the waterfront, through the dock area and past the refinery, the group turned west along School Road and Pioneer Road to Ted Wilson Trail, following it all the way south to Church Street. The long hill between Anakie Road and Ballarat Road was the only cycling challenge for the day. The route then turned east along Autumn Street and Villamanta Street, crossing the railway bridge on Little Malop Street before a stop at Geelong Art Gallery. This was the first time for some, and for others the first time for some years. Nancy joined us at the gallery, and also for our coffee stop. The new exhibition celebrates Australian women artists who work in abstract art. Lynton was very keen to find all the common objects in one work but no one could spot a bicycle – too concrete to be in an abstract exhibition maybe! You can have a sneak preview of most of the works here. However, it’s much better to see this exhibition in the flesh. The Gallery is always worth a visit – at present you can vote to choose a favourite work from some of the most popular works in the permanent collection. There is also an exhibition of a selection from the permanent collection called Atmospherics (which, incidentally, includes a whimsical and colourful plastic sculpture by another Aussie woman, Louise Paramor, whose work you may have seen if you’ve ever driven Peninsula Link).
With plenty of bike racks right outside the new library (next door), you’ll never have to pay for parking again. (We’re awaiting for the new coffee shop at the library which we hope is opening soon – so we can have and art and a caffeine hit at the same time.)
Our group then sauntered downhill to the waterfront, and had a most enjoyable refreshment stop at The Geelong Boathouse. Conditions were perfect on Corio Bay for a longish stop and there was lots of entertainment available.
It was only a couple of kms back to Rippleside Park along the lower path beside the bay. This was a most enjoyable ride. Thanks to all who participated. Ride distance 33km. See you on the bike next time we mix culture, coffee and cycling.