Thanks to Allan Marshall, ride leader and organiser extraordinaire for this report!
We left Allan’s place at about 9am for Bannockburn to pick up the rest of the Riders. We got away from there at 9.50 am with a full complement of Cycling Geelong riders. I was told they had a ball on the bus to Maryborough. We arrived at the Park at 11.50am took the bikes off the trailer then headed for lunch at the Old MKM chimney café for lunch. The management there were very cooperative and set tables for the 17 of us. On the walls were pictures of history of workers in the mill. I wouldn’t be surprised if my wife was in one of them. After lunch we headed off around town for a history ride with comments given by Allan and supported by Russ. Then we rode to the old Grand Duke mine in Timor from there back to Dunolly and base camp (Lake Laanecoorie Caravan Park). That night we had to be back at the Maryborough Golf Club for dinner and meet up with Steff & Geoff so there were now 19 of us.
Day 2 Allan, Russ, Kelly, Dave, Richard and Karein decided to take a bush trail to Dunolly and meet the rest of the riders going to Avoca and the Blue Pyrenees winery. It was a head wind all the way. Allan broke some spokes in his back wheel from riding in low gears. There are only 16 flat spokes in the wheel so that put him on the bus near Homebush to join Kelly who was having back pains. We picked up more just up the road, some of the riders plugged on we passed them with about 4 k to go to the Winery. I could see the look of disappointment on Barb’s face, but it was going take longer to re adjust the bikes than it was for her to finish the ride for lunch. Well done mate and the others who did about 60 ks. After a great lunch, we put the bikes on the trailer and headed back to base camp to see the yellow & black give the Crows a hiding. That night we had a great Barbecue dinner where Tina organised a great sing along to finish the day off over a nice red wines or two.
Day 3 We left the bikes on the trailer and headed for Carisbrooke stopped at the old log jail. We unloaded the bikes then Allan gave a talk about his grandparents owning that piece of land along there and took them for a short tour around the town before heading for the old mining town of Majorca. There we had a discussion about the way they would like to go to Clunes. We decided to bypass the ride to Talbot and go via the Tullaroop dam wall to Clunes as it turned out this was a windy ride again but more than half of the riders rode all the way, though Allan was on a borrowed bike and was getting tired so decided to give it away with about 6ks to go. (Well done, Allan. It’s hard riding a bike that’s not set up for you.)
We had lunch at the Widow Twankey’s Cafe in Clunes where we had a reservation out the back. It was a shame that we all couldn’t be there together over lunch as three of the men stayed with Nick to load the bikes on the trailer. After all had eaten we took the historic drive of Clunes mining area then headed for home. There are plenty of pictures with Tina Gordon.
This ride can only be successful with the support of Heather and Nick. I take my hat off to them for their support. We have proved it now that the bus is a must. A feature of this trip was Nick becoming an Honorary member of Cycling Geelong. I was asked to make the rides a little bit shorter next year. I think everyone had a great time and they now understand that I do all in my power to get good accommodation for the two night stay. I hope that we shall ride again at Ararat or Stawell area with Ararat looking the best option providing that the railway workers haven’t taken all of the available accommodation around the town. There were a couple of presentations of thanks to Allan, Heather and Nick.
See you next year on the 28/9/18
A couple of pictures from Allan below. More to follow.