About hlyth2013

I run websites for The Choral Grapevine (a regional newsletter for choirs in Western Victoria and South-Eastern South Australia) and Cycling Geelong (a recreational cycling group). I am an artist and photographer, musician and recreational cyclist.

Capitol City Trail – Tuesday 21st December, 2021

Thanks to Robert, ride leader, for this report and photos.

City Ride – Capitol City Trail alternative

Tuesday 21 December presented a beautiful summer morning for Kevin, Lynton, Margy, Jeff and I to catch the Geelong Flyer into Victoria Harbour for the start of a City Ride; the first one I had been able to run for quite some time. Tina had planned to join us but was unable to on the day due to ill health.

To make use of the 9 hours we had between Ferries the plan was to make our way to Footscray followed by Williamstown, Altona, Footscray, Maribrynong, Port Melbourne then back to Victoria Harbour, Docklands, for the trip back to Geelong.

Construction, as part of the Westgate Tunnels system could be seen as we cycled the path adjacent to Footscray Road. Turning left over the Maribrynong River took us onto the paths that lead to Williamstown. Once under the Westgate Bridge more peaceful cycling was experienced as the path moved away from roads that can carry a lot of traffic.

We made our way to Williamstown Beach via the track that follows the coast. A lot of beautiful seaside scenery can be enjoyed along this section. We enjoyed a break and refreshments at a Cafe at Williamson Beach where children and families were starting to gather for a day’s beachside activities.

Following morning tea we continue onto a lovely Park at Altona Beach. There is a beautiful Moreton Bay Fig Tree in the Park. The route to the Park had been great cycling on excellent paths that weren’t heavily trafficked and wound the way through wetland parks and by the seaside.

After a break and, for some of us, a check out of the local market that is held on Tuesdays we began making our way north towards Maribrynong. This leg of the route was largely uncharted by me. We cycled Millers Road before being able to pick up a bike path along Kororoit Creek where we found our way to Greive Parade, on which we crossed over the Westgate Freeway.

From there we rode a few back streets eventually finding a service road adjacent to the old Geelong Road. Riding this we got to the West Footscray Station where we were able to use the ramps to cross to the north side of the railway line. Yours truly had the idea of having lunch at the Cafe at the Western Bulldog’s Head Quarters, which was close to the Station. Unfortunately it wasn’t open. This led us on a search for a Cafe which we eventually found in Barkley Street, West Footscray. We were all a little frayed by this time and in need of some food, fluid and rest; which we found at the Cafe.

At this time it was realised by one of the group that a backpack had been left in the Park at Altona Beach. After enjoying a refreshing lunch and reporting the lost bag to Police it was decided that one of us would cycle back to the Park to see if the Backpack was still there while the remainder of the group made their way back to the Maribrynong River and, eventually, back to Docklands. This all took place. The good news is that the Backpack was still where it was left, on a seat in the rotunda at the Park. How good was that!

Eventually we all met up back at Victory Harbour for the trip back to Geelong on the Ferry, which was a great experience in spite of some rolling waves in the middle of the Bay that rocked the boat a bit.

Hopefully, a few more City Rides can take place over coming months.


Ride Leader.

Red Rock Ride – Sunday November 28th, 2021

Thanks to Allan Marshall, ride leader, for this report and ride photo.

We left Bunnings Carpark on time with 12 trusty riders and had a good clear run to Colac arrived there before 9 30 am. We let Simon in the Routley’s Bakery know that we had arrived.

When we unloaded the bikes Peter Baker introduced me to a chap from the Colac Herald, he took quite a few pictures & asked me quite a few questions but got my age wrong. I did mention that we had a rider 85 years old.

Again, we got away on time we all stayed together around Lake Colac to the Princes Highway roundabout .(By the way this roundabout & its entry points have no consideration for Cyclist whatsoever. VicRoads will hear from me about this.)

Article from the Colac Herald (thanks to Peter for arranging this,)

I told the five 70 k riders to go on from here. Surprise! Surprise! They found a new coffee shop in Beeac, so in the end the 50km riders joined them as we were making good time.

After topping up with drinks and toilet stop the 2 rides went their separate ways. When the eight 50k riders came to the crossroads 3km from Alvie we rang Dirk only to find they were about 5km back, so we decided to push on. We arrived back at the trailer ahead of time.

50km riders (photo – Allan M)

I let Simon at Routley’s know we had arrived back. He warned us to get our orders in as food was running out fast. I don’t know how many small pies he gave away to the rest of us but he gave me two, Kelly one I hope we can give this business a card of appreciation at some time.

The weather was fine some of us got sunburnt through the helmet grooves – the worst of getting old. We all arrived back at Bunnings safe and sound with the only complaint was Hermann is too afraid to use a bit of power on the flat stretches.

Let’s do it again next year I might ad a little twist to the long ride & maybe the short one as well. The total riders were 13.

I hope to see you all back next year Ride leader Allan Marshall

Cycling Geelong Christmas Party – Tuesday, 7th December, 2021

After two years of interrupted rides, and cancelled social events, there was a wonderful turn-out for the annual Christmas party, in the Hyland Room at Fyansford Hotel. It was a gathering of old and new friends – some appeared new, scrubbed up and without the bike gear, but turned out to be old pedalling-mates.

Stephanie and Geoff turned on the Christmas bling once again, with splendidly decorated tables, including crackers (complete with silly hats and ‘dad’ jokes) and tinsel. Santa turned up very cycle-safe with lights flashing. However, the Christmas present (from Mrs Santa?) proved un-rideable – as it appeared to have only one wheel, and no handle-bars. The machine was field-tested by David Salamy and President Kevin (with support from Bill and Dirk) but pronounced impossible! Santa will clearly need to take uni-cycle lessons before next year.

As ever the annual Kris Kringle was welcomed with great gusto – though there were one or two awarded the ‘naughty’ prize. (Luckily, Santa being environmentally conscious, left the coal lumps in the ground where they belong.)

On a more serious note, those present marked the tragic loss of our long-standing member and friend, Peter Smith, with a minute’s silence. David Jones talked of Peter’s friendship and contribution to the club.

Peter and Swee Smith joined Cycling Geelong in 2005. They quickly became involved in regular rides, leading many, including the very popular post-Christmas rides along the Ballarat-Skipton Rail Trail. Peter (ably supported by Swee) took on the editorship of Flashing Pedals (the club newsletter). Peter was Cycling Geelong President from 2014 to 2016. Illness had stopped Peter cycling on group rides for some years, but his delight in the new-found pleasure of e-bike riding meant that he was once again able to ride with friends. He is sadly missed by his friends at Cycling Geelong. Our condolences to Swee and family.

David Jones remembers Peter Smith

It is fitting that the President’s Award, first awarded in 2018, was made and donated to the club by Peter Smith.

This year President Kevin awarded the trophy to Helen Lyth (President 2018-2021) for her contribution to the club over many years.

President Kevin awards the President’s Award to Helen Lyth (immediate past- President)

We wish all members, and their families, a very happy and safe Christmas season. (Naturally, our regular rides continue without pause over the season – what better way to exercise off the Christmas pudding.) Watch out for Santa trying out his uni-cycle, e-bike, recumbent, racer or maybe behind the reins of his sleigh.

Geoff took over the mike to award his lovely wife Stephanie flowers for her wonderful contribution as Social Secretary. (President’s Award in the background.)

Thanks to Rosemary for photos

Cycling Geelong dinner and Annual General Meeting

The postponed  Cycling Geelong AGM will be held on Tuesday 16th November from  7. 30pm at The Fyansford Hotel in the Hyland Room. 

A Social Dinner will be as usual  from 6.00pm.

Numbers may  be restricted to 20 depending on space rules and double vaccination certificates have  to be sighted by Hotel staff. 

Please RSVP by Monday 15th November to Stephanie if you will be at the dinner and/or AGM

Cycling Geelong Christmas Party

The Christmas Social is to be held on Tuesday 7th December from  6.00pm at The Fyansford. Hopefully numbers in the 30s will be allowed by then. 

Looking forward to catching up after no social gatherings for quite some time.  More details will be sent to all members closer to this time.

Drysdale via Bellarine Rail Trail – October 28th, 2021

There were 11 riders today and we started soon after a major rain event had occurred in Geelong. The ride was pleasant with an overcast sky and little wind but a short rain storm caught us at Curlewis. Seven riders sheltered ( almost dry)  under a sheoak tree but 4 others sheltered under a pine tree and got wet and attacked by mosquitos. I am not sure what lesson can be learned from this.

After the storm we rode under blue skies to Café Zoo for a pleasant refreshment break and rode back as a group under more blue skies to the meeting point without incident.

All covid restrictions were enforced and road rules obeyed.

Thanks to Bill J, ride leader, for this report and photo.

On Ya Bike! 4 – You Yangs via Hovells Creek and Ted Wilson Trail

Dirk and Barbara led this delightful ride on a day of perfect weather. After the initial photo was taken at Rippleside Park, Kevin and Lynton appeared to take the numbers to 20. There were 10 visitors – 9 from the Portarlington, Indented Head and Drysdale, and one from Geelong West. The route was around the Balmoral Quay shared path to St Helens – then following paths and roads to Limeburners Lagoon and on to Lara. Doug joined the group at Lascelles Wharf making a total of 21 cyclists.

From Lara the group turned north for the You Yangs along Mill and Branch Roads, before turning south along Flinders Avenue. There was a short detour to the Kevin Hoffman walk, before a refreshment stop at Xpresso Coffee Lounge. (Helen and Hermann shortened the route by a few kilometres by cutting back to Lara from Windermere Road.)

The return ride skirted Lara Lake to Canterbury Road and Hovells Creek Trail, with the main group turning along School Road to join the Ted Wilson Trail back towards Geelong and Rippleside Park. The distance for the full route was 68 kilometres. Helen, Sharon and Hermann returned via the waterfront route – for a total of 41 km.

It was wonderful to welcome back some of our earliest On Ya Bike! participants from 2008 – Paul, Terry and Gerry were on our earliest rides, and became core members of the Wednesday riding group that formed in around 2008-9 after riders from On Ya Bike! decided to continue riding as a group on Wednesdays.

Riders at Rippleside Park.

WOW – Wheels on Wednesday

For those who would like to ride a longer ride (around 70-100km) at a medium speed, Wheels on Wednesday meets every Wednesday. Currently the regular meeting time is 8am, and the regular starting place Swanston Street, South Geelong, near Landy Field. The rides are varied, with the group deciding on the destination and route at the start of the ride. There are occasionally special rides, including rides to Arthur’s Seat via the Queenscliff Ferry, and rides to Lorne.

(The rides are listed on our Cycling Geelong Ride Calendar for further details.) This ride is not affiliated with any club, although its origin was Cycling Geelong’s Seniors Month series. All cyclists welcome.

On Ya Bike! 3 – Drysdale via Bellarine Rail Trail, October 20th, 2021

Kevin led 10 riders along the trail to The Bungalow Cafe at Drysdale, where Ron joined the group. Terry and Gerry had ridden from Drysdale to the start of the ride, and left the group after the coffee break.

With a strong tail wind, the ride back to the Showgrounds was easy and fast.

Thanks to Kevin, ride leader,

Next Wednesday is the last of the On Ya Bike! rides for 2021. This is a mystery ride of around 60km starting at Rippleside Park at 9am. Dirk, ride leader, says it is an interesting ride of medium difficulty. All cyclists welcome.

On Ya Bike! 2 – Lara via Hovells Creek

Fourteen cyclists rode to Lara for the second On Ya Bike! ride for the 2021 Seniors Festival. Helen led the ride of 10 Cycling Geelong members and 5 visitors – Brenda, Bev, Terry and Gerry from Portarlington and Noel from Lara. Kevin was tail-ender, supported by Doug and Hermann.

The outward route, via the port area and Hovells Creek path, was hard, due to a very strong head wind. The route passes the Grain silos, Corio Quay (site of the Tasmanian Ferry terminal from next year), woodchip terminal, Moorpanyul Park, Lascelles Wharf, past the Refinery Pier and onto the Hovells Creek path along the estuary to Lara.

The coffee stop was at Xpresso Coffee Lounge where the coffee and service was, as ever, excellent. Many thanks to the staff who are working so hard in this difficult time.

The return route to the Hovells Creek trail was via Lara Lake. The strong wind continued, powering the group back to Rippleside Park by soon after midday.

Thanks to all cyclists, and Kevin our tail-ender.

Some of the group near Rennie Street Lara

Next week’s On Ya Bike! ride is along the Bellarine Rail Trail, leaving at 9am from the trail at Showgrounds (near Breakwater Road). The distance is around 36km, mainlyon the rail trail, but with a number of road crossings and an on-road section at Drysdale. All cyclists welcome. .

Barwon Heads Road works – detour needed for cyclists

Thanks to David S for forwarding this information from Major Road Projects Victoria,

Construction is well underway on the Barwon Heads Road Upgrade which includes adding new lanes and an on-road cycling lane between Settlement Road and Reserve Road.

We’ve started installing barriers in sections along the Barwon Heads Road, and more barriers will be installed in the coming weeks. As we finalise these works, access to road shoulders will be reduced and the existing vehicle lanes narrowed.

Therefore, cyclists are recommended to plan ahead and seek an alternative route around the works on Barwon Heads Road between Settlement Road and Reserve Road.  

For road cyclists, an alternative detour route is via Warralily Boulevard, Surfcoast Highway and Francis Street in Belmont. To support the detour route, we’re increasing the shoulder sweeping frequency on Surf Coast Highway to weekly.

We’ve consulted with bicycle representatives as well as the City of Greater Geelong and the Department of Transport to finalise a cycling detour that is a safe and alternative route for all cyclists. We’ll soon share a detour map for you to promote to your networks and also have detour signage on site.