Warburton Rail Trail – Sunday, 19th May, 2019

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

We left the Leisure time carpark at about 8am with all bikes onboard Allan’s car and the trailer (on Georges car). We got to Altona & Allan’s car computer was saying to check the engine nothing he could do but lift the bonnet & slam it down again, started it up and continued on again. Then it happened again in Ringwood stopped and started again.  We  had lost George – thank goodness for mobile phones!   In our confusion we lost the page to some of the main Roads there but Karen saved the day with Google and a new route through Lilydale.  After all this we arrived there 15 minutes late.

At Launching Place we saw another bike trailer with a much easier securing system for the bikes.  It holds 10 bikes but, if we set up ours like it, ours could hold 12.

Everyone liked this ride. We had a fair look around Warburton,   Allan took a video of some of the ride and some interesting things in the town (hopefully we’ll add this to the report soon).  All 10 of us were very tired when we got back to the cars at Mt Evelyn. We had a good meal and a great mug of coffee at the Bakery before a bit of sight seeing. We left it up to George to take us home.  It was a little different, but he got us there. Thanks to all of you who came on this ride.  You made an ageing member’s* day.  I enjoyed being with you all.  I will see you out on the trails sometime.

Cheers Allan

Ride Statistics

  • Ride Leader – Allan
  • 10 cyclists – George, Karen, Kelly, Sally, Kevin, Richard, Russell, Jeff, Carla and Allan
  • Distance 64km (there and back on rail trail) = a total of 640km!
  • Departure time (from Geelong) 7.30am.
  • Return time 6.30pm
  • Injuries – NIL
  • Weather – perfect!
  • Black spots – none
  • Happy cyclists – 10!

*A good few Cycling Geelong members helped celebrate Allan’s 80th birthday last year at Oppy’s Bistro.

 

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Goldfields Ride – St Arnaud: 28-30 September, 2018

Thanks to Karen, joint tour leader for this report and photos.

It was an early start on Friday morning as Nick & I left home in the bus to pick up Kelly and head off to Allan’s house to commence our Annual Cycling Trip.   Arriving at Allan’s house at about 7:45am, we were greeted by Allan, Richard, Denise and Margy and loaded bikes and luggage.  By 8:30am all the attendees had arrived so the only task left was to hook the trailer to the bus and head off.  Estimated time of departure was set at 8:30, however a small glitch with the connection to the trailer and no lights set us back a little.  Again it was Allan to the rescue with a new plug and we headed off 10 minutes later which was still good timing.

It was a chilly morning with Carmel having a strong need for coffee, so coffee and toilet stop was had in Ballarat.  The coffee did help the insomniac’s Kelly and I  who had not slept well the night before and as we all know, I can quite animated and excitable after a long black.  With empty bladders and caffeine induced fervour we headed for Kara Kara Winery for some tasting and purchasing of wine.  It was proving to be a chilly morning with sunny breaks and the promise of no rain according to the Bureau of Meterology, however we did encounter some light rain on the way.  Helen, Sally, Heather and her daughter Edena met us at Kara Kara to join in on our weekend away.     It was a very informative session with the son of the winery owner giving us a great talk on the effects of no rain on effecting the growth and education on the use of Verjuice which can be used much like Vinegar or dressing.  I’m sure all of us who purchased this can’t wait to try some.

Kara Kara Winery, near St Arnaud

Our trusty bus driver then drove us onto the St Arnaud Caravan Park to unload bikes and go for our first ride.   Lunch was cancelled at Six 2 Six due to a food shortage, albeit a great lunch was then had at The Dabbling Duck.  After a stroll from the Caravan Park our bus driver renowned Vanilla Slice Connoisseur arrived to a lady bearing one from The Dabbling Duck.  As I understand this passed the Vanilla Slice taste test.

Onward and upward it was to visit The Wax Gardens, in which Margy and I couldn’t see any flowers but our very educated member Helen spotted many beautiful specimens and once again took some amazing photos.  Kelly & I led the ride around St Arnaud and we visited the “Love Cottage”,  “Steam Engine”  and “Bush Lookout”.  Kelly & I decided to cut the ride short so that we could all get ready for dinner at The Sportsman’s Club and after a lovely meal and a couple of drinks we headed back to the Caravan Park.

Leading the club on our walk back Geoff & I thought we were going the way back we came in but this was not the case, this was not the route we embarked on so there must have been too much talking.

Kelly & I don’t sleep in so we rode around the town of St Arnaud and looked at some beautiful old churches.  Lucky for us Kelly spotted bindy eyes in our tyres, which could have been disastrous.  Again it was a chilly morning, minus one was the temperature on arising but the sun was out and warmed our bones.

Photos were taken and then we headed back for the caravan park for our next ride to The Logan Pub, a tiny establishment in a very small town.

Charming, nonetheless less, there is nothing like Champagne served in a wine glass.  Adorned with a lot of paraphernalia and old style walls and furniture this little pub didn’t disappoint.  Again another great meal was had and with a small kitchen and only a few cooks the service was exemplarily. After lunch we headed off for St Arnaud for some Grand Final Day celebrations and a BBQ.

Sunday morning came with 2 well rested ride leaders ready for action, however the bus was not.  Again our support vehicle had another glitch and Kevin once again lent a hand to help.  After bidding farewell to Geoff & Stef, we left slightly later than planned nonetheless it was again an easy ride to Sally’s Paddock.   After some tasting and a light lunch, a call was placed to Allan Marshall to thank him for all of his planning of his trip, his organisation of the event made things much easier , it was also a presentation to our trusty bus driver and a card to thank him also for all of his hard work.

Finally, it was time to end our trip and travel home, after several stops we eventually arrived at Allan’s to unpack our bags and bikes and head for our respective homes.  It was agreed that this trip was a success, with great cycling, great food, company and camaraderie.   Thank you to Geoff and Steph for organising the meat for our BBQ,  to Kelly who had done all the ground work for our ride routes and all the other tasks he completed to make this trip a success,  Kevin for his assistance in loading bikes,  Nick our competent bus driver and support vehicle, Helen for her superb photos and chronicling our trip, Heather for also taking photo’s and a shout out to Edena & Denise who rode like professionals on Sunday.   Thanks to Richard also for his weak bladder, we thoroughly enjoyed all the toilet stops on the last leg of our trip.  Thank you to all who attended, you are the ones that make this Annual Trip an absolute pleasure, I think we can all agree that lots of fun, laughter and friendship was had.  P.S. Can’t wait for next year.

Karen

Cycling Geelong and especially all the participants on this year’s Goldfields Tour, especially thank our two ride leaders, Karen and Kelly, Allan who spent many hours planning the tour so that it would be faultless, and our intrepid and resourceful bus driver, Nick.

Allan already has 2019’s tour in planning.  See you there!

 

On Ya Bike! 2 – Lara: Wednesday, October 10th, 2018

We have had better days for cycling!  The wind was gale force, with early morning waves washing over the new Rippleside-St Helen’s pathway and a temperature of no more than 16 expected.

Despite this less than ideal start, 22 cyclists arrived to ride to Lara on the second On Ya Bike! for 2018.  The ride was led by Helen, with Terry and Doug sharing sweeper duties at the back.

Cycling Geelong’s bard, Doug, had another few verses of his latest masterpiece On Ya Bike! with which he regaled the awestruck group (who acted as Greek chorus at Doug’s signal).*

On Ya Bike!

As the tide was on its way out, the group rode the new path, with only a few cyclists being unlucky enough to be wet with sea spray.   John H once again took some stunning photos along the way!

There was considerable wind assist, and without any hindrance from the local magpies, the group enjoyed a pleasant ride to Hovells Creek and along the path to Lara.

(One rider, finding the wind too difficult, decided to backtrack from North Shore.)

The coffee stop was at Xpresso Lounge Cafe in Lara, where everyone was made welcome.  Despite the big group, service was friendly and swift.

With some trepidation (the wind was predicted as a south-easterly) the group took off for the return journey.  However, conditions were fine – the wind direction had steadied to an easterly, and it was a comfortable ride back to Rippleside.

Thanks to all cyclists, John and David for the photos, and our tail-enders Terry and Doug.

*Doug’s On Ya Bike! poem.

The third ride in this year’s On Ya Bike! series is to Drysdale, via the Bellarine Rail Trail, next Wednesday, leaving at the rail trail, corner Carr and Tucker Streets (near the Showground entrance), at 9am.  This ride is around 36km, and mainly off road on the rail trail.  Coffee is at Cafe Zoo.  Doug Merritt will be leading.  On Ya Bike! 

Around the Bay in a Day – Dave’s story

Thanks to Dave Simpson for his take on Around the Bay 2018.

Richard, Peter and Dave

Having experienced the difficult start at Rippleside last year (the start line had been placed at the beginning of the ramp up to the Esplanade, causing many people to fall off as they were starting in too high a gear) we decided to hang at the back of the crowd and to let the crowd get out of the way. This worked well when we did eventually get going as for some reason the start was delayed by 15 minutes.

We set off in the dark for Queenscliff, saying hello to some of our team of CG volunteers on marshaling duty as we went past. The ride down to Queenscliff was fine, no delays and importantly, no wind. We decided it was going to be hard to get onto the 8am ferry owing to the late start (and it would be crowded).  So I decided to resist the calls of the people on ticketing duty at Queenscliff, who were trying to give us 8am tickets, and we held out for tickets for the 9am ferry and had a coffee, having found a seat in the sun at the Marina.

Consequently the ferry journey was great, the ferry was only about half full and we sailed off into the fog which had come in from the bay.

We arrived at Sorrento at 9:50am and got straight out on the road and made good time, stopping off a few times for necessary ‘natural breaks’. There was still just a very light wind, cross/tail, and the other riders were well behaved. I think we had managed to fall into a very well placed time window as the 210km riders hadn’t arrived yet and the 200km ‘Sorrento Return’ riders were just arriving so we didn’t have to contend with too many large pelotons whizzing past!

We eventually got to our lunch stop at Frankston and after a nice rest in the sun we headed off for the final run, with the wind, up to the finish at Albert Park, making sure that we crossed the finish line together!

My certificate says my total ride time was 7hr24m, and my Strava timing says I did the 100km Sorrento-Melb in 4hr41m, including a 30min stop for lunch. Our average speed was 22km/hr.

After (another) coffee we set off to Southern Cross to get the train home.

A big thankyou to my fellow riders, Pete and Richard, and to the team of volunteers.

–Dave

 

Around the Bay in a Day: Sunday 7th October, 2010 – 1

Stephanie and Geoff’s ATB

Thanks to Stephanie for this ride report and photos.

Geoff and I rode the 50km Route from Albert Park to Williamstown and back.  The day was fantastic with perfect weather conditions for riding.   With 10,000 riders registered for the day riding from 20-210 kms it showed the motorists on the Westgate Bridge …. cycling is now here  to stay and grow!

Geoff and I had no issues with the younger kids, most riding responsibly all day.

The climb over the Westgate Bridge and back wasn’t hard and we had plenty of room taking up 2 lanes of the bridge.The views from the top were superb, many stopped and took photos.

Surprisingly most motorists accepted a very  long wait and didn’t abuse us or other cyclists! FANTASTIC

With over 80 cyclists registered as Members of Cycling Geelong it would be good to see a Team of 6 to 8.

(Editor’s note:  Congratulations to Stephanie and Geoff on their personal achievement.  We also had club 20 members and friends working as volunteers on ATB and 2 members at the Cycling Geelong stand at the Humans in Geelong Expo.)

If you participated in Around the Bay, or volunteered the event, please send in a ride report and your photos so we can share them with other club members.  Send to Helen.

St Arnaud Tour: Day 3 – Sunday, September 30th, 2018

Redbank Winery (Sally’s Paddock) via Carapooee and Stuart Mill

Even the best-planned tours can have issues.  As the group packed up their belongings and prepared to cycle out of the St Arnaud Caravan Park for the last time, something entirely unforeseen happened.  The bus, which had behaved perfectly for the entire time, developed a jammed accelerator!  Stephanie and Geoff must have had a premonition of this.  They had chosen to travel independently on this final day.

Nick, our valiant and technically competent bus driver got to work to solve the problem, with some assistance – a small amount of which may have been helpful.

Finally, at around 9.20, the problem was resolved, and the cyclists set off for Carrapooee (a crossroads in the midst of farmland), Stuart Mill (an old mining settlement) and Sally’s Paddock winery for lunch.

Time was short, with a late start and lunch booked at the winery for noon.  All but one cycled off towards the Sunraysia Highway at Stuart Mill.  (Helen needed to pick up her car back at the caravan park.  As shorter ride, but including a 4km hill.  Fitness was an issue.  Back at the park, all was quiet, except for some dog walkers lining up at the dog wash.)

Because of the late start, some cyclists opted to continue in the bus.  Others sprinted valiantly down the highway.  Kelly had to back track to retrieve his gloves, but was soon in the lead again.

Helen was the first to arrive, only to be informed that the booking was for 1pm, not noon!  Texts to key people followed, and the riders could ride at a more leisurely pace.  After coffee, and a wine tasting for Helen, the first cyclists appeared, triumphant with their achievement – a 50km ride, including sprinting, gravel and hills!  More coffee was drunk, other drinks ordered, and Nick, Kelly, Kevin and a few others loaded up the bikes on the trailer, before a final lunch together.

Thanks Karen and Kelly for a wonderful weekend.

Thanks to Karen and Kelly, our leaders and joint organisers with Allan.

For those who’ve never been on a Goldfields tour with Allan, they are highly recommended.  Allan is already considering the best place for next year’s tour!  It will be important to get in early as the Grand Final weekend is always popular for travelers.

St Arnaud Tour – Day 2: Saturday, September 29th

Grand Final Day

Ride to Logan Pub

The ride headed out via quiet unsealed country roads to the Wimmera Highway and then on to the Logan Pub.  The return was via the Wimmera Highway.  There were several stops to re-group, and visit friendly local horses.  Part of the trail was along the Henty trail, which goes from the Murray to Portland.

Margy discovered some new wheels at the Pub.  The three motorbikes stopped just as we pulled up.  Our stereotypes were thrown away when the bikies ordered coffee!

The riders returned to the Caravan Park in time for the important TV coverage of the game.  Not all were happy with the outcome.  A barbecue helped drown a few sorrows.  No swooping maggies this year.

Thanks again to Kelly and Karen for exemplary planning and leadership, and to Stephanie and Geoff for organising food for the barbecue.