Remembering Russell Mockridge: Saturday 15th September, 2018 – 2

On the weekend of 15th and 16th September, 2018, three events were held, to mark the anniversary of the death of Russell Mockridge, who was killed while competing in the Tour of Gippsland, on 13th September, 1958.

Saturday, September 15th, 2018, 6pm, Russell Mockridge Pavilion, Cycling Criterium Circuit, Belmont, Geelong

Remembering Russell Mockridge – Meet the Authors

Five authors who have written cycling history books were present to present a Q&A, with a focus on Russell Mockridge.

Over fifty people attended this most successful event. Most attending were from out of town, including several closely associated with Russell during his life.  The forum was planned and implemented by Tim Alexander.  The panel included authors Martin Curtis (Russell Mockridge: The Man in Front), Daniel Oakman  (Oppy: the Life of Sir Hubert Oppermann), Ben Schofield (Wheel Life: Cycling recollections of the 1950s and 60s), Marcus Arnold (Reginald Arnold: SixDayMan),and Rod Charles (A Whirr of Many Wheels – Cycling in Geelong: A chronicle).  The discussion was lead by Martin Curtis and the evening compered by  Doug Merritt.  The pavilion, home of the Geelong Cycling Club, was given free of charge.  Light refreshments were provided by Tim Alexander and the The Bicycle Baker of Albury, and Jason Hunt free of charge.  A sound system  was provided by Tim Alexander and costs recouped from attendees voluntary gifts and from the sale books of the writers sold on the evening.

Thanks to Ray Bowles (The Cycling Scrapbook) for the three photographs above.

Thanks to Rod Charles for this report.

Book Reviews from Coralie

Thanks to our Coralie, our well-read cyclist for these reviews.

Bicycling through time: the Farren collection

By Paul and Charlie Farren

Mulgrave, Victoria: Images, 2013

A great coffee table book illustrating Charlie and Paul Farren’s collection of antique bicycles. Rod Charles took a group from Cycling Geelong to visit the collection in Richmond some years ago, a memorable day. The book has wonderful photographs and details of a collection which centres on 19th century and early 20th century bicycles. A good present for a cyclist.

The 50 greatest bike rides of the world

By Sarah Woods

London: Icon, 2016

This book is similar to Lonely Planet’s ‘Epic bike rides of the world’ although Sarah Woods’ book is not a coffee table glossy. Both books list a few bike rides in different parts of the world, they just whet the appetite.

Tour de Oz

Bret Harris

Sydney Australia: Harper Collins, 2017

The story of Arthur Richardson who set off from Perth on his bicycle in 1899 planning to be the first to first to cycle the 18, 507 km around Australia. But a group of three – brothers Frank and Alex White and Donald Mackay, at the same time, were attempting the same ride in the opposite, counter-clockwise direction. This is the story of the remarkable rides to be the first to ‘circumcycle’ pre-Federation Australia, on difficult terrain, with 19th century bikes (look at the Farren Collection for illustrations), and problems with food, water, communications, animals, etc.

More Book Reviews from Coralie

The wooden bicycle around the world

By Kiriakos Iosifidis

Images: Melbourne, Victoria, 2017

Bicycles built from wood – some entirely, some have parts made of wood (we’ve all sat on a seat which feels like wood) or bamboo. Splendid photography. And great names for the bike companies – Woody, Bentwood, Ligneous, Beams, Sylvan, etc.  I’ve seen a number of wooden bikes overseas – on the road and in museums. The book shows how wood – still used in bikes in the 1950s – and bamboo are being developed as durable, user friendly and aesthetically appealing bicycle materials (I’m yet to be convinced about the user friendliness of wooden seats).

Photos taken by Coralie

The pain-free cyclist: conquer injury & find your cycling nirvana.

By Matt Rabin & Robert Hicks

London: Bloomsbury Sport, 2015.

Prevention : treatment : rehab.

What do you do if you get injured? Rest? Continue to ride? This book addresses these questions as there is a need to avoid further complications and further injuries. The book is divided in to four sections: preparation, injuries, rehab and ailments. Yes, there’s plenty of information on hips.

Bicycling maximum overload for cyclists: a radical strength-based program for improved speed and endurance in half the time

Jacques DeVore and Roy M. Wallack

Rodale: New York, 2017

A training program aimed at increasing ‘cycling speed, athletic longevity and over-all health’ in half the training time. Instead of improving endurance by riding longer distances, the authors teach how to do it by reducing riding time while adding heavy strength and power training. The authors claim that a 40 minute workout once or twice a week can replace a long day in the saddle and lead to better results.


Amsterdam: Cycling Heaven – 5 reasons why

Geelong moved a step closer to becoming a leading cycling city with the opening of the first stage of the Malop Street Green Spine last week.  There is now a one-way cycleway westwards from Yarra Street to Moorabool Street.  As funding becomes available, it is planned to extend this further along Malop Street.  City of Geelong is to be congratulated for this step towards making the Geelong CBD more people-friendly.  (Unfortunately, at least for the present, if you’re travelling eastwards, you still need to use the old bike lane with the hazards of fast-moving motor vehicles, and opening car doors.)

Amsterdam has one of the highest rates of cycling for transport in the world.  It wasn’t always so!  I recommend you read In the City of Bikes:  The Story of the Amsterdam Cyclist by Pete Jordan (available at the Geelong Regional Library) to find out how Amsterdam transformed itself into a cycling Mecca. 

This is despite the fact that for much of the year, Amsterdam has an unfriendly climate for cycling.

Making a city where most trips are done on bikes requires utterly discarding conventional car-centric ways of thinking about transportation. Norman Garrick

With Geelong’s easy terrain, wonderful climate and the beginning of the Principal Bicycle Network, we’d love to see Geelong transformed to a place where cycling is the norm.

Five reasons why Amsterdam works so well for bikes

For more, here is an article on the five reasons why Amsterdam works so well for bikes.  Underlying all this is designing transport for people rather than cars.  In a city with a greater urban area population of 1.8 million people, traffic deaths are 2/100,000 of population.  Australia’s rate of traffic fatalities is close to triple this.

Look at any photo of people cycling in Amsterdam.  You’ll see  mixture of male and female, ages and many assorted bicycles.  One measure of how well our infrastructure makes cycling safe is the percentage of females riding bikes.

Cycling in Amsterdam. People go about their daily lives using bikes for transport. Low speeds and good infrastructure mean that cycling is safe for all. Image from

Book Reviews from Coralie

The Cyclist’s bucket list: a celebration of 75 quintessential cycling experiences

by Ian Dille.  Rodale: New York, 2015.

An exploration of the world’s most interesting bike rides. While the types of rides vary from urban to remote, easy to difficult to racing, the locations are mainly Europe and North America, while there are three in the United Kingdom and two in Australia, one in Africa. Good photography and a taste of wonder. Overseas cycling holiday anyone?

Cyclogeography: journeys of a London bicycle Courier

by Jon Day.   Honiton, Devon: Notting Hill, 2015.

A relatively short book, the author thinks about the way bicycles connect people and places, specifically being a bicycle courier taking him around London. An essay about the bicycle in the cultural imagination and a portrait of London written from the saddle. Ever cycled in London? New sights and interests await in this fine book.

Roads were not built for cars: how cyclists were the first to push for good roads & became the pioneers of motoring

 by Carlton Reid  Washington [DC]: Island, 2015.

The role of bicycles in the development of roads is one that we are unlikely to have considered, especially with the prevailing ethos ‘cars rule, OK’. But roads were needed first by cyclists, and this beautifully illustrated book shows the shared history of vehicle used in the development of roads.

All these books are available from the Geelong Regional Library.


Book Reviews from Coralie

This is the last installment for now of Coralie’s cycling book reviews.

All books are available from Geelong Regional Library.

Cadence: travels with music – a memoir

by Emma Ayres.

The story of Emma Ayres’ (ABC FM presenter) cycle journey from England to Hong Kong, with her violin. I especially enjoyed her description of the Himalayas, ‘a steep descent on a back road (forty kilometres without pedalling) to Abbottabad.’ and a journey into China, known to be dangerous, where she ‘wished very, very hard for a knight in shining lycra’. An enjoyable book for music lovers and cyclists.

Official 100th Race anniversary Edition: Tour de France

by Francoise & Serge Laget, Philippe Cazaban, Gilles Montgermont.

London: Quercus, 2013.

Details of the 100 races held between 1903 and 2012 (races not held in some war years). Maps of the routes, photographs of the winners, all the stories. Well-presented coffee-table type reference book. Great to see the development in bicycles. And the hills!

Each of the next three books provides a simple introduction to cycling including such subjects as choosing a bike, minor bike repairs, clothing, training, fitness, safety, helmets,  and a few subjects beyond the basics such as racing, etc.

The big book of bicycling

Emily Furia and the editors of Bicycling.

New York: Rodale, 2011.

Highlights from Big book (no bigger than the other two) include how to teach your child to ride, nutrition and ‘Why I ride … it helps you have more (and better) sex. It’s true: here are five ways that time in the saddle helps you in the sack’ (p. 3) (hence the chapter on children? And ‘Eating for performance’?).

The urban cyclist’s survival guide

by James Rubin and Scott Rowan.

Chicago, Illinois: Triumph, 2011.


Urban cyclist’s highlights included how to handle an angry pedestrian; how to carry stuff (30 lbs of dog food in one pannier); chains and locks; and useful information much for commuters (although on the right side of the road).

Cycling for dummies

by Gavin Wright.

Milton, Queensland: Wiley, 2011.

Dummies has an introduction by ‘Charlie Pickering TV presenter, comedian and cyclist’ and a less serious approach, such as finding the time to ride, decorating your bike, how to avoid magpies, and a list of good rides in Australia and overseas. On avoiding magpie attacks ‘I dismounted in the street, took my pump off my down tube and stood ready. My eyes locked with the magpie’s and we stood, me looking up, it gazing down. For a full minute we held this pugnacious pose, each intent on staring the other down. Just then a car appeared at the end of the street and my eyes dropped instinctively. Within a fraction of a second there was a fury and a flurry of black and white feathers heading straight for my face. Ineptly waving my little silver bicycle pump, I hopped back on my bike and fled’.

Thanks, Coralie for these most enlightening book reviews.  We look forward to the next edition!

If you’ve read a cycling book that you’ve enjoyed, why not send in your own review.  Email your contribution to Helen.

Book Reviews from Coralie

Here are some more of Coralie’s cycling book reviews – all available from Geelong Regional Library.

Family Cycling

by Carlton Reid

edited by Richard Ballantine.

For people who would like to encourage children to ride. Lots of information on teaching children to ride, bicycles for children, and alternative ways to carry children on bicycles, such as trailers, tagalongs, and box bikes. A good book for a cycling grandparent to encourage their grandchildren.


by Christine Elliott and David Jablonka

foreword by Phil Liggett.

Mulgrave, Victoria: Images, 2009.


Custom built bicycles: a bicycle built to your specifications. Why? ‘To have a bike that does exactly what you want it to do, fits you exactly the way you want it to fit, and looks exactly as your heart desires’. Many want a custom built bicycle so they can have the right size bike, but there are other reasons too: some want faster, lighter bikes with better components. Some want to have a distinctive looking bike such as the wonderful butterfly spokes bike from Roark Custom Titanium Bicycles (Indiana, USA). Some want a special type of bicycle, such as a tandem, tricycle or a cargo bike. Some see their bike as an extension of their personality, it has to be just right in the way it fits and looks and works, so they go to a custom builder.

‘Custom bicycles’ looks at builders of custom bikes in a number of different countries, with a few pages each on about 40 different companies, lots of photographs and interesting information. The most interesting is Baum in North Shore, Geelong. That’s right, you can have your custom bicycle built in Geelong. Darren Baum, who was born in Geelong and grew up here, set up Baum ‘to create bicycles that combine the best of modern technology and sports science with the timeless elegance of a handmade product: bicycles you will always enjoy’.


1001 bicycles to dream of riding

by Guy Kesteven.

New York: Quintessence, 2014.

A good book to dip into, beginning in the 19th century, but concentrating on the 21st century. Some different types of bicycles: aero/ all rounder/ all-terrain/ cargo/ childs/ commuter/ concept/ custom/cyclocross/ downhill/ e-bike/ fixed gear/folding /gravity/hardtail / leisure/ mountain/ paced track bike/ race/ recumbent/ road/ snowbike/ tandem/ triathlon/ touring/ town/ track/ tricycle/ time trial/ triathlon/ utility.