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.
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.
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.
Thanks to Rosemary for photos