On Ya Bike! 5 – Allan’s Mystery Ride: Wednesday, 31st October, 2018

There were 15 cyclists for the final ride of the On Ya Bike! series of rides for the Seniors’ Festival.  Kelly Rowe led the ride – to a ‘mystery’ destination, on a route devised by our mystery ride man, Allan Marshall.  Kelly led the riders to Limeburners Lagoon, then via the Hovells Creek path to Lara.  Doug Merritt performed the latest verses in his poem “On Ya Bike!” punctuated by the hearty response of “On Ya Bike!” from all.

The feature of the ride was a full circumnavigation of Avalon Airport before coffee back in Lara at Xpresso.  The service was friendly and prompt as usual before the cyclists set off back along Hovells Creek to Rippleside.

Thanks to Kelly for leading the ride, Allan and Kelly for devising it and Doug for his poetry interludes.

 

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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! 3 – Drysdale via Bellarine Rail Trail: Wednesday, October 17th, 2018

Once again, there was an excellent turn up, with twenty-one cyclists assembling near the Geelong Showgrounds.

After waiting for a few latecomers, the ride got underway.

The rail trail initially passes through Geelong’s south eastern suburbs, before crossing the Bellarine Highway at Moolap.  From there on the area is more open – farmlands.  Thanks to the work of the Friends of the Bellarine Rail Trail, vegetation shelters the path for most of the way to Drysdale.  Doug, the ride leader, joined the group at Leopold.  As rest stop was held at the top of the Leopold syncline at Christies Road.  The rail trail is the easiest way for cyclists to climb this hill, with all cyclists accomplishing this easily.

From there the group quickly traversed farmlands to the Portarlington Road, past Curlewis Golf Club, where a new path was underway into the cafe at the driving range.  From there, it was only a short way to Cafe Zoo, with the final section from the trail to Drysdale being on road.

As usual, the cafe was friendly and welcoming, and a noisy group only quietened a little for Doug’s latest On Ya Bike! poem, delivered in his best radio announcer voice.  The group was joined here by Jeff who’d ridden over from Point Lonsdale.

It was good to see a few new riders to On Ya Bike! for this ride – we hope to see them back next week.

The return to the rail trail was via Wyndham Street and Jetty Road before a return to the showgrounds at around noon (with afternoon storm clouds threatening).

Thanks to ride leader and bard Doug Merritt, Gerry and Terry our tail-enders, and photographer John Hagan.  Thanks to all riders.

The fourth ride in the On Ya Bike! series is to Moriac, leaving from South Barwon Reserve at 9am, next Wednesday, October 24th.  See you there on ya bike!

 

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! 

On Ya Bike! 2018 – Ride 1: Wednesday, 3rd October

History Ride around the Barwon River Trail

Thanks to Rod Charles, our cycling historian for leading this ride, and to Hermann who was his excellent tail end Charlie.

There were over 30 participants, on a pleasant overcast morning. 

Rod began with a short explanation of the founding of the area by Foster Fyans.  Doug provided light entertainment with a newly penned poem “On Ya Bike! – Barwon River Ride”.  There were riders of all abilities and a large variety of bikes – seriously light road bikes, mountain bikes, hybrid bikes, historic bikes like Rod’s Peugeot, at least one e-bike, small wheels, cruisers, Doug’s recumbent Cruzebike and a single speed retro ladies bike.

The group set off around the river path in a clockwise direction.  Several regrouping stops were held, with Doug giving a progressive rendition of AB Patterson’s “Mulga Bill’s Bicycle”.

The river circuits provides lots of options for those who would like a shorter ride.  One or two decided to head straight to coffee from the Queen’s Park Bridge.  The rest completed the circuit through Fyansford Common.

As usual, the service at Barwon Edge was excellent, with the whole group served coffee (and other refreshments) with friendly speed.

2018 is our 11th year of On Ya Bike! as part of the Seniors Festival.  With around 100 participants each year, in the last 10 years, we’ve had about 1000 riders.

On Ya Bike! 2 – Lara

Next Wednesday’s ride in the 2018 On Ya Bike! series is to Lara.

The ride begins at 9am, on Wednesday 10th October, at Rippleside Park, near the Adventure Playground.  It’s an easy ride, along quiet roads and paths, of around 36km distance.  There are a couple of small hills.

The ride will be lead by Helen.

See you ON YA BIKE! 

More photos from the Barwon River Circuit ride…

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.

Remembering Russell Mockridge: Sunday16th September, 2018

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.

Legends Plaza, Kardinia Park, Geelong, 9am

Drysdale Ride:  Reenactment of Russell Mockridge’s first bike race*

Before the Sunday ride from Legends Plaza Kardinia Park, David Kelly, from the Legends Plaza Trust, addressed the group about the plaza, and Russell Mockridge’s place within it.  Only those who grew up in Geelong, and were at the forefront of their sport, both in Australia and internationally, are honoured.

The ride, lead by Doug Merritt and Rod Charles, went first to the former Geelong Amateur Cycling Club rooms in East Geelong, then along the rail trail to Drysdale.  After a brunch stop Cafe Zoo, and more discussion about Russell Mockridge, the group returned via the road route.  Two Olympians, John Hine and Don Allen were among the 27 cyclists.  The weather very cold and blustery but no rain.

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

*Russell Mockridge turned up for a ride with Geelong Amateur Cycling Club one morning in 1946.  He’d never raced before, and was unknown to any of the other riders.  Bespectacled, and dressed in shorts, jumper and white shirt, and normal work shoes (but with leather thongs to bind his shoes to the pedals) he paid his entry fee and lined up with the rest of the field.  It was a handicap race, and as a new rider, Russell was sent off at the front of the field.  After a while, he asked if those with him would mind if he went on ahead.  They were happy to let him do so, expecting this raw amateur on a ‘normal everyday bike’ would soon run out of puff and they’d pass him again.  This didn’t happen!   He was seen by some of the faster riders on the return journey as the were still on their way to Drysdale, by which time he was 7 miles ahead.  Hearing this, the  club handicapper checked with the drinkers at the Drysdale pub whether Russell had ‘gone around the tree’ – which was near the current roundabout outside the hotel, and the turning point in the race.  “He’s been and gone,” they replied.  Before the handicapper had time to return in his car, Russell was back at the start/finish of the race.  No one was there.  Soon a few early spectators arrived, to enjoy the park and cheer the cyclists as they finished, only to find Russell already finished.  When the handicapper arrived, it’s reported that Russell was sitting in the gutter.  He had finished seven and a half minutes ahead of the front of the field.  A new chapter of cycling history was about to begin…

This information about Russell Mockridge’s first race is from Rod, Charles book, A Whirr of Many Wheels, Volume 3. 

The cyclists leave Legends Plaza to reenact Russell Mockridge’s first race with ride to Drysdale…

 About the Remembering Russell Mockridge weekend

The weekend was initiated by Tim Alexander from Albury who made a preliminary visit to Geelong to ride with Rod Charles and Coralie Jenkin to Drysdale and plan the event.

Rod Charles invited Doug Merritt to MC the weekend.  Doug’s planning for the rides was meticulous, including rest stops, and contingency plans for inclement weather.

Jason Hunt, a non-Cycling Geelong member, came out of the blue to initiate a social media campaign which proved very effective in finding outsiders who may be interested in joining locals.  From his contacts, Melbourne based Ray Bowles, a cycling photographer from the 1980s attended the days and recorded the events.

To gauge numbers, a Trybooking site was established by Tim Alexander, who also organised the Saturday evening Q&A.

Our special thanks to Rod Charles, Doug Merritt and Tim Alexander.  Thanks also to cycling photographer Ray Bowles, authors Martin Curtis, Daniel Oakman, Ben Schofield, Marcus Arnold and Rod Charles, John Hine, Don Allen and other cyclist friends of Russell Mockidge, the Mockridge family and all who attended the events on the this most successful weekend.  Thanks to John Hagan for photos of the Geelong ride on 15th September.