Remembering Russell Mockridge: Sunday16th September, 2018

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.

 

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Remembering Russell Mockridge:  Saturday 15th September, 2018 – 1

Remembering Russell Mockridge: Saturday 15th September, 2018 – 1

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, 15th September, 9am, Balyang Sanctuary Car Park, Newtown, Geelong

Mockridge Tour – a cycle ride around points of significance in and around Geelong.

Doug Merritt, of Cycling Geelong, led about 20 riders from Balyang in terrible conditions – rain, cold and wind – for a tour of Geelong visiting places about the city which connected to the life of Russell.   The were participants from Cycling Geelong, Life Activities Geelong, Geelong Touring Cyclists, Geelong Cycling Club and visitors from out of town.   Also in attendance were Johne Hine, a local Olympian and Russell Mockridge’s nephew, Robert Mockridge.

From Balyang, the tour took the river path to the steep zig-zag to Pakington Street.  All but an agile and fit few, including GTC’s John Hagan, walked the zig-zag.

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

The first stopping place was The Geelong College, where participants were treated to a tour of the old school, including the hall of famous ex-students, where Russell’s photo features.  From there, a detour to near St Joseph’s showed participants the type of hills Russell could have used for training in Geelong.

Next the tour wended it’s way to Russell’s family home in Roebuck Street, before cycling part of the proposed east-west cycling corridor, along Villamanta Street, and to the Geelong Library and Heritage Centre over the cycle bridge over the railway line on Little Malop Street.

Outside the Mockridge family home in Newtown (Photo: Ray Bowles)

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

Here, the participants had the opportunity to view a historic display about Russell at the Heritage Centre, and take a refreshment break at the newly opened Cafe Public.

The new bike racks at the library are finally full…

As the tour wound its way back to Geelong West, the clouds that had been hovering all morning, became black and angry.

Clouds gathering before the storm

The wind intensified as the group entered the Geelong West Football ground, to cycle the velodrome and hear more about Russell’s racing in and around Geelong.  The storm broke with a tree-bending south-westerly gale, and icy horizontal rain.  Shelter in the grandstand was more than welcome.

With these conditions, it was decided to ‘call it a day’.  The tour was truncated, with a plan to complete the ride in the next month or so.  (Keep an eye on the Cycling Geelong Ride Calendar to find out the date and time.)

Thanks to John Hagan for photographs.

Russell Mockridge with the winner’s trophy, Sun Tour, 1957

 

Russell Mockridge Memorial Weekend:  September 15 & 16, 2018

Russell Mockridge Memorial Weekend: September 15 & 16, 2018

Saturday, September 15th

  • Geelong Memories Ride – 9am, Balyang Sanctuary car park ( Map )- Local ride of places of significance in Russell’s growing up in Geelong.  Ride leader – Doug Merritt .
  • Memorial Gathering with Q&AAuthors’ talk with refreshments:  Russell Mockridge Pavilion, 1 Barwon Heads Rd Belmont ( Map) 6-7.30pm.  Speakers include Rod Charles, Dan Oakman, Marcus Arnold, Martin Curtis and Ben Schofield

Sunday, September 16th

  • Russell Mockridge Memorial Ride – Legends Plaza, Kardinia Park, South Geelong (Map)- Geelong to Drysdale – to mark the route of Russell Mockridge’s first cycle race.  (Alternative off-road route via Bellarine Rail Trail)  Ride leader:  Rod Charles
  • Rod Charles is the author of A Whirr of Many Wheels: Cycling in Geelong,  A Chronicle

Bookings via Trybooking Russell Mockridge Ride

Remembering Russell Mockridge Weekend

September 15th & 16th

A weekend of cycling events to mark the 60th anniversary of the death of Russell Mockridge, local and international cycling star, tragically killed while competing in The Tour of Gippsland on 13th September, 1958.
Saturday September 15thBike ride of significant sites in Geelong area, starting 9am at Balyang Sanctuary.
Dinner – details and venue TBA to commemorate Russell’s life.
Sunday, September 16th – Geelong-Drysdale ride (cyclists’ choice of on road or on the Bellarine Rail Trail).

All cyclists are invited to attend.  Some volunteers needed to support the rides.  Please contact Doug to volunteer.

Thanks to Cycling Geelong members Doug Merritt and Rod Charles who, along with Tim Alexander (from Albury) for taking on the organisation of this event.

Barwon River Circuit:  27th January, 2018

Barwon River Circuit: 27th January, 2018

Alex led 20+ cyclists on the circuit.  We had two new riders – Roman and his daughter Lily.  Lily is probably our youngest rider ever and did the ride from the comfort of dad’s small-wheeled trike, which converts into a stroller.

There was a rowing regatta so a dismount was needed near Moorabool Street.  Otherwise, the path as reasonably quiet.  The ride strung out with lots of gaps to allow other path users plenty of space.  Passing under the Queen’s Park Bridge, the first bunch of Cadel Evans People’s riders came through.  David estimated that, to have made this point before 10am, these riders must have averaged around 40kph.  They were riding very strongly and looked as if the Aphrasia climb and Melville Avenue ‘wall’ would be no problem.

As usual, the coffee break was at Barwon Edge.  While sitting there, resting and enjoying refreshments, it was enjoyable to watch the later people’s riders on the lower slopes of the Challambra climb on the other side of the river.  By this time (around 11am), it was the average recreational cyclists making the climb.  The distance and hills were beginning to take their toll on some riders. 

Thanks to Alex for leading this most enjoyable ride.

Congratulations to all our Cycling Geelong members who rode in the Cadel Evans GOR People’s ride this morning – Margy, Kevin, Doug, David S, and any others.  It’s a wonderful achievement whichever ride you chose.  Thanks also to Stephanie and Geoff who were marshalling.  (I think I spotted a glimpse of Stephanie on the lower part of the Chalambra climb – directing the riders past a central road island – they were moving too quickly to be sure.)

On my ride back home, I enjoyed a spin down Church Street.  There were still riders completing the Cadel Evans People’s Ride 110km course at that time (around 12am).

Later, after watching the women’s event live, I cruised down to Steampacket Gardens for the presentations.  With the roads still closed to motor traffic, it was an easy quiet ride.

Congratulations to Chloe Hoskins (who also won the Tour Down Under last week).  Chloe also won the sprint jersey.  Congratulations also to the other place getters, Gracie Elvin (2nd) and Georgia Bronzini, and to Katrin Garfoot (Queen of the Mountains), and Sabrina Stultiens who staged an amazing breakaway on the Chalambra climb and was only caught in the last few hundred metres along the waterfront.

National Road Cycling Championships – Buninyong 5-7 January, 2017

As usual, our trusty social coordinators Geoff and Stephanie were working as volunteers for Cycling Australia at Buninyong last weekend.

Thanks to Geoff for this report.

Stephanie & Geoff are working hard to ensure the Womens Road Race is the Success it deserves. We have been out as Course  Marshalls most days on busy streets .. stopping traffic.  It was as hot in Lobethal as it was in Mt. Buninyong …39-41 degrees.

Kimberley Conte …The glamorous  35 year old ..Race Director ( Geoff  said she is Lovely ! )   greatly appreciated our efforts in such hot conditions along with all the other workers  The conditions on the longest day  (Saturday ) been  extremely  windy with  heavy short showers.

Never let anybody under estimate the outstanding fitness and endurance of the Girls in UCI level road racing .

The National titles  in Mt Bunninyong  were as exciting and  we  were  pleased to  see  so many of  our favourite  riders win the Australian  jersey.

Tonight we will  see them again and many of the competitors we know well from our years of involvement at the track and road events as the TDU women and men teams will be presented at the  City of Adelaide Tour Village.

There are plenty of cycling paths around Adelaide that  we  are taking advantage of them.

150th Anniversary of the Bicycle! Celebration weekend

150th-bicycle-patent-anniversary-flyer

Sat Nov 19:

  • 1pm ride led by Cycling Geelong Life Member Rod Charles
    from Geelong West velodrome (cnr Church & Weddell st)
  • 6.30pm spit roast dinner & guest speakers (enter online)
    Geelong West velodrome (cnr Church & Weddell st)

Sun Nov 20: 

  • 9am  swap meet
  • 9am Show & Shine (enter online)pre 1900 bikes
    Vintage racing bikes up to 1960
    racing bikes 1985-2000
    Best Australian bike
    Best overseas bike
  • 1pm Victorian Penny Farthing Championship (enter online

Volunteers wanted

 

Vintage bike collectors Pat and Robin Evans who attends Rod Charles annual Heritage ride is organising the event. If you want to help on the day contact them by email.

Entry online: http://geelongcycling.com/#pennyfarthing