Cadel Evans GOR People’s Ride – the 65km route

Thanks to Margy for this report and photos of her ride with George and Kevin, and her volunteering for the Elite Men’s event on Sunday.  .

George, Margy and Kevin at the start

With the probable confusion of finding each other amidst 3500 riders, George, Kevin and I rendezvoused in Car Park on  Yarra Street, and made our way together to mingle with the excited riders at the starting line.

We actually started in a faster group than we had designated, and although it was extremely orderly, I found the pace a tad fast heading into a head wind on way to Barwon Heads. Thanks to my gentlemanly co riders and their support, we made the rest area at Barwon Heads in good time.  After skulling a bottle of Lucozade, my legs started turning, adrenaline kicked in and the three of us had a wonderful ride along 13th Beach and home stretch including some fast peddling all along Horseshoe Bend Road.

Another great experience to be involved with fellow Cycle Geelong members.

Sunday I was a Volunteer for the Elite Men’s Race, which was an eye opener to the organizing of the event.  First placement was at car park along Eastern Beach. Quite a serious role with erecting a street barracade sign, and stopping groups of tourists quite insistent on carrying their picnic baskets across the road from the car park to the beach.

Next marshall spot was on a quiet stretch of Barwon Blvd, stopping cars from entering from Cedar Grove.

An interesting exercise to observe the amount of police, support vehicles and traffic control to run the event safely.

Margy

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Cadel Evan’s People’s Ride and races – 3

Dave Simpson’s report on his ride:

I had a great day, conditions were perfect. I had planned to start further back than usual this year to avoid being constantly passed by other riders so got away from the line at 07:25.  I rode on Boundary Rd with Peter Horan, occasional WoW rider, until South Barwon reserve where I made a quick pitstop.  I had a good ride down to Barwon Heads as we had a closed road in the Southerly direction and I managed to keep up a 30-35km/hr speed. I saw Doug along Blackgate Rd until he turned right, heading back to Geelong, and I turned left towards Torquay. Further on I saw Jeff Peck at the Torquay rest stop. Then it was on through the hills at Bells and onto a fast ride up Forrest Rd with a slight tail wind.  I saw David Salamy fixing a puncture on Barrabool Rd at Ceres but flashed past and couldn’t stop!   Then it was up the final climbs of Challambra, Westbury and Melville and then the annoying sets of traffic lights (all red 🙂 on the way back to the finish line. I managed an overall average speed of 23.5km/hr, slightly slower than last year.  I briefly stopped to say hello and congrats to Margy, who was at the finish line, then I headed home to rest!  A great day (and I’ve already signed up for next year’s ride).

I’ve attached a couple of pics (one taken by Linda Salamy on Challambra).

…and I watched the men’s race yesterday at the summit of Westbury. It’s amazing the way the pros ride up that climb!  Shame that Caleb couldn’t get the win, he was looking good each time we saw him go past.

–Dave S

David Salamy also completed the long course.  Thanks to Linda for the photos of David and Dave on Westbury (the last part of the Challambra Climb).

 

 

Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race – more photos

Our Cycling Geelong volunteers for Sunday’s Elite Men’s Road Race.

 

Robert, Mike C, Helen, Margy and Hermann

Robert reports that his first placement was along Boundary Road before moving to be a field-of-play marshal at Queen’s Park Bridge.  His role was to wave a flag directing the cyclists onto the bridge.  You may have seen him on TV!

Charlotte was at Barwon Heads.

Richard volunteered on Sunday 20th and Saturday and spotted this crocheted bike along the course.  Another of Fiona’s creations?

Geelong themed yarn bombed bike along the course for the 2019 Cadel Great Ocean Road Race

“Pearly” spotted near Lara in September 2010, before she popped up around the course at the World Championships held in Geelong.

 

Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race 2019

One volunteer’s experience

The Elite Women’s ride – Saturday 26th January

As we arrived at Deakin Waterfront at 10am, there were already cyclists arriving back at the finish line after achieving the 35 or 65 km rides.

We were deployed into buses around the course for the Elite Women’s race.  My first position was on Boundary Road, about 100 metres past the official race starting point, which was on Boundary Road near Portarlington Road.  The whole group of elite cyclists flashed past in the blink of an eye, then it was off for us in the bus for a quick break at the Barwon Valley Fun Park (toilets, not playtime) before redeployment.  Our group was near Queen’s Park Bridge.  By sheer luck I was placed at the top of the course’s last short, but extremely steep hill, on Melville Avenue!  Flash past? – the cyclists did not!  The women’s race only completes one circuit, so the first riders up here had a very good chance of winning.  By this point, the race was very fragmented, with at least 10 minutes between the first group and the last rider.

They all had one thing in common – this was a hard climb!  Without exception, the cyclists were in their lowest gear and off their seats for the steepest part!

A small crowd of cycling fans and locals were assembled and cheered the riders, from first to last.

By the time we were collected and returned to the Waterfront, it was all over.  Who won?  We only heard later!

Sunday, 27th January – Elite Men’s Ride

As the elite men’s ride included the whole course to Barwon Heads, Torquay, Bells Beach and Moriac, as well as an extra 3 complete circuits of the Geelong course, marshals were bidden to be at Deakin Waterfront by 8.45am.  Once again, buses deployed us around the course.

My first placement was on Barwon Heads Road, in Marshall, opposite Barwarre Road.  A group of 3 had formed a breakaway, and, despite the closeness to the start, were already minutes ahead of the field.  The peleton showed no interest in chasing, and were cycling at a sedate pace – 35, 40, 45 kph – who can tell but, in Rod’s words it was ‘a whirr of many wheels’.

Our road closures removed, we were once again redeployed.

Once again, I was fortunate – marshaling pedestrians crossing Western Beach Road on the corner of Gheringhap Street – around 300 metres from the finish.  The cyclists passed this point four times, the last one flat out in the sprint finish.

Once again, it wasn’t till later that we learned the placings.

Elite Women’s Ride

  1.  Arlenis Sierra (Cub) Astana Women’s Team
  2. Lucy Kennedy (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott Women
  3. Amanda Spratt (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott Women

Elite Men’s Race

  1. Elia Viviani (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep
  2. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal
  3. Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott

Helen Lyth (Route Marshal)

Add to the CEGORR 2019 story

Cycling Geelong members, please send in your own stories and photos of the 2019 Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and People’s Ride so we can share them on this website.

 

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.

 

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