Red Rock Ride – Sunday, November 17th, 2019

Thirteen enthusiastic participants attended Allan’s annual Red Rock ride, first ridden at least 10 years ago. Riders were Allan, Russell, Kelly, Karen, Hermann, Barbara, Dirk, Peter S, Swee, Ian, David S and Kevin with Heather driving the sag wagon.

There were two ride options, of 46km and 70km, with Kelly leading the shorter (medium grade) ride and Kelly the long (hard grade) ride.  This year’s rides begain at Beeac (following the closure of one of our favourite cafes, Cafe Rooke at Corrorooke).

As is often the case, there were issues with weather.  This year it was a strong southerly wind, which plagued the riders for all but the final Colac-Beeac leg.  The lunch stop was at a bakery in Colac, which was great but busy.  Once again the newly refurbished trailer did a fantastic job.

One of the good things was the lush green countryside.  Visual highlights also included a beautiful roadside garden, and some bales of hay done up for Santa.  Traffic was light (and there is a wide sealed shoulder on the highway section).  David S. learned that it’s not advisable to attempt to video a low-flying plane while cycling, and a couple of riders may have over-extended themselves with the distances attempted.  (It’s a good idea to realise that riding further than usual, with a set time, may be difficult, especially if there’s a strong wind.  Don’t be embarrassed to use the friendly service of the sag wagon.)

It was a great day’s adventure, and Allan plans to continue the tradition of Red Rock rides again next year.  Keep watching the ride calendar for details.

 

Goldfields Tour 2019 – Heathcote

Gold fields 2019 Travel & Ride Report

From Allan Marshall – Tour leader, chief planner and guide extraordinaire! 

Three cars set off from Allan’s place at 8 45 am, driven by George Belcher, Kevin Clingan, and with Nick driving Allan’s car and towing the newly renovated bike trailer.

The adventurers ready to leave from Geelong

We only made one stop at Woodend then travelled through the lovely granite rocky hills past Lancefield. We arrived at the Heathcote Bakery at about 11.35am for lunch before checking in at Heathcote Queen Meadow Caravan Park to get ready to ride.

Day 1 ride – Heathcote Environs

Led by Kelly, this ride went first to the Pink Cliffs Geological Reserve, then along High St to Argyle, where the ride turned and onto Forest Drive to the Powder Magazine building then onto North Costerfield Rd, in the McIver Ranges.  It was here that Kelly decided to cut the ride short so there was time to enjoy wine & beer tastings back in town. The ride took the road along the creek reserve and back to High Street (Northern Highway) at Heathcote Winery.  They didn’t answer my phone call early in the week so were understaffed for the 22 riders plus Nick and Heather.  Wine was sampled, and some bought.  Next it was beer tasting or coffee at Palling’s Brewery.  Finally, those who had stood the distance went for more wine tasting at Heathcote Wine Hub which received thumbs up for both tastings and tapas.   Allan drove Richard up Viewing Rock that overlooks the town and offered to take others wanting to go but no takers.  Dinner this night was at The Commercial Hotel, at 6pm.

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Day 2 Ride – Merindoc Wineries and Tooborac Hotel

The ride to Merindoc Wineries led by Allan.  Starting at 9am we arrived at 10 30am.  It was a slow ride with a South Eastly head wind.  We rode single file on the shoulder of the Northern Highway to Tooborac, to the Merindoc Vineyard just around the corner on the Lancefield Rd.  They gave a nice talk on their wines and the reason for the soil and what they do to the vines.  I learnt a lot. It was a good speech over tastings & finger foods.

Then we were back on the bikes to the Boutique Brewery & pie bakery at the Tooborac Hotel for lunch with a 12-2 booking.  They catered for all types of meals.  Nick took the car and trailer to cart the grog and as sag wagon for a couple of tired cyclists.  The return was via the same route for most riders.  Six hardy riders attempted the more difficult (hilly and gravel) ride route along to Old Dairy Flat Rd to Heathcote 6 riders took up the challenge. Allan lead the rest back on the Northern at speeds of up to 40k at times total distance 36 km.  I am proud of Denise who rode well and was always up on the wheel of the leaders.  Well done, after 2 years ago!  Keep it up Denise.  Then on Saturday afternoon, we watched the Grand Final at various places.  (Editor’s note – Knapps Cottage, where Helen and Stella were staying, was declared a ‘footy free’ zone with tea and birdsong on the veranda for Tina, Heather, Edena, Sally, Helen and Stella.)

BBQ tea was at the Caravan Park Camp Kitchen.  Everyone had a good time. Dirk lit the fire, which was most welcome, especially when the chill came down after sunset.  The barbecues were a male-only zone, supervised most ably by George and Richard (who kept the vegan hotplate pristine – even supplying gluten-free fried onions as needed).  Thanks to Heather and Edena for making sure all goodies were prepared, and to Allan with his foresight in pre-ordering the excellent meat.  Finally, the whole camp was led in a sing-along by Richard and Tina on ukuleles.

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Day 3 Ride – Bendigo on O’Keefe Rail Trail

The plan was to pack up and leave Caravan Park by 9am to commence ride on The O’Keefe Rail trail of 49 kilometres.  We got away a bit late “But all was ok in the end”.  Allan organised a car shuffle, with cars taken to Axedale, then Nick bringing the drivers back to Heathcote to ride.  Karen and Kelly each led for half each.

We parted with Helen and Stella at Knowsley then we somehow parted with Tina to drive her car to Bendigo.  We are booked in for lunch at The Tavern in Axedale, in the room that can cater for 25 people.

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The ride finishes at The Lake Weeroona.  Nick again took the drivers to Axedale to pick up their cars, while the rest of us loaded the bikes on the trailer.  Then we all headed for home. Some went for coffee at the coffee man (pity they forgot to ask Allan, who was loading the bikes, if he’d like one!).

Total riding distance day 3 – 54 km.  Everyone made it, with only one puncture (Dirk’s – about 5km from the Lake).

We headed for home via the Calder Highway Gisborne & Bacchus Marsh arrived at Allan’s just before 6 30 pm and unloaded some bikes, then wheeled the loaded trailer into Allan’s garage for rest of the owners to pick up their bikes the next day.

I believe everyone had a good time so we will ride again somewhere in the Golden triangle next year. We all would like to say a big thankyou to Nick for his support on these rides I believe Nick is spending time with the boys next year only Thanks mate.

The Terrific Treadly Trailer

I defy anyone to say the trailer didn’t do an excellent job.  This is the best fit out we have ever had.  Even the ladies in the group were helping with the loading and I heard Tina say she could use it for some away Moonlight rides.  Please use it. It’s there for all the members to use as long as the towing car has full comprehensive Insurance and the driver has a full licence and towing experience.  (Editor’s note: Kevin, who was driving behind the trailer, commented that the bikes did not move at all.)

Trailer trial loading – Thursday ride, August, 2019

Many Thanks for your Company Allan Marshall

 Thanks to Allan Marshall, our Goldfields Tour leader for this most comprehensive report.  Thanks to Allan and other tour participants for photos.

 

Better than brand new: Trailer refurbishment

The trailer is transformed.  Allan and Kelly have spent many hours reconfiguring and strengthening the Cycling Geelong bike trailer.  This will not only make it safer and fix problems exposed in the original design, but will make the trailer much easier to load and unload.

Thanks to Allan and Kelly and their engineer welder mate for this wonderful transformation.  The trailer is now ready for this year’s Goldfields weekend which it based around Heathcote.

The Bikes of Wrath – A literature cycling challenge

The Bikes of Wrath is a documentary film made to reenact the journey depicted in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath

Five Australians attempt to cycle 2600kms from Oklahoma to California in honour of the westward migration undertaken by ‘The Grapes of Wrath’s’ Joad family. Through chance encounters with everyday Americans, the cyclists expand on the novel’s core themes of migration, inequality and the perceived land of opportunity. The group explores whether America has progressed since the book was written, discussing the wealth gap, immigration and the American Dream. The fascinating people they meet along the way reveal the enduring strength of human spirit despite the inequality and disenfranchisement which runs as deep today, as it did in Steinbeck’s seminal novel. The Bikes of Wrath is a unique, funny and insightful documentary filled with adventure, literature, music, and human connection.

A Geelong screening of The Bikes of Wrath will be given on Thursday 28th February at 6.30pm at the Pivotonian Cinema in South Geelong.  https://tickets.demand.film/event/6923

Goldfields Tour 2019 – update and venue change

27-30 September 2019 (Grand Final Weekend)

After much research, the venue for this year’s Cycling Geelong Goldfields Tour will be Heathcote.*  Accommodation will be at Heathcote Queen Meadow Caravan Park.  Allan has already booked the available cabins.

The O’Keefe Trail will be on the itinerary, and a winery visit or two.  Allan, Karen and Kelly have already visited, ridden some of the area, and checked out wineries and eating out venues.

Please contact Allan (03 5275 2612 MB 0418992672) if you’d like to be part of this tour.

*The main reason for the change is the lack of accommodation in Rushworth, and the unlikelihood of getting sufficient numbers for the original holiday park.

Goldfields Tour 2019 – News flash

Our avid tour leader, Allan, along with hench-cyclists Karen and Kelly have been busy since new year researching the Goldfields Tour – 2019.  Once again the tour is on Grandfinal Weekend – September 27-29th.

This year’s base will be near Rushworth – at a holiday camp on the shores of Lake Waranga.  https://www.lakewaranga.com/?page_id=23

A minimum number of 30 is required to secure this accommodation, which contains shared rooms with single beds and bunks, large, well appointed bathrooms, huge kitchen and communal areas and easy access to the lake and local attractions.

The group will travel via Heathcote, and, naturally, the area abounds with wineries!

The rides will be on quiet roads, with some gravel sections, and the Murchison-Rushworth Rail Trail.  Therefore Allan recommends that participants bring bikes with wider tyres – at least 35mm.

Murchison-Rushworth Rail Trail

Please let Allan (0418 992 672) know as soon as possible whether you are interested in attending this year’s Goldfields Tour.  This will allow Allan to decide whether it is plausible to book the holiday camp.

Because a firm booking must be made, and a minimum number of 30 is required to secure the holiday camp, there will be a non-refundable deposit required, payable around Easter.

It is expected that, as on previous tours, a bus and bike transport will be provided.

Goldfields Tour 2018

Map of the area of the 2019 Goldfields Tour

Warrnambool – Port Fairy Rail Trail: November 5 & 6, 2018

Thanks to Barbara van der Burg for this report.

Warrnambool to Port Fairy rail Trail ride

 Six eager riders Dirk, Barbara Carla, John, Dave S, and Lynton  met at the Geelong station in time to catch the 8:32 am train to Warrnambool on a grey looking Monday morning.

We all had reserved seats and our bikes were safely handed into the guard’s van for our trip to Warrnambool. Time passed quickly and a coffee and muffin was very welcome morning tea giving us the energy for the first half of the ride to Koroit  for our late lunch.

Sky was overcast and clouds threatened rain but the ride was mostly dry.

The track was firm packed gravel but with lots of embedded small rocks making the going as bit tough for Carla’s hybrid bike.  Lunch was a welcome break as the stiff headwind made the going a bit tough even though the gradient was small. We enjoyed our lunch break at Koroit and headed off with renewed vigour with Dave promising a downhill ride into Port Fairy.

Downhill it was but the stiff headwind made it seem an uphill push.  Once we arrived in Port Fairy we all enjoyed a coffee break and the clouds cleared to show a sunny afternoon for our ride round the town visiting all the sights that our two tour guides in Carla and Lynton had in store for us.

After exploring the town we went to our accommodation to shower and change ready for dinner at the local pub.  All riders retired after 9:30pm to rest up for the ride home in the morning.

Weather forecast for Tuesday promised  some rain and a tail wind which we all eagerly hoped for to speed the ride back to Warrnambool.

Breakfast at the Hub at 7 am meant that we were on the road at 7:45 to catch the 11:43 train back to Geelong.

As promised the rain came down for the first 6 Kilometers but then eased up and stopped. Unfortunately the promised tailwind didn’t happen so we were on our own with pedal power with no assist.

We stopped at Korouit to look at the Old Station buildings. Some very friendly locals happily shared information about the area as well as acted as photographer.

When we nearly reached Warrnambool the boys spotted a very steep track and walked up to take a look at the vista – both inland and to the ocean.

We arrived back at Warrnambool Station early enough to hose down our muddy bikes before the safe trip back to Geelong.

A great two days ride by 6 keen Cycling Geelong Club members.