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! 

Around the Bay in a Day – Dave’s story

Thanks to Dave Simpson for his take on Around the Bay 2018.

Richard, Peter and Dave

Having experienced the difficult start at Rippleside last year (the start line had been placed at the beginning of the ramp up to the Esplanade, causing many people to fall off as they were starting in too high a gear) we decided to hang at the back of the crowd and to let the crowd get out of the way. This worked well when we did eventually get going as for some reason the start was delayed by 15 minutes.

We set off in the dark for Queenscliff, saying hello to some of our team of CG volunteers on marshaling duty as we went past. The ride down to Queenscliff was fine, no delays and importantly, no wind. We decided it was going to be hard to get onto the 8am ferry owing to the late start (and it would be crowded).  So I decided to resist the calls of the people on ticketing duty at Queenscliff, who were trying to give us 8am tickets, and we held out for tickets for the 9am ferry and had a coffee, having found a seat in the sun at the Marina.

Consequently the ferry journey was great, the ferry was only about half full and we sailed off into the fog which had come in from the bay.

We arrived at Sorrento at 9:50am and got straight out on the road and made good time, stopping off a few times for necessary ‘natural breaks’. There was still just a very light wind, cross/tail, and the other riders were well behaved. I think we had managed to fall into a very well placed time window as the 210km riders hadn’t arrived yet and the 200km ‘Sorrento Return’ riders were just arriving so we didn’t have to contend with too many large pelotons whizzing past!

We eventually got to our lunch stop at Frankston and after a nice rest in the sun we headed off for the final run, with the wind, up to the finish at Albert Park, making sure that we crossed the finish line together!

My certificate says my total ride time was 7hr24m, and my Strava timing says I did the 100km Sorrento-Melb in 4hr41m, including a 30min stop for lunch. Our average speed was 22km/hr.

After (another) coffee we set off to Southern Cross to get the train home.

A big thankyou to my fellow riders, Pete and Richard, and to the team of volunteers.

–Dave

 

Around the Bay in a Day: Sunday 7th October, 2010 – 1

Stephanie and Geoff’s ATB

Thanks to Stephanie for this ride report and photos.

Geoff and I rode the 50km Route from Albert Park to Williamstown and back.  The day was fantastic with perfect weather conditions for riding.   With 10,000 riders registered for the day riding from 20-210 kms it showed the motorists on the Westgate Bridge …. cycling is now here  to stay and grow!

Geoff and I had no issues with the younger kids, most riding responsibly all day.

The climb over the Westgate Bridge and back wasn’t hard and we had plenty of room taking up 2 lanes of the bridge.The views from the top were superb, many stopped and took photos.

Surprisingly most motorists accepted a very  long wait and didn’t abuse us or other cyclists! FANTASTIC

With over 80 cyclists registered as Members of Cycling Geelong it would be good to see a Team of 6 to 8.

(Editor’s note:  Congratulations to Stephanie and Geoff on their personal achievement.  We also had club 20 members and friends working as volunteers on ATB and 2 members at the Cycling Geelong stand at the Humans in Geelong Expo.)

If you participated in Around the Bay, or volunteered the event, please send in a ride report and your photos so we can share them with other club members.  Send to Helen.

St Arnaud Tour – Day 1: 28th September

The group set off at 8.30 from Allan’s place, with Nick driving the bus.  (Thanks Nick for once again giving up Grand Final weekend to support the club.)  Heather and Edena, Helen and Sally drove independently.  Stephanie and Geoff had taken an extra day, and gone to St Arnaud on Thursday.   Allan, who, along with Kelly, had planned the trip, was unable to attend.  We kept him posted with regular Facebook updates.

Kara Kara Winery was the first stop, which a pause to hear about the Goldfields wine district, check out the wines, and make a few discreet purchases.

After a quick settle in at the St Arnaud Caravan Park, it was off to lunch.  The bakery had run out of food, but the alternative, a newly opened cafe,  The Dabbling Duck, was excellent.

Lunch at the Dabbling Duck

A 20km tour of St Arnaud, including the Wax Gardens, bush lookout, steam engine and Love Cottage (a National Trust property and the oldest miner’s hut still standing) gave the legs a stretch after the long bus ride.  Some (your author included) whinged about the loose gravel, but the bushland and lookout were worth the angst.  Early wildflowers were spotted by those ‘with eyes to see’ in the Wax Gardens.

Dinner was at the St Arnaud Sportsman’s Club.

On Ya Bike! 2018

Starts tomorrow!

Starters at Balyang 2017

Our very popular ride series On Ya Bike! for the Seniors Festival begins tomorrow with History Around the Barwon led by our very own cycling historian Rod Charles.

Come along to Balyang Sanctuary car park at 9am.  The ride is 20km, with coffee at Barwon Edge

The series is every Wednesday during October.  Rides are:

Date Title Starting time & Place Distance Grade and details
Wednesday 3rd October Historical around the Barwon 9:00am

Balyang Sanctuary Car Park, Marnock Road, Newtown

20km Easy (all bike paths)
Wednesday 10th October Lara via Hovells Creek path 9:00am Rippleside Park (near Adventure Playground) 36km Easy (mainly sealed bike paths)
Wednesday 17th  October Drysdale via Bellarine Rail Trail 9:00am Bellarine Rail Trail (cnr Tucker Street/Carr Street)

near Showgrounds entrance

36km Easy (mainly sealed bike paths)
Wednesday 24th October Moriac South Barwon Reserve, entrance, Barwon Heads Road,

 

50km Medium (some hills)
Wednesday 31st October Allan’s Mystery Ride 8:30am, Rippleside Park (near Adventure Playground) 60-80km Medium/hard (sealed roads)
    Riders need to be able to maintain an average of around 20kph for this ride. 

 

 

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 – 2

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, September 15th, 2018, 6pm, Russell Mockridge Pavilion, Cycling Criterium Circuit, Belmont, Geelong

Remembering Russell Mockridge – Meet the Authors

Five authors who have written cycling history books were present to present a Q&A, with a focus on Russell Mockridge.

Over fifty people attended this most successful event. Most attending were from out of town, including several closely associated with Russell during his life.  The forum was planned and implemented by Tim Alexander.  The panel included authors Martin Curtis (Russell Mockridge: The Man in Front), Daniel Oakman  (Oppy: the Life of Sir Hubert Oppermann), Ben Schofield (Wheel Life: Cycling recollections of the 1950s and 60s), Marcus Arnold (Reginald Arnold: SixDayMan),and Rod Charles (A Whirr of Many Wheels – Cycling in Geelong: A chronicle).  The discussion was lead by Martin Curtis and the evening compered by  Doug Merritt.  The pavilion, home of the Geelong Cycling Club, was given free of charge.  Light refreshments were provided by Tim Alexander and the The Bicycle Baker of Albury, and Jason Hunt free of charge.  A sound system  was provided by Tim Alexander and costs recouped from attendees voluntary gifts and from the sale books of the writers sold on the evening.

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

Thanks to Rod Charles for this report.

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

 

World Bicycle Day – A visit to the cinema: Sunday, June 3rd, 2018

Lynton and Dave led seven cyclists – on a ride from Deakin University, Waurn Ponds to Waterland Cinema in Barrabool Road.  The The ride route was via the old Waurn Ponds highway to Hendy Main Road, then north to Barrabool Road.  It was a very cold morning – a frost at the cinema.

The fit pedallers were met by a group of less-energetic drivers for the movie – Le Ride (a documentary about a re-enactment of the Aussie/NZ team in the 1928 Tour de France).  The cinema is in a shearing shed – with its own small cinema – designed by farmer and film buffs Rick and Shiela.  The cinema seats 22 in comfort.  All proceeds from the cinema go to Anam Cara.

Before the film was coffee and chat time – in the foyer/sheep shed.

The film is guaranteed to make modern-day cyclists feel lucky to have modern, safe, light bikes, and bitumen beneath the wheels.  The distances ridden day after day in the 1928 Tour on historic heavy bikes, with dodgy brakes and no gears would make the most intrepid Audax rider blanch!

After the movie, more chat, in the glorious sunshine was the order of the day, before the cyclists, rather reluctantly it seemed, flashed off down Barrabool Road for a fast and direct ride back to the start.  The only negative was the bees who have taken up residence in the shearing shed wall – Margy was stung while brushing a bee from Jeff’s jacket.

Thanks to Lynton for organising this most fitting event to celebrate World Bicycle Day, Dave for being co-leader and
Rick and Shiela for welcoming Cycling Geelong to Waterland Cinema.