Green Spine – Your action needed

Photo taken after the opening of Geelong’s Green Spine

After council’s decision to rip up the northern side of the Green Spine along Malop Street, and add more cars, we need your help to stop this backward thinking.

The Green Spine will, if completed in it’s original form, run a linear park along Malop Street linking Johnston Park and Eastern Park, and providing a safe cycling route east-west through the CBD.  The aim is to provide a people-friendly precinct, and reduce through traffic using Malop Street. This is a major facet of the City of Greater Geelong’s strategy to remove congestion in our city centre, by having through traffic bypassing the CBD.

Council’s recent decision removes the people friendly aspect of the Green Spine, returning cars and more parking at the expense of pedestrians, on-street cafes etc. and cyclists.  Greenery, seating and the cycle path will be removed from the northern side,  and turning lanes added to the roadway.  Parking will be added on the southern side.  Cyclists travelling east will either travel on the road, or in the existing one way path (which is not nearly wide enough for 2-way traffic).

There are several ways for you to help to have this decision reversed.

1.  Attend events

The next event is a protest rally and ride planned to start at City Hall/Johnston Park at 5.30pm on Friday, March 20th.

You can just turn up (bicycle not essential, but highly recommended) – more details on Facebook

Thanks to all those who came to last week’s Green Spine Action meeting.

2. Contact councilors with your opinions

The destruction of the Green Spine was proposed by Eddy Kontelj.  Those who voted to rip up the spine are listed below.

The anti-green spine councillors are Eddy Kontelj, Stephanie Asher, Anthony Aitken, Kylie Grzybek,Trent Sullivan & Ron Nelson.  The other five councillors, Sarah Mansfield, Bruce Harwood, Path Murnane, Jim Mason and Peter Murrihy voted to retain the spine in its current form.  Even if you haven’t time to send an email, you may have the time to text the anti-Green Spine councillors with a flurry of messages. (Contact details at the bottom of this post are taken from the CoGG website and are in the public domain.)

Images below show draft plans for the first two sections of the Green Spine, adopted by CoGG 2017.

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3. Contact your state politicians

There is a move to overrule the City of Greater Geelong decision – and remove funding to CoGG from the state government if the spine is not retained in its current form.  Malop Street could become a Vic Roads road, removing any responsibility from the state government. State members from both major parties have voiced their support for retaining the Green Spine in its current form.

4.  Talk up the issue. 

Talk to family and friends and ask them to add their voice to saving the green spine.  We need the citizens of Geelong discussing the spine, and acting to save it.  It’s not just about cyclists.   However, the retention of the only potential safe cycling route east-west through the CBD is Cycling Geelong’s focus.  Add your comments to Facebook and other social media.

4.  Ride, walk and shop along the Green Spine

If you’re not a regular in the area, watch out for planned club rides, or come along for a look, walk, coffee, cycle on your own.

Contact details for those councilors who voted to grey the green spine:

Stephanie Asher Ph: 0417 033 856
sasher@geelongcity.vic.gov.au

Kylie Gryzbek Ph: 0434 307 043
kgrzybek@geelongcity.vic.gov.au

Eddy Kontelj Ph: 0455 532 006
ekontelj@geelongcity.vic.gov.au

Anthony Aitken Ph: 0434 307 044
aaitken@geelongcity.vic.gov.au

Trent Sullivan Ph: 0434 307 050
tsullivan@geelongcity.vic.gov.au

Ron Nelson Ph: 0429 531 875
rnelson@geelongcity.vic.gov.au

Contact details for councilors who voted against the motion to obliterate most of the green spine

Let them know that the people of Geelong and Geelong’s cycling community agree with them.

Sarah Mansfield Ph: 0436 343 642
smansfield@geelongcity.vic.gov.au
Bruce Harwood  Ph: 0434 307 042
bharwood@geelongcity.vic.gov.au
Pat Murnane Ph: 0434 307 033
pmurnane@geelongcity.vic.gov.au
Peter Murrihy  Ph: 0434 307 045
pmurrihy@geelongcity.vic.gov.au
Jim Mason Ph: 0434 307 048
jmason@geelongcity.vic.gov.au

Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Ride and Races – Dave’s view

My Cadel Weekend 2020

Race Torquay

Some of the WoW regulars rode to Torquay on the Wed before the Thursday Race Torquay to check out the 13km course. We rode 3 laps in total, with a coffee break between laps 2 and 3. It’s a great course, with a few nice climbs and descents. I wouldn’t like to do 10 laps though!

Race day on the Thursday John M and I were going to ride down and watch at least the Men’s race but after riding the regular CG Thursday ride to Drysdale in the morning I got home and it was just too hot to go and stand in the sun, so I watched the races on the Web, which worked very well.

People’s Ride, Saturday

I was disappointed when I saw that the course had been changed to have everyone ride just the ‘short’ course, but I guess the organisers had to take safety into account as the BOM had predicted pretty bad weather for Sat morning. When I got up, with the plan to ride to the start at Steampacket for 7am, the weather radar was not good! I was in two minds whether to ride at all but things started to clear up and I made the decision to ride up the BRT to Boundary Rd and join the course there. I got there at 8am and everyone who had started at Steampacket were already down the road so I had a great ride on an empty road to Barwon Heads! I started catching up with other riders as I got close to Barwon Heads and then there were lots of people stopped at the various coffee places along Hitchcock Ave. I just rode through, no stops, and made good time back towards Geelong and just got rained on a little as I rode up Boundary Rd towards Eastern Gardens and the finish. I passed through the finish line, collected my freebie water bottle and then rode around the piece of the course I had ‘missed’ back up to the BRT/Boundary Rd corner and then home.

Race Day, Sunday

I rode up the BRT and watched the peloton go past at Boundary Rd. I then rode around the river to my brother’s place in Hamlyn Heights for lunch and to watch the progress of the race on TV. We saw the first climb of Challambra and then we headed out on the bikes and rode around the river path, and got to Scenic Rd just in time to see the peloton come blasting down the hill and squeeze across Queens Park Bridge! We then continued our ride around the river and climbed up the access track to Barwon Blvd and then rode up Challambra. The marshals made us get off the road just where the barriers started at the top, at the 200m point, so we walked a bit further up and watched the two final climbs from about the 50m to go point and on the TV screen at Montpellier.

After the race was over we rode down Scenic Rd and made our way down to the finish line at Steampacket via the East/West Corridor cycle route and the Green Spine and ended up scoring a free Mapei hat and relaxed with a beer. Afterwards as I was riding home via Limeburners Rd one of the Cofidis riders came racing past me, doing at least 30km/hr (having just ridden the 170km race 🙂 and disappeared up the Boundary Rd hill. An easy warm down ride for him, no doubt!

WoW Wednesday – making up for the shortened People’s Ride

We decided to ride the newly modified ‘elite’ race course, to check out the changes that had been made this year. We met, as usual, at Sth Barwon Reserve, which is on the course and headed to Barwon Heads. We made a slight change to the route, going via Lake Rd to get away from the traffic on Barwon Heads Rd but rejoined the correct route at the airport corner. We then continued down to Barwon Heads, and through to Torquay. John M told us that he had seen that Bells Blvd is now closed for roadworks for two months so we had to follow the signed detour up the GOR to Addiscott Rd then via Bones Rd back onto the correct route and through past Bells and Southside before doing the pretty tough climb up Jarosite Rd. We then turned onto Addiscott again, in the other direction, and headed towards Gundrys and Vickerys. It was interesting riding these roads as on other WoW rides we have always ridden them in the other direction. This time the climb up Vickerys was fairly hard, normally we would be racing down there towards the bridge at the bottom!

After that the new route is pretty interesting and we made it through for a coffee at Moriac General Store. We then headed up Cape Otway Rd, Hortips, Considines onto Barrabool Rd and back towards Geelong. There was some discussion about whether everyone wanted to tackle Challambra/Westbury and then Melville Ave but we decided to go for it! Those climbs are hard but the group survived well, just Paul H didn’t make it up Westbury. (I saw him today and he said he made it to the roundabout sign just down from the top, but at that point his pedals refused to turn and he had to stop 🙂 so he rode back down and home ). The rest of the group made it up Melville then down Church etc to Steampacket. At that point John M headed home and I rode with Gerry around the rest of the course to complete it at Sth Barwon.

I am impressed by the changes made to the course. It will be interesting to see if it is used for the Peoples Ride as well as the Elite rides next year.

–Dave

Thanks Dave, for your perspective on this year’s CEGORR.

Start of 2020 People’s Ride – We see that Visit Victoria still hasn’t got it that Geelong isn’t a suburb of Melbourne.

Have your say on the proposed north-south bike route – Moorabool Street section

If you read the press there has been a small, but very angry, negative response to any proposed bike route through High Street, Belmont.  Despite this, the majority of respondents to the numerous city surveys has been positive.

Now there is a move from businesses in South Geelong to stop the proposed section of the route along Moorabool Street, due to a loss of all-day car parking.

If you ever travel from north to south in Geelong by bike, please have your say.  There are three opportunities to view the proposed route and possible alternatives (all of which add time and hazards for cyclists) – at a marquee set up on Moorabool Street (between the Senior Citizens and GMHBA Stadium) where people can come and ask questions on the following dates:

  • Thursday 14 February 8am – 12noon
  • Saturday 16 February 9am – 1pm
  • Tuesday 19 February 11am – 3pm

For more information about the proposed route, and downloads of maps, go to Better Bike Connections

The proposed direct route – a 2-way separated bike path on the west side of Moorabool Street from the Barwon Bridge to Carr Street, then separated bike paths each side of Gheringhap Street to the CBD and Deakin Waterfront Campus.

 

 

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

Cadel Evans GOR Ride – 4

Thanks to David Salamy for this report.

David’s ride bib

I (#448) rode with just one friend (#1705 aka Barry) this year, being my fifth time doing the long 100kms+ ride. As usual we left a little earlier than the official start time. We miss out on the buzz and adrenaline-filled atmosphere but don’t have to deal with the stop-start getaway 😴

Heading out we found two friendly riders tagging along and since we were all comfortable doing around 27kph, we kept each other company until 13th Beach Road. We had gradually caught up to a bunch a few kms before Barwon Heads so we ended up at the head of the bunch for a while, which I always find a bit unnerving 😕

The conditions were ideal with the cloud cover keeping the hot sun out, whilst the wind was moderate and from a favourable direction most of the time.

After our new friends (#675 and #888) stopped for a break, Barry and I picked up the pace and except for a very brief stop so I could open a muesli bar, we hit the Breamlea path. The lead and fastest bunch caught us just as we reached the start of Blackgate Road and boy oh boy were they in a hurry!! It was definitely a race for them as they powered past us slow amateurs! There had to be 50 in the bunch, riding 3, 4 of more abreast, jockeying for position, not wanting to lose contact with the lead pace-setters. Some were over the centre lines with on-coming traffic not far away!! They’re the ones that give all cyclists a bad name!

Anyway, we reached Torquay in good time and stopped at the rest area to grab some food and water before having a well-earned coffee at Moby’s. We saw our earlier friends and it turned they weren’t a couple, she was seven years his senior and was in fact his aunt! Pays not to assume anything these days!

After a relaxed break we took off for the first of the hills. Our solid training meant that we tackled Jan Juc, the three *itches into Bells and the challenging Jarosite Road hills without any drama. The stretch to Forest Road was fine and once we turned North we had a little tail wind to boost our average. I should mention that Barry has just turned 72 and that I struggle to stay with him on the big hills!! I always had him in my sights on Forest Road but it was only after I had finished chatting to #702 aka Greg, that I found some extra energy to bridge the 50-100 metre gap.

So we arrived in Moriac ready for another break and ate or stocked up on fruit, muesli bars, gels and water.

I was happy to forego a second coffee once I discovered they had expresso gels😋

I should mention that a nice touch this year was that fifth time riders had their name on their jersey ‘bib’, so it was a bit of fun noting all the names and saying g’day occasionally. I had joked that everyone was going to have DAVID since both Dave Simpson and had that, but ironically, I never saw another DAVID all day!! Whilst we thought that the female numbers were significantly higher this year, I don’t recall seeing any fifth timers.

Anyway back on the bike! We were really in home territory now! The Hendy Main and Barrabool Road hills to Ceres were no problem although my new back tyre ‘let me down’ (ha ha get it?) in between. Through Ceres and down into Highton I could sense that everyone was starting to focus on the Challambra/Westbury challenge ahead. No chit chat, being careful with the increased traffic and the Highton roundabouts and getting ready for the hard work ahead, no doubt.

All ride I had been  careful to not overwork my left hamstring which I had ‘tweaked’ on a fast lap of the river last Tuesday. Heading up Barwon Boulevard I felt a slight cramp in it but it seemed to hold up okay up to North Valley Road, so I kept a steady rhythm and pushed on. I didn’t want to risk standing up on the pedals so Westbury was just a tough grind. I think I counted my pedal strokes up there but what I really wanted to do was swear my way up!!

I rolled through the The Ridge calling out to Barry to keep going. 😏 Scenic Road downhill was fantastic but we had to stop at the bridge before doing the Aphrasia and Melville climbs. I did my good deed for the day, giving a first timer and non-local the heads-up about Melville 😇 I think the word is finally getting around about our ‘lovely’ hills because the vast majority of riders seemed to handle them very well this year, with no sudden stoppers 😬 Of course, there were a few walkers, even as early as the hills into Bells.

The top of Melville is always a great feeling, even if I always tend to want to cramp all the way home. This year was the best I’ve felt so we enjoyed the quick ride to the Waterfront, especially after I convinced Barry that a sprint finish wasn’t really necessary 😉

The Waterfront was really buzzing with satisfied riders, beautiful weather and lots of family and friends supporting the riders and enjoying the atmosphere. Geelong at its best👍

For those interested in the numbers, Barry and I averaged ~26.7 kph. (That was my average after 125kms since I’d ridden from home via Newtown to meet Barry).

A big thank you to all the club volunteers for helping to make this year’s ride run smoothly and safely. Also a big thank you to anyone who got out and gave us encouragement along the course, it’s always much appreciated.

Me on Westbury

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).