Ted Wilson Trail Update

Church Street end now re-opened, but beware of temptation

Finally, after over a year, the Church Street end of the Ted Wilson Trail and western end of Church Street have reopened.

The shared path along Church Street that leads to the Ted Wilson Trail (newly re-opened Church Street on the left)

However, avoid the temptation of the new sweeping path down the hill to Fyansford!

The path makes and abrupt halt at the bottom of the long hill – at the edge of the estate.  When it will be finished nobody knows.  Cyclists need to pedal back up the hill and take the usual route along Hyland Street to access Fyansford.

“Fyansford” end of the new path from Church Street to Fyansford

Riding along the re-opened Ted Wilson Trail isn’t all roses either.  The path is seriously overgrown with weeds, which are beginning to compromise the integrity of the path surface.  Hopefully, CoGG will soon rectify this.  (If you have Snap, Send, Solve  on your phone – send in a request to have this fixed.  The more people who do so, the more likelihood of fast action.)

We note that the Ted Wilson Trail is now closed between Bacchus Marsh Road and Anakie Road for 5 months from 8th January till 8th June.  Cyclists detour to Matthews Road, and have to negotiate the very busy multi-land roundabout at Cox, Anakie and Matthews Road.

Path closure sign on Ted Wilson Trail near Pioneer Road.

Were you out riding of Friday? Were you assaulted too?

This incident came to our attention today.

A local cyclist was riding back from Anglesea on Friday morning when he was struck on the back by an egg thrown from a car. The following car swerved into the bike lane just missing him tooting its horn. Fortunately he didn’t fall off but was shocked.
Riding into Torquay he thought he would check the McDonald’s car park and sure enough both cars were parked there. After photographing them he headed to the Police station opposite.
The police were quick to respond and after interviewing  those responsible and obtaining admissions are looking to charge them.
The Torquay Police would be interested in hearing from anyone else who was hit by eggs on Friday, as the cyclist involved has a feeling he was not the only one.

Please pass this message on to any other cyclists you know may have been cycling in the Anglesea-Torquay area on Friday.

A Penny Farthing for your thoughts: Sunday 28th June, 2015

Three cyclists, Michael L, David F and Helen took part in this morning’s ride which was a circuit from South Barwon Reserve to the historic bikes exhibition at 123 Retro Antiques this weekend.

150628 penny farthings

Conditions were perfect for a ride west to near Mount Moriac before circling back down the old Waurn Ponds section of the highway and up Pigdon Street past Deakin University.  Here we noted two different versions of bike lane marking – one very unsafe and one sensible at the two entrances to the campus.

Lower Deakin entrance. Bike lane is to left of turn left lane. Cyclists must cross this fast moving traffic lane to go straight ahead.

Lower Deakin entrance. Bike lane is to left of turn left lane. Cyclists must cross this fast moving traffic lane to go straight ahead.

Upper Deakin entrance. Bike lane goes straight ahead. Left turning traffic must give way to cyclists before entering the left turn lane.

Upper Deakin entrance. Bike lane goes straight ahead. Left turning traffic must give way to cyclists before entering the left turn lane.

As it was a Sunday, and an semester break for students, there was little traffic entering the university.  Normally there is a great deal of fast moving traffic.  To make the upper entrance even safer, green treatment of the lane would remind motorists to give way.

The riders continued through Highton Village, Balyang Santuary and rode along Pakington Street to the coffee and historic bike stop in North Geelong.  Two other Cycling Geelong members were already there – Rod, complete in retro cycling gear, and Heather.   The display of bikes from the collections of three locals – Stuart, Robin and Daryl – was extensive and interesting, bridging the era from an 1818 hobby horse to modern road bikes, with everything from bone shakers and high wheelers to ladies bikes, tricycles, children’s bikes and “skate-board” simulating bikes.  There was a bike for on water, and an early front wheel drive exercise bike.

The cyclists returned to South Barwon Reserve via the waterfront and the Breakwater.

I recommend these medium distance, leisurely rides to all club members.  The distance was around 45 km, the roads quiet and sealed, and, as usual, the company superb.

Bailey Street path bridge re-opens

For some weeks the bike path from Waurn Ponds Creek path t0 Bailey Street South, has been closed due to bridge replacement.

This path is now open – with a new, much wider concrete bridge.  Thanks to our CoGG maintenance department.

(On the grapevine we hear that the narrow bridge at Marnock Vale on the Barwon River Trail is to be replaced by one similar to that on Bailey Street.)

Barwon River Path: works and detours

Pathway works on Barwon River near Queens Park Golf Course

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Geelong Council will start works along the Barwon River pedestrian and cycling path near the Queens Park Golf Course at the beginning of next week.

The works involved moving two sections of the path away from the river embankment to ensure future path stability is’t compromised due to erosion.

The works will also enable bank stabilisation and re-vegetation works to be undertaken including the removal of any non-native trees and replanting of local indigenous species.

Disruption to users of the path will be minimised with bypass routes in place during the works.

Pedestrians and cyclists are urged to take care when using alternative routes and to adhere to signage displayed at both ends of the works.

Works to the path will start on Monday 23 February and are expected to take about a month to complete.

Magpie Alert – Barwon River Path

It’s almost spring and the magpies have started their annual swooping.

Two (at least) are active around the river path

  • near the boat ramp near the criterium track
  • near the turnoff to Riversdale Road (near Balyang Sanctuary)

Magpies near Showgrounds and at Mount Duneed:

  • Just outside the main entrance to the Showgrounds on Breakwater Road. The bird is nesting in the big gum tree near the gate.
  • Surfcoast Highway just before the Mount Duneed Roundabout on the Geelong bound side. This bird is at this spot every year and it is very persistent in its swooping.

Please let us know if you have any other sightings and we’ll keep updating!

Paraparap via Pollocksford: Sunday, January 12th, 2014

Seven cyclists set off from Rippleside Park.  While the gender balance wasn’t 50/50, at least there were two girls – Karen and Helen.  Shane, David F, Barry, Mike C and Doug made up the peloton.  After a gentle climb up Church Street to McCurdy’s Road, the riders swept down Highland Street to Fyansford and followed the Hamilton Highway west to Pollocksford Road.

The weather was cool and the winds south westerly.

It was good to see that a large, wheel-eating pothole on Pollocksford Road has finally been repaired.  As ride leader Helen approached the bridge over the Barwon River, she was very concerned to see Barry about to cross with a vehicle coming the other way.  This is a reminder to leaders to give warning of known hazards.  Luckily, prudence on Barry’s part averted a potential risky clash.  The long ascent to Barrabool Road is one of the best in the district.  There are two short sharp steep sections, a long gentle ascent between an avenue of trees and a final push to the top after the road turns south.  The riders regrouped at Barrabool Road for a photo.

Shane, Mike, Barry, Karen, David, Doug
Shane, Mike, Barry, Karen, David, Doug at intersection of Pollocksford and Barrabool Roads.

After turning west along Barrabool Road the cyclists continued to its end at the Princes Highway before crossing over and continuing south on Considines and Church Roads.  The intersection of Larcombes Road marked the furthest outward point.  Turning back to the east the riders followed quiet roads to Anglesea Road, and a coffee stop at the ultra-popular  Freshwater Creek Cake Shop.

The route back to Geelong followed more quiet roads – Dickens Road, Ghazeepore Road, a short section on the Waurn Ponds Creek bike path, and then into Highton and Belmont before crossing the Barwon on the MacIntyre Footbridge.  The river path to Swanston Stret was very quiet after Saturday’s congestion.  The circuit concluded with the cyclists riding up Swanston Street (not temped to a second stop at the newly opened Little Creatures Brewery) and along the waterfront.  By this stage the gender balance had changed considerably – with only the two girls left.

The whole circuit was 75km, the roads (apart from two short sections along bike lanes on highways) very quiet, and there was, like all good ‘lazy cyclist’ rides, a tail wind to help push the riders home.

Take care:

  • Highland Street – steep fast downhill – The top few hundred metres of the road is now quite corrugated.
  • Lack of sealed shoulder on Hamilton from Fyansford to the Geelong Ring Road flyover.
  • Crossing of Princes Highway – short unsealed section during works to duplicate the road.  Fast traffic – care required while making the crossing.
  • Care needed crossing Cape Otway Road (fast traffic).  Paraparap ride map

Waterfront path still closed: your help needed!

The lower Waterfront (Bob McGovern) shared path is still closed – more than three months after erosion was first identified.

Still closed after winter storms!
Still closed after winter storms!

It takes combined action to get results.  Contact your ward councillor, the mayor, Darryn Lyons, or the city council directly to ask for the path to be repaired and reopened.

To publicise the issue, write a letter to the editor at the Geelong Advertiser or comment online.

The path closure is an inconvenience to all path users and an embarrassment for our city.  Visitors walking the bollard walk between Cunningham Pier and Rippleside Park are confronted with this evidence of a city that would rather post a sign that fix a problem.

Freshwater Creek: Joint Ride, Sunday, 8th December, 2013

The warning was there:  John H on a ‘normal’ bike.  A short, easy ride to Freshwater Creek and an awesome cake shop was the aim – so why no recumbent bike?

Eleven members of Cycling Geelong and GTC set off from South Geelong Station down Swanston Street to the Barwon Trail and over the old Breakwater to Waurn Ponds Creek bike path.  John H, from the Touring Cyclists was the leader.  Surely, despite a rotting bridge and lack of maintenance to the bike path, this wasn’t enough to warrant abandoning the carbon fibre ant John usually rides.  The riders were soon on the new bike path along the Geelong Ring Road/bypass which makes the ascent to Anglesea Road easy and car-free.  After using the bike tunnel to cross to the eastern path the riders continued up the path.  Despite the path’s newness, vegetation is encroaching onto the concrete, grass growing in cracks, and the grass on each side of the track is long and tinder dry.   Once the roundabout was reached, it was clear that there has been no routine sweeping of this new piece of road.  The bike lane was unridable due to stones and debris.  Once on the old road, with a narrow sealed shoulder, the condition improved and the descent to Freshwater Creek was delightful and fast.

With only around twenty kilometres traveled David I. commented that he hadn’t yet done enough cycling to earn his coffee break.  The cakes and biscuits looked delectable:  at least one rider picked up something to take home for those poor souls who don’t know the pleasures of Sunday morning cycling.  The coffee wasn’t too bad either.

John had devised a slightly longer return route, via Dickens Road, Ghazeepore Road, and Whites Road to the Surf Coast Highway.  These are delightful country roads, with light traffic.  With road works on the highway, a right turn into Burvilles Road was in order.  At the top of a gentle rise past the Crematorium the reason for John’s upright bike became apparent.  Burvilles Road is unsealed from the Crematorium to Horseshoe Bend Road.  It’s only a few hundred metres, but the actual distance is at least tripled if you take into account the number and depth of the corrugations.   The Bike Friday’s small wheels fitted each bump exactly.  It was a juddering, teeth-rattling ride – a test for those with high-tech carbon fibre frames.  Snickering was heard from a few riders on mountain bikes and hybrids.

Once back in Geelong, the riders headed their various ways, with thanks for a most interesting and varied ride.  The total distance from North Geelong and return was around 50km.  The new path by the Ring Road is well-constructed and will be a joy to ride if routine maintenance is carried out.

It remains an enigma.  Where are the women on these medium length, easy rides?  The company was great, the pace medium with frequent stops as needed, the scenery beautiful, and the refreshment stop delightful.  Only one woman chose to do this ride.  Where are you all?