Portarlington – combined ride: Sunday10th September, 2017

Combined Ride with Cycling Geelong to Jack Rabbit near Drysdale on Sunday 10.9.17
As we assembled for our ride today at the ‘Park N’ Ride’ carpark near the Botanical Gardens we were drawn in by the beautiful scenery on this sunny Sunday morning. The Crimson Rosellas were in the tree besides us so I snapped a few shots. David Simpson from Cycling Geelong led the group of 13 riders from both clubs out along the Portarlington Rd to the House of Jack Rabbit Cafe just past Drysdale. The views were even better there and we enjoyed coffee out on the patio with Corio Bay stretching in the sunshine almost to the You Yangs. Our return tip was via Portarlington, St Leonards, Swan Bay Rd and the Bellarine Highway. From Cycling Geelong we had David Simpson, Linton, Brigid, Doug and Richard and from GTC Pam, Marie, Lyn G, Ben, Chris Hume, Chris Halpin, Mike T, and John H. We covered approximately 90km on our lap of the Bellarine Peninsula

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Keep Riding, John Hagan.

Torquay to Anglesea: Joint ride 9th July, 2017

It was cold and windy with the probability of rain.  Who would be silly enough to get themselves to Torquay to ride to Anglesea – especially as one of the options was a potentially difficult mountain bike course?

There were already several bikes lined up outside the ice-creamery in Torquay, including John’s recumbent.  (John had ridden down from Belmont so was the only cyclist not complaining of the cold.)  More cars appeared with a pre-dominance of knobbly tyred mountain bikes.

By 8.30 there were 11 riders for the mountain bike route, led by Dave S, and 6 riding the road circuit, led by Helen.

After the mandatory group photo, the cyclists set off in opposite directions.  The road group consisted of John H, Barbara, Andrea, Fiona, Ben and Helen.  John was delegated as tail-ender (swapping positions with Helen for the downhill sections: if you’re fast on the descents, flaunt it).

The road route headed west to Forest Road, then headed south west to Anglesea. 

With a strong cold head wind, the first 18km were trying, as the road riders struggled up Darian Road, across to Coombes/Hendy Main/Sharps Roads, finally turning out of the wind for a beautiful quiet ride along Forest Road.  This was followed by a fast downhill into Anglesea.

Coffee at Caffe Daniele  was most welcome.

Within around 20 minutes, 11 elated mountain bikers appeared, looking fit and strong.   More coffee and refreshments were consumed before the return.  Dave quietly mentioned that he had a ‘secret’ return route for the mountain bikers. (See Dave’s report.)

The road group headed off up the long hill out of Anglesea, somewhat assisted by the tail wind.  This hill is deceptively difficult as it’s never too steep, and has several sections of respite.  After regrouping near Forest Road, the return to Torquay was easy, despite the heavy Sunday traffic.  Fiona and Ben had discovered a safe off-road route behind the caravan path and past the surf club to avoid the fast two-lane roundabout right turn.

The sunshine had disappeared and dark clouds threatened as the road riders disbanded.  John set off back on Horseshoe Bend road for home.  There was time for a coffee and chat in the warm of the Beachfront Cafe, before the bright-eyed mountain bikers appeared once more.

Thanks to the ride leaders, tail-enders and all riders, this experiment in dual-mode joint rides for the two clubs was a resounding success.

Geelong Tour – Joint Ride with Geelong Touring Cyclists: Sunday 11th June, 2017

Thanks to Peter O’Brien, ride leader, for this report and to John Hagan for the photos.

Loop of Geelong led by Peter O’Brien on Sunday 11.6.17
It was freezing cold this morning when David I, Chris Hume, John H, Geoff, Heather, Harry, Mike, David Simpson (Geelong Cycling) and I headed off on a scenic tour around Geelong.  We left the South Geelong Railway Station and pedalled to the beach front taking in the fabulous views of Corio Bay. We rode to St Georges Road, North Shore, then along Cox Road up the Ted Wilson Trail entrance on Anakie Road.  David I left us at this point and continued up the Anakie hill – we were later to find out he then went straight home for breakfast.  We rode along the trail to Church Street, then down to Minerva Road for a coffee stop at the Soft Cafe.

After the break we rode to Queens Park Road.  This time we adhered to the road rules and crossed the bridge on the walking-cycling section rather than the actual road crossing.  The ride up and down Scenic Road provided great views of Geelong.  With the hills conquered, we pedalled our way through Wandana Heights onto a bike path through to Pigdons Road.  We weaved our way down to another bike path just past the Colac Ring Road roundabout.  At this point Chris departed to head to Moriac as he wanted to get some extra kilometres under his belt.  The rest of us proceeded to Baanip Boulevard and then meandered our way back to Geelong.

Joint Ride to Lara via Lovely Banks: Sunday May 14th, 2016

Thanks to John Hagan for this ride report, and also for the excellent photos and map.

When we looked to the west before starting the dark thunder clouds were threatening. However, the wind dropped to almost zero and the sun came out for a near perfect morning’s ride. The riders were: Rolf, Mike T, Mike C, David I, and John from GTC and Helen, Coralie, Rick, and Kelly from Cycling Geelong with Mike C being a member of both clubs. Helen Lyth took us out along Bluestone Bridge Rd, through Lovely Banks and out to the You Yangs on Forest Rd and we returned to Lara on Flinders Avenue. We struggled to find space in any of the cafes in Lara as it was Mothers’ Day but squeezed into Cafe Blu with some outside and others inside. The return trip was via Hovell’s Trail with a stop at Limeburners Lagoon to admire the reflections off the water in many directions. The loop from Rippleside was about 57km. A very enjoyable ride.
John Hagan.

Thanks to everyone for a most enjoyable ride, and to John H for being a most supportive tail ender.

Joint Ride to Drysdale: Sunday 12th March, 2017

With a 70% chance of rain, and blowing an easterly gale I wasn’t confident of many takers for the easy/medium circuit to Drysdale.  As the cloud cleared and the road dried, only one other cyclist, Mike from GTC, arrived, and at 8.32 we took off for Drysdale via Bellarine Highway and Swan Bay Road.

I’d been warned that there might be a paparazzi presence.  Sure enough, a few ks short of Leopold, we were spotted by a huge zoom lens driven by John H.  After a few words, he was off back to Geelong before another celebration for the special birthday – this time with his family on the other side of Port Phillip.

The wind was no problem, the sunshine 100% as we continued through Leopold to Swan Bay Road – a pleasant uphill (Mike’s first time in this direction).  Cafe Zoo, as usual, provided a great place to stop for coffee, and a shady table was sought.  Mike, fresh from living in Albury, gave me the gen on a new cycle path in Albury for my trip in a couple of weeks.  I’ll do my best to avoid the snakes.

The return was fast, with a tail wind, and a couple of lovely downhill stretches.  The Bellarine Rail Trail was quiet as usual, but we deviated to Portarlington Road to avoid the unsealed section after Melaluka Road.  The new barriers, heavy, fast traffic and rough stony patches now make the Portarlington Road a single file only option until west of the Alcoa turnoff.

Don’t be daunted!  Next time, join us.

Helen (Ride Leader)

Tuckerberry Hill – Joint ride with GTC: Sunday 12th February, 2017

Pam Morrow from Geelong Touring Cyclists led 12 cyclists on a ride which proved quite difficult due to both terrain and weather.

tueckerberry-hill-12-2-17-map

With a tail wind, the group set off strongly, regrouping several times before Drysdale. Unfortunately, the surface of Murradoc Road is very bumpy – made worse by screenings from driveways and the occasional pothole.  However, despite a couple of people resorting to two foot gear, everyone reached Tuckerberry Hill safely.  The current cafe is al  fresco, due to a fire around 18 months ago, but the plan is to rebuild the cafe during 2017.  Coffee and other refreshments were most welcome, as was the pause to rest wearying legs.  Blueberries are in season, so several people chose blueberry studded cake and one, the delicious blueberry milkshake made with crushed blueberries.

The downhill to Portarlington-Queenscliff Road was equally rough, and the sealed shoulder narrow so, rather than enjoying the free wheel ride, constant care was needed.  The turn south towards Swan Bay was directly into a head wind and Pam did the hard work at the front of the group all the way to Swan Bay Road, where once again regrouping was needed.  This wind proved trying for the entire return ride.  Shane’s blowout near Leopold showed the efficacy of a Lexyne $5 temporary patch kit – the tyre boot cured the bulge and Shane was able to ride home at normal pace despite the ruined tyre.

Riders from GTC were Pam, Rolf, Mike C (who’s a member of both clubs), Chris, John H, and Lyn, and from Cycling Geelong – Doug, Shane, Barbara, Dirk, John M and Helen.

Thanks to Pam for leading the ride so admirably, and to Doug for supporting the group as tail ender.  Thanks also to John H for his photographs.  Congratulations especially to Barbara who accomplished this difficult ride successfully on her new road bike.

Joint Ride to Lara: Sunday, January 8th, 2017

Despite enduring a night when the mercury lingered above 30C, fourteen hardy cyclists rode to Lara via Hovells Creek.  There were 9 from GTC, led by Peter, and 5 from Cycling Geelong.  Helen led the ride.

The wind was blustery and hot from the west for most of the ride – turning somewhat south west by the end, though the temperature remained over 30.  Quite a few riders opted for cool drinks rather than coffee at Millars Restaurant, which was blissfully cool.

The ride was pretty incident free with one puncture (lots of glass on the route at various points) and a group of faster riders spending quite a long time waiting under the shade of trees at several points along the way.

Thanks again to all riders for a most enjoyable joint ride – certainly a very hot start to joint rides in 2017.  Helen’s bike computer thermometer registered 49 in the sun when she resumed riding after coffee!