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.


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!

Joint Ride with Geelong Touring Cyclists – Sunday, August 14th, 2016

Thanks to Chris Halpin, who led the ride on behalf of Geelong Touring Cyclists.

GTC’s Mark, Chris Hume, Ross, Vicky myself and Ian joined Doug and David from Cycling Geelong at South Geelong Station. Several other riders were lurking in the car park but couldn’t be enticed to join us. We analysed the options for a safe ride to Ocean Grove and decided on Surf Coast Hwy to McCann’s Rd, Horseshoe Bend, Blackgate and a wonderful wind assisted sail along Thirteen Beach Rd. Chris Hume bailed out early claiming exhaustion from Saturday’s ride. Coffees and cakes at Groove in the sunshine were gratefully and noisily gobbled. Ross headed home from Groove. Our return was via Wallington thru to Portarlington Rd to avoid the worst roadworks.
A very enjoyable and safe ride.
Cheers, Chris Halpin.Photo:  Chris Halpin (with some Photoshopping from John Hagan).

Editor’s note:  Just why would Vic Roads schedule road works on all our major highways just when Horseshoe Bend Road is closed for months?

Lara via Little River – Joint ride with GTC: Sunday, July 10, 2016

The forecast was terrible for this morning’s joint ride for Cycling Geelong and Geelong Touring Cyclists.  Gale force northerlies with rain by lunchtime were predicted.  However, conditions were calm and cold when the five cyclists – Pam, Rolf and John (GTC) and Karen and Helen (CG) met at Rippleside.  Despite the Tour leading to lack of sleep, the ride set off at a fair pace to Little River via Hovells Creek Path and the old Melbourne Road.  (John had taped Stage 8 of the Tour, so discussion stayed away from the results.)  The wind and rain stayed away, so conditions were perfect, with light traffic and a good surface.  From Little River route turned west and south back to Lara via Branch Road and Flinders Avenue (note to self – must find a better turn next time, as this is a very busy intersection on weekends).  Millars was the destination for coffee.  This most successful cafe was full – the riders kept the cold weather clothes on and sat outside as the breeze intensified.  It was still only 10C – and felt a lot colder.

Rolf, who’d managed to keep down to the steady pace dictated by ride leader, Helen, decided to take off back to Geelong at a more Tour-ish pace via Hovells Creek.  The remaining riders set off to the Ted Wilson path and on the Church Street, with Karen leaving the others at the path entrance on Bacchus Marsh Road.  The Ted Wilson Trail is a gem – good surface, minimal traffic and, by this stage, a gentle tail wind leading to a fast return.  Pam and John set off for Leopold and Belmont respectively at Church Street.  Helen returned to Rippleside with a total of around 70 kilometers.  The rain stayed away for the entire ride.  The only thing missing – some more cyclists.  Where were you?

Thanks to all our cyclists.  Remember – it’s better to turn the pedals yourself than watch others doing so – no matter how fast the vicarious descent in the Pyrenees.

Thanks to John for the photos.160710 Joint ride to lara via Little RiverLeader’s note:  This is the first longer Cycling Geelong ride for ages where the gender balance favoured females!

Mt Duneed Loop – Joint ride with GTC: Sunday, June 12, 2016

Thanks to John Hagan (Ride leader from GTC) for this report.

Combined Ride with Cycling Geelong to Uforic Food Cafe at Mt Duneed on Sunday 12.6.16
A long weekend and heavy traffic but we did manage to find a few quiter roads at times between the busy ones. Heading out through Armstrong Creek, Lake Rd, Blackrock Rd and the Blackrock Bike Trail were fairly quiet but Blackgate Rd got busier and the Surfcoast Highway was a constant stream of vehicles. Our coffee stop was at Uforic Food Cafe on the Surfcoast Highway – here we stayed indoors to enjoy the warmth and good coffee. Our return trip took us closer to Torquay – along Coombes Rd and the Anglesea Rd and into Geelong on Ghazeepore Rd. The wind had a bit of bite to it today and was a challenge on the way home. Below are out participants on the ride – from L to R: Chris, Ian, Peter J, Mike, Rolf, John M and your ride leader John Hagan.MtDuneed-12-6-16-1
Keep Pedalling,
John Hagan.

Thanks to John for the photos also.

Editor’s comment:  GTC riders proudly sporting the new GTC jerseys.  We’d love to see some women wearing them!

Bannockburn Circuit – Joint ride with Geelong Touring Cyclists, 10th April, 2016

Ride report from ride leader – John Hagan (GTC)

This was certainly a ride of attrition. If the ride leader is judged by returning with 100% of the riders – returning with only 43% is not a high mark! We started off from Sth Geelong Station at 9am with Helen, John M, from Cycling Geelong, and Peter J, Rolf, Ross, John H, from GTC and Mike Currie from both clubs. We proceeded along the Barwon River path until, just short of Balyang we encountered a cross country run, so took Balcombe Rd to avoid the runners and join the river further up. At Fyansford Helen, who had time constraints, decided to do a shorter ride, and the rest proceeded into a very strong headwind along the Hamilton Highway. At Murgheboluc John H, Mike and Rolf got ahead of the group on a long downhill. Meanwhile, behind drama was brewing… (see Ross’ account for this part). When the 3 riders didn’t appear at Brislanes Rd John made a phone call to Peter to find out what had transpired. John H, Rolf and Mike then headed off to coffee at Le Due Sorelle Cafe in Bannockburn and then returned via Batesford to Geelong.

Ross’ account of what happened to the rest of the group:
I was sitting at the back of the pelaton as we passed Burnside Road. After a long drag into the wind, everyone changed up a few gears and set off to take advantage of the big downhill. Immediately in front of me, John M accelerated away then as he changed up again, the chain jumped and locked the back wheel. Smoke poured off the tyre for about 5 seconds then there was a loud bang as the tyre blew. John “fish tailed “down the hill for another 25 metres as he tried to bring the bike to a stop, finally stopping and toppling over on the verge. A most impressive demonstration of bike control. As John dis-entangled himself then the chain, Peter J came back up the hill to help. The derailleur was badly bent. The tyre was destroyed – all tread gone over about 10 cm and worn right through the casing in a couple of places. Luckily, both Peter and I both were carrying a tyre boot, and with the holes patched, a new tube and the gear that produced the least noise selected, we headed back to Geelong.
John had a lot more confidence in the repair than I would and led the way at a good pace with the assistance of the strong tail wind. We rode back to Barwon Edge for a well-deserved beverage and conversation before we each headed off towards home. Not quite the expected outing but most entertaining.

Route of the ‘authentic’ joint ride.  (Click for more detail in Map my Ride)Bannockburn-10-4-16-Map

Thanks to John and Ross for these reports.  See ride photos at GTC website (you’ll need to scroll down the news list).

Editor’s note:  Although I started this morning’s joint ride, with the strong wind and a strong team of fast riders, I realised that my slow speed would really slow down the group.  So I bailed out at Merrawarp Road and rode my own circuit.  This proved sensible as, on returning home after 63km, I spotted Rolf cycling past – after the real ride of 73km and a coffee stop (and associated drama from our noble president).

Route of the slow "Not the Joint Ride" circuit.

The slow route – sans Tour de France style drama.

Geelong Tour – Joint ride with Geelong Touring Cyclists: Sunday 13th March, 2016

What did I do wrong?  Eight cyclists started the tour.  Only two completed it!

Eight cyclists arrived at Rippleside to ride this circuit to the north, west, south and east of Geelong – Ross, Peter and John H (GTC) and Neville, John M, David J with son-in-law Neill and Helen (ride leader) from Cycling Geelong.

Note the late rider on right (John's skill with Photoshop comes to the fore)

Note the late rider on right (John’s skill with Photoshop comes to the fore)

After hugging the coast to GGS, the ride turned west to the Ted Wilson Trail.

Conditions were perfect – overcast and cool with minimal wind.  The quick descent of Hyland Street brought the group to Fyansford, with a lllooonnnggg coffee stop at The Door Gallery Cafe.  (The proprietor is not a morning person – and so this stop stretched to almost an hour.)

After a quick and quiet ride to Highton via the river (Neill left the group at Queens Park to take over child-minding from Nancy)  it was up Barrabool Road to Wandana Heights Drive to resume the interrupted Ted Wilson Trail.  A detour into the campus showed that Deakin is a very quiet place on Sundays (perhaps the library was buzzing).  From there the last ascent of the day stretched up the old highway at Waurn Ponds and onto the new highway towards Colac for a couple of hundred metres.  Peter took off on the steeper ascent of Cochranes Road to Ceres, David tried the new highway back to Highton and Neville retraced the old highway at this point.  This left two Johns with Helen for the return to Waurn Ponds via Reservoir Road, and the Ring Road path and Hams Road.  (We noted that Mount Duneed Winery in Pettavel Road has a cafe for next time.)  The ride continued east, crossing the Surfcoast Highway and meandering down to the old breakwater.  At this point John H took off around the river, leaving John M and Helen to continue back to Rippleside via the very busy Waterfront (past the throbbing of the Motor City Music Festival at the Showgrounds and the Wooden Boats Regatta near Steampacket Gardens).

Mainly due to the long coffee stop, it was 1:20pm when the tour was completed – 69km.  Thanks to all riders for a most enjoyable ride.  Thanks to John Hagan for the map and photos.  (Click the map to see detail in Map My Ride)


Suburbs – Rippleside, St Helens, North Geelong, North Shore, Corio, Lovely Banks, Norlane West, Bell Post Hill, Hamlyn Heights, Herne Hill, Fyansford, Highton, Wandana Heights, Waurn Ponds, Grovedale, Belmont, Breakwater, Thompson, South Geelong, East Geelong, Geelong, Drumcondra.

Joint Ride to Queensciff: Sunday 14th February, 2016

This ride was led by Pam Morrow of GTC
On today’s combined ride with Cycling Geelong we had ten riders: Ross Glover, Peter Jones, David Innes, John Hagan, Marie Bagley, Rolf Kohnot, Zdenko Coric, Pam Morrow and two from Cycling Geelong John Miro and Mike Curry. We rode on the rail trail to Curlewis Rd, where we turned right and continued on until the Bellarine Highway. We turned along Swan Bay Rd until we reached Banks Rd again doing a right turn onto Bellarine Highway where we continued into Queenscliff. Coffee was enjoyed at the Rolling Pin Bakery. The return journey was into a head wind along the Bellarine Highway. Very pleasant morning. 76km.