Lucky thirteen! That’s the number of cyclists who appeared for the final ride of this year’s On Ya Bike! rides. It was beautiful sunny weather. Summer was near, so it was time to ditch the ‘bird strike’ helmet with cable ties.
The last ride of the series is traditionally named “Allan’s Mystery Ride”. No one knows the route till they get the start at Rippleside Park. This year Allan had delegated ride leadership to Kelly, with Dirk as tail ender. Allan had planned the ride, and rode the entire ride, including arriving by bike from Norlane West.
The route took the cyclists to the north, along the new Balmoral Quay path to St Helens, the on to the docks area. As the riders turned right past the old Ford site, a motorist yelled, “You’ve lost someone!” Dirk had a puncture. He sent the riders on while he fixed it with the help of Paul and Allan.
The second incident happened on the ascent towards Geelong Grammar. It was Clive this time – another puncture. Helen went back to make sure he was OK. He was going to fix the puncture, and then, with Dirk, join the ride. Helen rode on alone past GGS.
Attack! Attack! From nowhere a direct hit to the ear. The magpie struck, not just once but four times. With no cable ties, Helen was a pedaling duck, and the terrorist bird took full advantage!
The rest of the group were taking a break at Limeburners Lagoon. Dirk, Allan and Paul soon rejoined the group. Clive had decided that, with a slow leak in his tyre, his best option was to return to Rippleside Park, stopping a couple of times to add air.
A large wattle tree was across Hovells Creek Path at the Lara highway underpass. Bikes were passed over, and the riders continued up Rennie Street to Old Geelong Road and rode towards Little River. Helen left the group at McIntyres Road to ride a shorter route. The main group continued on, without further incident, to Little River, returning to Lara via Mill Road. Coffee was at Xpresso. Helen rejoined the group for coffee.
The return was via the Hovells Creek Path to Rennie Street, and then, to avoid the fallen tree, via roads to Geelong Grammar and the waterfront path.
The final puncture was at North Shore – Don had succumbed. His mate stayed to help with the repair. The depleted group returned to Rippleside – Rick, Allan and Dirk peeled off on the way.
Despite the drama, it was declared a most enjoyable and successful ride.
Thanks to Kelly, ride leader, Allan, ride organiser and tail-ender Dirk. Thanks to all cyclists. We look forward to seeing you again next year, if not before, On Ya Bike!
(Helen’s magpie helmet will no return to service till December!)
Ride maps – click to go to detail in Map My Ride