Docklands to Altona Beach: Wednesday, 8th January, 2020

This Ride was set up as an alternative to the Geelong Flyer, Capitol City Trail Ride which was held on a day with extreme heat. Both Rides were to give an experience of the new Ferry Service from Geelong and include one of the City Ride routes.

Eight of us, Kevin, Lynton, George, Dirk and Barbara, Coralie, Sally and I boarded the 11.30am Geelong Service to Docklands. It was a lovely day with a comfortable temperature.

Arriving at Docklands we were met there by Margy, Jeff, Joe and Sandra. We cycled the shared path through Docklands around past the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel and onto a path that runs alongside Footscray Road, to the Maribyrnong River.

From there we cycled the paths that took us under the Westgate Bridge and onto a path that follows the Yarra River to Williamstown. We enjoyed lunch there at Carter Smith Delvin Co Café in Nelson Parade.

Following lunch, we made our way to Kororoit Creek Road cycling to Millers Road, Altona and finding our way to Altona Beach; where we had a brief break and took in the scenery of the Park and Beach area.

The return route took us back along the Bay Trail and connecting back onto Kororoit Creek Road and back to the Bay Trail at Williamstown. We scooted back along the Trail following it upriver to meet the Westgate Ferry at Spotswood. Lynton rode ahead and secured a boarding for us as the Ferry was preparing to get underway to cross the River. The operator did well, securing an extra 10 fares; he had one other customer!

On crossing we connected with the Bay Trail at the northwest end of Westgate Park. This took us onto Lorimer Street, South Melbourne which eventually led us back to South Wharf and a crossing over the Yarra from where were able to make our way back to Docklands; where the Ferry berths.

On the way, Joe and Sandra left us at Collins Street as they were meeting Edith at Southern Cross, to catch a train back to Geelong.

Margy and Jeff had cycled back earlier in the afternoon and had caught the Ferry across the Yarra as we had.

Apart from an incident that involved a fall, a great ride was enjoyed by all.

Great for us to now have a Ferry Service directly into Melbourne via Docklands. It is easy to access the City from there whether it be cycling, walking or public transport.

Robert T, Ride Leader.

Thanks to Robert for this report, and leading yet another memorable ride. 

Capitol City Trail – Monday, 30th December, 2019

Geelong Flyer and Capitol City Trail, City Ride – Monday 30 December 2019.

On a hot December Monday five of us; Kevin C, David S, Allan M, Kelly R and I, departed on the 11.15am Service on the new Geelong Flyer, bound for Docklands, Melbourne. This ride was set up to experience our new Ferry Service from Geelong and experience one of the many cycling routes available in and around Melbourne.

We enjoyed a refreshing trip to Melbourne on what was to be a very hot summer’s day.  We set off from Docklands about 1.15 making our way south onto the north bank off the Yarra. We made our way upriver eventually connecting with the Yarra Trail; taking us through Birrarung Marr Park, past the main sporting precinct with Melbourne Park and AAMI Park.

The weather was already hot with strong winds. The anticipated shelter of riding beside the tree lined Yarra River wasn’t realised as we cycled, mostly, into a head wind. This was a challenge as the temperature ultimately climbed into the low 40s. We managed the extreme heat by staying hydrated and having numerous breaks. Arriving at Abbotsford Convent we were welcomed by Margy M who had been spending time in Melbourne.

We were well looked after by the proprietor of the Vietnamese Café, which is next to Lentil As Anything. We were given generous amounts of iced water and well stocked for a return trip to Docklands. Iced teas, coffees and Vietnamese coffees went down refreshingly well.

The temperature eased while we were at the Convent. We had already decided to modify the return route; leaving the northern section of the Capitol City Trail for another day.

The modified route took us onto Nicholson Street, Collingwood, which eventually led us south to access Swan Street at Richmond. This route took us through an area where Allan had lived in his early years.

Swan Street took us back to the Yarra where we followed it around to Southbank where we enjoyed some delicious ice creams.

Continuing along Southbank brought us to a pedestrian / cycling bridge at South Wharf. After crossing the bridge, we cycled north back to Docklands to catch the 5.30pm Geelong Flyer back to Geelong.

We enjoyed a refreshing, relaxing and cooler journey back after a satisfying, and at times, challenging ride. It was wonderful to be out on our beautiful Bay.

Tina G was at the Pier to welcome us back.

Robert T, Ride Leader.   Many thanks to Robert for running this ride despite the very hot conditions.

Drysdale via Bellarine Rail Trail – Thursday, January 2nd, 2020

At least 25 riders (Doug counted 27) rode the BRT to Drysdale with ride leaders Geoff and Carolyn.  Conditions were perfect and the pace was well set by Carolyn up front. Geoff and Stephanie opted for a slightly shorter ride, stopping at the Curlewis Golf Driving Range for their coffee, while the rest of the group continued to Cafe Zoo, where, as always, the service was fast and friendly.

Thanks to Carolyn and Geoff for leading this most enjoyable ride.

On the trail at Leopold

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Coffee stop at Cafe Zoo

Boxing Day ride to Drysdale – 26th December, 2019

Public holidays don’t deter cyclists.  Seventeen riders joined with Dave and Kevin (ride leaders on outward and return leg) for a relaxed ride along the Bellarine Rail Trail to Curlewis (coffee at the golf driving range, as the usual cafe in Drysdale was closed).

On the return the group stopped to chat with Stella and Helen, who were having a breather on their shorter ride to Leopold.

A Saturday ride to Waurn Ponds to celebrate Christmas – 22nd December, 2019

Geoff and Stephanie led this ride with a huge (25)  attendance of happy and festive cyclists.  Some came dressed to ride, others for the occasion.  Santa was showing some well-developed calf muscles as he once again led the throng, at times outdistancing the ride leader, Geoff.  As usual, the Surf Coast highway crossing, required patience, with heavy traffic in both directions.  Hopefully, at some stage lights will be installed here to make it safer for the large number of trail users.

The riders soon found their way to Waurn Ponds Shopping Centre and refreshments at Panache near the cinema.  An overflow table was needed to accommodate the large group.  Santa led everyone in the singing of Doug Merritt’s specially cycling focused Christmas carols.

Thanks to Geoff and Stephanie, ride leaders, Santa and all riders.

 

Christmas Lights – Moonlight ride to Waurn Ponds

Thanks to Tina, ride leader, for this report and photos.

Nine riders met at Balyang Sanctuary at 6pm. We rode along Barwon River to
the old Breakwater Bridge then joined Waurn Ponds Creek Trail almost all the
way to The Waurn Ponds Hotel. We enjoyed a meal and whiled away a little more
time than was needed to digest our meal while waited for the sun to go down. At
8.45pm we set off to see Christmas lights in the Waurn Ponds and Grovedale
area. This is the second year we have had a Christmas Lights ride and such was
the success I plan to make this an annual ride. The moon didn’t rise until 10.30pm
too late for us to be out and about to see hence the focus on Christmas Lights.

Red Rock Ride – Sunday, November 17th, 2019

Thirteen enthusiastic participants attended Allan’s annual Red Rock ride, first ridden at least 10 years ago. Riders were Allan, Russell, Kelly, Karen, Hermann, Barbara, Dirk, Peter S, Swee, Ian, David S and Kevin with Heather driving the sag wagon.

There were two ride options, of 46km and 70km, with Kelly leading the shorter (medium grade) ride and Kelly the long (hard grade) ride.  This year’s rides begain at Beeac (following the closure of one of our favourite cafes, Cafe Rooke at Corrorooke).

As is often the case, there were issues with weather.  This year it was a strong southerly wind, which plagued the riders for all but the final Colac-Beeac leg.  The lunch stop was at a bakery in Colac, which was great but busy.  Once again the newly refurbished trailer did a fantastic job.

One of the good things was the lush green countryside.  Visual highlights also included a beautiful roadside garden, and some bales of hay done up for Santa.  Traffic was light (and there is a wide sealed shoulder on the highway section).  David S. learned that it’s not advisable to attempt to video a low-flying plane while cycling, and a couple of riders may have over-extended themselves with the distances attempted.  (It’s a good idea to realise that riding further than usual, with a set time, may be difficult, especially if there’s a strong wind.  Don’t be embarrassed to use the friendly service of the sag wagon.)

It was a great day’s adventure, and Allan plans to continue the tradition of Red Rock rides again next year.  Keep watching the ride calendar for details.