Remembering Russell Mockridge: Sunday16th September, 2018

Remembering Russell Mockridge: Sunday16th September, 2018

On the weekend of 15th and 16th September, 2018, three events were held, to mark the anniversary of the death of Russell Mockridge, who was killed while competing in the Tour of Gippsland, on 13th September, 1958.

Legends Plaza, Kardinia Park, Geelong, 9am

Drysdale Ride:  Reenactment of Russell Mockridge’s first bike race*

Before the Sunday ride from Legends Plaza Kardinia Park, David Kelly, from the Legends Plaza Trust, addressed the group about the plaza, and Russell Mockridge’s place within it.  Only those who grew up in Geelong, and were at the forefront of their sport, both in Australia and internationally, are honoured.

The ride, lead by Doug Merritt and Rod Charles, went first to the former Geelong Amateur Cycling Club rooms in East Geelong, then along the rail trail to Drysdale.  After a brunch stop Cafe Zoo, and more discussion about Russell Mockridge, the group returned via the road route.  Two Olympians, John Hine and Don Allen were among the 27 cyclists.  The weather very cold and blustery but no rain.

Thanks to Ray Bowles (The Cycling Scrapbook) for the two photographs above.

*Russell Mockridge turned up for a ride with Geelong Amateur Cycling Club one morning in 1946.  He’d never raced before, and was unknown to any of the other riders.  Bespectacled, and dressed in shorts, jumper and white shirt, and normal work shoes (but with leather thongs to bind his shoes to the pedals) he paid his entry fee and lined up with the rest of the field.  It was a handicap race, and as a new rider, Russell was sent off at the front of the field.  After a while, he asked if those with him would mind if he went on ahead.  They were happy to let him do so, expecting this raw amateur on a ‘normal everyday bike’ would soon run out of puff and they’d pass him again.  This didn’t happen!   He was seen by some of the faster riders on the return journey as the were still on their way to Drysdale, by which time he was 7 miles ahead.  Hearing this, the  club handicapper checked with the drinkers at the Drysdale pub whether Russell had ‘gone around the tree’ – which was near the current roundabout outside the hotel, and the turning point in the race.  “He’s been and gone,” they replied.  Before the handicapper had time to return in his car, Russell was back at the start/finish of the race.  No one was there.  Soon a few early spectators arrived, to enjoy the park and cheer the cyclists as they finished, only to find Russell already finished.  When the handicapper arrived, it’s reported that Russell was sitting in the gutter.  He had finished seven and a half minutes ahead of the front of the field.  A new chapter of cycling history was about to begin…

This information about Russell Mockridge’s first race is from Rod, Charles book, A Whirr of Many Wheels, Volume 3. 

The cyclists leave Legends Plaza to reenact Russell Mockridge’s first race with ride to Drysdale…

 About the Remembering Russell Mockridge weekend

The weekend was initiated by Tim Alexander from Albury who made a preliminary visit to Geelong to ride with Rod Charles and Coralie Jenkin to Drysdale and plan the event.

Rod Charles invited Doug Merritt to MC the weekend.  Doug’s planning for the rides was meticulous, including rest stops, and contingency plans for inclement weather.

Jason Hunt, a non-Cycling Geelong member, came out of the blue to initiate a social media campaign which proved very effective in finding outsiders who may be interested in joining locals.  From his contacts, Melbourne based Ray Bowles, a cycling photographer from the 1980s attended the days and recorded the events.

To gauge numbers, a Trybooking site was established by Tim Alexander, who also organised the Saturday evening Q&A.

Our special thanks to Rod Charles, Doug Merritt and Tim Alexander.  Thanks also to cycling photographer Ray Bowles, authors Martin Curtis, Daniel Oakman, Ben Schofield, Marcus Arnold and Rod Charles, John Hine, Don Allen and other cyclist friends of Russell Mockidge, the Mockridge family and all who attended the events on the this most successful weekend.  Thanks to John Hagan for photos of the Geelong ride on 15th September.

 

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Remembering Russell Mockridge:  Saturday 15th September, 2018 – 1

Remembering Russell Mockridge: Saturday 15th September, 2018 – 1

On the weekend of 15th and 16th September, 2018, three events were held, to mark the anniversary of the death of Russell Mockridge, who was killed while competing in the Tour of Gippsland, on 13th September, 1958.

Saturday, 15th September, 9am, Balyang Sanctuary Car Park, Newtown, Geelong

Mockridge Tour – a cycle ride around points of significance in and around Geelong.

Doug Merritt, of Cycling Geelong, led about 20 riders from Balyang in terrible conditions – rain, cold and wind – for a tour of Geelong visiting places about the city which connected to the life of Russell.   The were participants from Cycling Geelong, Life Activities Geelong, Geelong Touring Cyclists, Geelong Cycling Club and visitors from out of town.   Also in attendance were Johne Hine, a local Olympian and Russell Mockridge’s nephew, Robert Mockridge.

From Balyang, the tour took the river path to the steep zig-zag to Pakington Street.  All but an agile and fit few, including GTC’s John Hagan, walked the zig-zag.

Thanks to Ray Bowles (The Cycling Scrapbook) for the two photographs above.

The first stopping place was The Geelong College, where participants were treated to a tour of the old school, including the hall of famous ex-students, where Russell’s photo features.  From there, a detour to near St Joseph’s showed participants the type of hills Russell could have used for training in Geelong.

Next the tour wended it’s way to Russell’s family home in Roebuck Street, before cycling part of the proposed east-west cycling corridor, along Villamanta Street, and to the Geelong Library and Heritage Centre over the cycle bridge over the railway line on Little Malop Street.

Outside the Mockridge family home in Newtown (Photo: Ray Bowles)

Thanks to Ray Bowles (The Cycling Scrapbook) for the photograph above.

Here, the participants had the opportunity to view a historic display about Russell at the Heritage Centre, and take a refreshment break at the newly opened Cafe Public.

The new bike racks at the library are finally full…

As the tour wound its way back to Geelong West, the clouds that had been hovering all morning, became black and angry.

Clouds gathering before the storm

The wind intensified as the group entered the Geelong West Football ground, to cycle the velodrome and hear more about Russell’s racing in and around Geelong.  The storm broke with a tree-bending south-westerly gale, and icy horizontal rain.  Shelter in the grandstand was more than welcome.

With these conditions, it was decided to ‘call it a day’.  The tour was truncated, with a plan to complete the ride in the next month or so.  (Keep an eye on the Cycling Geelong Ride Calendar to find out the date and time.)

Thanks to John Hagan for photographs.

Russell Mockridge with the winner’s trophy, Sun Tour, 1957

 

Drysdale via Bellarine Rail Trail: Thursday, 13th September, 2018

Drysdale via Bellarine Rail Trail: Thursday, 13th September, 2018

Thanks to Geoff Blyth, ride leader, for this report and photo. 

An interesting ride, leaving Breakwater with 13 riders and arriving at Café Zoo with 8. Despite great leadership, my tailend Charlie being Kevin C managed to loose 5 during the ride ! Maree B had an e bike issue as the bike’s previous week’s rider Bill J apparently failed to adequately clean the mud from the rear mudguard and the wheel started to make some strange noises. Maree and Bill decided to return to the bike repair shop, so 11 remaining. Geoff A and Stephanie A took the road route by themselves and Geoff had a puncture. Our expert club bike repairer Russell I returned with Stephanie A to assist, so this left the peloton with 8. Turning onto High Street, I was viciously attacked by the resident magpie to the delight of my followers who were unscathed. Thankfully, our number increased to 9 meeting Gavin V at Café Zoo. Eventually, we were joined by the 3 tyre repair riders and Russell was able to celebrate his 82nd birthday with a candle lit muffin.

It you thought that the ride couldn’t get any more challenging, I was once again singled out to be attacked by the resident magpie waiting for my return. More laughs again at my expense, but the pain was shared by all with a reasonable headwind for the return trip.

An enjoyable ride despite the little challenges of riding encountered on the way.

Best wishes to next Thursday’s ride leader !

Drysdale via Bellarine Rail Trail: Thursday 23rd August 2018

Thanks to David S (ride leader) for this photo and report.

We had an impressive number of riders (14) but there’s only 12 in the photo as I took it and Andrew joined us further along the trail.

We had a new multiple first name represented, being club member Paul Cooney on his inaugural Thursday ride and my guest, Paul Saunders, who hails from Ocean Grove.

It was a very pleasant, relaxing ride in fine weather. The highlight was encountering a smallish and typically shy echidna next to the rail tracks at the Jetty Road crossing, on our return journey.

(Kevin took a photo if you’d like the evidence!)

It turned out to be what I refer to as an Agatha Christie “And Then There Were None” (originally “Ten Little Niggers”!!) ride, whereby riders regularly, and sometimes suddenly, disappear on the return journey until we are left with just a few who make it all the way back. I’m yet to identify who the ‘murderer’ is! 😊

Point Henry and Moorabool Valley Chocolate – Joint Ride with GTC:  Sunday 8th July, 2018

Point Henry and Moorabool Valley Chocolate – Joint Ride with GTC: Sunday 8th July, 2018

Despite bad weather (cold, wet and windy) 10 riders arrived  at Rippleside Park for this month’s Joint Ride.  The route was from Rippleside to Point Henry, then to Moorabool Valley Chocolate for refreshments before the return to Rippleside.  Riders were Helen (Ride leader – Cycling Geelong), John H (GTC), Mike (GTC), David S (CG), John M, who is a member of both clubs, Rolf (GTC), Ian (GTC), David J. (CG), Kelly (CG) and Janet, a visitor on her first ride with either club.

Rippleside Park

With a strong tail wind, the going was easy to Point Henry – marred by rubbish and glass on the road which led to a puncture for Janet, efficiently mended by experts from both groups.  Most riders braved the gravel to ride to the point.

From Point Henry the ride turned south and west – into the wind, though once in the urban area the wind was less of an issue.  A shower had a few resuming rain tops.  The riders wended their way through Moolap, Breakwater, Newtown, Geelong West and Herne Hill to arrive at Moorabool Valley Chocolate at around 11.15, where Heather of Cycling Geelong, the voice  94.7 The Pulse’s The Bicycle Show (Saturday mornings at 11am) joined them for coffee.

After various refreshments (I recommend the hot chocolate on a cold day), the group disbanded with only Kelly and Helen returning via Rippleside Park.

Thanks to all riders, John for taking photos.  We hope to see you all on next month’s joint ride.

180708 Joint Ride Banner

Barwon River Circuit: Saturday 7th July, 2018

Thanks to ride leader Richard for this report

Ride leader’s selfie with friends at ride start

Ride leader: Richard

Ride participant: Kevin, Doug

Coffee groupees:) Gavin, Helen

On a chilly wet Saturday, Kevin and I braved the conditions to complete the cycling Geelong Saturday river circuit. We waited until 9:01, and we lulled into a false sense of security with the tailwind, and little rain towards Breakwater.

Kevin has just returned back from a Canadian summer, so full marks to him for turning up in the first place (If he hadn’t I couldn’t guarantee the ride would have gone ahead)

There was no one at the Breakwater stop, so we carried on around the other side of the river into the driving wind and rain. We stopped under the bridge to get some air into Kevin’s front tyre, and Doug caught up with us.

After the rain subsided we headed towards the next stop at Shannon. We considered taking the short hop over the bridge and round for coffee but decided to press on in the elements.

The wind was confronting towards Queens Park – (Doug took a moment in the midst of this to check out the frisbee golf) – the weather looked like it was going to be kinder, and we were getting a bit warmer, so we each removed a layer of clothing.

There wasn’t too much traffic on the pathway around Fyansford loop and we were staying dry, but it wasn’t to last and we were spurred on with a cold shower towards the cafe.

Gavin and Helen joined us for a coffee. Contented with a warm coffee in hand, and good company, we ticked off another circuit completed, even if it was the smallest group to complete the ride this year. The tradition continues.

Editor’s comment:  Wow!  This is way beyond the call of duty.

Do you like chocolate?  Maybe we’ll see you on the joint ride with GTC to Moorabool Chocolate tomorrow.  This is a slow meander – starting at Rippleside Park at 8.30am – to Point Henry, then circling to the south and west to arrive at Moorabool Chocolate in Ballarat Road at 11am when they open.   Easy 48km.  Click the map for more detail.  

Ocean Grove – Joint Ride: Sunday, June 11th, 2018

Thanks to Peter for this ride report and John Hagan for the photographs.

Peter O’Brien’s Combined Ride to Groove in Ocean Grove – Sunday 10.6.17
Five riders John H , Rolf, John M, Mike and myself set off from South Geelong Station to Ocean Grove.  We left Geelong in sunshine and rode to Leopold and then onto on to  rail trail.  As we approached the Grubb Road exit of the trail the fog had set in and this made riding a bit more difficult.  Upon reaching Ocean Grove the sunshine had returned and we enjoyed coffee at the Groove. The ride back to Geelong was via thirteenth beach and Lakes Road. A very enjoyable ride.  Distance 65kms.
Peter O.