Allan’s Mystery Ride – On Ya Bike! 2019 -5: Wednesday, October 30th, 2019

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!

Bulls eye on the ear lobe

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!)

On Ya Bike! 5 – Allan’s Mystery Ride

Ride maps – click to go to detail in Map My Ride

On Ya Bike! 5 – shortened route

On Ya Bike! 4 – Torquay: October 24, 2019

On a glorious day for riding (and for the Geelong Cup) Dirk led 20 cyclists on a ride to Torquay.

Horseshoe Bend Road is closed for road works north of Blackgate Road, so the ride route took Barwon Heads Road to Warralily Boulevard.  Barwon Heads Road now carries very heavy traffic, even with a public holiday in Geelong.  The closure of the bike lane for road works for some distance made for less than enjoyable riding.  However, the ride along the wide bike lane in W Boulevard is a delight.  Doug joined the ride at this point.

There was a mix up with a puncture which resulted in a mislaid rider (sorry, Hermann), but thanks to our wonderful tail-ender (who, having repaired his puncture, located Hermann and rode with him) the riders regrouped at Maccas Torquay for a refreshment break.  (Most Torquay coffee shops were closed for the public holiday).

The return trip was via the same route, except that the ride through Warralily was on a delightful bike path beside a wetland park.

Thanks to Dirk and David for their wonderful support as ride leader and tail-ender and to all those who supported the ride.

The last of this year’s On Ya Bike!  rides for Seniors Month is tomorrow, October 30th leaving from Rippleside Park at 8.30 am.  Please note the earlier start for this longer ride.  This final ride is “Allan’s Mystery Ride” – we find the destination and route when we arrive to ride.  The ride is, I hear around 65km, and to the north of Geelong I believe.  Riders need to be able to maintain an average (on the bike) speed of around 20kph for this ride. 

On Ya Bike! Ride 3 – Wednesday 16th October, 2019

Despite a prediction for 2-10 ml of rain, 16 cyclists rode the railtrail to Drysdale, ably led by Cycling Geelong’s bus-driving cycle bard, Doug Merritt.  No rain fell during the ride!

Before setting off, Doug recited a new version of his On Ya Bike! poem, especially tailored to fit the ride along the Bellarine Rail Trail to Drysdale.  We welcomed at least one new rider to On Ya Bike! – Janet, who has just moved into the region from the cycling luxury of Canberra.

Along the trail near Moolap the Friends of the Bellarine Rail Trail were doing a marvelous job of planting and maintaining the trail.

The riders were made most welcome at Cafe Zoo in Drysdale.  This is one of the most cycling-friendly cafes in our region.

After a pleasant rest to refresh the legs and refuel the body, the return was by the same route.

Thanks to all riders and to Doug our most able leader.

By the way, it’s ride to work day today.  Doug and Lynton were both off to work after the ride – on their bikes, of course.

Make a donation for research to cure kid’s cancer. 

Margy and Richard, both members of Cycling Geelong, are riding the Great Cycle Challenge this month to raise money for research into children’s cancer at the Children’s Medical Research Institute.  We encourage everyone to make a donation to this cause.  You can go directly to the sponsorship pages via these links –

 

On Ya Bike! 2 – Geelong Circuit: Wednesday, October 9

Despite the wet, cold and windy morning, 14 cyclists attended the second On Ya Bike! ride, led by Helen.  Unfortunately, three more cyclists, who had planned to ride, were unable to – due to work commitments, punctures and transport difficulties.

The short circuit of Geelong began at Rippleside, taking in the new waterfront path at Balmoral Quay, Cement Works Rail Trail to the old Cement Works at Herne Hill, and the new path through Fyansford development to Fyansford.  While this last path is off road, it’s steep in places, and a little daunting, especially when wet.  However, everyone made it safely to the Barwon River Path for the short ride to Swanston Street.  Refreshments were at Little Creatures – most welcome after the convoluted ride so far.  The weather had improved so the group opted to sit outside, in sun or shade depending on rider preference.

The ride then continued along Swanston Street to the waterfront and returned to Rippleside via the waterfront path.

Thanks to all riders, and especially Dirk who did an admirable job as tail-ender.

Next week’s On Ya Bike! goes to Drysdale, via the Bellarine Rail Trail.  The starting point is the Rail Trail, corner Car Street and Tucker Street (near the Showgrounds entrance), at 9am.  This ride is mainly on an excellent shared path, with a short on-road section in Drysdale (to get to that essential coffee stop).  The distance is around 38km.

See you there On Ya Bike!

On Ya Bike! 2019 1 – Barwon River Circuit: Wednesday October 2nd

Cycling Geelong historian, Rod Charles, led 21 cyclists around the river path, with stops on the way for short talks about the history of Geelong around the river.  It was a perfect day for cycling.  This was the first of the annual On Ya Bike! series, run by Cycling Geelong as part of Seniors Month.

It was wonderful to have Maxine, who was an original rider in the very first On Ya Bike! rides, and a regular rider, meet the group at the start, despite not being able to ride.

Stops were near La Trobe Terrace (woollen mills), the Breakwater, Princes Bridge (Shannon Avenue) and Queen’s Park, before a final stop for coffee at Barwon Edge.

Thanks to Rod for once again leading this most enjoyable and enlightening ride.  Every year, not matter how many history rides I’ve been on, I’ve learned something new about Geelong’s history.

This Wednesday’s On Ya Bike! ride is a 29kmGeelong circuit, on roads and paths, taking in the old Cement Works Railway path to the Cement Works, the new path through Fyansford development, the river, Eastern Park and Geelong Waterfront.  This ride begins at 9am on Wednesday, October 9th, at Rippleside Park near the Adventure Playground.  There’s plenty of parking available.

Goldfields Tour 2019 – Heathcote

Gold fields 2019 Travel & Ride Report

From Allan Marshall – Tour leader, chief planner and guide extraordinaire! 

Three cars set off from Allan’s place at 8 45 am, driven by George Belcher, Kevin Clingan, and with Nick driving Allan’s car and towing the newly renovated bike trailer.

The adventurers ready to leave from Geelong

We only made one stop at Woodend then travelled through the lovely granite rocky hills past Lancefield. We arrived at the Heathcote Bakery at about 11.35am for lunch before checking in at Heathcote Queen Meadow Caravan Park to get ready to ride.

Day 1 ride – Heathcote Environs

Led by Kelly, this ride went first to the Pink Cliffs Geological Reserve, then along High St to Argyle, where the ride turned and onto Forest Drive to the Powder Magazine building then onto North Costerfield Rd, in the McIver Ranges.  It was here that Kelly decided to cut the ride short so there was time to enjoy wine & beer tastings back in town. The ride took the road along the creek reserve and back to High Street (Northern Highway) at Heathcote Winery.  They didn’t answer my phone call early in the week so were understaffed for the 22 riders plus Nick and Heather.  Wine was sampled, and some bought.  Next it was beer tasting or coffee at Palling’s Brewery.  Finally, those who had stood the distance went for more wine tasting at Heathcote Wine Hub which received thumbs up for both tastings and tapas.   Allan drove Richard up Viewing Rock that overlooks the town and offered to take others wanting to go but no takers.  Dinner this night was at The Commercial Hotel, at 6pm.

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Day 2 Ride – Merindoc Wineries and Tooborac Hotel

The ride to Merindoc Wineries led by Allan.  Starting at 9am we arrived at 10 30am.  It was a slow ride with a South Eastly head wind.  We rode single file on the shoulder of the Northern Highway to Tooborac, to the Merindoc Vineyard just around the corner on the Lancefield Rd.  They gave a nice talk on their wines and the reason for the soil and what they do to the vines.  I learnt a lot. It was a good speech over tastings & finger foods.

Then we were back on the bikes to the Boutique Brewery & pie bakery at the Tooborac Hotel for lunch with a 12-2 booking.  They catered for all types of meals.  Nick took the car and trailer to cart the grog and as sag wagon for a couple of tired cyclists.  The return was via the same route for most riders.  Six hardy riders attempted the more difficult (hilly and gravel) ride route along to Old Dairy Flat Rd to Heathcote 6 riders took up the challenge. Allan lead the rest back on the Northern at speeds of up to 40k at times total distance 36 km.  I am proud of Denise who rode well and was always up on the wheel of the leaders.  Well done, after 2 years ago!  Keep it up Denise.  Then on Saturday afternoon, we watched the Grand Final at various places.  (Editor’s note – Knapps Cottage, where Helen and Stella were staying, was declared a ‘footy free’ zone with tea and birdsong on the veranda for Tina, Heather, Edena, Sally, Helen and Stella.)

BBQ tea was at the Caravan Park Camp Kitchen.  Everyone had a good time. Dirk lit the fire, which was most welcome, especially when the chill came down after sunset.  The barbecues were a male-only zone, supervised most ably by George and Richard (who kept the vegan hotplate pristine – even supplying gluten-free fried onions as needed).  Thanks to Heather and Edena for making sure all goodies were prepared, and to Allan with his foresight in pre-ordering the excellent meat.  Finally, the whole camp was led in a sing-along by Richard and Tina on ukuleles.

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Day 3 Ride – Bendigo on O’Keefe Rail Trail

The plan was to pack up and leave Caravan Park by 9am to commence ride on The O’Keefe Rail trail of 49 kilometres.  We got away a bit late “But all was ok in the end”.  Allan organised a car shuffle, with cars taken to Axedale, then Nick bringing the drivers back to Heathcote to ride.  Karen and Kelly each led for half each.

We parted with Helen and Stella at Knowsley then we somehow parted with Tina to drive her car to Bendigo.  We are booked in for lunch at The Tavern in Axedale, in the room that can cater for 25 people.

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The ride finishes at The Lake Weeroona.  Nick again took the drivers to Axedale to pick up their cars, while the rest of us loaded the bikes on the trailer.  Then we all headed for home. Some went for coffee at the coffee man (pity they forgot to ask Allan, who was loading the bikes, if he’d like one!).

Total riding distance day 3 – 54 km.  Everyone made it, with only one puncture (Dirk’s – about 5km from the Lake).

We headed for home via the Calder Highway Gisborne & Bacchus Marsh arrived at Allan’s just before 6 30 pm and unloaded some bikes, then wheeled the loaded trailer into Allan’s garage for rest of the owners to pick up their bikes the next day.

I believe everyone had a good time so we will ride again somewhere in the Golden triangle next year. We all would like to say a big thankyou to Nick for his support on these rides I believe Nick is spending time with the boys next year only Thanks mate.

The Terrific Treadly Trailer

I defy anyone to say the trailer didn’t do an excellent job.  This is the best fit out we have ever had.  Even the ladies in the group were helping with the loading and I heard Tina say she could use it for some away Moonlight rides.  Please use it. It’s there for all the members to use as long as the towing car has full comprehensive Insurance and the driver has a full licence and towing experience.  (Editor’s note: Kevin, who was driving behind the trailer, commented that the bikes did not move at all.)

Trailer trial loading – Thursday ride, August, 2019

Many Thanks for your Company Allan Marshall

 Thanks to Allan Marshall, our Goldfields Tour leader for this most comprehensive report.  Thanks to Allan and other tour participants for photos.

 

Drysdale via Bellarine Rail Trail – September 5, 2019

George led around 16 cyclists on this mornings regular ride to Drysdale.  It was a beautiful morning for riding, and the pace was good.

Margy and Jeff arrived at Cafe Zoo to meet the group.  They had ridden the trail from Point Lonsdale as part of their training for Around The Bay in a Day and for Margy’s Great Cycle Challenge (to ride at least 500km in the month of October).  You can sponser Margy here.

The ride back to Geelong was fast – except for George who had a puncture (the second in two weeks).  Thanks to Lynton who stayed to help him repair it.