Humans in Geelong Expo, Sunday, 8th October, 2017

Humans in Geelong began in August 2016 ago as a Face Book page telling good news stories about people and organisations making a difference to the Geelong Community.   This year, Humans in Geelong ran a most successful EXPO at Deakin University Waterfront Campus.

Cycling Geelong was one of over forty groups represented.  Rod Charles, Mike Currie and I ran the table with photos, giveaways and lots of interest from the many hundreds of visitors to the EXPO.   As well as cycling in general, Rod had his three volume history of cycling in the Geelong region on display.  He was surprised that one visitor is planning to buy a penny farthing – Rod’s comment was that they had gone out of date by the 1880s.  However there is now a lot of interest in historic bikes, and the Victorian Penny Farthing Championships will be held at Geelong West Velodrome in early December.

Helen & Rod at Humans in Geelong Expo – a lull in customers

Several other Cycling Geelong members including Vicki and Rosemary were also working on the EXPO – Vicki with Geelong Sustainability and Rosemary with the Humans in Geelong Committee.  Quite a few Cycling Geelong members visited the Expo – some after completing their stint working on Around the Bay in a Day.  We also had a visit from Maria from 94.7 The Pulse’s The Bicycle Show.

Another Cycling Geelong visitor was Tina, who came along with her mother.  They were delighted to meet up with six young Danish guys on a gap year between school and university, who were spending that time promoting Cycling Without Age.  These men rode in on two passenger tricycles, which they had ridden all the way from Newcastle to Geelong via Sydney, Dubbo, Canberra and Bendigo (which all have Cycling Without Age programs running).  People at the EXPO were invited to have a ride on the bikes – Tina and her mum are looking forward to the program starting in Geelong.

The Expo included a program of performers, speakers and other entertainment.  The winners of the first ever Humans in Geelong Writing Competition for schools were announced.  The primary school winner was Hamish West, , Year 3, Ashby Primary School, with runner up Indigo Niblett, Year 6, Clairvaux Primary School.  The secondary school section was won by Bridie Griffith who is in year 7 with year 8 student Archer Drummond second.  Both these students attend The Geelong College.

* For Cycling Without Age, the passengers do not require helmets.  The demonstrations were held in Deakin’s enclosed courtyard.  Normally, the riding tricycle pilots always wear helmets.

It is also legal in Victoria to ride these passenger tricycles on footpaths – speeds with passengers are usually around 3-6kph.  Geelong’s first Cycling Without Age program will be at Multi-cultural Aged Care in North Geelong and is expected to get underway early in 2018.

Luke Sherwell at Club meeting

Around 30 members attended the dinner meeting on Tuesday, May 16th, at the Belmont Hotel.

The guest speaker was Luke Sherwell, Active Transport Officer with City of Greater Geelong.  Luke talked about the types of issues that are faced in providing safe cycling infrastructure, and showed examples of international and local solutions.  He also fielded questions about issues faced by our members.

Dave has cycled the Bellarine Rail Trail that day, and brought along a large number of photos of problems with the unsealed section from Drysdale to Queenscliff.

Other issues included the poor shoulders on Bacchus Marsh Road, the unsealed section of the Barwon River circuit at Fyansford, closure of southern end of the Ted Wilson Trail and dangerous railings at head height on the new bridges over Waurn Ponds Creek.

Vicki Perrett talked about the pilot program of Cycling Without Age which will be starting soon.  Cycling Without Age involves the provision of electric rickshaws to be based in aged care facilities.  Volunteer cyclists take residents on bike rides – to shops, sight-seeing, for appointments etc.  The program began in Denmark and is now all over the world, including in two places in Melbourne.  Multi-Cultural Aged Care in North Geelong are purchasing one bicycle, and there are plans to fund raise for a second.

It is hoped that a number of Cycling Geelong members will be among the volunteer bike pilots for this program.

Thanks to guest speaker Luke Sherwell, and to Stephanie and Geoff our social secretaries for organising this most successful evening.

What’s in store for cycling in Geelong? Come to the Cycling Geelong Dinner Meeting

Tuesday, May 16th, Belmont Hotel.  Dinner from 6pm.  The meeting will start around 7.30pm.  Bookings with Stephanie please (or phone Geoff 0423850465).

The speaker for this meeting is Luke Sherwell, Sustainable Transport Officer with the City of Greater Geelong.

This meeting is important.

  • Find out the City’s priorities for cycling infrastructure – like the Principal Bicycle Network;
  • Show you care about what is happening to make cycling safer and more enjoyable;
  • Being along your questions.  It’s YOU as  cyclist, who sees the issues where you ride;
  • Bring along your ideas and vision for Geelong – Cycling City.


Your riding can improve our cycling infrastructure

Did you know that, just by the act of riding, you can help show our council, and others who provide infrastructure, where cycling facilities are needed?

The blue areas show ‘hot’ spots for cycling (Strava heat map 2015)

Most people have a smart phone these days.  More and more cyclists are relying on their phones for much more than just making phone calls.  As a cyclist, your phone can record how far you ride, and keep an annual log of your distance!  It can also tell you other things like where you have ridden and how fast, and lots of other data that, up until now, needed a bike computer or sophisticated GPS tracker like Garmin.

To change your phone to a bicycle computer, you need an app.  The most commonly used one for cyclists is Strava.  Because of this, our governments and councils now use the raw data from Strava inform themselves about where cyclists are riding.

When you have Strava on your phone, all you need to do is turn on recording at the start of your ride, and turn it off at the end (it auto-pauses if there are pauses in your ride).  As well as informing you, the data becomes part of the whole picture.

This data only shows people riding with Strava.  If you don’t your cycling movements are only recorded if, for example, you are visually counted on Super Tuesday.

Strava map of cycling in Geelong. High Street-Moorabool Street corridor is red (highest density of cyclists). Note also, the large numbers of cyclists using Portarlington Road and Bellarine Highway to ride to Geelong from the Bellarine Peninsula.

(Click on the above map to see a comparative map of data from 2014 and 2015.  Try zooming in to the area where you ride to see where people are cycling.)

Already quite a few Cycling Geelong members use Strava to log their cycling.  It’s easy.  The ap is free (though you could, if you wished pay for a ‘premium’ service).  It’s important that we show our councils that we are cycling, and let them know where we’d like the infrastructure to be improved. For example, if you look at the Geelong map, a large number of cyclists use Moorabool Street to travel north-south.  A fair number also use High Street Belmont, despite it’s lack of safe cycling infrastructure.  It’s clear that this is a route where safe cycling infrastructure needs to be fast-tracked.  The City of Greater Geelong is progressively adding bike lanes as Moorabool Street is resurfaced, with a long term plan for a dedicated off-road cycle path, but currently the proposed routes for south of the river are sketchy and convoluted.

What the current data lacks is the riding of casual cyclists and those who use their bikes for day-to-day movement around their local area.  This data would be hugely valuable in getting infrastructure in place.  If you’d like to help, give Strava a try.

*Reading Strava heat maps.

The aqua, blue and red lines show cyclist numbers – the red is most usage.  The thicker the line, the more cyclists.

The latest news about Geelong’s cycling infrastructure

Have your say about what needs to happen next

Cycling Geelong Club Dinner – Tuesday, May 16th, Belmont Hotel (dinner from 6pm)

The guest speaker at this dinner is Luke Sherwell, Active Transport Officer for City of Greater Geelong.  Come along to hear what CoGG is doing for cyclists.  Bring your questions, and comments about how cycling infrastructure can be improved where you ride.

If you’re attending the dinner, please let Stephanie know.



Cyclist Safety – Using roundabouts

If you ride on roads, you’ve almost certainly come across dangerous situations at roundabouts.  The study cited in this article tells why it is better to be assertive and ‘take the lane’ where you are within the normal line of view of motorists.  Our instinct to stay as far left a possible leaves us vulnerable to the common driver response “I just didn’t see you!”  Keep those pedals turning and stay safe.


Road Safety Forum City of Geelong: Thursday, March 9th


City of Greater Geelong –Road Safety Forum

We would like to hear your views on current Road Safety issues associated within the Barwon Region. This is an opportunity to share projects and partner on shared solutions.

Guest Speaker: Jesper Solund, a Road Safety expert from Denmark who will speak on the significant reduction in the Danish road toll, similarities between Denmark and Victoria, how Road Safety is a shared responsibility and the role municipalities play in an effort to prevent road accidents.

When: Thursday March 9th  1.30pm- 2.30pm000-cogg-logo

Where: City Hall, Gheringhap St, Geelong


Ph: 5272 4160







Are you the average bike rider?

131020-otb-5-bunch-near-bannockburn-webA study of data from a Bicycle Network cycling ap shows that the average Melbourne cyclist is male and middle aged.  His rides are usually less than 60 minutes.  Today’s Age has an article summarising research undertaken at University of NSW of 1200 cyclists 2012.  Geelong does not appear to have been included in the study.  It appears that the main emphasis of the study was on commuting cyclists.

Only 15% of trips tracked were made by female cyclists.   According to the article, in bicycle friendly cities females typically make up 35% of all cyclists.  “In general, females are more sensible and less likely to cycle if there is no dedicated, well-connected infrastructure.” (Professor Chris Pettit, study author, University of NSW)

It’s well worth reading the Age article which contains a map showing cyclist commutes over a 24 hour period.

The findings of this study were presented at the Bicycle Futures Conference in Melbourne on Friday 10th February.



Want to see where we’ve been riding?

Lots of our members are now using their mobile phone to record their riding.  There are quite a few aps which can do this, but by far the most popular is the free ap Strava.   These aps use the GPS on your phone to track your riding.

One side effect is that a huge body of data is produced.  This is then available for analysis to see just where the popular cycling routes are.  Strava data for 2015 is now available via a global map.  Those planning infrastructure can use this data to inform decisions about where cycling infrastructure is needed.


Strava cycling data for 2015. The brighter the line, the more cycling trips. (This data is only from cyclists using the Strava application.)

Click the map to go to the Strava Global Heatmap where you can zoom in and out on your local area, or anywhere in the world where people cycle.

Let’s hope that the 2016 Strava map will be compiled soon – it includes data from quite a few or our members, and numerous other cyclists.

Some athletes use Strava to track their fitness, and compete with others for speed goals.  However, for those of us who just like riding, using a riding ap allows us to record our rides without the need for a bicycle computer.

(Strava can also be used to map walks, swims, hikes etc.)

Such electronic data is only one way that cycling data is obtained.  All over Australia cyclist numbers are visually recorded twice each year.  The first date for 2017 is March 7th (Super Tuesday).  Thousands of people will visually count cyclists at set places between 7am and 9am.  (Several of our members are taking part in this recording in Geelong.)  If you’re riding that morning, you’ll probably be counted at least once on your ride.

Some of the recording sites for Super Tuesday

Some of the recording sites for Super Tuesday

The second count is of cyclists using cycling and shared paths and is made each year on the second Sunday in November.  A summary of data from 2016 is available from the Bicycle Network.

A Whirr of Many Wheels – Volume 3 now out

The final volume of Rod Charles’s definitive history of cycling in the Geelong region is finally available.

Volume 3 of

A Whirr of Many Wheels,

the history of cycling in Geelong, this time from 1945 to the 1980s the last of the trilogy Price $80 available from Barwon Booksellers (cash only) or from Rod Charles.

Congratulations, Rod for this achievement.

Rod’s history is far more than facts and figures about cycling.  It follows the history of Geelong and the impact of the bicycle on that history.  There are hundreds of historic photographs, documents and news reports to peruse.