North Bellarine GRAVEL Loop – Sunday 7th Feb 2021

5 riders today at the start at Drysdale Station. After pre-ride coffee for some of the team we headed around the Drysdale Bypass bike path then via Portarlington Rd to Scotchman’s Hill gravel. Only a small amount of complaining from at least one of the riders about the condition of the road (!) We made it through to St Leonards after a very pleasant ride around the ‘noisy’ gravel path on the Esplanade for a coffee stop at The Fig Tree where we were able to sit outside.

It was then back on the gravel around to Bluff corner, through the back streets of St Leonards and back to Drysdale Station via Manifold Rd and Andersons Rd. 46km in total.

Luckily the weather stayed pretty good, just a small amount of occasional drizzle and not too windy.

–Dave

Social gathering at The Sphinx – 29th January, 2021

Thanks to Stephanie and Geofs for organising this and to Geoff for this report and photos.

The Social Dinner at the Spinx was very successful for the 20 members who attended.  It was planned to be informal & everybody enjoyed themselves by the amount of chatting, laughter & having a good  time.

The Service was terrific with Pippa welcoming us with open arms  and spent time in conversation with us. The meals were great & plentiful, the sea food platter especially for Nick & Karen.

Cheers until the next one.

 

 

Ocean Grove – Sunday 24th Jan 2021

5 riders today at the start at Sth Barwon Reserve. A great day for riding, not too hot and no wind. Minimal traffic at the start of the ride down Barwon Heads Rd and Lake Rd (we took a slight detour over to look at the view of Lake Connewarre from Taits Point as Margy had never been there) but it became very busy as we got into Barwon Heads and through into Ocean Grove for coffee at The Dunes. We opted for takeaway as the seated area of the restaurant was full.

We made our way home via my usual sneaky route using the back streets through Ocean Grove, and Kingston, which avoids a busy section of Grub Rd before using Rhinds Rd and Malpas Drive to Wallington and then the Bellarine Hwy, BRT and Leather St back to the start. A very enjoyable approx 55km ride at an average speed of 19.8km/hr.

–Dave

Lara via Shell Parade and Rennie Street

Helen led 7 riders from Rippleside Park, with Kevin as tail-ender.  Richard caught up with the group near Lascelles Wharf.

Due to the water on Hovells Creek Path, under the highway overpass, the route was via Shell Road and Rennie Street, rather than  Hovells Creek path.  Kevin had a puncture, and asked the group to go on to the coffee shop.  He and Hermann joined the group after this was fixed.

David J did and exploratory ride along Hovells Creek Path, coming out onto roads that join Shell Parade near just before it goes under the highway overpass.  This route takes around 10 minutes longer, but avoids Shell Parade.

The cyclists regrouped and rode on to Cafe X-presso along Rennie Street, resuming Hovells Creek Path at the ford.

The return trip was via via much the same route, with some riders joining David on the Hovells Creek Path alternative route, and Keith braving the water under the highway underpass.

Thanks to all riders – David J, David F, Karen, Margy, Virginia, Hermann (on his new e-bike mark 2!), Keith,  Richard, Kevin, and our tail-enders and ride leader.

 

Drysdale via Bellarine Rail Trail – Thursday, January 6th, 2021

Dave led the ride, with 13 cyclists starting from the showgrounds, and others joining along the route to a total of 18. Conditions were perfect and, as usual, the welcome and service at Cafe Zoo was great.

Keith led on the return as Dave and Joe left at Drysdale to visit The Pedal Shed in Clifton Springs. Helen, Stella and Karen left the ride at Moolap Station Road, to return home via Eastern Park and the waterfront.

Thanks to Dave and Keith, ride leaders, and to Dave for the photo from the Showgrounds.

 

 

 

GEELONG LOOP – Sunday 10Jan 2021

We had 8 riders today for the rescheduled Geelong Loop ride (postponed from last week’s bad weather Sunday). We left from Rippleside to check out progress on the Boral cement processing factory which has slowly been taking shape on the Esplanade at North Shore. It’s an amazing building to see up close.

We then headed back and crossed over the railway line to Douro St and followed the Tom McKean shared trail and Church St up to Fyansford and then around the Barwon River trail to Highton shopping centre. Then over to Waurn Ponds via the Colac Rd shared trail for a coffee stop at Panache.

We then made our way back to Rippleside via South Barwon Reserve, Breakwater Rd, Carr St, Swanston St and Eastern/Western Beach trails. Total distance 42km.

A great morning’s riding!

–Dave

The Lazy Cyclist’s Guide to Wind (Lazy Cyclist’s Guide Part 3)

First published in Flashing Pedals, 2007. 

With the strong winds around this spring, you might like to read this light hearted article, written with the lazy cyclist in mind.

The Lazy Cyclist’s Guide – Part 3

Wind

A tail-wind is a lazy cyclist’s dream.  Indeed, why would a lazy person get out on the bike at all without some sort of pedaling assistance?  Unfortunately, there’s no ‘Dial a Tail Wind’ service for cyclists.  Indeed, the pessimist’s second law of cycling is:  The wind is always against you.  If you want to find how to break this law, there are some tips later in this article.  (What is the first law of cycling?  *)

It’s blowing a gale out there and you feel no motivation at all to get out on that bike.  You’re committed to cycling with friends or the car is in for repairs or you find yourself a long way from home with only the bike to get you there!  If you’ve ever been daunted by the prospect of cycling in wind, read on.

First, be realistic.  If it’s really blowing at gale force, it may be safer to stay home and read that paperback, or take a bus.  Storm force winds are dangerous for cyclists.  Flying debris and dust are hazardous.  You need to give other vehicles more leeway than ever – both you and they too can be affected by sudden gusts and airborne debris.  You could even be blown off your bike, especially by wind gusts and strong side winds.

If you have decided that you are going to get on the bike, even for a short ride, here are some tips.

Minimise the time that you have to face the full brunt of the head or strong side wind.  Vary your cycling route, to include cover (e.g. from trees and buildings).  If you will be riding directly into a head wind, see if there is an alternate route which cuts across the wind at an angle, especially if you are riding in a built-up area.  This can sometimes reduce a strong wind’s impact to little more than a nuisance.

Use your gears.  They are not ornamental.  Pedal faster, not harder.  Don’t be coy about using the small chain ring.  Spin your pedals; don’t grind them – better for you and the bike.  It’s usually faster too.  If you don’t believe this, test it on the bike – you’ll find that in hard conditions, a higher pedal rate (known as cadence to cyclists) will get you there as faster and without feeling you’re exhausted!

Take a portable wind break – otherwise known as a cycling friend (or friends).  Being lazy, you will encourage your friend to go in front of you.  Ride close behind, about a wheel length or less back. Let your friend’s body and bike act as a wind break.  This is called drafting.  If you want to keep your friends, it’s a good idea to take a turn at the front sometimes.  If you have chosen your friends for generosity as well as effective size as a wind-break, and cultivate an air of exhaustion for your stints, you will probably be able to minimize this.

Changing the second law: The wind is always NEVER against you

This involves forward planning.  Check out the wind direction and find a route and one-way distance that is in line with the wind and suits your cycling preference for distance.  Now you need to find a way to travel the route one way (i.e. with a howling head wind) other than by bike.  Take a train, or have a friend pick you up or drop you off so that you only cycle with a tail wind.  It doesn’t really matter whether you cycle from home, or from the destination.

An example of this is in practice is a ride tailored to Geelong’s prevailing south-westerly wind.  Cycle from Geelong to Melbourne (75 km approximately) or any intermediate V-Line station.  With the new Federation Trail, and using the wide emergency lanes from Werribee to Geelong (or quiet back roads) this is an exhilarating wind-assisted ride.  Off-peak trains run at least hourly to bring you back to Geelong.  For strong northerly winds, take the train to Melbourne and come back by bike.

A pick-up from Queenscliff is a great solution for a day of north-easterly gale.    After a fast easy 35 kilometres from Geelong and a delightful lunch or coffee break, pack the bike in the car for an easy trip back.

The cycling tourist (who is probably not a lazy cyclist) may even plan a cycling weekend around a proposed change in the weather – e.g. from Geelong south to Lorne with the northerly wind, and wait for the south-westerly change to come home.  Don’t attempt this, unless your weekends are very flexible!

The last word on cycling and wind comes from a wise touring cyclist, with many Great Vic Bike Rides under his belt;

‘No matter what the prevailing wind, if baked beans are on the breakfast menu, ride at the front of the pack!’

Happy cycling.

*The first law of cycling:  It’s all uphill.

2020 update.  Nowadays many lazy cyclists have taken ‘pedal assist’ to a new level with electric bikes.  These are perfect in the wind, and the extra weight adds to stability in gusty winds.

LANEWAYS V2.0 — Nov 1st 2020

A great ride today through some of Geelong’s laneways for 10 riders.

I think some people surprised themselves by being able to ride the somewhat rough and bumpy laneways. Always good to push oneself to a new challenge! There were no incidents, mechanicals, punctures etc.

Coffee stop at the end of the ride was at Ripples.

A big thankyou again to Gary for leading and his choice of route.

I had a very nice email from Rod a few days ago, expressing regrets that he couldn’t join the ride owing to other commitments. I reproduce it here with his permission:

‘Hi Dave,

I can’t make the ride on Sunday with regret, because this is a beauty.

You have moved into the next phase of growth of Cycling Geelong and its a mammoth move.

The essence of a real working city is its connectivity offerings and here you are exploring this

in our own locality. Kevin has been doing this on his Monday rides as well but yours is more fine grained as I see it now.

I applaud your planning and note how the ‘old’ Geelong Bicycle Plan suburbs are partly used so the ride has signifiant historic value as well.

Please circulate this email to all club members. Its a real win and offers alternatives for the future.

I would love to be involved with discussion of where to now.

Wonderful Dave, how lucky are we to have you aboard.

Rod Charles’

Thanks for the kind words Rod and here’s hoping that you can come along for Laneways V3.0 !!

–Dave

Drysdale via Bellarine Rail Trail – Thursday 15th October 2020

Thanks to ride leader Bill for this report and photos.

Today we had 13 riders who set off for Drysdale. It was a  warm and very humid day with rain expected in the afternoon.

Unfortunately Peter Olsen had a flat tyre along the trail in Whittington. While repairing the tyre we were attacked by huge numbers of mosquitoes. The group was sent on and Peter and I stayed to repair the tyre. We were not able to fix the tyre and Peter decided to walk back to the start and I rode on to Drysdale. Peter did get his wife to pick him up and had the tyre repaired at de Grandi’s.

I was killing 5 mosquitoes at a time  but they still were unbearable.

Otherwise the riders had a nice coffee and cake at the Zoo and rode back together to the start point.

I would recommend that future rides carry plenty of insect repellent