Barwon Heads: Sunday, February 15th, 2018

Thanks to Barbara for this report.  Thanks to Dirk and Barbara for their expert ride leading.   There were 10 cyclists – Dirk and Barbara, Colleen, Russell, Neville, Kevin, Lynton, David J, Helen, and John M (who joined the ride along 13th Beach).

Sunday 25th February dawned overcast with some threatening clouds but at lease the humidity was at a more comfortable level. The predicted southerly was not blowing too hard but it would make the trip out to Barwon heads a bit more challenging on the legs.  The promise of a good tail wind on the return journey brought out 10 riders for this great ride.

Dirk led the band of yellow Lycra clad riders out on the Barwon heads road, turning to Horseshoe bend road. We road in single file trying to get any draft advantage from each other as we battled the stiff southerly. Russell was amazed at the number of houses that has mushroomed since he last rode past Charlemont Rise.  We then turned left at  Warralilly  Boulevard reconnecting with the Barwon Heads road. Some road work on the right hand side made a short distance challenging as there was lots of blue metal stones in the bike lane.  The bike path from Blackgate road to 13th Beach road was admired and enjoyed by all the riders. Pity it’s not all the way and connected to the Geelong bike lane infrastructure.

As we came to the 13th Beach road, it looked as if we’d have to change our route because the road was closed to traffic due to the triathlon. To the relief of all the riders the smiling marshals waved us through as all the triathlon  riders had passed and the road wasn’t due to be opened for another 30 mins. We enjoyed the road minus all car traffic.

John Miro joined us at the 13th Beach comfort stop. He was late and was riding fast to catch up with the group. Considering he’d given the group almost 30 mins head start he did well to catch up at that point.

As we rode past the hotel the crowd was beginning to disperse so traffic, both car and pedestrian was heavy. We carefully negotiated past all obstacles and made it to Annies for a well-deserved coffee and treats.

Traffic in Barwon Heads was easier on the return journey and 13th beach road was quiet as many people were aware of the road closure and had chosen alternative routes. As we rode along the clouds parted and the sun shone making the return journey past the beach a wonderful vista.

Because of the road works on Barwon Heads road the group chose Black gate road to Horseshoe Bend road for the return journey.   Average speed to Barwon heads was a credible 17.5 km per hour considering the headwind. The return journey was at an average of 20.5 km’s per hour with a helpful tail wind.  Everyone returned safely and happy with their achievements and a great social catch up.  Thanks to all riders for a great Sunday morning ride.

Joint Ride to Barwon Heads: Sunday, 14th September, 2014

8:30am – Rippleside Park – 6 riders from GTC, 1 from Cycling Geelong.  Where were you?  The cycling conditions were perfect:  the company on joint rides is always congenial: the distance was less than 70km.  Ride sheet completed, Helen led (mainly from behind) David I, Rolf, Peter M (recently returned from shadowing the TDF – and riding all the climbs!), Marie, Zolenko and Ian F.  to Barwon Heads.

As Helen had attended a Strategic Cycling Corridors*  meeting last week, she led the group along the route of the southern SCC – up Gheringhap, and down Moorabool Street to the Barwon Bridge.  From there it was along Barwon Heads Road, Lake Road (where a small dog enjoyed ‘savaging’ the group), and along Thirteenth Beach.  This gave the faster riders the opportunity to stretch their legs.  (It’s impressive the way faster riders are prepared to stop and wait when there is a disparity of abilities.  Thanks!)
Coffee was at Annie’s Provedore where a rare outside table was available.  The usual cycology and philosophical discussions ensued before the group headed over the bridge to Ocean Grove, along Grubb Road and then along Portarlington Road back to Geelong.  With the all clear from the leader (puffing along undaunted a ‘little’ behind the main bunch) David, Peter, Rolf and Solenko cruised away and were soon lost to view.  At a more sedate speed, Ian and Helen enjoyed the mainly downhill run to Geelong where they rejoined Marie (who was riding very strongly as usual) before entering the urban area triumphant to have completed yet another super cycling circuit.
Thanks to all riders – young and old, fast and slow**.  Keep those pedals turning.

*Strategic cycling corridors are short (5-10km) routes that attract/will attract the highest number of cyclists within a reasonable timeframe (less than 5 years).  They are part of the Principal Bicycle network and are given higher priority.  The aim is to fund these to create separated, state of the art, bike paths that will attract people onto bikes for shorted trips. This is certainly succeeding in Melbourne where thousands of cyclists daily use, for example the off-road route along Footscray Road. The Principal Bicycle Network has now been identified for Geelong, and initial Strategic Cycling Corridors identified from north, south, east and west.  (Attending meetings are Vic Roads, CoGG, Bike Safe, and cycling club representatives.)

(For more of the criteria for the PBN or SCCs, ask Helen .  As soon as the SCCs are identified, they will be circulated.)

**The ‘slow’ group’s average was 23+kph.