Around the Bay in a Day – Dave’s story

Thanks to Dave Simpson for his take on Around the Bay 2018.

Richard, Peter and Dave

Having experienced the difficult start at Rippleside last year (the start line had been placed at the beginning of the ramp up to the Esplanade, causing many people to fall off as they were starting in too high a gear) we decided to hang at the back of the crowd and to let the crowd get out of the way. This worked well when we did eventually get going as for some reason the start was delayed by 15 minutes.

We set off in the dark for Queenscliff, saying hello to some of our team of CG volunteers on marshaling duty as we went past. The ride down to Queenscliff was fine, no delays and importantly, no wind. We decided it was going to be hard to get onto the 8am ferry owing to the late start (and it would be crowded).  So I decided to resist the calls of the people on ticketing duty at Queenscliff, who were trying to give us 8am tickets, and we held out for tickets for the 9am ferry and had a coffee, having found a seat in the sun at the Marina.

Consequently the ferry journey was great, the ferry was only about half full and we sailed off into the fog which had come in from the bay.

We arrived at Sorrento at 9:50am and got straight out on the road and made good time, stopping off a few times for necessary ‘natural breaks’. There was still just a very light wind, cross/tail, and the other riders were well behaved. I think we had managed to fall into a very well placed time window as the 210km riders hadn’t arrived yet and the 200km ‘Sorrento Return’ riders were just arriving so we didn’t have to contend with too many large pelotons whizzing past!

We eventually got to our lunch stop at Frankston and after a nice rest in the sun we headed off for the final run, with the wind, up to the finish at Albert Park, making sure that we crossed the finish line together!

My certificate says my total ride time was 7hr24m, and my Strava timing says I did the 100km Sorrento-Melb in 4hr41m, including a 30min stop for lunch. Our average speed was 22km/hr.

After (another) coffee we set off to Southern Cross to get the train home.

A big thankyou to my fellow riders, Pete and Richard, and to the team of volunteers.



Around the Bay in a Day: Sunday 7th October, 2010 – 1

Stephanie and Geoff’s ATB

Thanks to Stephanie for this ride report and photos.

Geoff and I rode the 50km Route from Albert Park to Williamstown and back.  The day was fantastic with perfect weather conditions for riding.   With 10,000 riders registered for the day riding from 20-210 kms it showed the motorists on the Westgate Bridge …. cycling is now here  to stay and grow!

Geoff and I had no issues with the younger kids, most riding responsibly all day.

The climb over the Westgate Bridge and back wasn’t hard and we had plenty of room taking up 2 lanes of the bridge.The views from the top were superb, many stopped and took photos.

Surprisingly most motorists accepted a very  long wait and didn’t abuse us or other cyclists! FANTASTIC

With over 80 cyclists registered as Members of Cycling Geelong it would be good to see a Team of 6 to 8.

(Editor’s note:  Congratulations to Stephanie and Geoff on their personal achievement.  We also had club 20 members and friends working as volunteers on ATB and 2 members at the Cycling Geelong stand at the Humans in Geelong Expo.)

If you participated in Around the Bay, or volunteered the event, please send in a ride report and your photos so we can share them with other club members.  Send to Helen.

Around the Bay in a Day 5: Driving the sag wagon

Thanks to Sandra for this report.

David and I volunteered in the Sag wagon on the Geelong/Bellarine section, which took in Queenscliffe and Portarlington Roads.

We had a busy morning, picking up quite a few riders, just after we started our shift we were sent to collect three riders from Little River and Lara, when we arrived at Little river, no sign of our riders, they were obviously collected by someone else.   However, still at Little River we came across a group of riders sitting at the side of the freeway who had been involved in an accident due to the ferocious winds, one of the riders came with us in the sag wagon with a bleeding knee and a cracked frame on his lovely carbon race bike, he was not happy as he said he had been training for three months!

Another rider we picked up had four punctures between the start of the race and Lara, and declared he had enough!

One rider was cold and exhausted at Drysdale, and a few others had mechanical problems.

Although we were volunteers, it was a big responsibility, but it was worth all the effort to hear the grateful thanks from the riders.

Considering the atrocious winds, I think it was one day we both quite happy not to ride!


This is not a true image of Sandra and David's vehicle.   Image from Pinterest

This is not a true image of Sandra and David’s vehicle. Image from Pinterest


Around the Bay in a Day 4 – a champion wind-rider’s perspective

Thanks to Dave Simpson for this report.

Now THAT was a wind!

Doug Merritt and I rode the 210km Around The Bay this year but we certainly didn’t expect that it was going to be that tough.

I stayed Saturday night at a friend’s place in Essendon so had a very early 4am wake-up and an interesting ride down Mt Alexandra Rd, Flemington Rd, Elizabeth St, and Flinders St to the start at Alexandra Gardens. I managed to meet up with Doug on the start line and we got underway at about 5:45am. It was a very slow crawl along on the roads out of the city to get to the Westgate bridge. We seemed to spend more time stopped at traffic lights and shuffling along in a single lane than actually riding. But once we got to the entrance to the bridge it was smooth going and we got to the summit just as the sun was rising behind us.

It was a great ride down to Geelong via the freeway with the wind just over our right shoulder helping us to maintain a good speed. We were soon in familiar territory and made a quick toilet break just off the official route at North Shore, it always helps to have some local knowledge! It was then on to the official Geelong rest stop at Rippleside for some food and water and a brief rest. We got going again and were soon following the same route as I took last year when I did the 135km from the Eastern Beach start.  We said hello to our fellow Cycling Geelong members who were doing marshaling duties at the Garden St/Ryrie St traffic lights and then at the top of the Leopold hill.

We then had a push to get to Queenscliff as soon as possible. We thought that we could make it to get the 11:00 ferry but that slipped by and we had to settle for a ticket for the 12 noon trip. We picked up lunch, got a coffee and had a nice rest on the grass while we waited for a call to the ferry. The wind coming off the sea at the ferry terminal was worryingly strong and there were some pretty serious waves crashing in and causing those waiting in the queue to get a soaking! Doug had looked at the BOM website and had seen that the wind speed in the bay was up around 70km/hr. We were in for a fun crossing. But as it turned out the ferry journey was fine, we even managed to get a seat, and we were soon collecting our bikes and getting back on the road at Sorrento.

Here the fun began. The crosswind really picked up and we were getting sandblasted as we rode, trying to keep the bike upright. It was extremely hard going, with the wind gusts almost blowing us into the right hand lane. There was lots of traffic, unfortunately this event was not being run on closed roads, and I must say there was not a lot of sympathy from cars that passed me, lots of times there was a clear lane to the right but drivers passed me very closely, when they could have easily moved over and given me space.

We rode on, struggling with the wind which varied from cross to head, never giving much chance to relax. It was a shame that the wind was so bad, the new 17km section on this ride that went along the coast rather than on the highway was very scenic and would have been a great ride in better conditions. Even the section down the hill into Frankston was a battle, I needed to pedal to keep going!

We finally got to the rest stop in Mordialloc, the lunch stop for me on last year’s 135km ride. Unfortunately it was late by then and there was no food on offer so it was just a top up with water and press on. Doug decided that he needed a rest and told me to ride on without him so I ended up doing the last 30km solo. I managed to ride at the back of a couple of groups which helped pull me along and I made it across the finish line in Alexandra Gardens at 7pm. I was very happy to see later that Doug had also managed to make it to the finish line about 25 minutes after me.

I had a brief rest then headed back up the 10km to Essendon and then on home. It was certainly the hardest riding I have done on the road bike, even beating this year’s BAD ride!


Editor’s note:  We now hear that up to 50% of all participants in the full ATB were forced to retire due to these dangerous conditions.  Congratulations to Dave and Doug for making it.  The time says it all – over 6 hours for the 100km from Sorrento to Melbourne.  Better luck next year!

Around the Bay in a Day 3: more reflections from St Leonards

Thanks to Rod Charles for this perspective on the big day.

Thanks also to Tina for the photos attached.  (Tina and Robert were team leaders for our Cycling Geelong 250km circuit + Leopold Rest Area team).

Heather had dressed in a multicoloured tu-tu with a lovely pork pie hat decorated with a gay scarf. But all is not like it was the day before with sun and mildness.  She was then layered with warm attire.  The day was chilly.  I wore my rain coat with hood tightened at the throat all day as we were buffeted by constant high winds blowing over the water at the St Leonards Pier and pub.  So it was Heather and I that I will remember on this day this year.  The riders reached us with a tail wind but on the way home well after finish I met two young Chinese girls walking into Portarlington. This was a day for only the hardy. But next year is on the way.  All is never lost on the cyclists calendar.


Around the Bay in a Day 2 – Riding 60km in the wind

Thanks to Stephanie and Geoff for this report

Stephanie and I rode along with 1700 riders the 60km Ride yesterday from Alexandra Gardens starting at 7.30am to Mordiallac and back.  Due to the predicted high winds the Bicycle Network in their wisdom changed the route at lunch time on Saturday.The original Route was to Altona and back.  It was the correct decision.

The new route avoided the dangerous high winds on the Westgate Bridge for the safety of ALL riders doing the 50km.  We thanked the Bicycle Network for their foresight in altering the course at such short notice for the well being  of those riding, as we all experienced some  strong  winds during the day.

It was marvelous to see so many young children aged 9-11 years digging deep and riding their little hearts out and not letting the “winds beat them”on the return journey into the  NNW’s from the turnaround point at Mordiallic.  At this time in the day the ferocious winds didn’t pick up until later, thankfully.

It was great to see so many cyclists of all ages and from so many nationalities supporting  Bicycle Network. Over 10,000 cyclists entered this years ride.

Stephanie and I would like to see more members from Cycling Geelong supporting the ride.

Every year we look forward to entering the ride and supporting  Bicycle Network whenever  we can.

151011 ATB Geoff & Stephanie0021acr editweb

Stephanie and Geoff at the start of the 2015 50km of Around the Bay – better weather then, but just as much fun this year.

We are appreciative and grateful for the 20+ Members who Volunteer their time for the whole day to benefit the Club.

Around the Bay in a Day 1 – Blown away in St Leonards (a marshal’s perspective)

Thanks to Heather for this report…  and also for braving the appalling weather so that others could meet their personal challenge of riding.

Maria came to visit us at St Leonards and was blown to her knees as she took a photo of waves breaking over the jetty:  I was stopped in my tracks by gusts, the sag wagon just drove past the rider waiting with us and Bicycle Network had no idea where their sags were, plus the young cyclist had over 2 hours wait and no suitable clothing with him.   Rod was, as usual a great companion, motorists were good, and many riders commented on my tutu.   The sand & grit was bad, and I had 4 layers on & was still chilled.  The rider with the cargobike got my vote for most awkward bike to ride ATB on.
Editor’s request … Did anyone take a photo of Heather’s tutu?  It will be an overnight sensation.

Around the Bay in a Day – Riding, supporting and having fun

Several Cycling Geelong members participated in Around the Bay this year.  As well as this twenty volunteered to run the section of the 250km route between Drysdale and Queenscliff, led expertly by David and Nancy, with Robert ‘leader in training’ learning the ropes.

If you rode ATB, or had involvement as a volunteer, we’d love to share your story with our readers.  Please send reports and photos to the webmaster, Helen

50 kilometre course – Geoff’s perspective

Stephanie & Geoff rode the 50km ATB Ride  yesterday. It was a fantastic day with almost perfect weather, blue skies, little wind & not blazingly hot. The distances were  from 20kms – 250kms I got “a kick ” out of riding up & over the Westgate Bridge in both directions as I enjoyed the steady climb & the exhilarating freewheel down.

My max speed was 53 kms P/Hr…one still had to have their wits about them as to who was around or near you whilst descending.  I was probably one of the quicker ones in our  group  but certainly not the fastest.

We were delighted to see so many younger children aged 8-12 years riding the 50kms with confidence & determination, obeying the road rules & being courteous.

People rode bikes from unicycles, folding, cruiser, cross-bikes to  top of the range racing bikes.

After speaking with Bicycle Victoria  officials everybody was pleased to receive their timed results so promptly after crossing the Finish line.

The real winner was people on bikes riding their chosen distance who will continue to ride regularly until next time next year when many riders will increase their distances.

Happy Cycling,


Indented Head Rest Area – 135km into a 250km bike ride

Geoff and Caroline, Peter and Helen made up the team.  The first few serious teams shot past pedalling fast at around 9am.  By 9:30 riders (all male to this point) began to avail themselves of our friendly service.  Despite the problems with the bidon bar (we’ve never had a year when everything ran smoothly), cyclists refilled bottles, rested for a few minutes and managed to top up on essential energy with Caroline’s magic lolly bowl (never empty).

The advantages for the team were many – we met amazing people, gawped at millions of dollars of bikes and bike bling, collected a spare mobile phone (now returned to it’s anxious owner) and generally admired the stamina and determination of this amazing group of cyclists.  The riders were – to a person (there were some elite women appearing by 10am) – grateful, cheerful and friendly.  This all happened on a sparkling day with a view of pelicans fishing from the wrecked paddleboat near the shore.

We supplied a bike stand (picnic table), floor pump and lots of advice (and some long nosed pliers) for mechanical incidents, and a couple of spare tubes were accepted by some unlucky riders who’d had multiple punctures.

I spotted a man delving in his handlebar bag, bringing out what looked like a folding pump.  ‘I’m fine,’ he said.  ‘It’s actually a walking stick.’  He unfolded the stick and limped off to fill bottles and use the facilities.  Despite a leg deformity, he rode the 250 km route.  He’d come from working in Germany to ride ATB and compete in a marathon next weekend.

Next year maybe we’ll welcome a fellow member of Cycling Geelong stepping up to the super-challenge of 250km Arount the Bay in a Day.

Thanks to David and Nancy for their amazing support.

Ex-team leader, David’s report

Thank you all for volunteering for this years Cycling Geelong participation in Rest area and marshal duties for the 250km around the bay ride.

It all went very well thanks to your effort and I was able to return the van and equipment  to the Bicycle Network depot in Sunshine by 4:30pm.

I returned to Geelong by train and met Doug Merrit on the train also with his bike.  He was returning from Melb. after completing the 135km ride from Geelong.

This year Robert Turnour helped with the van pick up on Saturday and came around to the rest areas and marshall locations on Sunday to see how our volunteering is organised.   Robert will take over the organisation of this event for Cycling Geelong in 2016.  I am sure you will all continue to support Robert and Cycling Geelong in 2016 for this event.  I will assist Robert if required.

David has been Team Leader for the 250km section of ATB for quite a number of years.  It’s a tiring and time-consuming job – his shift begins on Saturday, picking up a van in Sunshine, and ends when the van is returned late on Sunday afternoon, after driving many kilometres distributing and picking up equipment, and generally supporting the event.  This year, he also had to collect all the signage on the 250km part of the route!  Well done David (and Nancy) for this fine effort.