Thanks to Barbara for this report and Barbara and Dirk for leading this wonderful rail trail ride. Photos by Barbara and Dave.
Sunday dawned foggy and calm. Club members set off early from Geelong by car with hopes of the fog clearing as we neared Skipton. It looked like Dirk and Barbara, Helen and Dave S were the only riders that braved the foggy and cool conditions outside the Skipton Garage. Time was still 5 minutes early but we were eager to set off as it was a little chilly. No sooner that we had decided to set off, when along came Richard and Denise swelling our numbers by two.
After setting up their bikes we posed for a new shot including our new arrivals. The band of riders set off towards the rail trail. A friendly local pointed us in the right direction and we were off. The track looked newly graded so some parts were loose and soft. Helen on her trusty bike Friday decided the riding conditions did not suit her so decided to return to the car. We were not to know that the track conditions would improve after 1 km but discretion is always best when you don’t feel secure on your bike.
The fog slowly cleared and the views were wonderful. Some local flora and fauna kept us entertained as we cycled through the countryside. Our first stop was at Pittong to look at a rest stop/chalet available for overnight stays next to a kaolin mine; the white clay is used for porcelain. Once we left we rode through sheep country and rolling farmland.
The decent to Linton was a buzz as little effort was needed to cover quite a long stretch of km’s through the state forest giving the legs a welcome rest.
Once we arrived in Linton Richard led the way turning right heading into the little township. A Great café tucked into a quaint old cottage on the right side of the main road just past the antique shop. The service was very friendly and food was yummy. Locals remembered Richard from a previous visit well over a year ago.
After refreshments we cycled back to the rail trail and continued on to the Nimmons Bridge. Where we stopped to chat to some other tourists standing on the bridge while Dave and Dirk cycled down the track to the Valley below to get a shot of the trestles. The valley views were beautiful in the clear autumn sunshine.
Sadly we had to leave as time was marching on. We decided to return to our café for lunch. The café menu looked really good and the food didn’t disappoint. Everyone enjoyed their food and great coffee. The locals were very friendly and welcoming.
With tummies full we tackled the return journey to Skipton. The riding was easy and lots of freewheeling as the track slowly descended to Skipton.
A great ride! Well worth the effort of leaving Geelong early for the 9 am start.
Fog at Skipton – Barbara taking picture
Thanks to Peter Smith for this ride report.
Ride Leaders – Peter & Swee Smith
At the start – Skipton (Swee behind camera)
This ride turned into Skipton to Ballarat since the winds for the day were forecast as westerly at 30kph. That meant we need to organize cars and the club trailer to get everybody back to Skipton.
We left Skipton at 8.30am – 9 of us – Peter, Swee, Stella, Geoff and Steph, Ian Campbell, Bill Trengrove, George Belcher and his son William. Swee (with the club trailer) and William were the support vehicles to Linton, then Swee on to Smythesdale; Peter was support driver from Smythesdale to Ballarat.
Stella, Geoff and Steph returned to Skipton from Linton for an assortment of reasons, and the rest of us continued to Ballarat, only needing one vehicle then since there were only six of us.
It was a great ride, no incidents. The track is good from Skipton to Linton and excellent from Linton to Ballarat.
Along the trail
We had coffee in Linton and lunch in Smythesdale.
The ride is 52km.
Thanks to Stella (ride leader) for this report.
What a beautiful day for a ride in the countryside! Twelve keen riders met at 9:30 in Skipton to enjoy the Skipton to Linton and return ride. We started the ride with a coffee stop in Skipton at the new cafe (just over the bridge) called 888 Chocolate Stop. Its only been open for 2 weeks and very reasonable and friendly well worth a visit if passing through Skipton.
The bike trail is in very good condition at present with very hard sandy gravel so the riding was fairly easy and allowed lots of opportunity to view the lovely views and rolling countryside AND enjoy the peace of it all! We had a short stop in Linton at the cafe there and shared Lunch.
On the return journey we all went our individual speeds. Paul and Dave zoomed off further down the track towards Ballarat and Doug went in search of the school he had taught at in his early days teaching! Karen was riding so much better and set her own pace with Sandra. The rest slowly followed on taking in the sunshine and the relaxed afternoon. Unfortunately no kangaroos joined us this time but Karen spotted an echidna by the track. It’s very special to see this.
The group finished off with another stop at the cafe and we all agreed it had been a lovely day and ride and hopefully repeated in the not too distant future.
Thanks to all who participated.
Thanks to Stella for leading this ride – originally scheduled in December, and twice postponed. However, the day was perfect in the end. This is clearly in the Best Rides category. Thanks to Rosemary for the photos.
Skipton-Linton-Skipton – Sunday, April 24th
Perfect weather is predicted for this beautiful ride along the rail trail (21C, sunshine, light winds). Stella reports from her reconnaissance ride yesterday:
The drive to Skipton takes about 1 and a half hours but easy drive and quiet roads. (Drive to Bannockburn and then direct road to Skipton.)
Meet by the main shops in Skipton at 9:30 (map below). Yesterday, when Coralie and I rode the track we found a new coffee shop in Skipton! Great cafe only opens at 9 30 on Sunday but there will be time for coffee if people so wish.
The track is in very good condition and today it was a beautiful ride there and back Very clear views and quiet wooded areas AND kangaroos kept us company in some areas !
I’m so looking forward to seeing the ones who have indicated they will be riding. Any one else who would like to join us – you are welcome.
Please let Stella know if you’re coming. (Phone 52297132 or 0424798665)
We are able to share and arrange some transport there and back !
It’s finally on… THE SKIPTON RAIL TRAIL –
After several delays, Stella is leading one of Australia’s best rides – on April 24th.
If you haven’t ridden this trail before, it’s not to be missed. If you have, we’re sure you’ll want to repeat the experience.
Skipton – Linton – Skipton – 40km – Easy – Stella
9:30 – Skipton Central! – Park cars opposite the shops by the small green and public conveniences. Rail trail Skipton to Linton (slightly uphill) – 20km. LUNCH – Linton cafe (buy lunch or BYO). Return Linton-Skipton – 20k. Fairly easy ride and hopefully the weather will be mild and fine
Please contact Stella. This is essential as car pooling is needed.
Please note. This ride is starting from Skipton (not LINTON as we’ve done in the past.)
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is one of Cycling Geelong’s feature rides – well worth doing. The scenery is stunning, path surface well-made gravel, gradients slight and the company wonderful.
Skipton – Ballarat Rail Trail
Cycling Geelong cyclists at start of Skipton Rail Trail
Some pics from our earlier rides on the Skipton-Ballarat Rail Trail.
What better way is there to finish off the year than joining Stella’s annual ride on the Skipton Rail Trail? There’s still time to make your decision for next Wednesday’s ride.
Skipton – Ballarat Rail Trail
Cycling Geelong cyclists at start of Skipton Rail Trail, 2011
Stella’s ride notes:
Wednesday ride. From SKIPTON TO LINTON AND RETURN LINTON TO SKIPTON
Distance. 46 Km
It’s a medium ride with some steady up hills, lovely views and countryside, with some areas exposed so not suitable for a hot day.
The ride goes along the old railway line with mainly hard gravel but some areas of loose stones.
On our reconnaissance ride on the 20th some parts were difficult due to tree branches on the track (the local council has been contacted about this problem and they have said they will check the route out very soon ). Let’s hope they do!
The drive to SKIPTON takes about 1 hour 45 minutes. Please meet at SKIPTON before 9am on the main road by the Santa sleigh! There’s lots of parking there. Ride will start at 9 am. It takes about 1 hour 45 minutes one way. We’ll enjoy coffee & snacks at the Linton take away cafe before returning to SKIPTON on the same route.
PLEASE ring me (Stella) if you intend to go on this ride.
Email Stella here, or check the member’s area for phone details.
Some photos from last year’s ride on December 27th, 2014.
Map of the trail from Skipton to Linton
Rosemary and Sandra
2014 Skipton ride
Along a shady part of the trail
The whole group, 27th December, 2014
If the weather is forecast to be above 27 THEN THE RIDE WILL BE CANCELLED AND PLANNED FOR ANOTHER DATE
Editor’s note: The current estimate is
13C (sorry that’s Skipton UK!) 33C for Wednesday, so await Stella’s update. Continue reading
Ride report from Stella Groves
Linton to Skipton and back: 28th December 2014
Congratulations to all the cyclists who ventured on the Sunday Ride! Yes, we all made it back (just to reassure a few members!) and it was a great ride.
It was also probably the HOTTEST AND SLOWEST RIDE OF THE YEAR!!! but No complaints from any one, AND YES IT WAS HOT, AND A PUSH AT TIMES! But the beautiful clear scenery was so lovely, and the views to die for – but NO ONE DID!
We started promptly at10:30 in Linton from the cycle rest stop with everyone enthusiastic TO START.
Just to explain the numbers to Peter and Doug, 24 signed in counting the 4 that went backwards (i.e. Skipton-Linton-Skipton)! Leaving 21 BUT one person forgot to sign in and no saying who it was.
One person signed in twice and one name was crossed off. Work that out its better than the Sunday paper games !!! It was noticed on the ride the figures didn’t match but I had all my trust in God (no I mean ROD!!) who was an excellent whip and could never loose any one. Thankyou – Rod.
The ride was on very good tracks – no problems with the surface. The Cafe at Skipton was friendly and they said we could call in any time when we return! (Good Sign)!
Thanks to Nancy for the cooling watermelon – we were all so pleased to see you Nancy holding the offering!
Thanks to everyone for an excellent team effort.
Thanks to Stella for leading the ride – and helping organise the transport and logistics. Well done to all!
Life Activities Club have a group ride on the Ballarat-Skipton Rail Trail on Tuesday, April 8th. There are 3 spare places on the bus and they’ve invited Cycling Geelong members to participate.
The trail is 53 km and unsealed (there may be some soft sections). Riders need to bring lunch and water (there are several opportunities for coffee stops at small towns along the trail).
- Cost – $25 (covers bus and bike trailer to Ballarat and home from Skipton)
- Time and date – Bus leaves 7:30am from ‘The Grey Room’ – in two storey building on Barwon River Reserve, Belmont near Moorabool Street and La Trobe Terrace Bridge.
Bookings essential – contact Tony Minchin – 5243 0664 Mob. 0417 509 918.
Cycling Geelong cyclists at start of Skipton Rail Trail
Skipton – Ballarat Rail Trail
Photos from Cycling Geelong Skipton-Ballarat Rail Trail ride December 2013.