On Ya Bike! Ride 1 – History around the Barwon

After yesterday’s heat, 28 cyclists enjoyed a cooler day for Cycling Geelong’s first ride for Seniors Month 2015.


On Ya Bike! riders preparing to leave from Balyang Sanctuary on the Barwon River.

Since the rides began in 2008, Rod has led the first ride, a river circuit, with a historical commentary.  It’s always very popular.

The clockwise circuit took the riders past old mills and early Geelong industry.  Red brick buildings and beautiful brick chimneys were a feature of 19th and early 20th century industry, and the ride passed many fine examples.   Rod, as Geelong’s cycle historian, riding his historic Peugeot bicycle, naturally added stories of cycling in years gone by.*

The Barwon River circuit has no road crossings, but the river is crossed twice, first over the historic Breakwater.  This was built to ensure the water in the river remained fresh all year round, without backwash from the brackish water of Lake Connewarre.  The second crossing is on newer bridges between Highton and Fyansford.

The Barwon Edge was a welcome refreshment stop, with the friendly staff expertly coping with twenty-eight orders.

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John takes group photos at The Barwon Edge

Thanks to Rod for leading the ride, and our trusty photographer, John Hagan of Geelong Touring Cyclists.

Thanks also to all those who attended.

The second ride in On Ya Bike! for 2015 is next Wednesday, October 14th.  The ride takes the Bellarine Rail Trail to Drysdale, starting at the trail entrance at Geelong Show Grounds, corner Carr Street and Breakwater Road, South Geelong.

* Rod Charles has published two volumes of a history of cycling in the Geelong region, titled A Whirr of Many Wheels.

Photos from On Ya Bike! 1

Barwon River Path: works and detours

Pathway works on Barwon River near Queens Park Golf Course

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Geelong Council will start works along the Barwon River pedestrian and cycling path near the Queens Park Golf Course at the beginning of next week.

The works involved moving two sections of the path away from the river embankment to ensure future path stability is’t compromised due to erosion.

The works will also enable bank stabilisation and re-vegetation works to be undertaken including the removal of any non-native trees and replanting of local indigenous species.

Disruption to users of the path will be minimised with bypass routes in place during the works.

Pedestrians and cyclists are urged to take care when using alternative routes and to adhere to signage displayed at both ends of the works.

Works to the path will start on Monday 23 February and are expected to take about a month to complete.

Saturday ride to Waurn Ponds

Stephanie and Geoff led the year’s last Saturday ride, with around 20 cyclists riding to Panache at Waurn Ponds for coffee. Once there they entertained the passers by with a lively rendition of Doug’s club specific version of The Pushbike Song:

“Christmas Pushbike Song”

Riding along on my pushbike buddy

Ridin’ on the Barwon with you

Riding around on a Saturday morning

Lookin’ at the river view.

You looked so happy

As you were riding along.

You looked so happy

As we were singing this song.

Well I put on the speed

And I tried catching up

But you were pedalling harder too.

Riding along like a hurricane buddy

Spinning out of view.

You looked so happy

As we were riding along.

You looked so happy

As we were singing this song.

Sing this song.

Round round wheels going

Round round round

Down up pedals

Down up down

But I got to get around

The River Ride

Before coffee time

Hey, hey!

Now we’re coming up close to Christmas Day

With the year now in review

I’m thinkin’ of all my bicycle buddies

Yes, every one of you

You looked so happy

As we were riding along.

You looked so happy

As we were singing this song.

Sing this song

Round round wheels going

Round round round

Down up Pedals going

Down up down

Merry Christmas!

Happy New Year!

All at Cycling Geelong

Hey, hey!

The previous week’s ride was the normal river circuit, with 20 cyclists.  Thanks to Doug for this photograph.

20_12_2014 River Riders @ Princes Bridge, Hightonweb

Joint ride- Western circuit: Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Six riders (John H, Pam and Ian F [Geelong Touring Cyclists]) and Karen, Mike C and Helen – ride leader [Cycling Geelong]) set off from Rippleside Park for a western circuit around Geelong. It was a chilly 5 degrees!

The route followed the waterfront to School Road then went west along the new bike path to Princess Highway, and continued on Plantation Road to the Ted Wilson Trail. After following this south west, the riders swept down the hill to Fyansford.   John Hagen gallantly took the lead against the brisk westerly on Hamilton Highway. The riders turned off at Merrawarp Road for Barrabool Road and Ceres. For those of us whose winter cycling has been sporadic the hill to Ceres was slow! However, the pay back came with a fast descent along Cochranes Road and the old Princes Highway to Waurn Ponds. John’s faithful recumbent clocked over 70kph on this section, despite a stop half way down the hill!

From Waurn Ponds the cyclists wended their way to Highton for a well earned break at Darriwill Farm before completing the circuit to Rippleside via the River path, Breakwater and the waterfront. Total distance 63km. Gain 438metres, including the Ceres hill which is rated category 4.

Well done, thou true and faithful cyclists. Why not join us on the next joint ride?

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River ride with a difference – February 8th 2014

Ride Report from Stella Groves

12 riders assembled for the usual round the river ride  But this time  we decided to ride the other way around!

This caused disorientation for some and confusion  – no names mentioned!  However it was very pleasant to ride  with a new view and, as they say, a change is as good as a holiday!

The river was the same beautiful place to ride – a good place to be on a Saturday morning.  140216 Waterlilies Barwon013web

The coffee break was at the new  cafe Little Creatures (river end of Swanston Street-  a perfect drinking hole for tired cyclists   and others !).

Little Creatures is an interesting place to visit  if you have not been before its worth a visit. 
It’s the renovated factory with wide open spaces and beautiful architecture and  is environmentally pleasing.      Lots of large tables, good service, child friendly, and most important great beer  AND  Coffee!

A relaxed time was had by all.

Cancel the ride: now let’s go cycling

Today, Swee and Peter were scheduled to take Cycling Geelong’s club ride to Queenscliff.  With temperatures in at least the high 30s predicted, they reluctantly cancelled the ride.

However, they let members know that they were planning to ride the river circuit themselves, and asked anyone interested to join them.

140202 Little Creatures - river circuit on hot daywebJohn M, Stella, Nancy and David took up the challenge.  A new watering hole for thirsty cyclists was discovered – Little Creatures Brewery.

At least four other Cycling Geelong members also rode today.  Helen (travelling south) spotted Kelly, Rick and Allan riding north on Bacchus Marsh Road near Lara at around 8:30am.

What do you do when it’s hot?

Tell us how you accomplish your cycling goals when it’s going to be hot.  Do you have a favourite ‘beat-the-heat’ ride?  Do you set our early (or late)?  Is there a cool destination?  Send your replies to Helen (webmaster).

River Ride: Saturday, 4th January 2014

The river circuit is always popular with members.  This week fourteen riders cycled the relaxed circuit – without the drama of the tiger snake sighted on last week’s ride.  With many people still on holidays there was much less traffic than usual.

Post Christmas River Ride: Saturday 28th December

It’s always worth turning up to Cycling Geelong’s Saturday Barwon Circuit ride.  Despite a forecast of strong winds and 38 degrees, David and Nancy were joined by Rod, Rosemary, Helen and Jane Elliot.  Jane was on a Christmas break from her job driving huge mining trucks in the western mines and it was a good chance to catch up with her news.

Not far into the ride the group was joined by Tina, and, a bit further along, Doug.

Conditions were perfect.  There was no wind, the temperature was mid-twenties and the river was sparkling in the sunlight.  The path was quiet.  It appears many usual walkers had taken fright from the weather forecast.  However, cyclists, undeterred by the weather, were out in force.  The group was delighted to see Gavin who joined in at the coffee stop, followed a bit later by John M (whose bidding online for some time trial helmets had kept him busy till 9:30: he was successful!).  Good coffee, good friends, fresh air and pedals.  What more could a cyclist desire?

It’s obvious really.  Life’s better from the seat of a bike.