On Ya Bike! 3 – Drysdale via Bellarine Rail Trail: Wednesday, October 17th, 2018

Once again, there was an excellent turn up, with twenty-one cyclists assembling near the Geelong Showgrounds.

After waiting for a few latecomers, the ride got underway.

The rail trail initially passes through Geelong’s south eastern suburbs, before crossing the Bellarine Highway at Moolap.  From there on the area is more open – farmlands.  Thanks to the work of the Friends of the Bellarine Rail Trail, vegetation shelters the path for most of the way to Drysdale.  Doug, the ride leader, joined the group at Leopold.  As rest stop was held at the top of the Leopold syncline at Christies Road.  The rail trail is the easiest way for cyclists to climb this hill, with all cyclists accomplishing this easily.

From there the group quickly traversed farmlands to the Portarlington Road, past Curlewis Golf Club, where a new path was underway into the cafe at the driving range.  From there, it was only a short way to Cafe Zoo, with the final section from the trail to Drysdale being on road.

As usual, the cafe was friendly and welcoming, and a noisy group only quietened a little for Doug’s latest On Ya Bike! poem, delivered in his best radio announcer voice.  The group was joined here by Jeff who’d ridden over from Point Lonsdale.

It was good to see a few new riders to On Ya Bike! for this ride – we hope to see them back next week.

The return to the rail trail was via Wyndham Street and Jetty Road before a return to the showgrounds at around noon (with afternoon storm clouds threatening).

Thanks to ride leader and bard Doug Merritt, Gerry and Terry our tail-enders, and photographer John Hagan.  Thanks to all riders.

The fourth ride in the On Ya Bike! series is to Moriac, leaving from South Barwon Reserve at 9am, next Wednesday, October 24th.  See you there on ya bike!



Drysdale via Bellarine Rail Trail: Thursday, 13th September, 2018

Thanks to Geoff Blyth, ride leader, for this report and photo. 

An interesting ride, leaving Breakwater with 13 riders and arriving at Café Zoo with 8. Despite great leadership, my tailend Charlie being Kevin C managed to loose 5 during the ride ! Maree B had an e bike issue as the bike’s previous week’s rider Bill J apparently failed to adequately clean the mud from the rear mudguard and the wheel started to make some strange noises. Maree and Bill decided to return to the bike repair shop, so 11 remaining. Geoff A and Stephanie A took the road route by themselves and Geoff had a puncture. Our expert club bike repairer Russell I returned with Stephanie A to assist, so this left the peloton with 8. Turning onto High Street, I was viciously attacked by the resident magpie to the delight of my followers who were unscathed. Thankfully, our number increased to 9 meeting Gavin V at Café Zoo. Eventually, we were joined by the 3 tyre repair riders and Russell was able to celebrate his 82nd birthday with a candle lit muffin.

It you thought that the ride couldn’t get any more challenging, I was once again singled out to be attacked by the resident magpie waiting for my return. More laughs again at my expense, but the pain was shared by all with a reasonable headwind for the return trip.

An enjoyable ride despite the little challenges of riding encountered on the way.

Best wishes to next Thursday’s ride leader !

Bellarine Rail Trail to Drysdale: Thursday 4th January 2018

After a very good turn-up for Tina’s full moon ride on Monday (New Years Day – report to follow), today continued the trend with 23 riders.

Ride leader Mike L reports:

A large group today with no incidents. Good weather and company made for an enjoyable ride. David Salamy stopped on the return journey to sweep up some broken glass with his trusty handleless straw broom. (see photo of his “drink stop”)

Bellarine Rail Trail to Drysdale: 23rd November 2017

In contrast to last week’s rainy ride, today’s ride was in sparkling sunshine, with little wind and a temperature in the high 20s.  Geoff led around a dozen cyclists for a fast ride to Drysdale, meeting Helen at Leopold.

Iced coffee was the chosen beverage for many at a welcome break at Cafe Zoo.

Thanks to ride leader Geoff and Kevin, trusty tail-ender.

Bellarine Rail Trail to Drysdale: Thursday, November 16th, 2017

Thanks to ride leader David S for this report.

Due to a very wet night and the threat of further heavy rain, only five riders decided to risk it. The ride was relaxed, enjoyable and uneventful. We received a pleasant surprise en route when we discovered that the severely cracked section (near Curlewis?) has finally been repaired. We had a longer than usual stop at Drysdale whilst waiting for a fairly heavy downpour to ease. On the return leg, we chatted to a young woman from Sweden who was cycle touring and arrived back safe and dry. It was all in the timing!

Bellarine Rail Trail to Drysdale: Thursday November 2nd, 2017

Kevin led 10 riders on a most pleasant ride to Drysdale.  Compared with last week’s ride, it was uneventful.  George, who was injured last week, came to reassure everyone that he his on the mend.  He’s sporting stitches in the gash above his eye, and still have a very sore chest, but will hopefully be back on the bike very soon.

The week is was Kevin’s turn to have punctures.  The first was near Curlewis Golf Club on the return journey – the culprit a large screw.

The second puncture was after Moolap Station Road.  At this point, Kevin appointed Margy the new leader, and sent the riders off while he once again changed the tube.  Margy reports that there was considerable ribbing from the other participants – did she know where she was going?  had she told anyone whether the road was clear?  did she need glasses?   Nevertheless, the riders all arrived back at the starting point unscathed.

Margy is leading this week’s river circuit.  Any return to bad behaviour from the pack may lead to a once cup of coffee penalty!  The Cycling Sisterhood will be watching!

Thanks to ride leaders Kevin and Margy and tail-ender Michael.

Joint Ride to Drysdale: Sunday 12th March, 2017

With a 70% chance of rain, and blowing an easterly gale I wasn’t confident of many takers for the easy/medium circuit to Drysdale.  As the cloud cleared and the road dried, only one other cyclist, Mike from GTC, arrived, and at 8.32 we took off for Drysdale via Bellarine Highway and Swan Bay Road.

I’d been warned that there might be a paparazzi presence.  Sure enough, a few ks short of Leopold, we were spotted by a huge zoom lens driven by John H.  After a few words, he was off back to Geelong before another celebration for the special birthday – this time with his family on the other side of Port Phillip.

The wind was no problem, the sunshine 100% as we continued through Leopold to Swan Bay Road – a pleasant uphill (Mike’s first time in this direction).  Cafe Zoo, as usual, provided a great place to stop for coffee, and a shady table was sought.  Mike, fresh from living in Albury, gave me the gen on a new cycle path in Albury for my trip in a couple of weeks.  I’ll do my best to avoid the snakes.

The return was fast, with a tail wind, and a couple of lovely downhill stretches.  The Bellarine Rail Trail was quiet as usual, but we deviated to Portarlington Road to avoid the unsealed section after Melaluka Road.  The new barriers, heavy, fast traffic and rough stony patches now make the Portarlington Road a single file only option until west of the Alcoa turnoff.

Don’t be daunted!  Next time, join us.

Helen (Ride Leader)