Cadel Evans People’s ride – Dave’s perspective with photos from

Thanks to Dave Simpson for this personal account of his adventures on the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road People’s Ride

Last year I did the short, 68km Cadel People’s ride so this year I decided I had better do the ‘proper’ 114km ride.  I rode to the start at Eastern Beach from my home in Leopold and the crowd at 6:45 am was already huge, a sea of yellow. I had arranged to meet my friend Joe and his family to ride with but due to a communications problem we didn’t line up together. No matter, I thought we could meet up further down the road, more on that in a minute.

I set off at 7:15 and it was easy riding, no wind to speak of, and I got down to Barwon Heads pretty quickly and stopped at Annie’s for a coffee. I had sent Joe a few texts to try to meet up but as it turned out he was actually way down the road in front of me and had not stopped for a break. I was just putting my bike into the rack in front of Annie’s when who should turn up next to me but Joe’s wife Kylie. She was riding the short route with a friend so I was able to share coffee and some delicious food with them.

Setting off after our stop we had the pleasure of riding along 13th Beach Rd, closed to traffic and no cross wind, highly unusual for that part of the world. I said goodbye to Kylie and pressed on towards Horseshoe Bend Rd toward Torquay. There weren’t too many riders left sporting the black numbers indicating that they were doing the long ride and the marshal at the Horseshow Bend left turn yelled at me that I’d have to push to avoid the route cutoff time. So I picked up the pace and once through Torquay and heading to Bells came upon lots more riders who were grinding up the hills on Jarosite Rd. My recent course of lessons on the spin bike came in handy to help me cruise up the hills and make up time and I was soon riding along Forrest Rd heading torwards Moriac.

I had a brief stop at Moriac to fill up the water bottle and grab some of the free energy bars. It was a great day to be out riding the bike and I was soon on Hendy Main Rd going up and down the rolling hills. Suddenly a car went past with two of the Dimension Data team riders following. I tried to catch up to them to wish them well for the race on Sunday but there was no possibility to catch them, and they were just on a training ride!

Then it was on to Barrabool Hills Rd. I had ridden this very recently with both the Wheels on Wednesday group and on Shane’s Barrabool Hills Classic so I knew what to expect and was able to cruise along pretty comfortably. Soon it was up the climb on Scenic Rd and then down and across Queens Park bridge and then up the dreaded Melville Ave ramp. I managed to stay on the bike, in my ‘granny’ gear and out of the saddle and once over the summit was able to relax and speed down the hill towards the finish kite. I looked down at my GPS and was amazed to see that I’d achieved a moving average of 24km/hr over the 114km route, so I was pretty pleased with myself.

Just then I got a text from Joe who had seen me riding down Church St while he was riding up to where he was staying in Hamlyn Heights. He invited me up for lunch so it was back on the bike to ride up Church St again! The marshals were getting ready for the arrival of the riders in the Women’s Elite race but they let me through and after lunch I was able to see the race from the top of Hyland St, at the cement works. Then it was off around the Barwon River track towards home.

I ended up riding 155km, my average cadence for the day was 78rpm I and had a great day. I’m definitely signing up for next year’s ride! …and I got a very nice yellow jersey to wear when out riding with Cycling Geelong!


Editor’s Comment:  Dave’s recent training has paid off.  As well as rides on the road and with the MTB, he’s now taken to beach riding with his new ‘fat’ bike.  Today, just to warm down from Saturday, and with a couple of rides in between, Dave rode 109 with Wheels on Wednesday.  Well done, Dave.

Photos courtesy Sandy via Ian Baxter


Barrabool Hills Classic – The Hares and the Tortoise: Sunday, January 17th, 2016

With Karen out of action, Helen was the only female on Shane’s Barrabool Hills ride.  The others were George, Dave S (in training for the Cadel Evans Ocean Road People’s Ride), Robert T, John M, Doug M and Shane (in training for next weekend’s gruelling Alpine Classic*).  With such strong riders, Helen’s strategy was to stay in touch to the coffee stop at Moriac, and then to shorten her ride – keeping the hills, but reducing the length of the ride by around 10 km.

It was a hare and tortoise ride to Moriac – the lead pack of five powered up the hills, then waited for the tortoise to catch up at the top (thanks, gents).  Such good time was made, even using this method, that the cyclists arrived at Moriac before either the General Store or Raven’s Creek Farm were open.  Deciding on Raven’s Creek Farm was an excellent choice – the wait was negligible, coffee great, outlook beautiful and the homemade fresh-picked berry ice-cream amazing.  (Robert and Helen chose this – and it’s highly recommended if you’re stopping for a break in the Moriac area).

From Moriac, the tortoise took a shorter route, straight up Hendy Main Road to Mount Moriac Hotel and Barrabool Road, while the hares enjoyed the longer route via Paraparap.

From then it was more like a hare (tortoise)and hounds chase – with the 10+ kilometre  advantage ensuring that the tortoise was never caught.  There were more splendid downhills – especially along Pollocksford Road and Cochranes Road and the old highway down to Waurn Ponds from Lara.  There were a number of leg-stretching climbs.

The Classic “hare” group clocking up 74km Balyang to Balyang, returning to the start at around 12:15pm.

Well done to all riders.  Thanks to Shane for once again sharing this wonderful hilly adventure and leading the ride.  Best wishes to Shane for next weekend’s Alpine Classic (200km with 3600m of climbing) and to Dave and any others riding the Cadel rides on January 30st (Dave will ride the 111km circuit).  (We look forward to sharing their stories with you as they come to hand.)

George, Shane, Dave, John, Doug & Robert

George, Shane, Dave, John, Doug & Robert at start of Devon Road, Barrabool Hills

*The Alpine Classic is the blue ribbon event in the annual Audax Australia calendar – with five options ranging from 60km to 320km.  Shane is riding the Original Classic route of 200km.

Best wishes to all Cycling Geelong members and friends who are participating in the very first Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road People’s Ride tomorrow.

Thanks to Stephanie, Geoff and Heather and any others from our club, for their work volunteering to make this event safe and successful.

Don’t forget the picnic and spectator’s ride at Zillah Crawcour Park near Queens Park Bridge to watch the official men’s race (and Cadel’s last cycling competition) on Sunday.

Moriac circuit: Sunday, January 18th, 2015

Four cyclists (David J, David F, John M and Helen – ride leader) departed at 8:05 for a saunter to Moriac, via quiet roads and paths.  Having made their way to Heyers Road, the group detoured to check out the new Waurn Ponds Station, before riding south on a short section of the Ring Road bike path from Hams Road to the Anglesea Road.  After only a couple of hundred metres of highway, a right turn took the cyclists into quiet Reservoir Road.  Only a couple of cars were encountered.  By now, without protection from suburbia, the full strength of the south westerly was slowing a couple of riders (notably the leader – leading from behind as usual).

David, David and Helen on Reservoir Road, Mount Moriac.

David, David and Helen on Reservoir Road, Mount Moriac.

John M, on a single speed Wilier, had blitzed the field, and took the photos.  Thanks John.

The fast run down to Moriac was a exhilarating.  Coffee (and Devonshire tea, if you like over-sized fresh scones and homemade berry jam) at Raven’s Creek Farm is highly recommended.  Raven’s Creek Farm is a working farm with berries, cattle and pigs, completely chemical free and free range (the animals, that is- the berries are confined – one could say ‘humanely caned’ for easy ‘pick your own’).  The kitchen garden is full of fresh seasonal vegetables and herbs – which are for sale and feature on the menu.  It’s a great resting and refueling stop – though we also enjoy the Moriac General Store – another bike-friendly venue.

Coffee at Raven's CreekFarm

Coffee at Raven’s Creek Farm – John’s Wilier single speed bike on the right

A notable feature of the Hendy Main Road section of the ride was the large number of cyclists riding in the opposite direction.  Clearly, many were in training for the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road People’s Ride which was our route for last week’s joint ride.  We’re looking forward to watching the world’s best ride on Saturday and Sunday 31st January and 1st February.  (Keep checking the website and ride calendar for Cycling Geelong news about the event.)

Our group continued south and east on Hendy Main Road, then returned to Anglesea Road via Blackgate Road.  It was ‘payback’ time with a strong tail wind.  At Freshwater Creek the cyclists took the route along Dickens and Ghazeepore Roads.  David F turned off to take Heyers Road back to Marshall.  David, John and Helen returned via Pigdons Road and Bellevue Road to the Barwon  where David branched onto the river path, and John and Helen proceeded to Pakington Street, parting company at Church Street.

Ride route - South Barwon Reserve - Moriac - Geelong West

Ride route – South Barwon Reserve – Moriac – Geelong West

Thanks to all riders for a most enjoyable mornings cycling.

Incredible Cadel Evans People’s Ride (our version)

Riders who tackled our version of Cadels ride today all deserve a medal and thanks to Helen for leading the ride. Today was our monthly Joint Club ride between Cycling Geelong and Geelong Touring Cyclists. We started at 7.30am from Steam Packet Gardens finished there at 3.30pm after covering exactly 111km. The route we took was almost exactly the one the inaugural Cadel Evans People’s Ride will be on January 31st (but missing the ultra-steep Melville Avenue challenge). 12 riders turned up: from Geelong Touring we had Rolf, David I, Peter J, Zak, Ian and Chris (newly arrived in Geelong from Shepparton; from Cycling Geelong we had Helen, Karen, Tim W, Doug, Mike C and myself.

The ride is well named after Cadel as it is a gruelling challenging hilly (up to 14 degree elevation) but scenic ride through Barwon Heads / Torquay – Bells Beach and Barabool Hills before return to Geelong. We had 3 well deserved coffee stops at Barwon Heads, Torquay and Moriac. We had 5 mechanical problems. Shortly after leaving Geelong, Rolf retired with broken spoke on Barwon Heads Rd. As we were coming into Barown Heads David had a puncture from broken glass. On the Backgate bike path, Zak had a puncture from a drawing pin. In Torquay David had to replace the tube again as he had a slow leaking puncture. On Barabool Rd, Peter had a puncture from a small wire.

On a personal level, I had a cramp from Moriac where Ian retired and called home to be picked up. Tim also called for sag wagon at the bottom of Barabool Hill before Ceres. Karen also called it a day and rang her husband to pick her up from Ceres. My legs seized up with cramp as we started to climb the steep Aphrasia street in Newtown. So I walked up with Doug and Zak. Dr. Doug partially fixed my cramp by getting me to walk backwards – it works! try it. So out of 12 starters we had 8 riders left: Helen, Peter J, David I, Doug, Mike C, Zak, Chris and myself. Mike peeled off Shannon Avenue to go home, David I. had to go to work so left us in Church St only about 2 km from the finish. Peter, Zak, Chris and I waited on Western Beach Rd for Helen and Doug. After about 10 minutes we decided to finish the ride and reached Steam Packet Garden at 3.30pm. We assume Doug and Helen finished soon after.

Well done again to all riders who took part and thanks again to Helen for leading. Thanks also to Cadel and his team for devising such an incredible challenging ride. (Where was Shane today?)

Photo at the finish with Chris, Peter, Zak and me taking the photo. John M.

Helen’s note:  After waiting in Glenlieth Avenue, Doug and I (who had taken the Minerva Road route) continued on our way.  Doug still had the 13 km to ride home so his distance was more than 140km for the day.  Congratulations to everyone, and thanks to Peter for the extra photos.