Lara via Hovells Creek: Sunday 18th June, 2017

Seven cyclists joined Dave (ride leader) for an easy dawdle to Lara on Sunday.  Dave brought his ‘fat’ bike – which slowed him down to a pace more suited for a casual cyclist.  The riders were Dave S (leader), Dirk (tail-ender),  Barbara, Margy, Russell, Roger and Helen.

This is an easy ride, well within the ability of anyone who regularly rides the Saturday river ride.  Dave took the opportunity to go ‘off road’ every time an alternative dirt path appeared.

There was little wind – another beautiful sunny early winter morning.

Thanks Dave and Dirk and all cyclists for another most enjoyable Cycling Geelong ride.

 

Joint Ride to Lara via Lovely Banks: Sunday May 14th, 2016

Thanks to John Hagan for this ride report, and also for the excellent photos and map.

When we looked to the west before starting the dark thunder clouds were threatening. However, the wind dropped to almost zero and the sun came out for a near perfect morning’s ride. The riders were: Rolf, Mike T, Mike C, David I, and John from GTC and Helen, Coralie, Rick, and Kelly from Cycling Geelong with Mike C being a member of both clubs. Helen Lyth took us out along Bluestone Bridge Rd, through Lovely Banks and out to the You Yangs on Forest Rd and we returned to Lara on Flinders Avenue. We struggled to find space in any of the cafes in Lara as it was Mothers’ Day but squeezed into Cafe Blu with some outside and others inside. The return trip was via Hovell’s Trail with a stop at Limeburners Lagoon to admire the reflections off the water in many directions. The loop from Rippleside was about 57km. A very enjoyable ride.
John Hagan.

Thanks to everyone for a most enjoyable ride, and to John H for being a most supportive tail ender.

Easter Day Ride – Lara via Sutherlands Creek: Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Easter indulgence must have hit our members with stomach upsets from too many hot cross buns and too much chocolate.  Only two riders turned up to Rippleside for our Easter Day special.  We suppose some of you are also riding your bikes or playing tourists further afield.  (Sorry about the late posting of this club ride!)

John and Helen set off at 8:30 into the strengthening westerly wind riding Steiglitz Road to Sutherlands Creek and crossing the stream on Robbs Road (the climb is short and sharp).  John took a breather while Helen puffed her way to the top.  Robbs Road is narrow, quiet and features old farm buildings and amazing drystone walls.

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The riders descended Staceys Road – assisted by a strong tail wind – the base at the You Yangs before taking Flinders Avenue to Lara and coffee at Cafe Blu.  Whimsical art installations adorn the walls and the coffee is wonderful.

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The return journey was along Hovells Creek path and the northern docklands.  (Note that, if you’re riding the path near Shell, the path exit is blocked for works.  It’s navigable but care is needed.)

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Check out the ride route here.

By the way, with Barwon Edge closed for Easter, yesterday’s river riders enjoyed their coffee at the Balyang Par 3 Golf Club.  John recommends this for a good cheap alternative.

Two rides to Lara: Sunday January 18th, 2014

Twelve riders set out from Rippleside Park for the foreshore ride to Rippleside led by Stella (short ride) and Helen (longer circuit via You Yangs).  Small wheeled bikes abounded with Rod, Rosemary (who joined in from Lara – having mistaken the starting time), Stella and Helen all riding their favourite small wheels.   Stella (Dahon), Rod (Moulton) and Trisha near Midway, North Shore

An on-road break-away, led by Rick, took off up Rennie Street, Lara, while most other riders took the more scenic continuation of the Hovells Creek bike path.  Cafe Blu, which now has Fair Trade organic coffee, was a popular coffee spot.

After coffee, Stella’s group retraced their wheel marks via Hovells Creek path and the waterfront, while Helen’s group sauntered to the You Yangs via Flinders Avenue, enjoying the sight of a large flock of Cape Barren geese foraging in a paddock near Serendip Sanctuary.  Despite some riders claiming a lack of ride fitness, all seven of this group cycled to the Flinders Peak Turntable where they were buttonholed by some RMIY students doing a ‘micro-research’ survey of park visitors.

Breaking no speed records all riders navigated the narrow, winding and sometimes rough road down from Flinders Peak, before heading back down Forest Road into a very strong southerly (the reason for the easy riding to the You Yangs was now abundantly clear!).  Some rudimentary drafting behind Kelly and David (thanks, gents) allowed the riders to make good time to join the Ted Wilson Trail at Bacchus Marsh Road.  There was no escape from the head wind, except beside the high wall erected to protect the new Ring Road Service Centre – which is designed to skim any extra cash from locals and visitors alike and further pad the bottom line of fast multi-national junk food chains.  Cafe Blu is not under threat from this behemoth – cyclists will continue to patronise small, local businesses with excellent service, ambiance, food and coffee.

I continued to reflect as we cycled up the path.  The Ted Wilson Trail is a memorial to a man who promoted cycling through his his career in the Victoria Police force, and later with his own business Wilcare Services.  He had much to do with Geelong’s wonderful network of cycling paths and on-road bike lanes, through his work on the original Geelong Bike Plan and the Barwon Regional Bicycle Council.  Ted worked tirelessly, and was a world figure in promoting safe cycling.  He is missed by so many of our community – but the legacy lives on.

Further up the trail near Creamery Road, the path moves through a developed garden area, with flowers, shrubs and, occasionally, herbs and vegetables.  A local man had been working for some years to develop this area.  Today, he was watering parched trees after the recent hot spell.  This prompted further reflection – how many of our local people quietly go about supporting their community, without expecting recognition of thanks.  Our thanks go to this wonderful person, whose work enhances the environment for all path users.  140119 David F TW trail garden web

The head wind (and the hill up to Ballarat Road) were taking their toll, so the riders took the short cut away from the trail back to Rippleside via Ballarat Road.

Thanks to our two leaders, Stella and Helen and to all those riders who participated in a most enjoyable ride.