Drysdale via Bellarine Rail Trail – September 5, 2019

George led around 16 cyclists on this mornings regular ride to Drysdale.  It was a beautiful morning for riding, and the pace was good.

Margy and Jeff arrived at Cafe Zoo to meet the group.  They had ridden the trail from Point Lonsdale as part of their training for Around The Bay in a Day and for Margy’s Great Cycle Challenge (to ride at least 500km in the month of October).  You can sponser Margy here.

The ride back to Geelong was fast – except for George who had a puncture (the second in two weeks).  Thanks to Lynton who stayed to help him repair it.

 

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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, March 15th, 2018

David Salamy led the regular ride to Drysdale this week.  Thanks David for leading the ride and for this report.

Twelve (male) riders left South Geelong at 9:05 and Gavan was waiting at Café Zoo for the return ride.  It was a very relaxed ride at a moderate pace in very pleasant conditions.  There were no incidents and nothing of note to report apart from the road graders ripping up one of the dirt roads at the Drysdale end.  All riders disembarked and most carried their bike over the dirt mound.

David, as well as being a regular rider on Thursday rides to Drysdale, is now a fully accredited Cycling Without Age pilot.  Along with Dirk, also from Cycling Geelong, he forms the team to take residents from MACS our for a spin every Friday afternoon.  You can hear more about this program at Cycling Geelong’s dinner meeting on Tuesday, March 21st at the Belmont Hotel.

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)

Drysdale via Bellarine Rail Trail: Sunday 20th March, 2016

Nine cyclists rode to Drysdale – David J, David F, Kelly, Ric, Neville, Russell, Paul, Roger and Helen (ride leader).

The route was mainly the Bellarine Rail Trail, with some deviating to avoid the gravel section between the Bellarine Highway in Newcomb and Mellaluka Road, Leopold.  (On the return journey it was noted that the gravel section had minimal users, whereas there were many cyclists and walkers on the sealed sections.)

Coffee was enjoyed at Cafe Zoo.

160320 Drysdale BRT

Jim Day Ride to Drysdale: Sunday November 15th, 2015

Jim Day was an early member of Cycling Geelong.  He was active as Ride Coordinator and on the committee.  Jim was passionate about cycling and supporting cyclists.  Each year, to support cyclists attending The Great Victorian Bike Ride, Jim ran two Cycling Geelong bike rides – Around Lake Connewarre and The Bellarine 100.  This ride had two options, a shorter ride on the Bellarine Rail Trail to Point Lonsdale, and the longer circuit of the Bellarine, via Drysdale, Portarlington, Queenscliff, Point Lonsdale, Ocean Grove and Barwon Heads.

The Jim Day Ride is held each year at around this time (also near Jim’s birthday).  This year all eight riders chose the shorter option ride (which, since Jim’s death is along the Rail Trail to Drysdale).  John Miro led Karen, Helen, Sandra, David J, Kelly, Neville and Russell on a leisurely ride.

Thanks to John for leading a most enjoyable ride.

 

On Ya Bike 2 – Bellarine Rail Trail to Drysdale

Twenty-three riders appeared out of the mist to ride this morning’s ride on The Bellarine Rail Trail from the Geelong Showgrounds to Drysdale.  The fog made it chilly and may have put some people off, but, by Curlewis, the sun had appeared and the temperature rose.

Ride leader Doug Merritt started the ride with a little history of the rail line, including a personal account of riding a steam train to Queenscliff from Geelong many years ago.  He then read Robert Louis Stevenson’s poem – From a Railway Carriage – with the strong metre evocative of the sound of a steam train.

The riders enjoyed refreshments and sunshine at Cafe Zoo at Drysdale before the return journey, assisted by a bit of a tail wind, caffeine and a few nice downhill sections.

Thanks to ride leader Doug and Tim Warfe, who led the return ride ably.  Well done to all riders, especially Hermann who is returning to cycling after a break of some years.  Thanks also to our ‘official’ photographer, John Hagan, for these shots taken with the Go Pro.

It doesn’t happen by magic.  Today there were a big group of volunteers from The Friends of the Bellarine Railtrail working near Curlewis.  The beautification of the trail and the facilities on it are largely the work of this group of people.  Many thanks.

A volunteer watering recently planted trees near Curlewis Golf Club

A volunteer watering recently planted trees near Curlewis Golf Club