On Ya Bike! 4 – You Yangs via Hovells Creek and Ted Wilson Trail

Dirk and Barbara led this delightful ride on a day of perfect weather. After the initial photo was taken at Rippleside Park, Kevin and Lynton appeared to take the numbers to 20. There were 10 visitors – 9 from the Portarlington, Indented Head and Drysdale, and one from Geelong West. The route was around the Balmoral Quay shared path to St Helens – then following paths and roads to Limeburners Lagoon and on to Lara. Doug joined the group at Lascelles Wharf making a total of 21 cyclists.

From Lara the group turned north for the You Yangs along Mill and Branch Roads, before turning south along Flinders Avenue. There was a short detour to the Kevin Hoffman walk, before a refreshment stop at Xpresso Coffee Lounge. (Helen and Hermann shortened the route by a few kilometres by cutting back to Lara from Windermere Road.)

The return ride skirted Lara Lake to Canterbury Road and Hovells Creek Trail, with the main group turning along School Road to join the Ted Wilson Trail back towards Geelong and Rippleside Park. The distance for the full route was 68 kilometres. Helen, Sharon and Hermann returned via the waterfront route – for a total of 41 km.

It was wonderful to welcome back some of our earliest On Ya Bike! participants from 2008 – Paul, Terry and Gerry were on our earliest rides, and became core members of the Wednesday riding group that formed in around 2008-9 after riders from On Ya Bike! decided to continue riding as a group on Wednesdays.

Riders at Rippleside Park.

WOW – Wheels on Wednesday

For those who would like to ride a longer ride (around 70-100km) at a medium speed, Wheels on Wednesday meets every Wednesday. Currently the regular meeting time is 8am, and the regular starting place Swanston Street, South Geelong, near Landy Field. The rides are varied, with the group deciding on the destination and route at the start of the ride. There are occasionally special rides, including rides to Arthur’s Seat via the Queenscliff Ferry, and rides to Lorne.

(The rides are listed on our Cycling Geelong Ride Calendar for further details.) This ride is not affiliated with any club, although its origin was Cycling Geelong’s Seniors Month series. All cyclists welcome.

On Ya Bike! 2 – Lara via Hovells Creek

Fourteen cyclists rode to Lara for the second On Ya Bike! ride for the 2021 Seniors Festival. Helen led the ride of 10 Cycling Geelong members and 5 visitors – Brenda, Bev, Terry and Gerry from Portarlington and Noel from Lara. Kevin was tail-ender, supported by Doug and Hermann.

The outward route, via the port area and Hovells Creek path, was hard, due to a very strong head wind. The route passes the Grain silos, Corio Quay (site of the Tasmanian Ferry terminal from next year), woodchip terminal, Moorpanyul Park, Lascelles Wharf, past the Refinery Pier and onto the Hovells Creek path along the estuary to Lara.

The coffee stop was at Xpresso Coffee Lounge where the coffee and service was, as ever, excellent. Many thanks to the staff who are working so hard in this difficult time.

The return route to the Hovells Creek trail was via Lara Lake. The strong wind continued, powering the group back to Rippleside Park by soon after midday.

Thanks to all cyclists, and Kevin our tail-ender.

Some of the group near Rennie Street Lara

Next week’s On Ya Bike! ride is along the Bellarine Rail Trail, leaving at 9am from the trail at Showgrounds (near Breakwater Road). The distance is around 36km, mainlyon the rail trail, but with a number of road crossings and an on-road section at Drysdale. All cyclists welcome. .

On Ya Bike! 2 – Lara – Tomorrow

Tomorrow our On Ya Bike! series travels to Lara, via the Hovells Creek shared path. There is some road riding, but all of this is on quiet roads. Our refreshment stop is in the main Lara shopping centre.

All cyclists are invited. The ride start is Rippleside Park, near the Adventure Playground, and starting time is 9am. The distance is around 36km. Tomorrow’s ride leader is Helen.

Covid-safe rules apply. Please ensure you have a face mask. Participants also need to ensure that they have a roadworthy bike, and wear an approved bike helmet. As there may be showers tomorrow morning, it’s also advisable to bring a rain jacket.

Last week’s ride was perfect – with 26 happy riders. It was good to meet old friends and make new ones.

Lara via Shell Parade and Rennie Street

Helen led 7 riders from Rippleside Park, with Kevin as tail-ender.  Richard caught up with the group near Lascelles Wharf.

Due to the water on Hovells Creek Path, under the highway overpass, the route was via Shell Road and Rennie Street, rather than  Hovells Creek path.  Kevin had a puncture, and asked the group to go on to the coffee shop.  He and Hermann joined the group after this was fixed.

David J did and exploratory ride along Hovells Creek Path, coming out onto roads that join Shell Parade near just before it goes under the highway overpass.  This route takes around 10 minutes longer, but avoids Shell Parade.

The cyclists regrouped and rode on to Cafe X-presso along Rennie Street, resuming Hovells Creek Path at the ford.

The return trip was via via much the same route, with some riders joining David on the Hovells Creek Path alternative route, and Keith braving the water under the highway underpass.

Thanks to all riders – David J, David F, Karen, Margy, Virginia, Hermann (on his new e-bike mark 2!), Keith,  Richard, Kevin, and our tail-enders and ride leader.

 

Lara via Hovells Creek path – November 22nd, 2020

Barb led the group of six rider with Dirk, Richard, Kevin, Hermann and Helen starting from Rippleside Park.  Doug caught up with the group further near Lascelles Wharf.

There is still water on the path under the highway near Rennie Street.

Coffee was at  Cafe Xpresso in Lara.

Lara via Hovells Creek Path – Sunday 20th December, 2020

Helen and David J arrived at Rippleside for this ad hoc ride.  The decision was to ride to Lara, via Hovells Creek.  Pre-Christmas roads were very quiet along the northern waterfront, as was Hovells Creek path.  Another David, who was riding by himself, joined us part way along the trail and joined us for coffee at Xpresso Cafe in Lara.  David I (not J) then cycled on a longer and faster ride while David J and Helen returned to Rippleside via Hovells Creek.

The two Davids at Xpresso Lara

Lara – Paths and Lakes – via Hovells Creek Path, Sunday, 26th July, 2020

Dave led a group of 10 on a relaxed ride to Lara, via Hovells Creek path.  In contrast to Saturday’s sunny weather, conditions were overcast and misty.  However, these still conditions were perfect for cycling.

Water under Melbourne Road at Lara hasn’t cleared in over a year.

Bikes got wet in the usual flood at the highway underpass.  (It really is time the problem was fixed.  While it’s a nuisance for cyclists, walkers either get wet feet, or have to balance their way along the kerb.)  Coffee was at at Cafe Xpresso.

After coffee, the group explored the concrete path from Flinders Avenue to Patoulis Road which ends with a quite dangerous road crossing.  After this the route led to paths and roads around Lara Lakes – on the eastern and western side of Forest Road.  Several families of Cape Barron Geese were grazing around the western lakes.

The return  to Geelong was once again via Hovells Creek  arriving at Rippleside Park around 12.30pm.

Thanks to Dave for leading a most enjoyable ride.

Lara – Sunday, May 17th, 2020

This was Cycling Geelong’s first Sunday ride after restrictions were reduced to allow up to 10 people in groups outside.

On a very chilly sunny morning (4.7C in Geelong), Helen led David J and Matt from Rippleside Park to Lara via the waterfront and Hovells Creek path.  Conditions were still and sunny.  Due to bike issues, Helen was on her 16″ wheeled Tikit – a quick fold commuter bike, not intended for longer distances.

Bike Friday Tikit – fast fold, slow ride

However, Matt and David happily relaxed the pace to suit.  As usual, there was water under the highway near Rennie Street.

Water over Hovells Creek Path highway underpass, Lara

Coffee at X-presso was quickly dispensed and at their usual high standard.  Due to a late arrival at Rippleside when Doug missed the start by only a minute or two, he arrived at Lara in time for coffee – having sped up the highway and through Corio to Lara, reminding us that Forest Road is dangerous as there is no sealed shoulder for riding.

The return was via the same route.  Thanks everyone for a most enjoyable morning’s riding.

Helen

 

Mystery Ride: Sunday, February 23rd, 2020

The first mystery was how to get to Rippleside Park.  Waterfront roads and Rippleside Park were closed due to an ironman event. However, showing great ingenuity and persistence, three riders took up the challenge – Richard, Lynton and Helen.

As there was no designated leader and the ride was listed as “Mystery Ride – 30km”, with southern paths closed, the obvious choice was a ride to Lara via Hovells Creek.

Ride conditions were pretty close to perfect, except that flooding is quite deep at the Hovells Creek underpass under the Melbourne Road, and maintenance of our northern bike paths is poor, with broken surfaces, debris and stones on the path, and encroaching vegetation.

Coffee was at X-presso, where Trish and her friend soon joined the refreshment stop.  This cafe is an excellent destination for cyclists with good coffee and lots of outdoor seating.

The return was via the same route.  Richard did his best to solve the third mystery – just when will the footbridge at St Georges Road will be replaced, by sending yet another incident report to CoGG.  (We hear that, after well over a year, the bridge is finally to be replaced in not too distant future.)

Last mystery – where is this picture taken, and who took it?

Allan’s Mystery Ride – On Ya Bike! 2019 -5: Wednesday, October 30th, 2019

Lucky thirteen!  That’s the number of cyclists who appeared for the final ride of this year’s On Ya Bike! rides.  It was beautiful sunny weather.  Summer was near, so it was time to ditch the ‘bird strike’ helmet with cable ties.

The last ride of the series is traditionally named “Allan’s Mystery Ride”.  No one knows the route till they get the start at Rippleside Park.  This year Allan had delegated ride leadership to Kelly, with Dirk as tail ender.  Allan had planned the ride, and rode the entire ride, including arriving by bike from Norlane West.

The route took the cyclists to the north, along the new Balmoral Quay path to St Helens, the on to the docks area.  As the riders turned right past the old Ford site, a motorist yelled, “You’ve lost someone!”  Dirk had a puncture.  He sent the riders on while he fixed it with the help of Paul and Allan.

The second incident happened on the ascent towards Geelong Grammar.  It was Clive this time – another puncture.  Helen went back to make sure he was OK.  He was going to fix the puncture, and then, with Dirk, join the ride.  Helen rode on alone past GGS.

Attack! Attack!  From nowhere a direct hit to the ear.  The magpie struck, not just once but four times.  With no cable ties, Helen was a pedaling duck, and the terrorist bird took full advantage!

Bulls eye on the ear lobe

The rest of the group were taking a break at Limeburners Lagoon.  Dirk, Allan and Paul soon rejoined the group.  Clive had decided that, with a slow leak in his tyre, his best option was to return to Rippleside Park, stopping a couple of times to add air.

A large wattle tree was across Hovells Creek Path at the Lara highway underpass.  Bikes were passed over, and the riders continued up Rennie Street to Old Geelong Road and rode towards Little River.  Helen left the group at McIntyres Road to ride a shorter route.  The main group continued on, without further incident, to Little River, returning to Lara via Mill Road.  Coffee was at Xpresso.  Helen rejoined the group for coffee.

The return was via the Hovells Creek Path to Rennie Street, and then, to avoid the fallen tree, via roads to Geelong Grammar and the waterfront path.

The final puncture was at North Shore – Don had succumbed.  His mate stayed to help with the repair.  The depleted group returned to Rippleside – Rick, Allan and Dirk peeled off on the way.

Despite the drama, it was declared a most enjoyable and successful ride.

Thanks to Kelly, ride leader, Allan, ride organiser and tail-ender Dirk.  Thanks to all cyclists.  We look forward to seeing you again next year, if not before, On Ya Bike!

(Helen’s magpie helmet will no return to service till December!)

On Ya Bike! 5 – Allan’s Mystery Ride

Ride maps – click to go to detail in Map My Ride

On Ya Bike! 5 – shortened route