Joint Ride to Lara: Sunday, January 8th, 2017

Despite enduring a night when the mercury lingered above 30C, fourteen hardy cyclists rode to Lara via Hovells Creek.  There were 9 from GTC, led by Peter, and 5 from Cycling Geelong.  Helen led the ride.

The wind was blustery and hot from the west for most of the ride – turning somewhat south west by the end, though the temperature remained over 30.  Quite a few riders opted for cool drinks rather than coffee at Millars Restaurant, which was blissfully cool.

The ride was pretty incident free with one puncture (lots of glass on the route at various points) and a group of faster riders spending quite a long time waiting under the shade of trees at several points along the way.

Thanks again to all riders for a most enjoyable joint ride – certainly a very hot start to joint rides in 2017.  Helen’s bike computer thermometer registered 49 in the sun when she resumed riding after coffee!

Joint ride to Lara – Sunday 13th November, 2016

Thanks to Chris H. from GTC who led this ride, and wrote the report, and to John H for photographs.

A true test of character with today’s weather outlook promising fierce winds, rain showers and a return to winter temperatures. Five riders met for the regular combined ride – John H piloting the “Grasshopper”, Mike, Rolf and myself representing GTCC and John M the solo Cycling Geelong rep. All agreed a safe ride on the Hume and Hovell Trail to Lara and coffee at Millars was the best plan, considering the northwesterly winds. A bit of a slog into the wind saw Rolf depart early for a hot bath or something to calm his nerves after yesterday’s excitement.

An uneventful trip to MIllars, a hot coffee and some yummy scones were just what we needed. No such luck on the way home. Somehow we managed to lose John M in the wilds of Lara. Apparently he lost sight of us and turned the wrong way – very poor leadership on my part. But worse was still to come when we happened upon road works on Canterbury Rd and had to find an alternate route through the back streets. Fortunately we managed to thread our way back to the Hume and Hovell to find John M waiting patiently for us. A wind assisted trip back to Rippleside got us back before the rain clouds arrived. Most enjoyable – thanks for the company.
Chris H.

Lara via Little River – Joint ride with GTC: Sunday, July 10, 2016

The forecast was terrible for this morning’s joint ride for Cycling Geelong and Geelong Touring Cyclists.  Gale force northerlies with rain by lunchtime were predicted.  However, conditions were calm and cold when the five cyclists – Pam, Rolf and John (GTC) and Karen and Helen (CG) met at Rippleside.  Despite the Tour leading to lack of sleep, the ride set off at a fair pace to Little River via Hovells Creek Path and the old Melbourne Road.  (John had taped Stage 8 of the Tour, so discussion stayed away from the results.)  The wind and rain stayed away, so conditions were perfect, with light traffic and a good surface.  From Little River route turned west and south back to Lara via Branch Road and Flinders Avenue (note to self – must find a better turn next time, as this is a very busy intersection on weekends).  Millars was the destination for coffee.  This most successful cafe was full – the riders kept the cold weather clothes on and sat outside as the breeze intensified.  It was still only 10C – and felt a lot colder.

Rolf, who’d managed to keep down to the steady pace dictated by ride leader, Helen, decided to take off back to Geelong at a more Tour-ish pace via Hovells Creek.  The remaining riders set off to the Ted Wilson path and on the Church Street, with Karen leaving the others at the path entrance on Bacchus Marsh Road.  The Ted Wilson Trail is a gem – good surface, minimal traffic and, by this stage, a gentle tail wind leading to a fast return.  Pam and John set off for Leopold and Belmont respectively at Church Street.  Helen returned to Rippleside with a total of around 70 kilometers.  The rain stayed away for the entire ride.  The only thing missing – some more cyclists.  Where were you?

Thanks to all our cyclists.  Remember – it’s better to turn the pedals yourself than watch others doing so – no matter how fast the vicarious descent in the Pyrenees.

Thanks to John for the photos.160710 Joint ride to lara via Little RiverLeader’s note:  This is the first longer Cycling Geelong ride for ages where the gender balance favoured females!

Lara: Sunday, May 1st, 2016

Despite heavy rain overnight, and a gale force wind, three riders took on this morning’s ‘easy’ ride to Lara – David F, David J and Helen (ride leader).  Stella was planning to ride some of the way, but bike issues (a folding bike that threatened to collapse while she was riding) meant a return home, bike swap and ride in Eastern Park for her.

David J had had a puncture on the way, and met the group in North Shore.  The ride to Millars Cafe in Westlakes Estate, Lara was difficult, with a strong gusty wind.  Coffee was most welcome.  The payback came with the tail wind along Canterbury Road and Hovells Creek back to Corio.  The sun disappeared behind increasingly black clouds, and by the time Rippleside Park was reached once more, there was light rain.  Both Davids were riding home.  There’s a bike clean on the agenda for all three riders.

Thanks for a most enjoyable ride.

Lara via Limeburner’s Lagoon or Lovely Lumps

Lara – Lovely Lumps

Report from Helen.

8:00am -Eleven cyclists start the Lovely Lumps to Lara ride from Rippleside – Kelly, Ric, Allan, George, Russ, Neville, David J and son-in-law Neil, David F, Mike C and Helen (ride leader).  The lumps to Lara (up to the Ted Wilson trail via Church Street and a significant dip and lump on Bluestone Bridge Road under the bluestone rail bridge) were lovely indeed, especially the sweeping downhill towards the Ring Road.

160124 Lovely Lumps & Lagoon to Lara - Helen Stella0021acr edit

Neil, Mike, Allan, David, Russ, Kelly, George, Ric, David, Neville at Church Street end of Ted Wilson Trail

9:30am – assisted by a south wind, the Lovely Lumps eleven arrived at Millars for refreshments.

9:50am – Lagoon to Lara arrived at Millars.  Most of the Lovely Lumps riders were ready to cede their table to the coast-huggers and left via Hovells Creek on the return.  Helen defected and stayed to ride back with Stella’s group.

As this slower group returned, the first yachts racing from Melbourne for the Festival of Sails were streaming into Corio Bay.

8:30am – Lagoon group leave Rippleside Park.

Here’s Stella’s report:

Eight riders  lined up for the easy ride this am! Weather mild and pleasant

The ride was mostly on cycling tracks to Lara taking in the beautiful lagoon with many black swans  nestling on the water.  The light was very beautiful and gentle as we rode past and took in the view

Unfortunately we were a bit late to share coffee with the first group at the  excellent new cafe MILLARS.  But a welcome break was enjoyed by all !

Overall great exercise this morning and pleasant company.

Thanks to Stella and Helen, ride leaders, and to all participants.

On Ya Bike! 4: Allan’s Mystery Ride: Wednesday October 28th, 2015

“Allan’s Mystery Ride” was our final ride in the On Ya Bike! series for 2015.  As usual, Allan had mapped out a new course, with a variety of cycling experiences from bike paths to quiet country and urban roads to riding on the freeway towards Melbourne!   Twenty-four intrepid cyclists took up the challenge.

Riding along the Bay Trail at Corio.

Freeway riding was a new experience for some riders.  However, supported by Kelly who ensured everyone negotiated the crossing of the high-speed Lara exit successfully, this proved a highlight of the ride.

151028OYB4 Allan's Mystery Ride

Click to see a larger map

The ride started fast!  By Lara, a few were feeling the pressure.  Helen and Roma left the main route before the Avalon section, riding to Little River and back via Mill Road to Lara.

The riders regrouped at Millar’s Lara for a refreshment break before returning to Rippleside Park via Hovells Creek and the waterfront.

Thanks to Allan for leading the ride, Russ and Ric for supporting a tired cyclist near the You Yangs, and all riders who enjoyed this final ride for 2015.  Thanks, especially to John H, for once again sprinting on ahead to lie in wait taking photos.

Sun, Spring and cyclists: A recipe for success – Sunday 13th September 2015

Despite the road closure along the waterfront, twelve riders arrived at Rippleside Park for this morning’s Northern Spring Saunter.  Congratulations to Pam for a record fastest time from Leopold to Rippleside – 35 minutes.  We decided that we’d just call riders Peter or David – three Peters on this morning’s ride, only one David (but there are often three on Cycling Geelong’s rides).  This morning’s riders were Peter O’B, K and J, David F, Ian, John H, Doug, Noel (who met the group in Staceys Road), and Pam, Karen, Colleen and Helen (ride leader).

It was good to see Colleen and Peter from Cycling Geelong who are from our regular Saturday riders, and completed the full 66km circuit, including two detours.

Spring Cycle Saunter

Spring Cycle Saunter (Click for a larger map)

Suburban streets led to a short steep (11%) ascent of Neil Street to Rollins Road, then on to the lovely descent of Bluestone Bridge Road under the bridge and a sharp ascent to the Lovely Banks ridge.  Anakie Road was quiet (except for a few motorbikes) and Ballan Road busy with some sort of vintage car tour of vehicles of the 1950s and 6os.  It was good to turn into Staceys Road (magpie swooping not withstanding – it pays to be in the bunch here) and the long sweeping downhill to Bacchus Marsh Road.  After touching the You Yangs at Branch Road, Flinders Avenue took the riders back to Six Ways Lara and the new coffee shop at West Lakes.  (For several of the group it was their fourth trip to the shop in a week.)

The return to Geelong was on Hovells Creek, with a short detour to Melbourne Road at School Road due to powerline works.  The expected northerly tail wind became an easterly sea breeze along Hovells Creek, but the drop of a few degrees in temperature was welcome.

For the first warm sunny ride of spring, this was a perfect shortish circuit.  Thanks to everyone for making the ride such a success and John Hagan for the photographs.