Ride the Bellarine 2016

Well over 300 cyclists set off at 8am to ride the Bellarine Peninsula.  There were two distances, a 60km inner Bellarine circuit (via Drysdale, Wallington, Ocean Grove and Barwon Heads) and 105 full circuit, via Portarlington, Point Lonsdale, Ocean Grove & Barwon Heads.

Every cent of the entry fee went towards the world-wide eradication of Polio (which is now only endemic in Pakistan and Afghanistan where there is still resistance to inoculation).  The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is matching every dollar with another two dollars.

Several Cycling Geelong members were among the throng, including Doug and Paul (105 circuit) and Carol (65).

Video of the 105km start off…

The registration tent was buzzing from 6:30am!  As well as the mundane process of signing on and receiving event bibs, we had requests for wheel nuts (from a rider who’d fixed a puncture the night before, and somehow left the quick release nut at home), one rider who’d managed to register twice, and a couple of lucky riders who’d won either a free entry or a beautiful new hybrid Giant bike (for raising the most money).

At 8am, compere Keith Fagg counted the two groups of cyclists down at the start line.  A couple of enthusiasts jumped the gun, but, as it is a ride, not a race, there were no points to lose and there were smiles all around.

Video of the 65km start off. 

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The homeward straight. Carol was spotted on St Albans Road, still riding strongly after almost 60km.

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Ride the Bellarine: Sunday, April 19th, 2015

Wet! Wet! Wet!  Not to mention windy!

Nonetheless, hundreds of hardy cyclists huddled under the Eastern Park rotunda awaiting the 8am start of Ride the Bellarine. 

By 7am the first cyclists were registering.

 

There were at least five Cycling Geelong members spotted – David F and Coralie (100km) and Rod, Geoff and Caroline (60km).

The start was delayed till around 8:10 by torrential rain, but undaunted, the 100km riders closely followed by those cycling 60km set off.

They were almost out of sight when the clouds re-opened – hail, this time, mixed in with driving rain.   Those of us volunteering at Eastern Park felt great sympathy – not only for the riders but for numerous volunteers marshaling on street corners.  (How did you get on, Heather?)

The wind at this stage was south westerly.  This helped the riders on their way to Drysdale and St Leonards.

There were a few mechanical incidents.  A couple riding a tandem walked back to the start after ‘a part fell off’.  (A brother, who works in a local bike shop had serviced the bike – but forgotten to tighten a vital component.)  Despite the rain, problems were few.  It was reported that there was no rain on the Bellarine Peninsula.

By the time the 60km group were headed back to Geelong, the wind was southerly, giving them a push home.  The first cyclist returned at around 10:30 – a fantastic effort for a solo rider from Birregurra.

By then the Ocean Grove Rotary Club had set up their barbecue trailer with sausages and hot soup.

By 11am, there was blue in the sky and the roads were drying.

This inaugural Ride the Bellarine raised funds for the eradication of polio (still endemic in Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan).  All Geelong district Rotary Clubs worked together to create this new event on the Geelong cycling calendar.

Well over 200 cyclists participated, with only a small number of those who had registered failing to show up.  There was also a small army of volunteers, including at least two Cycling Geelong members.

If you have a personal story of your involvement, please send us a report.

Ride the Bellarine: A ride to end polio – Sunday 19th April

Ride the Bellarine is a special project of the combined Rotary Clubs of Geelong.  The aim is to raise funds to support Rotary in its quest to eradicate polio throughout the world.

There are two rides – of 60km and 105km.  Cyclists can raise additional money through gaining sponsors.   You’re encouraged to register before the day.  The ride starts at 8am, from Eastern Park.  For more information go the the Ride the Bellarine website.