Little Geelong Tour: Sunday January 7th, 2018

On any medium to long ride, the tail-ender is probably the most important person on the ride.  Today’s riders were lucky enough to have two exemplary tail-enders – Dirk and Lynton.  The ride was a medium 57km tour around Geelong, the weather cool and the route varied, with the plan to ride at a medium pace.

Eleven riders set out from Rippleside – Helen (ride leader), Trish and Shane, Barbara and Dirk, Karen, Stella, Coralie, Kelly, Lynton and David J.  Dirk offered to be tail-ender and the riders set off through Rippleside Park and St Helens towards Geelong Grammar.

Click the map to see a detailed map in Strava

The pace was good – aided by a brisk southerly wind.  The route then turned to the west, joining the Ted Wilson Trail at the end of Pioneer Road.  The first hill of the day, up to Creamery Road, was slow for some.  The cream always comes to the top, however, with Karen, Shane (in training for the Alpine Classic), Kelly and Lynton powering ahead.  The Ted Wilson trail is still closed at the Church Street end – it has now been closed for 11 months!

Today (7th January 2018)

Closure of Ted Wilson Trail at Church street – photo posted in August 2017 when the path had been closed for 6 months.

The riders continued along roads to Hyland Street, then along the Barwon River path to Highton for Coffee.  The service at Darriwill Farm made us all more appreciative of the speed and friendliness at Barwon Edge and Cafe Zoo.  Eventually, the riders set off again.  Trish and Stella had always planned a shorter ride and set off around the river for home.  David also left the ride to return home with Nancy who had joined the group for coffee.

As it was already 11.30, the Deakin University circuit planned on the original route was left out.  The riders proceeded to ride the southern end of the Ted Wilson Trail at Waurn Ponds, where Lynton took over as tail-ender from Dirk.  The riders returned to Rippleside Park via Grovedale, Breakwater and the waterfront (see the map above for the full route details).

Thanks to all riders, especially our long-suffering tail-enders Dirk and Lynton, for their patience and positive attitude.

The ride was approximately 57km, with Karen, Kelly, Dirk, Barbara and Lynton still needing to ride some distance home to Corio, Norlane West and Highton.

Keep those pedals turning…


A windy ride to Lara: Sunday July 30th, 2017

It’s been windy the last couple of days with ‘surf’ on Corio Bay, and tree branches down all over!  A northerly wind was predicted, to turn westerly ‘around the middle of the day’.  A short ride to Lara seemed a safe bet.

From the first, it was clear that even at 8.30am, the wind was clearly from the west!  As the deadline approached, and no riders appeared, would I ride anyway, or throw in the towel and go to a movie in Melbourne instead?  The decision didn’t need to be taken as a solitary rider appeared on Bell Parade.

The two of us, Brigid and I (Helen) pedaled north along Corio Bay and over Hovells Creek to Lara.  An early coffee break at X-presso was most welcome.  The return deviated a little from the original plan, reducing the amount of time riding directly into the gale-force wind.  Forest Road still has no sealed shoulders on the busy section between Canterbury Road and the rail crossing, but motorists were pretty courteous this morning, as we battled the cross wind.  The Heales Road section was slow, but, once Ted Wilson Trail was reached, there was some protection from noise barriers as we wended our way back towards Church Street.


The wind had got the better of this porta-loo at Matthews Road.

The Ted Wilson Trail was very quiet.  There was only one pedestrian in the whole distance to Church Street and beyond.  This is usually a very popular path with cyclists – but there were none to be seen anywhere!

I’d forgotten it’s National ‘Plant a Tree’ day.*  A bevy of wonderful volunteers were busy along the path near Drysdale Street.  Thanks to these people we’ll watch this section of native plants as they develop over the next weeks and years, bringing with them native birds.

For the final 5 kilometres down Church Street, it was a most welcome tail wind.  Though a short ride, it was most enjoyable and a good chance to chat on safe bike paths.  Thanks Brigid for sharing the ride.

Brigid – Ted Wilson Trail

Ride Map

As I rode home I spotted one other cyclist – Rolf from GTC returning home along Balmoral Crescent.

A little later, I also spotted our president, John, riding along Douro Street in North Geelong.  So it wasn’t only women who were cycling today!

*Listen to 94.7 The Pulse FM next Saturday at 11am to hear how Heather got on on the opening of one of the paths along Kororoit Creek – another event on National Tree Day.


Ted Wilson Memorial Ride – Sunday 2nd July, 2017

It was Geelong’s coldest morning for years – -2C at Rippleside Park.  The grass was white with frost.  Thirteen hardy riders turned up to celebrate the life of Ted Wilson, and to ride a 45 km circuit including the northern section of the Ted Wilson Trail.  Maree Burn once again set the scene with a memory sprig of rosemary for each rider.

The circuit took the cyclists north along the waterfront, to School Road, and north along the Melbourne Road service Road to the start of the Ted Wilson Trail on Broderick Road.  Cold was the operative word!  Riders warmed a little on the ascent to Ballarat Road.  However, the coffee stop at Soft Cafe in Minerva Road was most welcome.

The ride continued along the Cement Works Rail trail to McCurdy Road, and down the steep descent of Hyland Street.  There were still patches of white on the grass at Fyansford.   With the sun low in mid-winter, this area is in shadow until around mid-day.

The river path was much less busy than on the club’s Saturday rides, so a good pace was kept until Landy Field, where a rest stop was held (during which there was an excellent demonstration of puncture repair on Barbara’s flat tyre – thanks to those who stepped in to accomplish this).  From the Breakwater the return to Rippleside Park was via the Waterfront, which was busy as people enjoyed the cold winter sunshine.

Thanks to Maree for once again running this ride.

Northern Bike Paths: Sunday June 24th, 2017

We’re past the shortest day and winter has set in with strong cold winds and grey skies.  Only two riders appeared at Rippleside for the start of a short circuit on a few of our norther paths.  Karen had been foiled by an incident which closed North Shore level crossing.

Richard and Helen (ride leader) set off north around the waterfront to the School Road path near GGS.  This leads to the Ted Wilson Trail.  Along the trail ride numbers increased by 50% when Lynton (somewhat sleep deprived) joined the ride.  The route followed Ted Wilson Trail to Church Street.  It was then a quick wind-assisted descent to coffee at Soft Cafe in Minerva Road.  The cafe was warm, coffee good, and conversation flowed.  It was difficult to get back into the cold and onto bikes for the ride home.  At this point riders went their separate ways, with only Helen completing the circuit along the Cementworks Railway path to Douro Street (via a stop-off to visit Coralie in rehab. at Grace McKellar) and then back to Rippleside Park via the Margaret Street overpass.  By this time the skies were stormy and the wind gale-force.

However, this was a most enjoyable ride – short enough and easy enough that it can easily be accomplished by most riders.

Next week’s ride is the annual Ted Wilson Memorial Ride, led by Maree Burn.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Riders on last year’s Ted Wilson Memorial 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.

Little Geelong Tour GADding around Geelong: Sunday May 7th, 2017

Several members were busy riding the Ballarat BAD ride, so an easier home ride was chosen for Cycling Geelong members.

Helen led David J and Barbara a circuit ride to the north south and west of Geelong.

Click the map for more detail

After following the coast north to the Grammar School, the ride headed west for the Ted Wilson Trail.  It is noted that this trail is still closed at the southern end (more than 8 weeks after the re-opening date shown on the road work sign).

Still closed on Friday May 12th.

After a fast descent of Hyland Street, the riders followed the Barwon Trail to Highton, for an enjoyable coffee break, with Nancy at Two Sugars.

The ride resumed along Bellevue Avenue and Waurn Ponds, following the final section of the Ted Wilson Trail from Waurn Ponds to Hams Road.  The return was via Heyers Road, Bailey Street, Barwon River Trail, Swanston Street and the waterfront.

Thanks to all riders for an enjoyable morning’s ride.

If you cycled the BAD ride, we’d love to have your personal story and photos to publish on our website. 

A northern circuit to Geelong Art Gallery

Cycling conditions were perfect for this ride.  Seven riders assembled at Rippleside Park – Helen (leader), Karen, Margie, Stella, Kelly, Lynton and David J.  For once, women outnumbered men.  Karen and Kelly (our Corio contingent) – had already ridden a fast 20km.

After ambling along the waterfront, through the dock area and past the refinery, the group turned west along School Road and Pioneer Road to Ted Wilson Trail, following it all the way south to Church Street.  The long hill between Anakie Road and Ballarat Road was the only cycling challenge for the day.  The route then turned east along Autumn Street and Villamanta Street, crossing the railway bridge on Little Malop Street before a stop at Geelong Art Gallery.  This was the first time for some, and for others the first time for some years.  Nancy joined us at the gallery, and also for our coffee stop.  The new exhibition celebrates Australian women artists who work in abstract art.   Lynton was very keen to find all the common objects in one work but no one could spot a bicycle – too concrete to be in an abstract exhibition maybe!  You can have a sneak preview of most of the works here.  However, it’s much better to see this exhibition in the flesh.  The Gallery is always worth a visit – at present you can vote to choose a favourite work from some of the most popular works in the permanent collection.  There is also an exhibition of a selection from the permanent collection called Atmospherics (which, incidentally, includes a whimsical and colourful plastic sculpture by another Aussie woman, Louise Paramor, whose work you may have seen if you’ve ever driven Peninsula Link).

Louise Paramor, Panorama Station, 2012 Image source:

With plenty of bike racks right outside the new library (next door), you’ll never have to pay for parking again.  (We’re awaiting for the new coffee shop at the library which we hope is opening soon – so we can have and art and a caffeine hit at the same time.)

Our group then sauntered downhill to the waterfront, and had a most enjoyable refreshment stop at The Geelong Boathouse.  Conditions were perfect on Corio Bay for a longish stop and there was lots of entertainment available.

Margie enjoys watching a surf skiing dog.

Margie enjoys watching a surf skiing dog.

It was only a couple of kms back to Rippleside Park along the lower path beside the bay.  This was a most enjoyable ride.  Thanks to all who participated.  Ride distance 33km.  See you on the bike next time we mix culture, coffee and cycling.


Barwon River Trail – future extension

Thanks to John H for this map of the proposed new paths to the west of the existing Barwon River Trail.  These paths will eventually link up with the Ted Wilson Trail along the Ring Road.  E:A - TBLD MAIN DATA BASEGeelong (City of Greater)Mt.Brandon

In the meantime, we’re starting a grass roots push to get the remaining section of the existing trail at Fyansford completed.

Barwon Path Ring Road unfinished section with labels


Ted Wilson Trail memorial ride: Sunday 3rd July, 2016

Once a year, Maree runs a ride in memory of Ted Wilson, an extraordinary man and one of instigators of the Geelong Bike Plan in the 1970s.  Before Ted died some years ago, his huge contribution was honoured by in the naming of the Ring Road shared path.  This was exactly the sort of safe, separated infrastructure that Ted had advocated over many years.

Seventeen riders, including leader Maree, honoured Ted on this morning’s ride.  It was good to see a few regular Saturday riders among them – some completing a Sunday ride for the first time.  Riders were Maree and Bill, Kevin, Dianne and Paul, Rosemary, Stella, Tricia and Shane, Kelly, Allan, Ric, Rod, Neville, Roger, Helen and Karen (who joined the ride at Broderick Road).  Before the ride, Maree continued the tradition of giving riders a sprig of rosemary for remembrance of Ted.

Conditions were cool, traffic light, and the north westerly led to a comfortable ride along the trail from Broderick Road to Church Street, before a detour to Soft Cafe  in Minerva Road for refreshments.  The riders then cycled the old Cement Works Railway path to the Cement Works before a swift descent to the river, completing a circuit back to Rippleside along Swanston Street and the waterfront.

160703 Ted Wilson Trail 013

At the Church Street end of the trail, Rod reminded the group of Ted Wilson’s accomplishments.

Lara via Sutherlands Creek and You Yangs

Allan Marshall led this ride- conditions were perfect, cold start, windless and six enthusiastic cyclists – Allan, Rick, Kelly, Neville, Russell and Helen.

It’s good to ride with someone who knows all the back ways to go places.  If you’re riding to the north, Allan is unsurpassed for this.  The riders headed west from Leisurelink in Anakie Road, under a tunnel (seemed more like a drain) under the Ballarat railway line, then ascended through a maze of paths and streets to finally come out at Rollins Road.  Creamery Road was quiet, as was Anakie Road this early on Sunday morning.  On the first sweeping downhill on Stieglitz Road Allan showed off the fearless ascent skills of his racing youth.

One positive feature of this ride for Helen was that, while the ‘Tuesday Boys’ are fast riders of the highway to Werribee, they rarely complete hilly rides.  Allan’s course was a challenge.   Despite his sore knees, Kelly once more shone on the ascents.  Some very slow speeds were achieved by the others on the short steep ascent of Robbs Road, but the group made up for this with the long ascent on Staceys Road.  That was the end of the hills.

After the gentle climb on Forest Road to the You Yangs, coffee was calling so the group high-tailed it back down Flinders Avenue to Rob’s Bakery.  (There was a little issue with quality control here – hot seemed to mean lukewarm, bottomless mugs seemed less than full!)

The return was via Elcho Road, Bacchus Marsh Road, Ted Wilson Trail, Pioneer Road, Matthews Road and Anakie Road.

Thanks to Allan for leading the ride, and to all the riders for a congenial morning’s cycling.

Allan arrived home in time for his roast dinner!

160619 allan's rideClick the map for details.