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: http://www.louiseparamor.com/panorama_station.html

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.


Geelong Circuit: Sunday 27th December, 2015

There’s nothing much lonelier than turning up to a ride and being the only one there!  Rippleside Park was pretty quiet.  A few joggers did circuits, egged by a personal trainer.  There were no cars, and no cyclists.  It was cool, partly overcast and the wind was light from the south west – perfect for a post-Christmas ride.  After a circuit of the park, there was the reward of another rider.  Richard’s Irish drawl, “Is this where the ride starts?”  After waiting the mandatory extra five minutes for stragglers (where are you John?) we set off to the overpass for the start of the old Cement Works railway path.  This was ultra-quiet, as were the usually busy crossings of Thompson Road, Ballarat Road and Church Street.  The drizzle made for a careful descent of Hyland Street.

Richard has recently completed a bike tour from Warrnambool to the Grampians and back to Geelong via Skipton, enduring a ride across gravel back roads in searing 35+ heat, so strength was not a problem.  The original route was varied to include Merrawarp Road and Cochranes Road, rather than going through Highton.  Richard’s Trek road bike has high gearing, but strong legs more than compensated on the climb to Ceres on Barrabool Road.  The cruise along Cochranes Road and the old highway cul de sac at Waurn Ponds was a dream.  The Baanip Boulevard bike path was new to Richard, and the wind was now assisting the pedals.  The eastern section of Boundary Road has become busier, with motorists using this route from the Ring Road and Baanip Boulevard to Barwon Heads Road.  Horseshoe Bend Road was quiet, and crossing Barwon Heads Road to South Barwon Reserve easily accomplished.  Here Richard met up with the riders from GTC, who’d ridden down towards Barwon Heads with leader John.  Our missing President, John M, cruised in whilst we were chatting.  He’d had a mechanical incident and missed the start.

Where was coffee?  With no coffee shops on the route so far (Narana isn’t open on Sundays, and most small shops closed for a well-earned four day break over Christmas) the best option was …

  • to do without and ride straight back to Rippleside,
  • to go along the river to Little Creatures;
  • to go to the waterfront.  This best option meant a return to The Boathouse (the venue of last week’s hot coffee stop).  There’s good coffee, friendly service, and excellent chips and potato cakes.  Today, the upper deck was saturated from early rain, so we enjoyed the covered lower deck.
John and Richard at The Boathouse

John and Richard at The Boathouse

The lower path is a delightful short but bumpy ride back to Rippleside.  51km accomplished, with a couple of hills and good company. 151227 Geelong CircuitClick the map to see the route on MapMyRIDE.

Please consider joining us for next week’s joint ride with GTC.  Check the Ride Calendar later in the week for the route (planned once we have a better idea of the weather forecast).  



Horseshoe Bend Roa