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Doug penned this poem to entertain everyone on the River Ride on Saturday, 21st March.
Covid, Covid Go Away!
Covid, Covid go away!!!!
Don’t come back another day
Ride, ride the river now
We’ll all survive, not sure how?
Come ride your bikes with us
Let’s ignore all the fuss!
To ride with Cycling Gee
All these folks so full of glee!
Feeling strong in this fresh air,
Let the wind take away our cares!
At coffee later we will chat,
Not too close! enough of that!!
Now let’s away to share this day,
Not too sure, … come what may
God bless you all at this bad time,
I hope you live to share more bad rhymes!
Doug led 19 riders on the river ride. Doug welcomed Helen, riding the river with Cycling Geelong for the first time.
No Touch Sing-on
Doug and Dave (Ride Coordinator) had devised a ‘keeping your distance’ method of sign on, where people sent the ride leader their name, contact name and details, via mobile phone. This mostly worked, with some manual entry needed, by Doug on the paper from. It was also a bit of a talking point for riders who weren’t sure just how much longer our club rides will be able to continue as the Covid-19 crisis deepens.
Doug, true to form, had penned a Covid-19 cycling poem, which he read (at a distance) before the ride start. (I’ll add this to the ride report when I receive it.)
Cycling Australia recommends that for now riders keep at least 1.5m apart. This meant that, except in short wider sections, our riders rode single file. There was plenty of time for talk at the usual stopping points. The path was busy – especially with small groups of walkers, riders, and dog walkers – possibly taking the opportunity to get out before lock down restrictions. Barwon Edge cafe was quite busy, keeping to the 4m2 limit per person inside, so today, with pleasant weather, everyone sat outside.
Thanks to Doug and tail-end Charlie for a most enjoyable ride.
Keep your eye on the ride calendar for any changes.
The planned protest meeting and bike ride along the Green Spine this Friday has been cancelled due to Covid-19.
THE GREEN SPINE ACTION –
Come along to the Green Spine tomorrow
I will be taking photos, and talking to pedestrians and cyclists using the Green Spine tomorrow, between around 11am and 1pm. If you can, and would like to ride the spine during that time, it would be good to see lots of action.
Other actions to take
- keep talking about the Green Spine – most users are positive about the current spine. (I have SAVE OUR GREEN SPINE t-shirts – a good conversation starter. Contact me if you would like one.)
- keep messaging/emailing our councilors asking them to change this decision. If you can, engage in a dialogue with our councilors. (Contact details are on the Council Website).
- Ride the Green Spine whenever you’re riding in or near Geelong’s CBD.
BACKGROUND to the proposed modification to the Green Spine
Several weeks ago Geelong City Council narrowly voted to change the Malop Street Green Spine, removing the bike path on the northern (Corio Bay) side, and adding more parking for cars, and motor vehicle turning lanes. The motion was carried by one vote – 6 for, 5 against.
Many Cycling Geelong members were at an initial meeting to discuss ways to have this decision reversed and keep the Green Spine in its current form, and continue as originally planned from Gheringhap Street to Eastern Park.
A second event, due to happen this Friday at City Hall, has been cancelled due to Covid-19.
To date, no actual draft design exists to change the spine. Different councilors, who voted for the motion to give more space to motor vehicles on the Green Spine, responding to individuals, have given contrary views about the reasons for this, and what will happen. For example, one councilor says that it’s about his right to park where he likes. Another says that no vegetation will be removed on the northern side (the original motion calls for the Spine infrastructure to stay on the southern side, but does not ). He also stated that the southern bike path will be widened to accommodate 2-way bicycle traffic. For this to happen, either the southern vegetation and infrastructure would be compromised, or road space would be lost to the widened bicycle path. Either of these options would mean more disruption along both sides of the Green Spine, with a negative effect on the traders and people accessing the area.
After council’s decision to rip up the northern side of the Green Spine along Malop Street, and add more cars, we need your help to stop this backward thinking.
The Green Spine will, if completed in it’s original form, run a linear park along Malop Street linking Johnston Park and Eastern Park, and providing a safe cycling route east-west through the CBD. The aim is to provide a people-friendly precinct, and reduce through traffic using Malop Street. This is a major facet of the City of Greater Geelong’s strategy to remove congestion in our city centre, by having through traffic bypassing the CBD.
Council’s recent decision removes the people friendly aspect of the Green Spine, returning cars and more parking at the expense of pedestrians, on-street cafes etc. and cyclists. Greenery, seating and the cycle path will be removed from the northern side, and turning lanes added to the roadway. Parking will be added on the southern side. Cyclists travelling east will either travel on the road, or in the existing one way path (which is not nearly wide enough for 2-way traffic).
There are several ways for you to help to have this decision reversed.
1. Attend events
The next event is a protest rally and ride planned to start at City Hall/Johnston Park at 5.30pm on Friday, March 20th.
You can just turn up (bicycle not essential, but highly recommended) – more details on Facebook
Thanks to all those who came to last week’s Green Spine Action meeting.
2. Contact councilors with your opinions
The destruction of the Green Spine was proposed by Eddy Kontelj. Those who voted to rip up the spine are listed below.
The anti-green spine councillors are Eddy Kontelj, Stephanie Asher, Anthony Aitken, Kylie Grzybek,Trent Sullivan & Ron Nelson. The other five councillors, Sarah Mansfield, Bruce Harwood, Path Murnane, Jim Mason and Peter Murrihy voted to retain the spine in its current form. Even if you haven’t time to send an email, you may have the time to text the anti-Green Spine councillors with a flurry of messages. (Contact details at the bottom of this post are taken from the CoGG website and are in the public domain.)
Images below show draft plans for the first two sections of the Green Spine, adopted by CoGG 2017.
3. Contact your state politicians
There is a move to overrule the City of Greater Geelong decision – and remove funding to CoGG from the state government if the spine is not retained in its current form. Malop Street could become a Vic Roads road, removing any responsibility from the state government. State members from both major parties have voiced their support for retaining the Green Spine in its current form.
4. Talk up the issue.
Talk to family and friends and ask them to add their voice to saving the green spine. We need the citizens of Geelong discussing the spine, and acting to save it. It’s not just about cyclists. However, the retention of the only potential safe cycling route east-west through the CBD is Cycling Geelong’s focus. Add your comments to Facebook and other social media.
4. Ride, walk and shop along the Green Spine
If you’re not a regular in the area, watch out for planned club rides, or come along for a look, walk, coffee, cycle on your own.
Contact details for those councilors who voted to grey the green spine:
Stephanie Asher Ph: 0417 033 856
Kylie Gryzbek Ph: 0434 307 043
Eddy Kontelj Ph: 0455 532 006
Anthony Aitken Ph: 0434 307 044
Trent Sullivan Ph: 0434 307 050
Ron Nelson Ph: 0429 531 875
Contact details for councilors who voted against the motion to obliterate most of the green spine
Let them know that the people of Geelong and Geelong’s cycling community agree with them.
Thanks to Peter Jones from the GTC for this report and pictures:
Nine riders today on our Combined Ride with Cycling Geelong. Dave S, (CG) Lynton, (CG) John M, (CG & GTC) Chris Hu, Ross, Mark K, Kim, Geoff and myself. We headed off around the path with a strong wind which came around on to our tails as we made our way dodging many, many walkers, dogs and other bikes. This is a tough ride for most and a definite challenge. John M had a couple of little lie downs but we made him get up and continue as it was too early to rest.
Stopped at the usual places to admire the view and cruised along enjoying the ride. Extremely busy on the road, just as well we were off road. Traffic was backed back to the Forest Rd Roundabout going through Anglesea. Enjoyed a coffee and slices at Anglesea then took the usual tracks up hill, Lynton had a puncture near the top of the hill out of Anglesea but we were soon on our way wandering through the bush until we reached Bells Beach where we transitioned to the road through Jan Juc and back to Torquay, a most enjoyable ride as usual.
…and thanks to Ross for showing me a new way through the Eumeralla single track area to get away from the noise of traffic on the GOR on the ride back to Hurst Rd. (Ride on track 2 Green, then an easy piece of single track back to Pt Addis Rd).
Find out more at Cycling Without Age’s Facebook events page.
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?