GREEN SPINE action update

GREEN SPINE

The planned protest meeting and bike ride along the Green Spine this Friday has been cancelled due to Covid-19.

Green spine near Moorabool Street

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.

Green spine south side

Green Spine – Your action needed

Photo taken after the opening of Geelong’s Green Spine

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.

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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
sasher@geelongcity.vic.gov.au

Kylie Gryzbek Ph: 0434 307 043
kgrzybek@geelongcity.vic.gov.au

Eddy Kontelj Ph: 0455 532 006
ekontelj@geelongcity.vic.gov.au

Anthony Aitken Ph: 0434 307 044
aaitken@geelongcity.vic.gov.au

Trent Sullivan Ph: 0434 307 050
tsullivan@geelongcity.vic.gov.au

Ron Nelson Ph: 0429 531 875
rnelson@geelongcity.vic.gov.au

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.

Sarah Mansfield Ph: 0436 343 642
smansfield@geelongcity.vic.gov.au
Bruce Harwood  Ph: 0434 307 042
bharwood@geelongcity.vic.gov.au
Pat Murnane Ph: 0434 307 033
pmurnane@geelongcity.vic.gov.au
Peter Murrihy  Ph: 0434 307 045
pmurrihy@geelongcity.vic.gov.au
Jim Mason Ph: 0434 307 048
jmason@geelongcity.vic.gov.au

Gravel Ride from Torquay to Anglesea on Sunday 8th March 2020 with the GTC

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).

–Dave

 

 

 

 

Mystery Ride: Sunday, February 23rd, 2020

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?

Full Moon Ride – Cement Works

Thanks to Tina, ride leader, for the ride report and photograph.  Tina led nine riders in all for the evening, leaving the Cement Works at 6pm.  There were four guests, friends of Tina’s, and it was a new experience of riding for one person in particular.  The weather was perfect, a warm balmy night, light breeze and clear skies to see the moon in all its glory.

The outward leg to the Corio Club was along the Ted Wilson Trail.

Kevin proved to be the full moon expert determining on which direction to go in for optimal view of the moon on our return trip in the dark. We returned via Cowies Creek, no uphills on our return much to the amazement and delight of a guest rider.  Kevin has great local knowledge and riding experience.  The ride finished at 10.30pm.  It was a perfect ride on a perfect night.

Two guests are so impressed with the introductory rides they have done with the club they are going to become members.

This ride was a replacement for a proposed ride St Leonards to Portarlington return with dinner at Portarlington Golf Club which clashed with a fun run along the same route.  Tina plans to lead this St Leonards-Portarlington route  for a Full Moon ride in March.

Barwon River Circuit: Saturday, February 8th, 2020

Kevin led a group of 17 cyclists on the river circuit.  The riders welcomed Ruth, new to this ride, who, despite not riding for some time, accomplished the whole ride, including riding to an from the circuit from Belmont. There were plenty of rowers on the river, but the path wasn’t too busy.

Geoff and Ian made short work of puncture repair (with support, both actual and oral from other riders) and caught up by Fyansford.

Doug joined the group along the way but had to leave the ride before the mandatory coffee stop due to his being a presenter on the Bicycle Show.

As it was the first Saturday in the month, Barwon Edge was very busy, but, as usual, service was fast and friendly.

Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Ride and Races – Dave’s view

My Cadel Weekend 2020

Race Torquay

Some of the WoW regulars rode to Torquay on the Wed before the Thursday Race Torquay to check out the 13km course. We rode 3 laps in total, with a coffee break between laps 2 and 3. It’s a great course, with a few nice climbs and descents. I wouldn’t like to do 10 laps though!

Race day on the Thursday John M and I were going to ride down and watch at least the Men’s race but after riding the regular CG Thursday ride to Drysdale in the morning I got home and it was just too hot to go and stand in the sun, so I watched the races on the Web, which worked very well.

People’s Ride, Saturday

I was disappointed when I saw that the course had been changed to have everyone ride just the ‘short’ course, but I guess the organisers had to take safety into account as the BOM had predicted pretty bad weather for Sat morning. When I got up, with the plan to ride to the start at Steampacket for 7am, the weather radar was not good! I was in two minds whether to ride at all but things started to clear up and I made the decision to ride up the BRT to Boundary Rd and join the course there. I got there at 8am and everyone who had started at Steampacket were already down the road so I had a great ride on an empty road to Barwon Heads! I started catching up with other riders as I got close to Barwon Heads and then there were lots of people stopped at the various coffee places along Hitchcock Ave. I just rode through, no stops, and made good time back towards Geelong and just got rained on a little as I rode up Boundary Rd towards Eastern Gardens and the finish. I passed through the finish line, collected my freebie water bottle and then rode around the piece of the course I had ‘missed’ back up to the BRT/Boundary Rd corner and then home.

Race Day, Sunday

I rode up the BRT and watched the peloton go past at Boundary Rd. I then rode around the river to my brother’s place in Hamlyn Heights for lunch and to watch the progress of the race on TV. We saw the first climb of Challambra and then we headed out on the bikes and rode around the river path, and got to Scenic Rd just in time to see the peloton come blasting down the hill and squeeze across Queens Park Bridge! We then continued our ride around the river and climbed up the access track to Barwon Blvd and then rode up Challambra. The marshals made us get off the road just where the barriers started at the top, at the 200m point, so we walked a bit further up and watched the two final climbs from about the 50m to go point and on the TV screen at Montpellier.

After the race was over we rode down Scenic Rd and made our way down to the finish line at Steampacket via the East/West Corridor cycle route and the Green Spine and ended up scoring a free Mapei hat and relaxed with a beer. Afterwards as I was riding home via Limeburners Rd one of the Cofidis riders came racing past me, doing at least 30km/hr (having just ridden the 170km race 🙂 and disappeared up the Boundary Rd hill. An easy warm down ride for him, no doubt!

WoW Wednesday – making up for the shortened People’s Ride

We decided to ride the newly modified ‘elite’ race course, to check out the changes that had been made this year. We met, as usual, at Sth Barwon Reserve, which is on the course and headed to Barwon Heads. We made a slight change to the route, going via Lake Rd to get away from the traffic on Barwon Heads Rd but rejoined the correct route at the airport corner. We then continued down to Barwon Heads, and through to Torquay. John M told us that he had seen that Bells Blvd is now closed for roadworks for two months so we had to follow the signed detour up the GOR to Addiscott Rd then via Bones Rd back onto the correct route and through past Bells and Southside before doing the pretty tough climb up Jarosite Rd. We then turned onto Addiscott again, in the other direction, and headed towards Gundrys and Vickerys. It was interesting riding these roads as on other WoW rides we have always ridden them in the other direction. This time the climb up Vickerys was fairly hard, normally we would be racing down there towards the bridge at the bottom!

After that the new route is pretty interesting and we made it through for a coffee at Moriac General Store. We then headed up Cape Otway Rd, Hortips, Considines onto Barrabool Rd and back towards Geelong. There was some discussion about whether everyone wanted to tackle Challambra/Westbury and then Melville Ave but we decided to go for it! Those climbs are hard but the group survived well, just Paul H didn’t make it up Westbury. (I saw him today and he said he made it to the roundabout sign just down from the top, but at that point his pedals refused to turn and he had to stop 🙂 so he rode back down and home ). The rest of the group made it up Melville then down Church etc to Steampacket. At that point John M headed home and I rode with Gerry around the rest of the course to complete it at Sth Barwon.

I am impressed by the changes made to the course. It will be interesting to see if it is used for the Peoples Ride as well as the Elite rides next year.

–Dave

Thanks Dave, for your perspective on this year’s CEGORR.

Start of 2020 People’s Ride – We see that Visit Victoria still hasn’t got it that Geelong isn’t a suburb of Melbourne.

Full Moon Ride – change of route

Saturday, 8th February, 2020, 6pm

The Full Moon Ride will now commence at the Cement Works Bowling Club, corner, McCurdies Road and Autumn Street, Herne Hill, at 6pm.  The ride will be along the Ted Wilson Trail to the Shell Club in Corio.

Please let Tina know you’re coming so she can confirm numbers for dinner.  RSVP Tina 0412 431 526

Riders on a Full Moon Ride in March 2019

The reason for the change is that the St Leonards ride clashes with a fun run on the same route.