GTC News Saturday 17.3.18

Rides this week:

Sunday 18th March - 8:30am from Sth Geelong Station - To Bannockburn via Lara 66km - John Hagan to lead. 

Chris Hume's Ride to The Paddock Cafe in Wallington - Saturday 17.3.18
Seventeen riders assembled at the Grovedale Hotel car park for today's ride: Greg, Trudi, Dr Mike, Peter O, Peter J, Paul and Ange, Lyn, Meri, Ken, Ross, Terry, Andrew, Ron, Rolf, David I and Chris Hu. We headed to Ocean Grove via Torquay Rd, Warralily Drive, Horshoe Bend Rd, Blackgate Rd (here Greg left us), 13th Beach Rd etc heading to the Groove. When we arrived there it was very crowded!!! Rolf suggested we continue onto the Elk (Horn) cafe which we did. Now called The Paddock Cafe there was plenty of room and very good service. After Coffee continued along Wallington Rd to Bellarine Hwy and back to Geelong. The weather was great with very little wind and mild temperature. Thanks to Ross and Peter J for being kelpies for this large group.
Chris Hu.

Peter Jones' Ride to The Starfish Bakery in Barwon Heads on Thursday 15.3.18
Fine cool day for a ride to Starfish Barwon Heads - Jackie, Trudi, Meri, Ange, David I, David R, Paul, Andrew, Chris Hu, Rolf, Terry, Burnie, Mike, Norm, Ken and myself. Could almost say we had 18 as President Ross called in on the way home to Torquay after his Tassie trip. Took the Surfcoast Highway to Warralily and through to Barwon Heads Rd and Lake Rd. Everything going well until a large sand truck passed us going in the opposite direction throwing up lots of dust and grit which caused some in the bunch to slow, a moment's inattention and Dave R is on the ground with a broken collar bone, maybe a broken scapular (awaiting CT scan). Ambulance called and a bit of an enforced break. After the ambulance arrived and looked after our patient we left Jackie to organise the paramedics and we rolled on to Starfish with no further incident. Enjoyed a coffee and then rolled home via 13th Beach, Blackgate and HSBend Rds. Apart from David's unfortunate accident, a most enjoyable ride.
Cheers, Peter.

Peter O'Brien's Ride from Rippleside to Melbourne on Tuesday 13.3.18
Chris Hume,  Zac,  Meri, Trudi, Rolf, Chris Halpin, Ken, Andrew, Peter J, Ron, David I  and myself departed from Rippleside and headed to Lara.  At Lara Ted & Ian joined the peloton and we proceeded along back roads to Little River (where Ted did a U-turn) and onto Werribee.  After 50kms, a number of riders were chafing at the bit for a coffee break so we stopped at the Coffee Pot Café in Watton Street, Werribee.
Back on our bikes we headed to the Federation Trail and to Yarraville.  There’s lots take in along this section of the trail, from the open plains through to industrial sites with their variety of smells, both good and bad, as you ride along.  There were many roads to be crossed, the majority well controlled with bicycle signals.  Unfortunately, like many other bike trails, this trail ends in no man’s land.  You need to meander through streets to link-up with the Bay Trail and then the Capital Trail at which point you cross the Maribyrnong river onto Footscray Road.  It was here that Ken decided to leave us and head back to Geelong. As we rode towards Docklands, the path along Footscray Road provided a fantastic view of the Melbourne city skyline.  We crossed the Yarra River near North Wharf Road and proceeded to Southbank where riding the promenade was surreal, especially given the views across the Yarra.  The sheer volume of pedestrians meant we were constantly on high alert. The lunch break was taken at the food court where an abundance of cuisines was on offer. After lunch we rode back to Southern Cross Station and caught the 1:50pm train to Geelong.  Fortunately there was enough room on the train to store all of our bikes. I’m awarding an honourable mention to David I and Andrew who elected to ride back home to Geelong.  As they were going into a head wind I’m not sure what time they would have made it back home. Total distance 90kms. Thanks to everyone for an enjoyable ride.
Peter O.

Below - David & Andrew - photographed by John H near Little River on the Princes Highway on their return journey.

Addendum to Tuesday's Ride - 10.3.18 - by Ken.
Tuesday provided the ideal opportunity to do a really long ride and enjoy company for the first half to Melbourne. Not wishing to return via the Federation Trail or through busy Footscray, I left the group upon reaching Williamstown Rd. Passing under the Westgate Bridge I followed a path along the shoreline to Williamstown (93.5kms) and stopped for lunch. Heading out along Yarra Scenic Drive I got onto the very picturesque Foreshore Trail which took me past Avalon Beach and onto Point Cook. Continuing around Werribee South I passed many acres of market gardens before turning onto Duncans Rd which took me back to the Werribee main street. About 1 km before the turn off the freeway to Little River, a rear-wheel puncture halted my progress.  Went into Lara for refreshments and with 177 kms completed decided to jump on a train back to Marshall. An excellent day's pedalling.

Update on MAXINE - 10.3.18.
Maxine is now in GEELONG PRIVATE HOSPITAL. She would welcome visitors.
John H.

Combined Ride with Cycling Geelong to Basil's Farm on Swan Bay on Sunday 11.3.18
Dave Simpson from Cycling Geelong led 12 riders out to Drysdale on the Portarlington Rd and then down Swan Bay Rd to Basil's Farm which is situated off the Port-Q'Cliff Rd. There was some trepidation about the 500m journey on the gravel road (Nye Rd) into Basil's Farm but this was soon forgotten once they soaked in the wonderful ambience of the place which is in a garden setting overlooking Swan Bay. The cool change came through as we arrived but it did not dent our enjoyment of the occasion. The return trip was via the Bellaring Highway for a round trip of about 60km. The riders today were (from L to R in the photo below): John M, Chris Hu, Helen, Rolf, Doug, Peter J, Peter O'B, Dave, Dirk, Barbara and John H. John C joined us a few Km into the ride.
Keep Riding, John Hagan.

Saturday Ride to the Cheeky Cow in Collendina - 10.3.18
There was a good turnout of about a dozen riders for this loop down Horseshoe Bend Rd, through Barwon Heads and Ocean Grove to the Cheeky Cow for coffee. The return trip was via Mannerim, Swan Bay Rd and Leopold.

3rd Report - 9.3.18 - Ross & Chris Hu Across Tasmania the Hard Way - 26th Feb-9th March 2018
The Tasmania Trail is done. We arrived in Dover yesterday, tired but still in good health. The bikes and gear faired even better with no breakdowns and no punctures. Since the last report, we rode from New Norfolk across the Wellington Ranges to Judbury. Lots of climbing and some very rough tracks but really enjoyable riding, lots of variety in terrain and surface and no other traffic other than near the start and end. Most of the time our focus was immediately in front of the bike so when the occasional vistas opened up, usually at the top of a steep climb, they were enjoyed as a good excuse for a break and photo. The ride on through Geeveston and Dover gave us more of the same. Overall, this ride is a great opportunity to see areas of Tasmania that are not usually available to the public. Lots of locked gate HEC and forestry tracks and roads plus 4wd tracks that are rarely used. Highly recommended if you enjoy a challenge and the road less travelled. Thank you to Chris for his good company, his good humour and his tolerance of my tendency to rant on about how good life is. This is not a ride to do alone.
Regards, Ross.

Peter Jones' Tour - Day Five - Rye to Geelong - 9.3.18
Enjoyed our final dinner at the Rye RSL with a couple of my old friends, Peter and Meg. We were up and on our way the following morning to catch the 9-00am ferry, had a bit of time up our sleeve so called in to see the Lime Kilns at Rye and the Memorial to the Collins settlement at Sullivan’s Cove, the well-known William Buckley was the only convict to escape and survive. The ferry was very busy with quite a number of caravans and cars, no doubt heading away for the long weekend. The sea was smooth with a beautiful vista, could have been the South of France, just lovely. Rolled off at Queenscliff and headed up the highway, at Rollin Pin Café in Leopold stopped for a final coffee and Hot Cross Bun, Vanilla Slice and Party Pie for DJ which Lyn G had brought down to greet us. From there we bid farewell to Mick and Mike, Chris and myself rolled off home, a most enjoyable weeks riding through some really great country and fantastic weather. Thanks for keeping me company lads.
Cheers, Peter.

Peter O'Brien's Loop to Curlewis and Ocean Grove on Thursday - 8.3.18
Today Rolf, Meri, Lyn L, Trudi, Jacki, David R,  Ange, Paul, Ron, Norm, Ian, Ken and myself headed off from the showgrounds to Ocean Grove.  The bike route taken included the Bellarine Rail Trail, Curlewis Road, the Wallington-Ocean Grove Road, local roads through to Rhinds Road then onto Grubb Road.  At the corner of Thacker Street and Shell Road the peloton split into two groups.  The first group were the risk takers who decided to hurtle up and down the hills of Thacker Street en route to the Groove Café.  The second group took the less adventurous route of Tuckfield Street taking in the ocean vistas and proceeding through Ocean Grove to the Groove Café.  Interestingly, both groups arrived at the Groove Café at around the same time.  At the Groove Ted and Smithy joined us for coffee and as usual the service provided was first class.  We were even treated to special jelly cakes from the owners and needless to say they were delicious.
The planned route back to Geelong through Wallington was reviewed by the group, and after a short debate it was decided to return through Barwon Heads and along Thirteenth Beach.   Terry joined the peloton at this point, having ridden to Drysdale trying to find us.  Needless to say Ocean Grove is a fair way from Drysdale so I’m unsure just what ride calendar Terry was looking at. At Blackrock Road the peloton split with half the riders continuing along to Blackgate Road and the remainder deciding to go back to Geelong via Lakes Road and Barwon Heads Road. Total distance 60km.
Regards, Peter O.

Peter Jones' Tour - Day Four - Carrum Downs to Rye - 8.3.18
A most enjoyable evening meal at Fat Chef last night, the Baked Pasta was
pretty good. We got away just after 8-00 am for our run down to Rye of about 60 klm. Headed down the Frankston Dandenong Rd to the Penninsular Link Trail andfollowed it to Baxter where we followed the Mornington Tourist rail for a
while. Stopped off at the Service Centre for a coffee and chocolate donnut, Chris went for the Egg and Bacon McMuffin but only rated it 1 out of 10. On the next leg across towards the Bay Map my Ride played one of it's little tricks and sent us bush bashing but we pushed on arrived at the Nepean Hwy through Mornington and took Benton's Rd down to the coast road
overlooking the Bay. Just as we were enjoying the road and scenery those rotten road builders closed the road and detoured us straight up Mt Martha, a climb of about 3 klm at about 11%, Mick reckons it was 300 klm, he reckoned his legs were
empty as he dropped the bike, threw the helmet and Sunnies down. At least we had a good view as we headed back to the coast road. Stopped at our usual cafe in Mcrae for lunch and rolled on to Rye for an icecream and to the Kanasta CP for the night.
Cheers Peter.

Peter Jones' Tour - Day Three - Warburton to Carrum Downs - 7.3.18
After an enjoyable meal at the Alpine Retreat Hotel and a good sleep we were up ready to go at 8-00 am. The first order of business was breakfast at Yarra Junction where the good old Egg and Bacon Roll got a real good run. Suitably refreshed we rolled on back to Mt Evelyn and towards Lillydale on the Lillydale Warburton Rail Trail. At Old Gippsland Rd we turned off and plunged into the wilds of suburbia, took a turn around Lillydale Lake where the Sailabilty boats were racing and after quite a few ups and downs emerged at Mt Dandenong Rd which we followed through to Eastland where we rejoined the Eastlink Trail for the run down to Carrum Downs. We were feeling a little peckish by now so at the first opportunity we had
Mac Attack going for the Chicken Wrap Seniors Free Coffee deal. With energy stores topped up it was on down the Trail as the temperature rose, we rolled into the motel at about 2-30 pm after approx 92 klms and into the pool for a quick dip, a hot and fresh clothes.
Cheers, Peter.

Ken's Ride from Buninyong through Ballan on Tuesday 6.3.18
4 riders - Ange, Andrew, Paul and Ken - started from Buninyong at 0940. Despite not having ridden a lot, Andrew managed the long climb up to Mt. Buninyong reasonably well. The forecast strong SE wind slowed progress towards Mt. Egerton where the group climbed conservatively to reach the top in a tight bunch. On the Egerton Ballan road a red light brought us to a halt at the bottom of the steep descent leading to a long gentle climb - the steel barricade on the left of the bridge had been demolished.  In Ballan the cafe had a special - egg & bacon toastie and coffee for $9 - which appealed to all bar Ange. With the wind assisting on the ride back through Gordon and Dunnstown, together with several long downhills, progress was swift. The run down Fisken to the Ballarat Rd was very fast and highly enjoyable with Paul riding like a man possessed. An extended break for refreshments back in Buninyong before heading home. A pity that such a wonderful ride has been enjoyed by so few of our members.

Peter Jones' Tour - Day Two - Warrandyte to Warburton - 6.3.18
Everyone was up early and ready to go at about 8-15 am, fairly cool but the Sun soon came up and warmed everything up. Initially our route was through the Mullam Mullam Trail. This is really nice Linear Park with lots of bush in a bit of a valley with the Mullam Mullam Creek and houses up the sides of the hills. After the trail we had a bit of road work until we could turn on to the Eastlink Trail. A very pretty ride, a bit of up and down but really nice and good to be away from cars. Being peak hour there was plenty of traffic. Stopped for a coffee at Ringwood East before continuing on past
Eastland and back on the Mullam Mullam Trail then road to Mt Evelyn for an Egg and Bacon Roll for lunch. From Mt Evelyn we were on the Warburton Rail Trail and rolled into Warburton at about 2-30 pm to enjoy a well earned Cider/Beer.
Cheers, Peter.

Peter Jones' Tour - Day One - Melbourne to Warrandyte 5.3.18
Headed to Waurn Ponds Station early in the morning, managed to get there just before a nice shower of rain. Mick, Chris Ha and myself were quite happy watching the rain drops on the train windows. Mike C wasn't quite so happy at Sth Geelong Station having been caught up in the rain. An uneventful trip into Sth Cross where we mounted up and headed for Souhbank for a coffee and muffin. Continued out the Main Yarra Trail, dodging the odd road/bridge works. Stopped at Dights Falls for a banana break then rolled on out to Beasley's Nursery Cafe for a late lunch of Grilled Chicken Burgers, Pulled Beef Burger and the super healthy Smashed Avocado. Have taken up residence in Cabin 6 at Crystal Brook CP for the night after
a very pleasant ride.
Cheers, Peter.

2nd Report - Ross & Chris Hu Across Tasmania the Hard Way - 26th Feb-9th March 2018
A lot has happened since the last report from Poatina. The first significant event was the 900 metres of climbing that started as we started the next morning. 2 hours plus in granny gear before we got to the top and enjoyed some less undulating road. That climb was a detour because the trail itself was in extremely poor condition and not suitable for bikes. There have been a few similar diversions since. The weather was very kind to us during our time in the Central Highlands and the variety of the country (and the types of roads/tracks) made it an entertaining ride. A lot of k's on closed roads allowed us to see views not available to most. We are now at New Norfolk, psyching ourselves up for tomorrow's ride up and over the Wellington ranges. 850 metres of elevation gain on rough dirt tracks. We need to keep reminding each other that this is a "fun" ride so that should be fun! Should be just three more riding days to the end and a well deserved rest. Will send a few more pics then.
Regards, Ross.

Club Member MAXINE - involved in a serious accident last Monday - 26.2.18 - this information from her brother, Garry.
On Monday morning, about 06:30, she was hit by a car while she was cycling. She was taken to the Geelong hospital. However, after a scan, she was taken to the Alfred hospital's ICU in Melb. On Fri morning, she was transferred out of ICU to ward 2 west, bay 36. She has fairly extensive injuries, which are being progressively repaired or reviewed. Unfortunately, she also has post traumatic amnesia, which includes not remembering current events, such as who visited her yesterday. The nurses say that this is quite common, & eventually goes away. When the Alfred staff think that she does not need their care, she will go to a Geelong rehab hospital for a while.

Rolf's SOLO Ride to Drysdale on Sunday 4.3.18
On a perfect Sunday morning, no one felt like going for a ride, so once again a peloton of one and this one had to be the ride leader too.  Going along the Barwon river trail and then out to Barwon Heads via Lake Road, through Ocean Grove and on to Drysdale, no riders anywhere.  When I arrived at the Bungalow Restaurant, again no one there and to make things worse, I had forgotten to bring my coffee money and could not even borrow some from my mates.  So, home I went along the rail trail and again no cyclists to be seen anywhere. All in all, a boring ride.
Cheers, Rolf.

Peter O'Brien's Ride to Pt Lonsdale on Saturday 3.3.18
It’s days like today that I enjoy living in this region.  Rolf, Meri, Trudi, Peter J, Terry, Tom, Sue, Peter M, Mike C and myself took advantage of the sunny autumn day to ride from Grovedale to Point Lonsdale via Lakes Road, Thirteenth Beach and Barwon Heads.  At this point Terry left the group and we continued on through Ocean Grove and Shell Road to Point Lonsdale for coffee.  As we approached Point Lonsdale a large container ship was entering the bay through the heads, a great sight to see. Following the coffee break we resumed our ride along the Bellarine Highway, where we were joined by Mark, and then back home to Geelong. The total distance covered was 65kms.
Regards, Peter O.

Ross & Chris Hu Across Tasmania the Hard Way - 26th Feb-9th March 2018
We are still riding the trail but our progress is much slower than expected. On the day we crossed the Mersy River, we took 2 1/2 hours to do the first 5 k's and only managed 35 k's for the day.  The itinerary suggested we should have done twice that. Our karma is very good though. We arrived at a little caravan park just minutes before a full-on storm and the lady in charge offered us an extremely cheap cabin. We said yes just before the first lightning strike! Tomorrow we head up on to the central plateau. Should be interesting!
Regards, Ross.

Peter Jones' Ride to The Cheeky Cow in Collendina on Thursday 2.3.18
Eleven riders this morning on a cool and misty day, Ange, Marie, Jackie, David R, David I, Paul, Rolf, Terry, Norm, Mick and myself. The route was up Surfcoast Hwy to Warrilly estate, through to HSBend and to the Cheeky Cow at Collendina via Blackgate, 13th Beach and the Surf Club track. Partook of an excellent coffee and chat before waiting for a little bit of drizzle to disperse and heading home via Barwon Heads Rd, Lake Rd etc. with riders dropping off along the way and heading for their homes. A most enjoyable morning on the bike. Did miss the Vegan Caramel Tart Trudi was supposed to be bringing for coffee but I guess we can’t have everything. We had good company and good coffee, we’ll just have to settle for that.
Cheers, Peter.

Lyn Loudon's Ride to Moriac, Jan Juc & Torquay on Tuesday 27.2.18
The group of 7 were waiting at Bunnings on a fabulous sunny morning for today's ride - Chris Ha, Peter J, Rolf, Ken, Jackie & David, Julia McK. Then Paul & Ange arrived but shortly after we left Paul broke his pedal so they returned to the start, very disappointed. We continued up Waurn Ponds Drive to Reservoir and on to the steep little climb of Mt Brown (named for Elizabeth as this was the first hill she ever conquered). Here Chris left us and the others sprinted for Moriac where Trudi & Merri were waiting. After a lovely leisurely pace down Forest Rd due to favorable winds we continued to the rolling hills at the back of Bells to arrive at Swell cafe for a much needed break. Coffee & food was quick to arrive and we were on our way in no time. 
The reurn trip through Torquay was lovely with the sea looking spectacular. Rolf left us at this point and we rode on up Darian & over the Surfcoast Hwy to Messmate, and then Coombes to the Anglesea Rd were the north wind was stronger & the day was hotter. Everyone was glad to be on the home run by the time we reached Ghazeepore Rd. I believe the ride was down graded a few points by then due to hot weather!! But a great day's riding with no incidents & a lovely group.
Thank you everyone. Cheers Lyn L.

Ross' Ride to Panache in Waurn Ponds on Sunday 25.2.18
Eight riders for today's easy ride. Marie, Marion, Peter J, Geoff, Rolf, John H, Ron and Ross lined up for the customary riders shot, prior to departure. There were a couple of stumbles courtesy of a loose lens and a 30 second timer setting, before John H had a photograph with which he was happy. We then set off via the river path, Belmont common and the back streets of Marshall, turning up Baanip, then Hams, before the down hill run to start of the Waurn Ponds Creek path and a gentle meander on to Panache. It must have been quite a wearying ride to this point as we needed an extended refreshment break (and lots of conversation) before setting out for the return.  Thanks to all participants for a very pleasant outing.
Regards, Ross.

Chris Hume's Saturday Ride to Ocean Grove - 24.2.18
Seven riders headed off from the Grovedale Pub this morning: Chris Ha, Chris Hu, Ken, Lyn, Meri, Peter O and Rolf. We rode along Torquay Rd then through the Estate to Horshoebend Rd and onwards to Blackgate Rd. Here Chris Ha, Ken and Lyn continued on to Torquay, the rest turned left and aided by a strong tailwind cruised into Barwon Heads. Here we were joined by Mark. Across the bridge and off to The Groove - great coffee and service, as usual! Now into the wind along Wallington Rd and Bellarine Hwy!!  Luckily for us the wind had abated somewhat and it was a pleasant ride home. I enjoyed the ride today, it is one of my favorites in the area. 

Ken's Ride to Barwon Heads on Thursday 22.2.18
A warm, overcast, still morning attracted 15 to the start at the Grovedale Hotel - Trudi, Ross, Terry, Chris Hu, Rolf, Ron, Meri, Lyn, David & Julia, Peter O, David & Jackie. Ride leader Ken described the intended route and referred to the recent spate of accidents suffered by members. In the interest of safety he said that wherever there was no bike lane or adequate shoulder, riders should ride single file where solid lines marked the middle of the road. The coffee stop was to be at the Beach House in the main street of Barwon Heads.
Boundary and BH roads took us to Lake Rd at a comfortable pace. Crossing the busy highway at the aerodrome corner we followed Black Rock Rd  before turning left into   Bluestone School Rd. Failure of several riders to adhere to the single file directive resulted in a car being held up for around 300 m before being able to pass safely-we do need to improve this aspect of our riding!
We crossed the BH bridge with riders given the go ahead to speed on the smooth surface as far as the roundabout and then return. Ken hit the road when his left shoe made contact with the front wheel as he negotiated the roundabout - skin off the left knee and elbow but only cosmetic damage to the bike. The irony of the pre-ride talk was apparent in more ways than one.
The sun came out as we started along 13th Beach. The solar energy must have charged David Rae's battery as he set a solid clip down to the bike path which then led us onto Blackgate Rd. We returned to the hotel carpark via Horseshoe Bend (Jackie flew aound the bend and yelled "I love this hill"), Kalkarra Cres and Reserve Rd. 
Feedback from several riders applauded the comfortable pace set for much of the outward journey. An enjoyable outing on a terrific morning and hopefully some us might have learnt a thing or two. Cheers, Ken.

Peter Jones' Ride from Williamstown to Westmeadows Tavern on Tuesday 20.2.18
Ten riders to enjoy my ride to Westmeadows Tavern, Mike C, Ian, Ross, Mick, Chris Ha, Chris Hu, Rolf, Ron, Peter O and myself. It was a lovely day, fine warm and Sunny, hardly a breath of wind for most of the day. Headed into Melbourne on the Bay Trail and turned off at the Moonee Ponds Trail near the Big Wheel, passed lots of cyclists in either direction, a few late commuters but mainly riders just like us out for a good ride. Took our coffee at Essendon as usual in the shade, it was starting to warm up a little but still nice riding. After coffee ran into our first annoying trail works but found our way around and continued on to the Tavern for very enjoyable lunch and in my case an Apple Cider. Following lunch it was back on the bikes and heading for the Maribyrnong River, ran into the second annoying Trail works but again worked our way around them to the Steele Creek Trail which lead us to the river and eventually the Bay Trail and to Williamstown, all in all a lovely day out on the bike on and around the bike paths of Melbourne.
Cheers Peter.

Ross' Circuit of Geelong leading the Combined Ride with Cycling Geelong - Sunday 18.2.18
A good ride leader plans the ride route carefully and does their best to ensure there are no unexpected road works or other impediments or interruptions that might impact on the safety and enjoyment of the ride participants. Unfortunately, today's ride leader showed himself to be particularly inept in that regard, not realising there was a major event, a triathlon, happening along the planned route. Luckily some of the ride participants do read the local papers and listen to the local radio so we set out knowing there might be quite a few detours along the way. Helen (representing CG), Marion, Peter J, Marie, Geoff, Chris Hu and Ross managed to skirt the triathlon mainly due to Helen's detailed knowledge of the back streets of Drumcondra. We did get to see some very pleasant suburban streets and a heritage listed concrete road along the way. Eventually we found our way back on to the "planned" route, heading out along the bay before turning up Plantation Road and detouring around the closed section of the Ted Wilson path (which also came as a surprise to the ride leader) before regaining the bike trail. Definitely a squeeze for some getting through the partially open barriers at the Church Street exit, then continuing on to Cementies Hill (aka Hyland Street) where some of the group stopped for a close look at the silo murals, before the big run down the hill and a right turn up to the paper mills where we were greeted by a camera-wielding John H (in civvies after already having completed his early morning ride). Luckily, the Doors Gallery Café owner had already had his first coffee of the day and was able to produce our orders in reasonable time, encouraged and ably assisted by Peter J's waiter service. After a leisurely break, we parted company with John, heading back along the river path, dropping people as we passed their exits. A great riding day.
A great riding day. Thanks to all for their company. Ross.

Rolf's Ride to Moriac and Torquay on Saturday 17.2.18
You could not get a more perfect day if you paid for it, no wind, sunshine but cool to warm and not too much traffic and even the roads we picked were acceptable and sans potholes.  9 riders made the best of this Saturdays ride: Meri, Ange, Lyn L., Sue, Thomas, Paul, Peter Jones, Ken and Rolf set off from Fyansford along the Hamilton Hwy, turned left into Merrawarp Road, next a right hand turn into Barrabool Road, left into Andersons Road, right onto the M1 and a left to Hendy Main Road for our refreshment stop at the Ravens Farm Café.  Had an animated conversation about our world and its short comings, then set off further along Hendy Main Road to the end and then taking Coombes Road to the Surfcoast Hwy and back to Geelong.  No incidents to report, just as we all like it and the best view I had was a few naked ladies on the side of the road (flowers in case you wonder).  Thank you all for making this ride special and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did, Rolf.

Unofficial Ride from Leopold to Drysdale - 17.2.18

Days 3 & 4 on the Tour - Warrnambool to Geelong via The Great Ocean Road - 280km.
Day 3: Lavers Hill to Lorne 95km
Awoke about 4:00am to the sound and rain and buffeting wind on the tent and flashes of lightning!! Not looking good for today's ride!
Around 7:00 decided to get up packup, in the rain, and head off to a nearby cafe to have breakfast and delay the start of the ride a bit. By 8:45 it looked like the main front had passed so Adam, Peter O and Chris Hu set off. Riding conditions were challenging, with wet road covered in bark and twigs, very strong SW wind and the odd shower. We continued along the Great Ocean Road, mainly downhill, to Castle Cove for a photo. Here I was nearly blown over as I tried to stop. We then had a flat section along the edge of the Aire River flood plain then over the river then up steepy and onto Apollo Bay for lunch.  From here we continued to Lorne, stopping at Kennett River for coffee. This section of the ride was quite fast, for us, due to wind assistance. It was a challenging , but enjoyable day.
That evening Peter O left us and Ange and Paul returned.

Day 4: Lorne to Geelong 75km.
Awoke to the sound of kookaburras about 5:50! No wind, no rain, great!! Four riders headed off today: Ange, Paul, Adam and Chris Hu with Sandra driving the RSL support vehicle. We continued along the Great Ocean road stopping at the Anglesea General Store for brunch. The wind started to pickup now, NW, a good direction for the ride home. We continued onto Torquay then to  Geelong via Horseshoe Bend Rd and home!! 
It was a fantastic trip, amazing scenery, coastal and forest with a great group. Special thanks to the Geelong RSL for their support vehicle, supplying food and payment of camping fees and thanks to Sandra for driving the vehicle.

Peter Jones Ride to Torquay on Thursday 15.2.18
Nine riders for our ride to Torquay, Trudi, Meri, Jackie, David R, Rolf, Norm, (New Member) Ron, Ross and myself headed down to Torquay via Anglesea Rd and Ocean Acres. It was a bit breezy with a couple of short sections into the wind, everyone kept together and we rolled into Torquay to have coffee at Mejavos. Following coffee it was home again via HSBend Rd. A very enjoyable morning on the bike.
Cheers, Peter.

The rest of the Warrnambool tour will go up on the web tomorrow (Friday).

FOUR DAY Tour - Warrnambool to Geelong via The Great Ocean Road - 280km.
Day1 Warnambool to Port Campbell.
After a train ride from Geelong three riders Peter O, Adam and Chris Hu headed for Allansford via Hopkins Point Rd making it to the Cheese World Cafe for lunch. From here we followed the Great Ocean to Peterborough then to Port Campbell. We visited Bay of Islands and London bridge. It was a great ride!!.

Day 2 port campbell to Lavers Hill. 
Today we had 5 riders with the addition of Ange and Paul, Sandra drove the RSL support vehicle. We did the tourist bit in the morning visiting Loch Ard Gorge and the 12 Apostles. Then had coffee and early lunch at Princetown overlooking the Aire River, a great spot. From here it was onward and upward to Lavers Hill including a deviation to Melba Gully. Another great days riding.

Enough energy food to get POB to Apollo Bay.

This is our support vehicle and thanks to Sandra for protecting us along the ride. 

Thank God for technology.

Ken & Lyn's Unofficial Ride to Lorne on 13.2.18 - 113 kms & 1355 metres climbing.
We set out on a cool morning from Moriac to ride along the Cape Otway Road through lovely rural landscape to Deans Marsh & on to the summit of Benwerrin where we stopped for a snack & photo before descending 10 kms into Lorne. Coffee and snacks were devoured alfresco at the Lorne Larder as we had completed a distance of 60km with plenty of hills. The return journey of 53kms was along the Great Ocean Rd to Aireys Inlet, Anglesea and Forest Rd back to Moriac (no strava required - an easy route to follow). The scenery along the coast was of course spectacular with blue skies & turquoise seas and many people out enjoying the summer weather. We both enjoyed this wonderful ride along our famous coastline.
Cheers, Lyn L.

Ross' Ride to Drysdale, Queenscliff & Pt Lonsdale on Tuusday 13.2.18
Seven riders at the start of today's Rail Trail ride to Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale but only 3 of the bikes were obviously "rail trail friendly". Jackie, David, Meri and Trudi were taking the bitumen to Drysdale while Peter J, Chris Ha and Ross were doing the advertised ride. It was an absolutely perfect morning for a bike ride and we all travelled together on the trail as far as the highway, then split up before re-grouping at Melaluka for the run along the trail to Drysdale. The 4 road riders continued on to the Bungalow Café for refreshments while the group of 3 turned on to the dirt for the run down to Queenscliff. Lots of work has been done on the trail with hard compacted gravel laid down in many of the previously-soft areas. This make for a very pleasant ride down to morning tea at the Queenscliff marina. The ride leader wasn’t able to duplicate Chris Hu's knowledge of the Queenscliff area and there was a stumble or two trying to retrace his route to Point Lonsdale but we managed to find the way, enjoying outstanding views across the water along the way. Return was via the rail trail, with Peter J stopping for lunch in Drysdale while Chris and Ross continued on for a late lunch at home. Does it get any better than perfect riding weather, good company, some kilometres away from cars and great scenery (did I mention gravel roads)?
Cheers, Ross

Pam's Ride to Tuckerberry Hill Cafe on Sunday 11.2.18
Six riders: John, Rolf, David, Marie, Peter and Pam enjoyed a ride down to Tukerberry Blueberry Farm in Drysdale. We rode along the rail trail to Drysdale  then turned up Murradoc Rd to the Blueberry farm. After coffee we rode down to Queenscliff - Portarlington Rd turning at Swan Bay Rd then along the Queenscliff Highway back to Geelong. The only drama was when Marie fell off her bike in the gravel as we turned into the Blueberry farm, luckily she was ok.

Ted's Ride to The Moorabool Valley Chocolate Cafe on Thursday 8.2.18
The allure of the chocolate factory must have been strong today, along with perfect conditions for riding, as 15 riders turned out at the Showgrounds where I promptly delegated Peter J as navigator and Ron as kelpie. Adam, Paul, Ange, Andrew, Peter’s J and O, David’s I and R, Jacqui, Julie, Rolf, Ken, Ross, Chris Hu and myself followed PJ along the bike path towards Leopold, the wrong direction for the Chocolate Factory, but this was just a tactic to ensure we didn’t arrive too early for the opening at 10 am. A short trek on gravel (Rolf didn’t complain – too much) led us to Moolap Station Road and Portarlington Road where we turned for chocolate via Eastern and Western Beaches. A technical “hook” turn at Boundary Road had many riders initially confused however the peloton successfully negotiated the crossing to the Eastern Gardens track and it was plain sailing from there on. Coffee and an entertaining Love story from Julia (Love) under the peppercorn trees at the Choc Factory was so pleasant we nearly lost track of the time but eventually someone said we’d better get going – and so, after nearly an hour, we did. The Bannockburn crew headed west for home and the remainder of the group returned to G-Town via the Ted Wilson Trail, Cementies Hill (descent) and Barwon River Track. A short stop to admire the silo art at Fyansford was a great way to finish the day. Thanks everyone for coming, especially Peter J who knew the way!

Peter Jones' Ride to Anakie, Staunton Vale & Lara on Tuesday 6.2.18
Ten riders for our ride to Anakie and Lara, Julie, Rolf, Andrew, (Visitor) Meri, Chris Hu, Peter O and myself met at the top of Church St., Paul, Ange and Trudi met us at Ballarat Rd and we all headed out the path to Ballan Rd., everything was going swimmingly the peloton was pedalling along nicely until it was time for a stop and a small lack of communication and a little bit of inattention left poor  Julie on a very rough bit of road. Having just been re surfaced the stone ripped into Julie’s skin and produced plenty of “sauce”, one stitch and multiple bandages with one wedding ring cut off I’m told. A lovely lady stopped and offered to take Julie and her bike into Geelong which was accepted, whilst Julie felt quite ok in herself she was a bit of a sight. That bit of a shock overcome we all pedalled on into Anakie for a coffee and chat. By 10-30 am it was time to move on up the hill and on to Lara via Granite Rd and Bacchus Marsh Rd., David I met us part the way along Granite Rd after taking young David to Kinder. We partook of lunch at the Xpresso Café in Lara and returned to Geelong via the Hovell Trail on a cracker of a day.
Cheers, Peter.

Ross' Ride to Torquay via Moriac on Sunday 4.2.18
12 riders on 11 bikes for today's ride to Torquay. There was some grumbling about the route (unadvertised hills) but the ride description did say 65 kilometres and you don't get that from taking the shortest way there and back. Peter and Marion on the tandem, Ange, Paul, Rolf, Ian, Chris Hu, David I, Mark, Mike C, John H and Ross rolled out of South Geelong station and headed along the river track, Waurn Ponds Creek track and Waurn Ponds Drive before crossing the highway and continuing up Pettavel and Reservoir Roads. At the intersection with Cape Otway Road, the group divided with the fast riders taking the more direct route straight down in to Moriac while the even faster riders continued on Reservoir and then the big run down Hendy Main. We all arrived around the same time and after re-grouping, Chris Hu led an enthusiastic bunch via Vickerys and Gundrys Roads while a smaller more sensible group continued down Hendy Main to Coombs Road and then into Torquay via Ocean Acres. Again we all arrived at the Stoop around the same time. The staff had learnt from yesterday's experience, taking names and delivering all drinks in very reasonable time. All is forgiven. A nice tailwind drove us back along Horseshoe Bend Road with the group breaking up as we neared Geelong. Thanks to Chris Hu for leading the fast group and thanks to all for the good company.

Met former GTC Members Mel and Betty White as we passed through Moriac.

Peter O'Brien's Ride to The Stoop in Torquay on Saturday 3.2.18
It was great to have fourteen riders turn up for today’s ride. Greg, Rolf, Trudi, Ross, Peter J, David I, Chris Hume, Meri, Paul, Angie, Thomas, Sue, Andrew Harris who is a new rider and  myself departed Grovedale for Bellbrae via Torquay. The coffee break was at The Stoop Torquay where the majority of riders received their fix. New owners have taken over the café and there’s room for improvement with their ordering system. Back on our bikes we travelled to Bellbrae and it was along this section of the route that Chris Hume decided he needed more training and headed towards the hills and Jan Juc. The rest of we mere mortals headed back to Geelong. Generally we do this ride route in the reverse direction and it was interesting to ride down, rather than up, the hill at Bellbrae.  A tail wind was certainly welcome on the return journey.
Regards, Peter O.

Peter Jones' Ride to Raven's Creek Farm in Moriac on Thursday 1.2.18
Twelve riders to Moriac, ten at Bunnings, Ange and Paul, Jackie and David, Ted, Ian, Rolf, Chris Hu, Ron and myself, while we headed out via Anglesea Rd and Blackgate Rd Trudi and Meri left from home and we all came together at Raven’s Creek Moriac. After a very enjoyable coffee we all headed for home, some via the Barrabool Hills and the rest via the Highway and Waurn Ponds Bvd, a most enjoyable mornings ride. We did have a little drop of rain both going and coming but being tough we ignored it and pedalled on.
Cheers, Peter .

Tuesday Ride to The Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie - 30.1.18
With no Ross and no one knowing his planned route we decided a coffee/hot Chocolate at the Great Ocean Rd Chocolaterie would be a good option, particularly as there was a good Southerly blowing. Participating was Paul and Ange, Rolf, David I, Chris Ha, Chris Hu, Ken and myself. We headed down through Moriac via Reservoir Rd., Ken likes his hills so he took it right through to Hendy Main Rd while the rest of us took the short cut via Cape Otway Rd., and Ken caught us up at coffee. The ride down Forest Rd was it’s usual long drag particularly into the wind but we were rewarded with a nice tail wind on the way home. To keep the legs ticking over we went through Bells Beach and took Ocean Bvd through Jan Juc for a change. Being early into Torquay no one needed to stop to refuel so everyone rolled on home via HSBend Rd. A very enjoyable morning on the bike.
Cheers, Peter.

John Hagan's Ride to Curlewis & Collendina on Sunday 28.1.18
At 8:30 at South Geelong Station your ride leader was still looking for company on the ride but alas there were no takers! I decided to take the rail trail out to Curlewis and cut through some of the back roads of Wallington to have coffee at the Cheeky Cow in Collendina. Although the temperature was high the strength of the wind helped to keep the body at a good temperature. Service was slow at the Cheeky Cow and I had my eye on the clock as I wanted to intercept the riders in the Cadel Evans GOR Elite Race and take a few photos. After a milkshake I rode along the Barwon Heads Rd to the Bluestone School roundabout and waited there with quite a few locals for the race to come through. The first photo below shows the breakaway group and the second photo the main group. By the time I climbed up from the Barwon to Belmont at about 12:30pm the temperature was about 38 degrees and I could feel the impact of the heat but was well satisfied with the 63km ride.
Keep Riding, John.

What our Riders are up to on Saturday 27.1.18 - Cadel Evans Ride & Unofficial ride to Drysdale.

Lyn & Ken's unofficial 101km ride Thursday 25 January
It was a lovely cool morning when we set out along WP drive, up Pettavel then Reservoir to HM Rd past Moriac and onto Forest Rd where we encountered Richie Porte & the BMC team out training for the UCI event. At the end of Forest Rd we continued to Jarosite and after  some  undulations through beautiful bushland around Jan Juc we arrived at our chosen cafe Swell having ridden 50kms. Much refreshed we continued to Torquay to Barwon Heads via Blackgate & 13th Beach where photos were taken. The return journey was on Lake Rd thru Warralily estate & HB Rd.- a great day out on the bike.
Cheers  Lyn L

Trudi's Ride to Lara via Lovely Banks on Thursday 25.1.18
On a overcast muggy day I had twelve riders: Ross, Chris, Peter, Rolf, Meri, Ange and Paul, Mike, Sue, Reece, Julia and David, Ted. Today's ride seemed to be all about road works, starting at Church St. Once around the closed start of Ted Wilson Path and onto the Ballan Rd, Peter informed me of the two sections of road that were being  re serviced. Lucky for us it was finished and quite nice to ride on, we turned onto Stacey's Rd, Bacchus Marsh Rd, Windermere Rd coffee was at my favourite Cafe Blu. On finishing our chosen beverages and all refreshed the group split into two groups to head home.
Thanks everyone for joining me today. Trudi.

Ross' Ride to Pt Lonsdale on Tuesday 23.1.18
Today was a perfect day for a bike ride and some others agreed as we had 11 people assemble at the show grounds for a cruise down to Point Lonsdale. Rolf, Chris Hu, Adam, Jackie, David, Ange, Paul, Ron, Dr Mike, Mick and Ross set out for Boundary then Portarlington Roads. The action stated with a (possibly unhinged) walker hurling abuse at us as we passed him on the rail trail. This was followed by a run of bad luck for Ron who had 3 punctures and a chain derailment in the first 10 kilometres. He decided that was enough "excitement" for one day. The only up side was that all this happened close to home. The rest of us continued on to a right turn in to Curlewis Road then on to a long run down Swan Bay Road then on to the Queenscliff Road and on to Point Lonsdale. After refreshments and conversation in the sun, we set off up Shell Road to Collendina where Mick left us, then on through Ocean Grove and on to Barwon Heads. David, Jackie and Dr Mike had decided they preferred a more sedate and direct run home, leaving the rest of the group to take advantage of a slight tail wind along the 13th Beach Road.  It felt like a quite fast run but the more sedate trio were just behind us when we arrived at Black Rock Road. The "faster" group continued on via Blackgate and Horseshoe Bend Road towards home.
Thanks to all for a great day out. Ross.

Sunday Ride to Basil's Farm at Swan Bay - 21.1.18
Dr Mike, Chris Hu & John H turned up at Sth Geelong on a rather pleasant morning for riding. We decided to head down Swan Bay Rd and possibly have coffee at Picnic if it was not too crowded - well, it was crowded so we moved down the Portarlington-Queenscliff Rd thinking that Pt Lonsdale might be the next stop. I then remembered that someone had told me there was a farm that served up pretty good coffee along the way so we turned left down the dirt track at Basil's Farm and were delighted at what we found. Check out the pictures below. Unfortunately they don't have large coffee mugs but Chris and Mike say the cakes are to be savoured. Our return was through Pt Lonsdale, Collendina, Ocean Grove, Barwon Heads and Lake Rd. We were surprised at the very heavy traffic, especially through Barwon Heads - there was a traffic jam at the roundabout at the end of the bridge!
Keep Riding - John Hagan.

TWO Rides - 1/ to Groove in Ocean Grove & 2/ the Unofficial Ride to Mejavo's Cafe in Torquay - 20.1.18
Thanks to Mike for most of the photos
Ten riders gathered at the Grovedale pub this morning - a good turnout seeing as the A team was busy at the TDU. Paul & Angie, Adam, Ken, Dr Mike, 2x Chris’, Peter, Jacqui and ride leader Wee Davey. With a gentle south easterly to point the way we headed down Surf Coast Hwy and thru the estates towards Ocean Grove. The Sheepwash deviation provided opportunity for the sprinters before a relaxing coffee at Groove. The return journey along 13th Beach was very pleasant. Met Geoff and Marie along the way returning from their coffee run. Indecision saw the bunch split at Breamlea - some taking the shortcut via Lake Road and others across to Horseshoe Bend. Was perfectly timed as we met up again at Warralily. Thence home as best we could.
Thanks all for a pleasant ride. Chris Halpin.

Ted's Ride to The Flame Tree Cafe at Roraima Nursery in Lara on Thursday 18.1.18
It was a balmy 18 degrees when 9 riders assembled at Rippleside for a trip to Lara’s Roraima Nursery. By the time we returned to the start/finish it was 30 and later in the day 41 degrees so the early starts during summer are well worth while. Mick, Chris Hu, Dr Mike, Adam, Paul, Ange, Ron and myself headed out towards the North Geelong Railway Station where we enjoyed a smooth ride on the new concrete path along the Korean War Avenue of Honour and then under the Separation Street Bridge. We joined the bike path at the wood chipping facility although some preferred the road option until we met up again on the Grammar School Road. After a  short run of 16k to Roraima we sampled their coffee and batted away a few mozzies. The Aeroguard supplied by the coffee van was empty but having experienced the Roraima mozzies before I remembered to bring the Rid. Following coffee we headed through Lara to Windermere Road and along Bacchus Marsh Road to Stacey’s Hill. At that point the peloton split with Paul, Ange, Adam, Dr Mike and Chris Hu tackling the hill and the rest taking the softer option of Bacchus Marsh Road and the Ted Wilson. The Soft Crew found an interesting track through Norlane at the Fountain of Friendship Park and returned to Rippleside exhausted (well I was anyway – leading is quite stressful!). The Stacey’s Hill Commandos successfully negotiated the hill and Ballan Road although there was a brief moment of panic when a truck passed them a bit too close for comfort.Thanks for the ride and thanks Mike for the photos. Ted.