GTC News Wednesday - 4.8.21
Hi members,
In line with the lowering of restrictions, the ride calendar will recommence Thurs. 29 July. Ride leaders please note that we are limited to group sizes of 10. Masks will need to carried and worn inside and checking in with the QR code is still mandatory. 
Lindy Lester.

Rides This Week:
Thursday 5.8.21 - 9am from Bunnings in Waurn Ponds - medium circuit of 55km to Moriac (one good hill!) - Nick Tarnay to lead.
Saturday 7.8.21 - 9am from Geelong Showgrounds - 70km medium/hard ride to Portarlington & ret via Princess St - Ken Smith to lead.
Sunday 8.8.21 - 2 RIDES:
1/ 8am from Sth Geelong Station - hard ride of 100km - watch here for details - Greg Allerton to lead.
2/ 9am from Sth Geelong Station - easy ride of 40km to Lara via the Bay Path - volunteer needed to lead this ride.

Tuesday Ride to Queenscliff on Bellarine Rail Trail - Bitumen Version led by Doug - 3.8.21
This morning the sun was shining brightly, blue skies with puffy white clouds, the wattle was displaying its colourful yellow flowers, the thieving magpies were stealing the liner of the hanging baskets at my place, making nests with their ill-gotten gain. With all these indicators one could be forgiven for thinking that it was spring. Alas, the chilly wind and a temperature of 8.9 degrees reminded us it was still winter and for today’s duel ride the following riders took up the challenge to ride to Queenscliff: Alison (new member), Chris Ha, Chris Hu, Doug, Jennie, Ken S, Mark K, Nick, Noel, Peter C, Sarah and Trudi. Cycling along the BRT John M joined us and shortly after we met Butch going in the opposite direction and greetings were briefly exchanged. Reaching Jetty Road, the bitumen riders turned right and they were: Doug, Jennie, Ken, Noel, Peter and Trudi. The other riders continued on the BRT.
The bitumen course to Queenscliff had a couple of different roads imbedded in it in as much as we turned right off Swan Bay Road into Banks Road all the way to Shell Road then left into Shell Road to Queenscliff. We reached our new Queenscliff coffee stop in under 1 hour and 45 minutes (40 k’s) thanks to a mostly tail wind. A new coffee venue was required because RoRo Café at the ferry terminal is no longer there as the result of the terminal area being upgraded. We had just ordered coffee at Beaches Café in Hesse Street, when the gravel riders arrived. The coffee was excellent and the service very satisfactory.
With a hot drink and food under our belt, it was time to head back. There were three things that was going to stop me getting back to the start in the same time as it took to get to Queenscliff. 1/ old age, 2/ the long uphill to Drysdale on Murradoc Road (infrequently used road by GTC, thank goodness), 3/ The head wind, particularly along the BRT. Being the slowest rider in the peloton, on the way back, by default, I took on the duties of Tail-end Charlie. Special thanks to Peter who led me along the BRT for the last 10 or so kms. Good riding and good company, well done everybody. Distance: 80.33 Kilometres.
Scribe: Doug.

Gravel Version led by Nick
The prospect of riding the BRT in sunshine attracted seven riders: Alison, Chris Hu and Ha, John M, Mark K, Nick and Sarah. Graveleurs and Bitumeers ride  together until Curlewis Rd where we kept going along the now quiet BRT enjoying the scenery with a tailwind.  Sarah scored a flat tyre which was quickly fixed. Who said that gravel fat tyres don’t get punctures? We met up with the Bitumeers at coffee but being a little mud splashed we sat outside Our return journey was equally lovely riding  however much more difficult with a persistent cold headwind proving a challenge. We were all very glad to get back home for hot shower and late lunch. Thank you riders!

John Hagan's Circuit from Werribee to Hoppers Crossing, Altona Meadows & Sanctuary Lakes - Sunday 1.8.21
Today we were blessed with sunny weather for most of our ride from Werribee. Doug, Jennie and Kim joined me on a gentle ride out the Werribee River to the west and then down Skeleton Creek through Hoppers Crossing and Altona Meadows to the wetlands near the Bay. With all the rain I feared we might not get through all sections of the various paths but we were fortunate with only small amounts of water on the path. We stopped at Amanda Cafe & Bistro at Point Cook for coffee and Jennie shouted us all to nibbles. We came back along the Federation Bike Trail and the Werribee River Path for a total of 42.56 km and arrived back near the Werribee Swimming Pool just after midday.
Thank you all for a very enjoyable ride.
Keep Riding - John.

Trudi's Saturday Ride Across the Barrabool Hills to Moriac - 31.7.21
With the sun shining and a high temperature of 19 saw the perfect number of ten riders to the meeting place at Fyansford for my ride out to Moriac.. Janet, Jesse, Jennie, John H, John M, Julia, Ken, Mark S, Peter O and Trudi.  All was going well until Jesse came to a halt on the first rise on Pollocksford. Thanks to John H who assisted Jesse with his mechanical repairs. At the intersection on Barrabool road we found Kim waiting to join us.  At the Moriac General Store we were greeted by Alison (new member), Chris Ha, Mark K, Nick, Sarah and Richard. A quick hello and they were off again having just finished their coffee they headed back out to free up some tables. On such a beautiful winter's day our coffee and refreshments were enjoyed while sitting on the deck bathed in the warm sunshine. The group broke up into two groups for our return trip, one taking the option of Cape Otway Rd the rest rode on up Hendy Main Rd. It was here that Jesse experienced some more mechanical issues and stopped to make a phone call for a pickup. Thanks to Julie and Chris who stopped with Jesse to lend a hand. Thank you everyone for a very enjoyable ride on a lovely morning. “Life is better on your bike”. Trudi.

Nick's Ride to Ocean Grove and Return via Wallington on Thursday 29.7.21
I was very glad to be out of lockdown and out riding on a sunny day. Even better, nine riders met at the Grovey ; Chris Ha, David, Doug, Gary, Janet, Peter C, Sarah and yours truly. We set off aided by a cool tailwind, surviving the traffic and roadworks along the Hwy, before enjoying the smooth tarmac along Warralilly. At Lake Rd, Mark J and Ken S were waiting for us, making the group the max number allowed to exercise together. Unfortunately, Doug suffered a puncture  and despite  Ken and Peter’s help, tubes kept going down and Doug was forced to abandon.
The lead group kept going and enjoyed a lovely run along Thirteenth after which Mark and Gary headed home and the remnant headed onto coffee and chat at Groove.  This establishment has the fastest service and surprisingly good coffee to boot. The way home was uneventful although we chose to avoid the  muddy road works around Curlewis Rd and use Christie’s to get onto the BRT.  As usual in the late morning the BRT was quiet and protected allowing relaxed group riding in pairs.  Thank you riders for such a pleasant morning’s jaunt! Cheers Nick T.

Ken Smith's Bannockburn Loop on Thursday 15.7.21
Geelong had rain over night, we did not have any during the day. Nine riders were at the start: David, Gary, Julia, Mark J, Noel, Peter C, Ted, Trudi, and myself, Jennie, and John M, waited at Fyansford. We rode off into a strong head side wind all the way to Le Due Sorell Cafe in Bannockburn. There we enjoyed our social time. We then rode to Clyde Hill and what a relief to be going down and not up. As we rode up Parker Hill a lady parked her car in her driveway and asked me to stop and have a talk. She said she was very concerned for cyclists as it was not a quiet country road any more, and many vehicles sped  along the road. I thanked her for her concern and assured her our Club had a high regard for road safety. When we reached Steiglitz Road a tail wind assisted us home. Thank you for participation.
Regards Ken Smith

Doug's Ride from Birregurra to Colac & Barqon Downs - Tuesday 13.7.21
In very overcast and cool conditions, six riders turned-up for today’s Rural Ride and they were: Doug, Ken S, Mark J, Nick, Noel and Sarah. Just 7 kilometres into the ride Doug punctured and the puncture repair team got the job done in no time at all with a special mention to Nick’s skills in replacing the tyre on the rim without any tools. The Co2 cylinder also aided with a quick tube inflation. Onward to Colac for coffee and cake at Richo’s Bakery. Leaving Colac we headed south along the Colac-Forrest Road until we reached the Seven Bridges Road, turning left onto it. The question on everybody’s lips, are there seven bridges on this road? Another question before the answer, are there 12 Apostles? The answer is the same in both cases NO. There are not 12 Apostles and there are not 7 bridges on the road. We only found two bridges. At the end of 7 Bridges Road, we turned left onto the Forrest – Birregurra Road soon reaching Barwon Downs only to find the General Store is no longer in operation, so we had to wait till we were back in Birregurra for another coffee fix. Despite the overcast cold conditions, it did not distract from the fact that this was a very picturesque course and a sunny day would make it even better. There are very few flat spots along the course as it is mainly rolling hills with three very long down-hills which, surprisingly, were not matched by three big uphills. All the uphills were easily managed by all riders (even me). Thank you to all for your company and thanks for spending some money in the Colac and Birregurra cafés.
Photo’s courtesy of the Tarnay’s and Noel (with thanks). Distance: 71.5 Kilometres. Elevation gained: 486 metres (Garmin) and 605 metres (Strava).
Scribe: Doug.

Chris Halpin leads the Local Ride to Drysdale & Ocean Grove on Tuesday 13.7.21
Six riders at the Showgrounds this morning for a local ride. Barry, 2x Chris, Gary, Peter C & Trudi headed off just after 9am. Drysdale was the first stop and Barry headed for a cafe, whilst the rest of us continued on to the Cheeky Cow in Collendina. Back to Barwon Heads on the waterfront with a scenic 4 side trip to the bluff overlooking the river, and of course the Heads. The surf on 13th Beach looked very inviting  - except that it was wet! Waved to Mark K also enjoying a morning ride. Back into a stiff breeze to Horseshoe Bend Rd and then home. I covered 76km all up. Thanks to everyone for a great ride.

Greg Allerton's 100km Around the Bellarine Peninsula on Sunday 11.7.21
I was uneasy riding through thick fog to South Geelong Station but was very pleased to have four other starters : John H, Mark J, Noel P and Peter M. Due to poor visibility we used the quiet Bellarine Rail Trail out to Drysdale. The fog began to lift after Leopold. The off road bike path gave us a pleasant run but its poorly designed sudden ending was a bit annoying. The hills to Portarlington gave us a good workout, and we then had an easy flat road to St Leonards where the Fig Tree Cafe provided good hot coffee and tasty cakes. Bluff Rd kept us off the main road for a while. When we  turned left at Murradoc roundabout we had a slight tail wind. We were briefly on Bellarine Hwy before riding through Lakes Estate to reach Shell Rd with its tough hill. After speeding down Bonnyvale Rd  the gravel foreshore path kept us away from Ocean Grove traffic. It was then through 13th Beach to Black Rock and up to Lake Rd. Barwon Heads Rd led us back to South Geelong from where riders turned off. I was home by 1-15 pm. I rode 103 km in 4 h 25 m av 23.4. Thanks to my companions for an enjoyable ride.

Chris Halpin's Saturday Ride to Groove in Ocean Grove7.21
Very cold this morning at the start point. Beautiful sunny day but little warmth for a poor cyclist. 14 of us at the Grovey - 2x Chris, Doug, Gary, Greg, Ian, Ken, Jo, 2x John, Sarah & Nick, Trudi & Leo. Headed up Surf Coast Hwy and east on Warralilly hoping to pick up Mark and Lindy but no luck there. Waved to Sue & Rich on Lake Rd before turning into Barwon Heads Rd.  A diversion around Sheepwash to take in the flash real estate and across the bridge to coffee at Groove. Good timing as the sun was just touching the garden furniture outside. A happy coffee break, then a spectacular return ride along 13th Beach to Horseshoe bend and home. Thanks Chris & Leo for sharing the Kelpie role, and riders for the safe ride and great company.  About 65km back to the Grovey.

Trudi's Thursday Ride Across the Barrabool Hills to Moriac - 8.7.21
Twelve riders today for my ride out to Moriac on a bitterly cold but beautiful morning: Chris Hu, David S, Janet, Jennie, Julia, Ken G, Ken S, Lindy, Noel, Nick, Sarah and Trudi. With lots of glass on the road and a rock in my way I quickly came to a halt with my rear tyre puncturing.  Unfortunately for Lindy who was behind me she didn’t have much time to react but very successfully manoeuvred herself around me trying very hard not to cause an accident. I also tried very hard to stay upright and ended up over the other side of the road facing an oncoming car in the distance.  Don’t really know how we both ended up safely stopping but boy oh boy we were lucky. I think we both need to buy ourselves a Tattslotto ticket. Thanks to Sarah and Nick for helping me with a tube change. I was soon back on the move and heading for Pollocksford Rd. catching up with everyone at the top of the climb. Now back together as a group we made steady progress to the Moriac Store for our coffee break in the glorious sunshine out on the deck. Once everyone had refuelled it was time once again to tackle the hills. Well that’s what I thought, but half of the group split up at Reservoir Rd. The rest of us rolled up and down the Barrabool hills enjoying the peaceful surrounds of the countryside. Thank you everyone for your company today it was a pleasure to have you out riding on one of my favourite places to ride.
Just a side note: please let the ride leader know beforehand what your intentions are if you are going to ride a different route home.
Thank you, Trudi.

Mark Kelly's Gravel Ride from Torquay to Anglesea on Tuesday - 6.7.21
Five graveleurs headed out from Torquay this morning to tackle the coastal pathways to Anglesea - Mark K, Chris Ha, Mark J, Nick and Sarah. The weather was a bit grey and drizzly at the beginning but with no wind we made good progress and enjoyed watching the surfers at Bell’s Beach. Chris left us at Southside as he was suffering somewhat with the remains of a "non-Covid" flu. From there, with the recent rain, parts of the track were a little difficult to negotiate but we all made it safely to Anglesea. After a well-deserved coffee we headed back up the Anglesea hill on the gravel. A somewhat different experience with the new fire break. Again, there were some challenging sections to negotiate but we all made it. We then enjoyed a nice coast back from Point Addis to Torquay taking in the surfers at Bells again and enjoying the lack of wind. Our bikes were all in need of a good wash by the end. Thanks to my fellow riders for a great ride and enjoyable company. 

Doug's Tuesday Ride to Moriac, Bellbrae, Jan Juc & Torquay - 6.7.21
Assembling at Grovedale this morning for the bitumen ride were: David, Doug, Gary, Janet, Jennie, Julia, Ken G, Ken S, Kim, Lindy, Noel, Peter N and Trudi. We made our way to the corner of Baanip Boulevard and Sovereign Drive where we met Lyn L. Lyn informed us that White’s Road was still closed however Kim knew a way around the closure so we headed along Unity Drive towards Ghazeepore Road and this detour did involve a short distance on an unsealed road. Having got to the unsealed road (which was a very smooth unmade road) we saw that there was a ROAD CLOSED sign and a high wire fence across the road. Undeterred, Doug informed the group that there is a short-cut back to Baanip Blvd via Boundary Road although we will have to dismount and get under a road barrier. We reach the end of Boundary Road only to find another ROAD CLOSED sign and more wire fences. At this stage we split into two groups with one group heading back to Sovereign Drive and onto Baanip Blvd. The other group opted to walk some 50 metres across the paddock to Baanip Blvd. Were those taking the short-cut trying to save energy or tyre wear or looking for mushrooms? Maybe all three reasons. We reassembled and without any further distraction/detour, successfully made our way to Moric.
Moriac turned out to be a disaster because our pre-arranged mobile coffee van passed us and then missed the Church Street turn-off hence no coffee. Not long after, whilst passing the Brown Magpie winery on Larcombes Road, Gary’s well-being deteriorated (nothing to do with the winery) and Lindy kindly offered to accompany Gary back to Grovedale (a BIG THANKS Lindy). Forest Road was a delight to ride today as there were few vehicles on it (only two trucks – one each way). With no coffee van the deprived coffeeholics were relentlessly lambasting the poor old innocent ride leader. With a quick stop at Bell’s Beach for a photo shoot we were on our way to the not-too-distant coffee stop. Nearing the 60 kilometres mark we arrived at a new coffee stop in Torquay North, that being the Maple Bakery. Once again there was a split as some wanted to get to a warm inside spot and dined in upstairs area of the café whilst the more hardy used the reasonably sheltered area outside. Thanks to the hardy riders who kept an eye on our bikes. All agreed that the coffee and cakes etc. was worth the wait as they were of excellent quality. Back to Grovedale on Horseshoe bend Road was without any issues save that many riders peeled off along the way. Thanks to Peter N who was our ‘Tail End Charlie’ and was kept busy through-out the Ride. To the rider who put his shorts on inside-out (no names but lives out Lara way) please check your attire before leaving home. Thank you for your enjoyable company and to the one or two giving me grief, I send you a raspberry (all in good fun). In closing I will leave you with an old Chinese proverb – Rider who stays behind Ride Leader never takes a wrong turn.
Distance: 78.2 kilometres. Scribe: Doug.

Doug's Ride - Wanda Heights – Armstrong Creek – Breakwater (AKA The 3 Hills Ride) on Sunday 4.7.21
The clock was nearing 9.00am and I was sitting in the shelter shed of the South Geelong Railway Station, feeing very cold, looking at the black clouds overhead and despite sitting in the shelter, was being buffered by the very strong North Westerly wind. Secretly, I was hoping that nobody would turn-up and I could head for home and enjoy a warm fire. Instantly after those thoughts Ted arrived, then Ian, followed by Jennie, Chris Hu, John H and Noel (who had been blown in by the strong wind, all the way from Lara). Heading west along the bike path on the south side of the river was not an easy task as we were buffeted by that head wind which registered 24 kms per hour. Despite the icy cold wind, we soon found ourselves warming-up as we encountered the hills on Roslyn Road, Wandana Drive. By the time we hit Hams Road we were done with the three big(ish) hills enroute and now had that wind behind us. However, not all was smooth pedalling as Ted unfortunately found a large piece of sharp glass on Baanip Boulevard which caused the tyre to go BANG and cutting the tyre so badly, that the only remedy was a new tyre. This meant ‘Ring a Friend’ (the better half) and travel home by limousine for Ted. Leaving Ted behind, we enjoyed the tailwind all the way to our coffee stop which was the Warralily Cockatoo Café. The only vacant tables at the café were located in the outside area and despite the glass panels, there was no protection from the cold wind. Shortly after ordering a table around the corner, by the gas heater, became available and we rapidly changed tables. The waiter service was excellent however the delivery time did not match the order time. Coffee done we pushed into the wind for most of the journey back to the railway station. For Noel, having had a tailwind on the way in, it was now pay-back time (into the wind) for his trip back home. Praise to the cycleholics who decided to take-on the not-so-friendly elements for today’s ride. At least there was no rain encountered during the ride. Photographs: John H. Course Distance: 39.32 kilometres.
Scribe: Doug.

Nick's Saturday Ride to Gnarwarre & Moriac - 3.7.21
On a cold morning 12 riders turned up up to be joined by two more en route: Chris Hu, John H & M, Jo, Julia, Kim, Mark, guest rider Tim, Peter N, Richard, Sarah, Trudi, Leader Nick and tail end Charlie Leo (thanks!).  We rode steadily together along WPD, Reservoir and Devon before splitting into two groups. Nick’s troops continued ahead at faster pace up  Barrabool to enjoy the views and extra kms along Gnawarre. Sarah’s group continued along Barrabool and made it to Moriac before the rain hit. Unfortunately, I punctured right at the turnaround point on Gnawarre meaning that Mark, Tim and I caught the showers as we worked turns back to coffee. When we arrived the others were dry, warm and had the all the seats. No matter, the hot coffee was most welcome. We waited out the showers and although the roads were wet and wind cold, we had a quickish ride back to town. Jo and Kim led the way and soon outdistanced us, no doubt spurred on by the  prospect of a hot shower. Thank you riders! I hope everyone had a enjoyable ride despite the conditions.
Cheers Nick T.

GTC Social Night at Belmont Hotel - 1.7.21
A very successful night at the Belmont Hotel with 34 participants. Janet organized the procedings and Mike C led the quiz. The meals were delightful and some were enormous in size - see photo below.
John H.

Ken Gawne's Thursday Ride to Portarlington - 1.7.21
Gary, Mark J, Doug, Sarah, Nick, Kim, Noel, Janet, Dave S, Julia, Chris Hu, Jennie, Trudi, Lyn and Ken made up the group of 15 who assembled at the Showgrounds for the ride out East. After leaving the rail trail at the traffic lights at the intersection with the Bellarine Hwy, we followed this main road, which has a generous shoulder, out to Banks Rd. A short spell on Swan Bay Rd before turning onto Queenscliff-Portarlington Rd and heading to the charming bayside town for refreshments. Noel, whom I thought had turned back prior to reaching Curlewis Rd, cycled into Portarlington many minutes in arrears having had a puncture. John Miro appeared out of nowhere and accompanied us on the return journey. The Port Hills put no riders into difficulty and the smooth seal of the Drysdale  by-pass was a real pleasure. Then the group split - the diehard, rail-trail enthusiasts opting to mix it with walkers, prams, dogs and errant brethren, whilst the dedicated roadies travelled the Port Rd all the way to Boundary Rd. The two groups came together again just a km from the Showgrounds. A co-operative group and warm sun made for a very enjoyable 4h turning the pedals.