Saturday, 25 January 2014

Showcasing Geelong

How exciting! Another Gazelle owner, Elena, contacted me via this blog about riding with our little group. So after a bit of to-ing and fro-ing via email, a ride was duly set up in Geelong. (If you have read the previous entry you will know that Jules' Gazelle's is in Geelong at the moment.)

Then another friend, Tracey, decided to commandeer her sister's electric bike and come along as well. (Tracey and I often ride together on our non-electric bikes.)

Before the ride

Tracey's sister's bike (soon to be Tracey's bike, I think) is not a Gazelle but a Flight bought from Goldcross. This seems an excellent bike. It is the previous standard eBike so it has a throttle, but it has hub gears and a torque pedal sensor plus a good battery (LiPo I think). Handy centre stand.

Bought at a run-out sale by Goldcross at well under $1000 - bargain!

Flight Bike - looks like a Gazelle!
 
Flight Controller - two assist settings and three bars for the battery.
I've had a look at the Goldcross site, but I don't think they sell electric bikes any more.
 
Anyway, the four of us set off mid morning on a lovely sunny day. I had decided that since Elena hadn't seen much of Geelong we should do a Geelong 'showcase' and do a loop that included the Geelong waterfront and the Barwon River.
 
First stop was the Eastern Gardens to look at the hundreds of fruit bats hanging there. I think they came to Geelong when they were evicted from the Botanic Gardens in Melbourne. (I haven't taken a pic as I didn't think it would turn out very well - but take my word for it, there are lots and lots of bats.)
 
After that we rode on to the waterfront and had a quick look over Eastern Beach. This is a really nice area with Art Deco kiosk and two swimming enclosures - the smaller one for children has just been renovated.
 
 
We decided to coffee at the Sheraton - nice setting but extremely slow service. I can't really recommend it - but it does has nice toilets! (8/10)
 
EBikes outside the Sheraton

After the coffee stop, we rode for some time along the Geelong Waterfront. If you have a look at the Strava feed, you will see that there is a wonderful shared cycle path that runs right along the water.
 
We then went to look at the Mill Markets - a large store with an eclectic mix of junk - but it was CLOSED! Mid week! Fortunately there was similar shop right next door so we got to browse a bit and speculate on who buys all this stuff.
 
From there we had to negotiate a bit of the road to get to the Linear Trail that runs from Douro St up to the defunct Cement Works. There is a steep downhill on the road from there to get to the Barwon River.
 
The river route was lovely and we ended up detouring off the river and cycling to Pakington Cottage for lunch. Nice lunch in the garden there at a reasonable price. (However I don't see too many positive reviews on Urbanspoon!)  I'm not too keen on the toilet (one shared for the whole venue) probably 5/10.
 
Finally we took the long route via Breakwater along the river to the new Little Creatures Brewery in Swanston St where we finished up for the day.
 
Little Creatures Brewery is a huge new venue in Geelong with a very trendy feel and slightly too loud music (to my old ears anyway.) There is a great beer garden and a large inside area. Very bicycle friendly.
 
Well worth a visit if you are in Geelong. But be warned - get there early on a Saturday or Sunday or else you may have to queue.
 

 


 Ride Details:
  • Ride about 39 km, flat
  • Mainly bike trail
  • 1 bar on the Gold battery at 18 km, 2 bars at 36 km
  • Riding with no regard to battery conservation.
FYI, Tracey's bike didn't lose a bar and she rode 41 km all up.
 
You can view the ride on Strava here.



Number of Replaced
Car Trips
Total Distance
(km)
230
729


 

 
 


Sunday, 19 January 2014

Geelong to Queenscliff and Back

Well,  sorry about the long lapse in posts, but I've been busy!

In August and September, Mr Aggy and I went overseas and did four different cycling tours. Three required the full use of legs, but the last was a four-day tour in Provence on electric bikes. Fabulous! Mr Aggy thinks this needs its own post, so I will give you the information later.

Then when we got back to OZ, I hopped on my normal Trek and promptly fell off and hurt my ankle. (Worst thing was I was still in my own driveway!)

So anyway, it's a new year and more rides are planned. Those of you living in Melbourne will know that the suburban trains are having lots of upgrades in January and VLine is its normal disastrous self, so Jules has left her bike here with me in Geelong.

I've always wanted to see if we could get to Queenscliff and back on the one Gold battery. Mr Aggy and I had previously ridden to Banks winery and back, so I thought it should be possible.

So a couple of Wednesdays ago we set off. (Mr Aggy works from home on a Wednesday, so he promised to pick us up if we ran out of juice.) Wednesday was a lovely day, but with a very strong Easterly wind. This meant we were riding into a strong wind all the way along the Bellarine Rail trail to Queenscliff.

I had ridden my bike around Geelong a bit before the trip, but Jules hadn't ridden at all. So a few kms into the ride we noticed her back tyre was a bit flat. Now I have to confess here that neither Jules nor I have ever pumped up a Gazelle tyre. So we took off the pump and Jules had a go - unsuccessfully. So unsuccessfully in fact that the tyre ended up completely flat. There was no way we could get it to pump up (especially since I told Jules to put the valve in the wrong way around!) Anyway we had to ring Mr Aggy who trundled out with the big pump and fixed us up.



So, slightly delayed we set off again. Our first stop was Banks Road Winery and the Bistro at Banks. This is an easy ride up the road from the Bellarine Rail trail. We both had a glass of the Banks Pinot Gris - delicious. 

This place was packed for lunch, the staff were extremely friendly and nice and the toilet was a 10/10. I read that they have a seafood night on a Sunday night, so I'd like to go back with Mr Aggy sometime. At this stage we had done 28 km and lost one bar.

Jules with the Banks Pinot Gris

Once we left Banks, it was just a short hop to Queenscliff and a late lunch at Charlie Noble cafe. We had dips and shared a pizza - really far too much food. Excellent value and the staff were really nice. At this stage we had done about 42 km - two bars down.

So we started back quite late in the day. The wind had turned a bit, so it wasn't directly behind us - typical! Another issue is that Jules' bike is still not quite right. Her Boost is like my Normal setting and her Normal is like my Eco. So we swapped for a bit on the way back in order to try and make the distance.

As it turned out, we made it easily - two bars left on my bike and one bar left on Jules. (As she had supposedly boosted all the way the Queenscliff, clearly something is not quite right.)

All up we did about 79-80 km (I didn't start or finish the Strava record at my house, so we did a couple of kms above what it shows.)


Ride Details:
  • Ride about 79-80 km, flat
  • Trail - in poor condition in spots, but mainly OK
  • 1 bar on the Gold battery at 18 km, 2 bars at 33 km, 3 bars at 55 km. On Jules bike, the fourth bar dropped off at 75 km, on my bike I had 2 bars left.

You can view the ride on Strava here.


Number of Replaced
Car Trips
Total Distance
(km)
224
718