Cycling Geelong, Helen

‘There are so many reasons why we should advocate for cycling; there are recreational benefits, benefits to mental health, one’s fitness and for the environment.’ We hear from Helen Lyth, webmaster for Cycling Geelong. ‘We are more than a riding club and advocacy group. Our website links people with most cycling clubs throughout the region and even wider. We are affiliated with groups such as Bike Safe Geelong and Barwon BUG (Bicycles Uses Group). We all have similar focuses and work together.

Cycling Geelong

‘Cycling Geelong is a diverse group of like-minded people. Our members range from an Ex Vice Chancellor to tradespeople and retirees. For example, there is one member who worked at the cemetery. The club started around 2000 with a focus on advocacy in the Geelong region. There are now over 80 members.

‘Every Saturday we hold a ride around the Barwon River starting at Balyang Sanctuary Carpark at 9am. Our Sunday ride is to anywhere and everywhere. About once a month this takes us on bike paths in and around Melbourne. Our Full Moon dinner ride is lots of fun; one time we rode to Curlewis Golf Club.  Every Thursday there is a ride on the Bellarine Railtrail to Drysdale.

‘In Seniors Month, in October, we hold ‘Onya Bike!’, a graded series of rides on Wednesdays. Rod Charles takes a History of Bikes ride along the river. The 4 or 5 weeks of rides concludes with Allan Marshall’s ‘Mystery Ride‘.

‘Cycling Geelong holds a dinner meeting once every two months. Our last guest speaker was Luke Sherwell, the Sustainable Transport Officer with the City of Greater Geelong.

‘Our members are regular visitors on The Bicycle Show at 94.7 The Pulse presented by Cycling Geelong member Heather along with Angelika and Maria.  The show airs at 11am each Saturday.

‘Members volunteer for ‘Around the Bay in a Day’ which brings some funds into the Club. This allows us to donate to groups such as the Amy Gillett Foundation which is a major advocacy body around the world for cyclist safety.

‘We’re very excited about a program which is just starting up in Geelong called @Cycling without Age. It’s for the elderly or disabled who can’t get out on bikes. Volunteers take them on electric rickshaw style bikes where two can sit up front and a volunteer pedals behind. This valuable community program started in Denmark and that is where the bikes are custom made. Every Nursing Home there has a couple of bikes. MACS – multicultural aged care services Geelong aim to get some of these bikes. It is a way of reconnecting people with the community and each other. The stories of the elderly don’t get lost as they will chat away with the younger volunteer who is peddling. Vicki Perrett of Geelong Sustainability is driving this project. ‘The Right to Wind in Your Hair’.

‘Cycling Geelong’s mission is to promote cycling in the Geelong region, celebrating its unparalleled potential to contribute to the physical, social, environmental and economic well-being of our community. Cycling Geelong welcomes new members.’

Helen is a Primary Teacher and Music Specialist who taught for many years at Portarlington Primary School. Among many things, she’s now Cycling Geelong’s representative on the Cycling Infrastructure Committee of the City of Greater Geelong.

Interview by Jacqui Bennett Catch up on all our stories on our website Follow Humans in Geelong on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Our event is up, The Humans in Geelong Expo 2017 Sunday 8th of October 10am – 3pm Deakin Waterfront.