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Magazines : Breakaway Summer 2010
Hire a bike at Drysdale and ride along the old railway 17km to Queenscliff. Or take your own bike and start at Queenscliff. Either way you can do this scenic ride through olive, canola and grape growing areas one way by catching a heritage Bellarine Peninsula Railway train back to where you started. Check out the railway's timetable at bpr.org.au. Enjoy great sea views, visit the winery at Suma Park or ride along the tranquil shores of Swan Bay and get educated at the Marine Discovery Centre. This is a pretty easy and flat ride on gravel but there are some gradual climbs and it can be extended to go all the way from Queenscliff to South Geelong, a 35km one-way trek. PUT IN SOME EFFORT BELLARINE RAIL TRAIL: CYCLING and mountain bike riding have long been popular pastimes in the Geelong region, but the sports have really taken off lately. The city sparkled when the world's best cyclists took to the streets around the waterfront and the river for the UCI Road World Championships in October. Plus, the new Geelong Criterium at Belmont Common opened in spring, providing 2.8km of safe, sealed surface for cyclists to train on away from cars. On the mountain biking front, the popularity of trails at the You Yangs and Forrest continues to grow with more and more people seeking the thrilling mix of dirt and speed. The Geelong Otway region has some of the best scenery to pedal through in the state. So, if taking to the street is your thing, head along the coast to capture the best beach views from the Great Ocean Road or stick to the city for some steep climbs around Queens Park. If getting off road is more your style, try out some of the suggestions here. There's something for everyone, no matter what your level. For a whole lot more information about riding around the region go to visitgeelong.org/cycling. INSIDER'S TIP Always ride safely to and from trails and take care at road crossings. Watch out for swooping magpies in spring and always remember to be careful of walkers on shared tracks. Explore the region using pedal power Make the most of the sunshine, grab your bike and a helmet and get out there. There are great tracks to follow here RIDE ON YOUR BIKE This easy 19km loop around Geelong's Barwon River highlights the city's hidden gem. The river has it all, with stretches of native vegetation, boardwalks, rowing clubs, playgrounds, barbecues, an animal reserve, a pub, a cafe and parks dotted along the track. The trail is mainly flat and sealed, although there are some gravel parts. Stop at the Fyansford Hotel for a meal, check out Buckley Falls, have a coffee at Barwon Edge Boathouse or pull in at the Barwon Valley Fun Park for a go on the slides. There are car parks at various spots along the route but the biggest ones are at Fyansford, Balyang Sanctuary or Belmont Common. EASY PEASY BARWON RIVER: Ideal for the hard-core dirt fanatics, the more extreme tracks here are well-known as some of the best in the state and include bermed corners, challenging descents, jumps, long straights and hill climbs. But not all the tracks are full-on - they range from 1.5km to 11.5km long, are unsealed and there's a variety to suit all abilities. Located about 50km from Geelong, the network of trails is set up around the small village of Forrest and you can pedal thought the heart of the Otways among tall eucalypt forests and dense fern gullies. There is limited mobile phone coverage here and riders should make sure they take note of the weather conditions. Check out other attractions in Forrest such as Lake Elizabeth and the Forrest Brewing Company. GET EXTREME FORREST: GEELONG ADVERTISER I 25
Breakaway Autumn 2011