It was the last Thursday in December and again the OMNIcycle boys kept the tradition of the annual Movember ride from Diamond Creek to Melbourne City.

Due to predicted high temperatures up to 35* Celsius  Bill, Barry and Nick set off from the Marngrook oval in Diamond Creek at the earlier time of 7.30am to meet up with Steve and Bruce at the Eltham tennis court rendezvous. It was good to see Ken there also to see the boys on their way and also took charge of taking the start photos.

The riding was warm, as the min temp had not dipped below 22*C, but with a following breeze was reasonably uneventful with the usual stops and coffee around 10.00am at the Fairfield Campus coffee shop. From thereon it was a gentle ride down the Yarra through Collingwood and Burnley across the Morell Bridge to Alexandra Parade to bbq on the banks of the river.
….the 1982 Mercedes fired into action and loaded with BBQ goodies it headed into Mighty Melbourne along the banks of the muddy Yarra River in Alexandra Avenue South Melbourne, it was a very hot day 34c and windy.

Lady Florence, Lynda and Sir Daryl pulled up in the shade of some mighty oaks to be greeted by the ever vigilant southern sea gulls. It had been an eventual trip with no air conditioning and a car pile up on the freeway plus bridge repairs on Swan st.

With the river as our vista plus river ferries traveling to and fro we fired up the council electric BBQs ready for the hungry and thirsty 5 riders, that had ridden from Diamond Creek and Eltham in support of fund raising to help with research to reduce prostate cancer, they had at this stage raised $300, this is an annual event held in late November.

All the bike riders arrived safely at 11-30 to the aroma of cooked sausages onions and tomatoes, cold drinks were most welcome and food hungrily took a close second place.

With lots of hugs and handshakes followed by many photos we all enjoyed a very happy time together, but we had to get home, the riders headed to Jolimont station for their return train trip and the support group headed back home along the highways guided by Linda with her vast knowledge of the city pointing out many historical sites as we headed back via Ivanhoe Rosanna and Greensborough.

Ken’s Pedal for Prostate – 2016

It was the 4th year for Omnicycles supporting Ken and Norm with the Movember 2016 Pedal for Prostate ride. It was great morning start at Marngrook oval, Diamond Creek, 10*C cool, clear, and sunny with a promise of warmth to come.

Seven riders, Ken (sporting his half-grown mo for Movember), Bill, Steve, Joe (sporting a snazzy new helmet), Bruce (sporting sniffles and a dodgy throat), Leon & Nick were sent on their way at about 8.20am, by Norm (the official start umpire and photographer) assisted by Lyn.B, to the first stop at Eltham 20 mins later where Ken took off for administrative duties.

The peloton proceeded along the usual route at a leisurely pace heading for Melbourne city stopping for a brief stop at the Heidelberg junction to farewell Leon who had to leave the peloton there (thanks for participating Bro). It seemed like the local wildlife took much interest in this year’s ride as not only the usual magpies, cockatoos and blue wrens (a few rabbits as well) came out to cheer on the team but along the Heidelberg/Ivanhoe stretch Joe & Nick were accompanied by a large grey kangaroo who decided to pace them for about half a kilometer, crossing the trail in front of them a couple of times. A bit of a worry as, at that point of the trail, on one side was the river and bushland and on the right was a busy four lane highway – fortunately ‘Roo’ decided to leave them on the bush side.

10.45am and a welcome coffee stop and breather at the Fairfield Polytechnic campus Nursery cafe for coffee, conversation and a breather.

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11.20am – set off from Fairfield Campus running a bit behind schedule but no one was worried about it as it was only 14 km to go before lunch. The morning was beginning to warm up quickly now with a strengthening northerly breeze to take them down the Main Yarra/Capital City Trail through Abbotsford, Richmond & Burnley. index4It was somewhere half way along that a rather large tiger snake showed some incling to joining the peloton as it slithered up from the river bank and onto the trail. Joe and Nick, being ‘tete de la course’ at the time, quickly overtook it and must have put it off its stride for it thankfully decided to find somewhere else to go and was fortunately not encountered by the following peloton.

12.10pm – The team had a quick regroup before crossing the Morell Bridge together and turning right onto Alexandra Avenue where the backup team of Flo, Lynda, Daryl and Ken were busy setting up the BBQ lunch – many thanks for their support. Cool drinks and lots of fantastic Hurstbridge butcher’s sausages (even Rusty approved), onions, cole slaw, home-made tomato & plum sauces – what more could the hungry riders need – besides a well deserved sit down and convivial company.

Unfortunately at turnaround time the wind and temperature were making for a most unpleasant return so, sense prevailed and the Metro was engaged for the journey home – the team would do the next leg on some later, more conducive, occasion.

…thanks boys …. looking forward to next years challenge.


Ken’s “Pedal for Prostate” – 2015

Movember 2015 6For the third year running the Omnicycle blokes gathered at Marngrook Oval to begin their 100km sponsored ride in aid of “Movember Men’s Health” –  it probably won’t take over from the ‘Tour Down Under’ though it just looks like becoming an annual event in the Melbourne cycling calendar..Movember 2015 8

8.00am  … kilometer zero, seven riders – Ken, Barry, Bill, Joe (a newbie), Bruce, Nick & Lou placed their wheels on the start line with Norm, now official start photographer, and Lyn (also pressed into wielding the camera for a shot or two) to see the peloton off and running …..well…cycling.

The morning was a cool 16*C, with the promise of an extra couple of degrees later on, sunny breaks and a gentle breeze – a perfect cycling day. The ride took the usual route along the Diamond Creek Trail through Eltham and around Barry’s Bend, across the Yarra bridge into Westerfolds Park making the first stop on the top of ‘the’ hill at Km 11. It should be mentioned here that Joe, the newest member of the team, had only been on 3 previous rides, the longest being about 56Km and, sporting his new bike, had bravely decided to join the KPFP.

From there it was along the Main Yarra Trail through the Yarra Valley Parklands, Heidelberg, Bulleen Park, the Burke Road Billabong Reserve with a noisy and bumpy kilometer along the Eastern Freeway bike path.
There was a brief ‘rehydration’ stop over Belford Road at the top of ‘Cardiac Hill’, in order to catch some needed breaths and allow the heart rates to subside. Then, onward to the top of Yarra Boulevard, down the ‘slalom’ run, over the Yarra pipe bridge and a much-anticipated coffee break at the Fairfield Nursery Cafe.      10.30am.

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IMG_1805Much refreshed the peloton connected with the Capital City Trail, which wends its way all along the lower reaches of our beloved Yarra River passing Dights Falls, the Collingwood children’s Farm, through Abbotsford, Burnley (sporting it’s salubrious housing on the south bank …. $$$$!) and down onto the Burnley Board Walk and along the north bank. Here the boys turned left, crossing the Morell Bridge, right onto Alexandra Avenue to be greeted with a most welcome sight.   12.00pm. ….and on schedule!IMG_1809
There, to meet them, were the support team of Sir Daryl, Lady Flo, Geoff and Lynda who had gone on ahead to prepare a BBQ lunch of bread rolls, snags, bacon, cole slaw, fresh fruit and cool drinks. The riders were most appreciative of their involvement, assistance  and perfect timing. There was at least one of the peloton who really appreciated the purple grapes! A thanks here to Coles for your sponsorship of this important part of the ride.

1.00pm … we were only half way to our goal. So lunch over it was back in the saddle before it became too comfortable and convivial, a wave with grateful thank you s to the lunch team, and it was turn around time for the ride back to our starting point. The return proved to be quite uneventful but maintained a sedate pace with frequent stops (for conversation) and spurred along to the strains of Vivaldi & Mozart.

5.00PM …. after dropping Bruce and Joe off at Eltham, a tired but full crew made it back to the start point at Diamond Creek with 100km (plus) behind them.

Ken’s ‘Pedal for Prostate’ 2014

7.00am,Sunday 23rd Movember 2014 - kilometer zero.

7.00am,Sunday 23rd Movember 2014 – kilometer zero.

 The weather turned totally around for this year’s challenge as Ken (Rampo), Bill (Mulga), Barry (Baz) and Nick assembled at Marngrook Oval for the start of this 100km ride in support of Ken & Norm’s efforts in raising funds for “Movember – Men’s health” research. It was good to see Norm there again, official start photographer (think you now have the annual job Norm!) and Lyn (Bill’s wife) sending the team off with cheery farewells. The morning proved clear and cool with a promise of warmer conditions later and a gentle Southerly breeze for the return trip – ideal cycling conditions.
7.25am – a stop and a chat at Eltham adding Lindsay and Bruce, picking up John (now an honorary OM:NI bloke) a half kilometer further the peloton were now on their way to be joined by Bernie on the trail at Ivanhoe, making up eight. A leisurely pace was the order of the day travelling along the Eastern Freeway, over the Chandler Highway and stopping for IMG_1050 - Copythe panoramic view of Melbourne at the top of the Yarra Boulevard hill. Here the group was apprehended by the local constabulary who were not only determined to take photographic evidence of the ride but also to offer encouragement and take on the bragging rights for the bigger moustache! – it wasn’t grey either!
After the brush with the law ( or should we say ‘the law with a brush!) came a refreshment stop at the NMIT (now called, we understand, Melbourne Polytechnic) Nursery Cafe for a welcome coffee break, before heading on along the Yarra City trail through Collingwood, Richmond and Burnley, along the north bank arriving at Princes Bridge around 11.30am. From here it was one of those unexpectedly expected “Rampo’s Magical Mystery Tours” which took the boys over to the Hamer Hall balcony on the South Side for a scenic appreciation of this great city of ours – thanks for the experience Ken, and John for the photo.
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The next move was up to Alexandra Avenue and well-earned BBQ on the banks of the Yarra …… it was now kilometer 50.03.
Bruce unfortunately had to leave the peloton here to return by train (thanks for the support mate) but the remaining seven started on the trek back at 12.45pm on a clear and sunny afternoon. So, along the South Bank across MacRobertson Bridge onto the Yarra Trail, a pleasant and uneventful section back to the Nursery Cafe for a refreshment stop after which Bernie left six riders to forge on.

Kilometer 100

Kilometer 100

The afternoon was warming up but remained pleasant with a gentle, and at times cooling,following breeze. Somehow the group got split up somewhere around Heidelberg but fortunately regrouped before the finishing post. A record freewheel down the Westerfolds hill was duly achieved (probably just to show off for John – but maybe more so due to hard tyres and a following wind!) – John and Lindz were farewelled at Eltham leaving Ken, Bill, Barry and Nick to (tired but happily) complete the 100km at Marngrook and a welcome committee of Lyn, Lynda and Bonnie (the dog).

A huge thanks boys for your support, your legs, humour and camaraderie,  making it a memorable day in the saddle for the benefit of Mens Health.

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The preparation for the great ride wasn’t all that ideal as Ken went down with a very bad cold during the weeks prior. However, with the support of Nick Grange and Bill Brown – two of his ‘OMNICYCLE’ Mates, he got to the start line at Marngrook Oval in Diamond Creek for the 7.00am start.
What a pleasant surprise he had to see Mo Bro Norm Wearne there to give the three of them a cheery farewell and to mutter something like better you than me!
The showers started soon after they got away and persisted for an hour or so, making the trail in parts quite messy which tended to interfere with their gears. A coffee break at the NMIT Cafe at Fairfield was welcome and then it was the last leg to Federation Square right in the centre of Marvellous Melbourne.
Finding their way past the boat sheds at Alexander Avenue they arrived at their destination – the BBQ – around 11.45am and waited for a short while for Lindsay Clarke who shared the BBQ and rode back home with them.
Back home to Diamond Creek about 3.45 pm and 100 km they were quite tired yet satisfied they had completed their objective. Thanks to your generosity, and the support of the OMNICYCLE Group, Ken and Norm have raised over $1,395.00 for the Movember Project. This money is an important part of the funding for research into prostate cancer.
This month of Movember perhaps more importantly, helps to raise awareness amongst men and hopefully encourages them to have a check up. As in many health issues, early detection is all important.
Again, our grateful thanks for your support.
Ken Ramplin, Norm Wearne and the OMNICYCLE Group

Start of Ken's 100km Pedal for Prostate with Bill & Nick - 24th Nov 2013

Start of Ken’s 100km Pedal for Prostate with Bill & Nick – 24th Nov 2013