As part of my goal to have a cool community happening on Wray Avenue during each season of the year, I wanted to organise something fun and outdoorsy for spring.
While looking into the history of Wray Avenue, I stumbled upon a bicycle race started in 1896 that started at the Beacon Hotel (now Moondyne Joe’s) at the intersection of Wray and Hampton. The race was run on the first Saturday in September – the first weekend in spring!
I decided that reviving this ride was exactly what I was wanting for a Wray Avenue spring happening.
Rather than a race, the aim of this happening is to:
- connect people in our community
- utilise our public space for our purposes
- encourage physical activity and the use of bicycles in our community.
People are going to be riding out on this on Saturday 14 September. For more details, read this blog entry.
The Original Route
The original race went from the Beacon Hotel down Hampton Road before turning left onto Rockingham Road and heading to Ten Mile Well before returning.
The event ran up until the start 1913, after which World War 1 interrupted it. It seems to have never been resurrected.
There is a bit of mystery around where Ten Mile Well actually is. At first I thought this referred to the Ten Mile Well Tavern in Wattleup, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. It seems that was the previous name of the locality, which is now called Wattleup. There was a well made somewhere – ten miles from Fremantle – in that area for people to resupply as they headed south.
I have some references to the actual well being closer to the coast road, probably somewhere near Mount Brown.
So the exact return point of the ride remains a mystery that I’d love to solve.
In it’s place, I’ve created a ride that follows the original route precisely up until the point where Rockingham Road intersects with Stock Road, becoming Australian National Highway 1. I think that’s a bit hairy for riders, so I’ve had it cut south, winding into the light industrial area, crossing Russell Road, turning in to the Cockburn Coast Road before heading into the bushland of the Beeliar Regional Park.
For a map of the route, click here.
It’s a nice little tour of our vicinity, threading through semi-urban Fremantle, suburbs, semi-rural, light industrial and bushland.
In total, it is 31km in length. Without pushing myself I completed it in 1 hour, 21 minutes on a decent road bike, riding into south-south-westerlies most of the way and stopping at several traffic lights.
The half-way route
I’m conscious that some people may not feel comfortable riding 20 miles but may feel like they are competent enough to ride a lengthy distance.
To accommodate this, I have planned a half-way route. It follows the Original Route to the Spearwood Tavern on the corner of Rockingham and Barrington Roads, at which point riders return to the Wray Avenue/Hampton Road intersection.
The family route
Because our #1 goal is to connect people in our community we wanted as many people to be involved as possible – including kids and families.
We have a short route, running down Hampton Road to Douro road before turning around and coming back to Moondyne Joe’s. With the exception of about 50m of road between Wray Avenue and South Street, riders will be in the bus/cycle lane for the entire route ensuring cars are kept separate from bicycles.
The aim of the Old Time Road Ride is not to treat the ride as a race – there are no prizes for “winning” – but to enjoy the ride.
Choose a route that suits your skill level and confidence on the road. Consider riding as part of a group as numbers mean greater visibility, safety and fun!
Please assemble at the intersection of Wray Avenue and Hampton Road where Moondyne Joe’s is for all rides where you will be directed to a starting point.
All of the routes will be marked with coloured signage at intersections to direct you.
Please remember that you are a regular vehicle on the road and must obey road rules at all times: keep left, stop for traffic lights, give way where required and use hand signals for turning.
We also ask that you wear a helmet at all times and avoid confrontation with motorists who give you grief. Ride safely and return happy.
On the day you will be provided with a telephone number to call if you need emergency assistance. We will have riders at the back of each group to ensure nobody is left stranded during any of the rides.