Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Ballarat - around the Lake

The motley crew - David Ages, Virginia Monk, me and
Rodney Brooke - Australia's sherpa king
I taught in Ballarat for 13 years yet yesterday was my first circumlocution of Lake Wendouree, the iconic centre piece of Ballarat. We were the first to take the two-week-old TrailRider at the Visitor Centre out for a spin. The chair is now sitting in the back of the Caddy waiting to accompany us to Halls Gap at the weekend for the launch of the Sherpa Volunteer Program and even for a quick spin around Newstead.

Rodney Brooke, the most experienced sherpa in Australia, guided Virginia and David, Vancouver friends, through the gentle art of being a sherpa and between the three of them they guided me for 6km around the Lake. There is some kind of full circle in Vancouver folk being introduced to the TraillRider down under.

Lake Wedouree was the site of the 1956 Olympic's rowing events
Some thoughts:

  • The new TrailRider was packed away in a storeroom at the Visitor Centre but as soon as space is cleared it is going to become the good-looking centre piece that only a TrailRider can be.
  • Although the track around the Lake is smooth and level, it would have been a big ask for two, inexperienced, sherpas. This is a point to note for future, volunteer sherpas.
  • Assuming that the Sherpa Volunteer Program (SVP) launch at the Grampians (5 already enrolled) is a success Ballarat is looking to me like a good location for the second session. There is an exciting and strong focus on special schools and disabled kids in the Ballarat venture.


  1. Great stuff Dave. Really pleased it's all coming together for ye. Fantastic work!

  2. Great to hear from you G and thanks for the comment. Us "blog commenters" need to stick togther. We are far too rare a species. I am told that 20% of the TrailRiders in the world are now in Australia.

  3. Really Dave, it's the first time you have circumnavigated Lake Wendouree? Mind you, I didn't do it that many times myself - good to see you finally made it.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. too am staggered that I never did this and delighted that I did this time. If you were still living down here I'd invite you out for a roll. Prospects in your part of the world?

  4. The TrailRider, you, Rodney, Virginia and Dave have just demonstrated, is not just a nifty machine to get Wheelies and Wobblies out into the bush, but into lovely city or suburban spaces as well.
    Lake Wendouree circuit seems to me to be a sensible place to train volunteer Sherpas.
    Close to a big population so little driving to training sessions, a beautiful environment, a nice flat track to start off with.- and a place to get a good coffee close by afterwards.
    PS The last time I walked the entire track around Lake Wendouree I had baby Ben in a sling - 38 years ago! I'm coming with you next time....ok? xxR

    1. Not to mention that we actually (easily) went into the Boathouse Cafe *with me in the TrailRider*

      I so agree with you about Ballarat being the place. They've had a "soft launch" - let's work on a hard one.


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