Legends and honours

The United Energy Around the Bay legends have ridden in every event since its inception in 1993 and have seen the ride grow from a local cycle to a major Melbourne event.

Geoff Atkinson

Geooff says it was “a moment of complete insanity” that got him to enter the first event. United Energy Around the Bay satisfied his need for a challenge that would improve his cycling, but didn’t exactly know what he was in for and all his friends and family thought he was nuts.

His memories from 1993 are of a small event staged at Melbourne’s old Docklands site with about 1,500 riders. The familiar sights and smells of the last leg of the journey along Beach Road and huge sense of achievement still sticks with Geoff. 

Since that first year, Geoff says he has seen United Energy Around the Bay grow into an event that now draws riders from all over Victoria, and even interstate and overseas. He also acknowledges the thousands of riders that keep coming back to keep fit and enjoy bike riding and that without then, United Energy Around the Bay could have faded out long ago.

Geoff’s tip: simply enjoy the day: take in the scenery, talk to other riders out on the road and give it your best effort.

Brian Baker

Brian was drawn to the first United Energy Around the Bay in 1993 as a challenging, long distance ride that wasn’t a race. While going in somewhat under prepared with little idea about properly hydrating for a 200km plus ride, Brian was bitten by the United Energy Around the Bay bug and he keeps coming back to enjoy the comradery with other riders, and keep his fitness up.

A number of memories stick out for Brian over the years – being overtaken by a five-person tandem bike, the Premier of Victoria passing in the slipstream of a moto-marshal, crossing the bay in a fishing boat during the early years and cruising down the coast with a nice tail wind.

Brian’s tip: be prepared, train the same way you will ride on the day, and of course, pay attention to hydration.

Winston Silbereisen

Winston had been riding for less than a year when his friend and mentor Kevin Lee (also an United Energy Around the Bay legend) convinced him to have a go at this new ride coming up. 

Part of a group of riders from Daylesford, Winston finished the 210km clockwise route at exactly 3:55pm. They then had to pick up a friend at the airport on the way home, where Winston took great glee in telling anyone in earshot he had just finished 210 kilometre bike ride.

His second United Energy Around the Bay in 1994 didn’t go so well, when cramps struck on a hot October day and Winston finished rolled across the finish line about 7:00pm.

After those first two rides his goal was to complete United Energy Around the Bay 10 times, and here we are 25 years later. His sister and brother-in-law have joined in several times and Winston takes delight in introducing new riders to the event and seeing them achieve something special and complete the ride.

Winston’s tip: if taking on one of the larger distances, make sure you have done at least one 100 kilometre ride beforehand.

Trevor Spence

Trevor entered United Energy Around the Bay after his Bayside bike riding group had completed circuits of Port Phillip Bay. He says that back in the early 1990s other people were astounded that you could ride a bike Around the Bay in a day, but that the event helped change people’s perception and the event became a mass ride that could challenge both novice and experienced riders.

Trevor was glad the event became an annual spring event – it gives you something to aim for while training through the tough winter months, and of course it is after the football season.

His favourite part of the ride is when the bayside breeze picks you up and gives you a little kick along the route. He says it picks up just past Geelong, where a south-westerly carries you through to the Queenscliff ferry where you can share a few war stories with other riders. Once you get onto Beach Road, the tail wind comes on and you’re on the familiar run home at speed.

Trevor’s tip: practice your group riding skills and have the right bike and clothing.

Philip O’Toole

Philip had only done a couple of 100 kilometre rides before United Energy Around the Bay in 1993, and not along Beach Road either. He thought that finishing a 210 kilometre ride around Port Phillip Bay to be quite an achievement. 

While riders are well equipped to tackle United Energy Around the Bay with cycling clothes, or at least shorts, a t-shirt and proper shoes, Phillip recalls this wasn’t always the way. On the first ride in 1993 he remembers passing a rider on a mountain bike who was wearing jeans and thongs. While this must have bene uncomfortable, Philip did see him at the finish line later in the day.

Philip keeps coming back every year to United Energy Around the Bay with friends and colleagues and loves catching up with the other legends, as well as the challenge of completing a lap of the bay – no matter how tough it may be.

In the mid 2000s Philip remembers a ride in pouring rain where the temperature dropped to about six degrees in Geelong. The cold set in on the ferry and Philip, numb and shivering but determined not to pull the pin, spent an hour with event volunteers having soup and coffee in a caravan. Eventually the sun came out, his colleagues arrived and he was able to push on and finish the ride.

Philip’s tip is a simple one and comes from experience: be prepared for any type of weather. It is Melbourne, so expect anything from searing sun to rain and wind.

United Energy Around the Bay Honour Roll

We’d like to acknowledge the amazing achievement of the following riders who have completed more than 15 United Energy Around the Bay rides.

Please note: If we missed your name, let us know and we’ll make sure it’s added.

25 rides
  • Geoff Atkinson
  • Brian Baker
  • Manny Karvelas
  • Kevin Lee
  • Colin McKenzie
  • Tom Melican
  • Philip O’Toole
  • Winston Silbereisen
  • Lou Silva
  • Trevor Spence
24 rides
  • Mark Dockrill
  • Robert McGlade
  • Larry Middleton
  • Mary Mullane
  • John Reddie
23 rides
  • Howard Crawford
  • Trevor Hoare
  • Gary Lambshead
  • Andrew Talbot 
22 rides
  • Chris Corbel
  • Lorraine Cuthbert
  • Graeme Forbes
  • Kevin Hughes
  • David Leong
  • Peter Mackie
  • Hans Van Dyk
  • Glenn Williams
21 rides
  • Michael Bednorz
  • David Gerrard
  • Lindy Lester
  • Peter Lewis
  • Craig Liddy
  • Steven Neave
  • Anthony Schelleman
  • Marcus Scherleitner
20 rides
  • Ian Barnett
  • Warwick Davis
  • Ashley De Vries
  • Terry O’Bryan
  • David Pawley
  • Bill Pearcey
  • David Scott
  • Robert Wallace
19 rides
  • Anita Alderson
  • Clive Allan
  • Leigh Bechaz
  • Michael Bennett
  • David Berry
  • George Caulfield
  • David Gallagher
  • Ilan Goldman
  • Peter Hollands
  • Glen Koffyberg
  • Colin Marshall
  • Stan Pietsch
  • Phillip Rantall
  • Robert Rigoni
  • Carlo Roberts
  • John Ronaldson
  • Rob Wilson
  • Paul Wright
18 rides
  • John Archer
  • David Bainbridge
  • Neil Barnett
  • Scott Bisset
  • Andrew Caithness
  • Philip de Vos
  • Frank Dobrigna
  • Kevin Hall
  • Gary Jackson
  • Melissa Laing
  • Ray Lazanyi
  • Yim Lee
  • John-Roy Marshall
  • Philip Murray
  • Carey Nichol
  • Bill Priem
  • Mark Rooney
  • Juan Sanz
  • Geoff Smith
  • Ewan Stebbins
  • David Sutherland
17 rides
  • Darryl Bischoff
  • Leith Brown
  • Ivor Burt
  • Joan Carter
  • Haydn Chapman
  • Nick Cowling
  • Neil Cracknell
  • Anthony Cross
  • Andrew Forbes
  • James Fraser
  • Reginald Goltz
  • Brenton Harty
  • Don Hirsh
  • Jeff Mitchell
  • Jan Modrzejewski
  • John Myers
  • Matthew Pringle
  • Kim Radford
  • Jon Ratcliffe
  • Peter Sala
  • Brian Shambrook
  • Nick Tapp
  • Mark Travers
  • Michael Waterfield
16 rides
  • Peter Allen
  • Loretta Armitage
  • Corey Blake
  • Brad Brander
  • James Brown
  • Ernest Butler
  • Richard Cole
  • Osvaldo Cortes
  • Adrian Curnow
  • Gavin Dore
  • Peter Dwyer
  • Joseph Gulino
  • Jim Horman
  • Richard Kelleway
  • Tim Kiddle
  • John Lewis
  • Chris Lightfoot
  • Shayne Marlow
  • David Mcinnis
  • Ralph Nielebock
  • Peter Richards
  • Bill Schmidt
  • Leigh Thornton
  • Neil White
  • Ewan Williams
  • Carlo D’Angelo

 

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