Garth and Matilda – sharing adventures together

Left to right - Matilda, Patterson & Garth

Garth and his daughter Matilda simply love to ride together. Matilda took to riding as a hobby at the early age of four after Garth introduced cycling to his daughter using balanced bikes. This young rider has become extremely passionate about her hobby and has helped this father-daughter duo bond over their love of riding. Neighbourly Ride proudly welcomes its new faces and is delighted to share their riding story.

Matilda – the active kid

Matilda is now eight years old and riding her bike like a pro. She's an active kid and knows everything there is to know about riding. Cycling is not the only sport that keeps her occupied, Matilda is a part of a large swimming club and does three and a half hours of swimming every week. Now that’s one fit kid.

Exploring nature with Dad

Usually, Garth and Matilda like to explore new trails together and pedal their bikes along the explored paths. Sometimes, they visit eastern beaches and enjoy salty waves with winds carrying taste of seaweeds. As for Matilda, she loves the smell of the ocean and enjoys some quiet time watching the water and the ducks.

Tandem Fun - now its Paterson's turn

Matilda, Coralie, Garth & Patterson

Garth and his daughter started out on a tandem bike, and now it’s her brother Patterson, who takes her place on it. Six year old Patterson loves tagging along with his sister and dad while she rides on the front. Though Patterson does get to ride his own bike, he prefers the tandem over his own.

Powering down Canning St - Carlton

When asked why, Garth gleefully states that since Matilda loves to stay ahead on a trail, her brother prefers to ride along with her on the tandem as it allows him to keep up with her.

Cadel Evans Road Race

Both Garth and Matilda are diehard fans of Cadel Evans Road Race. They both pedal their ways to the barriers and watch riders come out of those barriers to race their way through this exciting event. The duo even won a bike once and got a chance to meet Cadel Evans.

Matilda cheekily blames her father for leaving his phone at home and missing their chance to meet the legendary rider and take a photo. They can’t stop smiling when they remember how they were standing right behind Evans when they were being called to collect their bike.

Matilda cheers for girls

When asked about her expectations from the memorable racing event, Matilda straightaway declares her support for girls and how she wishes that more girls take the lead. She says she would love to see girls doing better at the race than boys.

As a passionate rider, Matilda is disappointed that there aren’t many girls who like riding, and that she would love to see girls get their bikes and get out riding. Matilda thinks it’s a great hobby to have and that more and more girls should be encouraged to participate.

Nowadays, she picks up her neighbours Telly and Piper and all three of them share the common love for biking and often go racing along the northern shores of Geelong.

Spring & Autumn - Matilda’s Biking Seasons

Though seasons generally don’t bother Garth, Matilda prefers riding during spring and autumn as she finds winter to be too cold and summers to be too hot. Although she does ride during summers, she confesses to be more comfortable on her bike during the pleasant breezes of spring and crispy mornings of autumn.

Big Aspirations

A brief stop outside King & Godfrey's in Carlton

Matilda hopes to be among one of the racers of Cadel Evans, and Garth offers his relentless support to the aspirations of his daughter. Both father and daughter hope that one day Matilda will win a trophy.

Going on Neighbourly Rides & sharing the fun

Our Neighbourly ride in Geelong north shore will be starting soon thanks to Garth and Matilda. The main drive for Garth to put his effort and energy into starting a local ride was to share his experience, fun and love for riding with his community. 

For Garth, riding and exploring areas with his kids gives him the opportunity to spend some quality time with them, and he wishes for others to experience the same joy. As for Matilda, it’s more about encouraging young girls to go for riding and make them more active and fit like her, while Patterson is all about enjoying his share of fun in the tandem bike.

Libby Dale - Just having fun riding

Libby riding over the Eastern Freeway overpass

Libby Dale used to be like any other regular rider who started off riding with our Southbank pilot in February 2019, but she has now become an essential part and an expert in community riding. She has been an active member of Neighbourly Ride and can often be seen catching up with the rest of the riders. But, there’s more to Libby’s story than just a catch up.

Owner of the Bike Riding Club

Southbank location
Initial Southbank location ride

Libby’s initial objective was to gather some riders in her building and set off on a social ride at 8:30am Sunday mornings. Among the many clubs in her building, she owned the Bike Riding Club channel.

The aim was to help the neighbours in her building to get to know each other better through riding together.

Unfortunately it became difficult for the same ride leader to run a ride at 8.30am in one location and be in another location by 10am. Without another ride leader, it was difficult to keep running the Southbank Neighbourly Ride.

Fortunately the Carlton Neighbourly Ride wasn't too far away and this became part of her regular Sunday morning tradition.

Exploring with riding

The bouldering wall underneath the Monash Fwy - Burnley
The bouldering wall underneath the Monash Fwy - Burnley

Libby believes that riding is an excellent way to explore more than you can do by foot. A bike certainly gives you a greater advantage over a stroll.  As a person who is working hard to develop and grow her own business, she usually doesn’t get much time to explore the wonderful areas of her town. She likes riding as it gives her the chance to visit more places in less time.

Catching up and coffee

Enjoying a coffee at Code 21
Enjoying a coffee at Code 21 - Brunswick

Libby loves to meet up with other members of Neighbourly Ride as it reminds her of her childhood, when she used to go riding with her friends. After a good, long, relaxing ride, Libby now loves to listen to everyone's interesting stories while sipping a cup of coffee.

Riding is meditating

Now here’s another great reason for Libby to be attracted to community riding. For her, it's like meditating, where you can jump on your bike, clear your head and start pedaling on the roads with nothing in your mind but just the trail and its surroundings. After coffee and talking, she pedals back home. For Libby, it’s an amazing way to spend a couple of hours.

Staying inspired

Riding in North Fitzroy  with Phiplip
Riding in North Fitzroy with Phiplip

Often, things get crazy at Libby’s end and she isn’t able to ride for a couple of weeks. But amongst her community of riders, there’s a 78 (Annette) and 80 (Philip) year old, who are regularly seen on the rides. This highly motivates and inspires Libby to make the time to ride. 

All geared up

Edinburgh Gardens with shaggy dog
Staying warm and dry

Riding takes preparation too. Before setting off on a bike route, Libby ensures that she has all the necessary gear including wet weather clothing just in case the weather turns. 

Keeping herself in shape

The ride home along Swanton St - Melbourne Town Hall
The ride home along Swanton St - Melbourne Town Hall

Libby rides from North Carlton to Southbank which is almost 6 kms and then rides back which adds up to more than 6 kms. In addition, there is a route of almost another 8 kms which she rides with her community. So overall, Libby rides for almost 20 kms, which indeed helps her to stay in shape.

Why Neighbourly Ride?

Exploring the back streets of Fitzroy - Lume patisserie.
Exploring the back streets of Fitzroy - Lume patisserie.

When asked about her decision to ride with Neighbourly Ride, Libby says that she loves the exploratory style of the rides. For Libby, it’s so much more fun to tag along with a group of riders. When there is someone to organise the ride and take care of all the details, riding becomes more amusing and delightful.

Southbank Neighbourly Ride at Docklands
Southbank Neighbourly Ride at Docklands

Libby Dale discovered the joy of riding with community and the associated benefits. It takes a while to get the hang of it, but once you taste the fun, it certainly turns into a habit. Also, one certainly cannot deny the life-shaping skills community riding provides. So, if you haven’t yet tried it, do it soon.