The Hashbrown HasBeens

Group of recreational cyclists lined up in a caravan park

Social: the Hashbrown HasBeens have been riding together for some 20 years.

Bendigo bike riding groups, range from serious, competitive groups to informal, recreational groups who regularly ride for the exercise and friendship.

The “HashBrown HasBeens” commenced over 20 years ago with 3-4 riders and now has 9 regulars who meet for a weekly ride. The name comes is a description of the ages of most of the riders, as one member coined, “when we look in a mirror, it’s obvious why we’re called HasBeens, most of us retired or semi-retired. The HashBrown name comes from their regular habit of starting from a McDonalds and finishing there for breakfast”.

The group ride starts at 7.00am (7.30am during the winter) for a 25-30km ride around Bendigo, using a variety of routes. On the last Sunday of each month, the group does an off-road ride on mountain bikes, riding through the many and varied forests, parklands etc. which surround Bendigo. Even though many of the riders are long term inhabitants of Bendigo, it is always surprising to them to discover all sorts of new, interesting sights and places which exist in and around our city. Sometimes, after these off road rides, the group finishes up at someone’s house where breakfast is provided.

Besides the regular rides, the group has one or two weekends away every year, to explore the many and varied bike trails and routes in other regional centres. A few of the group own caravans so they usually all camp at a caravan park and explore the local surrounds. The wives usually come along too, with some of them riding as well, or just enjoying and exploring the venue. The group has visited Gippsland, the Bellarine Peninsula, the North-east etc., and even, the Barossa Valley on one long weekend.

One highlight was in 2003, when most of the group completed the Great Victorian Bike Ride along the Great Ocean Road. On one of the nights, they talked their way into staying at a Convent, although religion was not high on the priority list for night-time discussions.

Another regular feature for the HH’s is the annual Awards night, where members are acknowledged for outstanding or unusual achievements. There are awards for the rider who has the most falls the most punctures, the laziest rider, the sexiest rider etc. Needless to say, some of the real facts are often overlooked in judging some of these awards.

The overall award is called the Brophy Trophy. The trophy itself depicts an upended bike and rider and was originally given to the rider who had the most falls. However now, it is awarded on votes from each of the group as to who contributed most to the group’s activities during the year. There is also a hotly contested award for the ladies as to who provided the best breakfast after the monthly off road rides.

Over the years there have been many memorable and enjoyable events. One outstanding achievement, which stands out, occurred just before the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006. The group were enjoying their hash-browns one Sunday morning when a family walked past. A very bright 8 year old boy said to his mother, in a loud voice whilst pointing at the group. “Look Mum! There’s some Commonwealth Games athletes!” This accolade has inspired the group for years.

Looking forward to seeing you on the road soon God willing

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