Beating the heat.
It was forecast to be a hot day, and talk was around getting back from our rides and beating the heat. In the end we had 31 riders out, and we were able to time the rides before the real heat of the day kicked in.
Here is Dave doing the safety brief, in particular highlighting any safety concerns people may have for the group to be aware of.
We again had three rides on again, which takes a bit of effort to ensure they all run smoothly. On the day, it’s down to the Ride Captain (RC) to manage the ride. The RC in not necessarily leading out the front, but being able to keep the ride flowing along, especially at regroups, ensuring everyone is ok and also having a role in overall safety . Also, there is the Tail End Charlie, (TEC) who provides support, makes sure riders don’t get lost and provides help with any mechanicals. So the RC and TEC work as a team to ensure the rides run smoothly, so it would be good for those on GW rides to think about taking on these roles. Being the RC or TEC is a great way of supporting the whole group. It gives you a different perspective to the rides and helps to spread the load around the group. Also, the GW rides are registered Bike SA rides, and come under the umbrella of Bike SA, which provides a level of insurance for the RC and the group. So to take on the role of RC, you will need to be a Bike SA member, which is very reasonably priced, and provides a lot of benefits for you as a rider.
Now for the rides today, the shorter ride was out to Tanunda and back, 52ks and 526 m of climbing. The middle ride was out to Springton and back, 77ks and 967 m of climbing. The big ride was out to Mount Pleasant, across to Springton and then home, 90 kms and just over 1000m of climbing. So again, plenty to choose from.
The Tanunda ride took off with 11 riders, and again we were in to that steady climb to Lyndoch. This section also includes some spots where you dip in to cool pockets along the way, which was very pleasant.
At Lyndoch we met up with Kevin T who had got out much earlier in the day and had already come thought the hills, and had timed it just right to catch up with us for part of the ride.
The next section is always fun as you have some nice little rises to get up and then zoom down. Unfortunately a group of us got caught behind a big loader just as we got to Rowland Flat, that was bouncing along, so we didn’t get our usual quick run through the town. Plus the diesel fumes weren’t the best either.
It was good to get to Tanunda for a regroup, which Craig and Kevin were thoroughly enjoying
Also Paula was able to provide a good description of how the synchro- shift works on her new bike. All good stuff .
The return trip include a short regroup at Lyndoch, mainly to make sure we could check our biddons. The section between Lyndoch and home is always a blast, and today was no exception. As we got close to Gawler the temp did feel like it was creeping up , but we were all fine.
So a great hit out, and thanks to Mic for taking on the TEC role. Always appreciated.
The middle ride, with 14 riders, had a bit more of a challenge on their hands. In effect they were climbing for the first 26 ks of this ride. Once they reached the highest peak it was undulations before a step descent in to Springton.
On this section of the ride, everyone stayed together as a fairly big bunch, with little time difference between the first riders in and the TEC.
Here is Dave, Peter and Mark enjoying the re-group.
The return trip was a bit of a different story. Firstly there was the climb back out of Springton and then the undulations until they hit the 51 k mark, which is the point from which the ride was essentially down hill. A hot northerly wind then sprang up which not only pushed up the temperature, but created some tricky side winds. This caused the group to split up into smaller bunches and help each other out.
In the end, everyone was able to push through and then really appreciate the welcome at Exchange at the end of the ride.
There was one mechanical though, with one person not checking the battery level for their Di2 so they had trouble with their changes, but was all fine in the end.
Thanks also to Bec and Tash
Bec took on the role of TEC and Tash RC. Both did a great job keeping the ride flow along and ensuring everyone was kept safe. Well done
The longer ride also has a good time of it, with six taking on this route.
They essentially had climbing in front of them almost all the way to Mt Pleasant. The first section was not short of surprises. They came across kangaroos, a roadside fire that was being contained by the CFS and just before Mt Pleasant, where it’s a quick run in the town, 6 wandering sheep. And thanks to Simon for spotting them early, and for his a loud call back so everyone could slow down and dodge them.
The group decided to keep the regroups and stops to a minimum, so they could keep rolling along. This worked well allowing them to keep up a steady pace, although the last section of the ride did include the hot northerly coming in to play, which was good in the end.
There was one new rider out for the day who was on this ride, Daniel, who is a friend of Phil C. He rode very strongly, including giving Masa a run for his money up the hills
Also thanks to Simon for taking on the role as RC.
Here he is with some of the crew at the Exchange, Colin, Masa and Scott. It was a great ride and a lot of fun.
Again we had our weekly acknowledgement presentations.
Firstly Sue. Sue is a very strong rider and is one of the many women riders that make up a big percentage of the GWs. She is happy to take big turns out the front of bunches, as well as helping out other riders. She has also taken on the role of RC and TEC, and great fun to ride with.
Secondly Colin. Colin is also a strong rider who is happy to lead a bunch and is also equally happy to help out others if they need some assistance. He not only rides with the Wheelers, he is also races regularly. In fact he was going to take today's ride 'easy' as he was racing on Sunday, but he did push the group a bit, very impressive riding.
So another great day out with the Wheelers, although the temp got up touch at the end of the rides, everyone was fine and enjoyed the ride, in particular the cool environs of the Exchange at the end of the ride.
Until next week
ps thanks to all those that provided the extra photos for this report from the different rides etc.
Gawler Wheelers: Winners of the Gawler Australia Day Community Group of the Year Award 2013
Great ride report Paul. 3 awesome rides, all differet