Rolling around in the hills to keep warm.
Although there was the thought of a cold start, we had 33 riders out for a run in the hills.
Again, we had three rides on offer.
The short ride was out to Williamstown, across to Lyndoch via Yettie and Pimpala Roads, and then back to Gawler for 46ks and 523m of climbing.
The middle ride was also out to Williamstown, then down to Kersbrook, then back up to Williamstown and on to Lyndoch, then back home via Cockatoo valley, for a 71km ride with 842m of climbing.
The big ride was up to Tanunda, up Menglers, down Tanunda Creek and Flaxman Valley Roads to Angaston then back to Gawler, 90kms and 956 m of climbing.
As per our normal practice, our safety brief kicks off our day, to put safety front of mind. Not only does it touch on safe riding behaviour but also possible community events in the areas we are riding in, and how they may impact on the ride. In today’s case there was a wine sale taking place between Nuriootpa and Tanunda, so extra care would be needed as riders passed the venue. If an event is really big and potentially poses a risk, there is always the option to modify the route to make it as safe as possible. Safety comes first.
Here is a group listening intently to the safety brief, which also touches on the condition of your bike. Unfortunately, as you can see in the background, one person discovered a problem with a wheel, which in the end meant he couldn’t ride that bike. So it was good the problem was discovered before and not when he was into the ride. It always pays to check to make sure your bike is mechanically sound before you head off.
The big ride with nine riders, headed off first as they wanted to get straight in to it. The first section to Tanunda was fine, with some riders setting up a bit of a break so they could push that little bit harder and test out their legs. This was fine, with everyone back together at the regroup.
The next section from Tanunda included the climb up Menglers Hill. Here is the group rolling along, with the climb laid out in front of them.
Everyone was fine getting up Menglers, even though for some it’s been a while since they last climbed it.
Here is Glen and Peter B. getting up and over.
And here is everyone regrouped at the top, well chuffed.
From there they took a right turn in to Tanunda Creek Road that took them past the Conservation Park, so great environs to ride through. They then did a left turn on to Flaxman Valley Road. After all the climbing it was time to open up a bit and with some nice sweeping bends, with the camber just right, they were all able to swoop down to Angaston for their next break where they were also able to enjoy some autumn colour.
It was the decide that given that everyone was feeling ok they would ride straight back to Gawler without any stops. This was fine although the wind did get up a bit making it just little a bit more challenging. All in all a great ride, everyone rode well and there was no mechanicals. Plus given the chilly weather the regroups were kept as short as possible to keep it all rolling along.
Also thanks to Tim for taking on the role as ride leader, for the first time. He did a great job and was well supported by everyone, so all good all round.
The middle ride also had a great time of it. After setting off, they quickly organised themselves in to pace- lines and motored along. In particular, on the section between Sandy Creek and Williamstown, Karen H, Linda, Tash and Kate took big turns out the front of a pace -line which showed some pretty strong riding. It also set the tone of the ride, with everyone riding in essentially one big group.
The first regroup was at Williamstown. There was some concerns with one bike which had some issues around the gears. With a little bit of adjustment, it was all fine again.
From there it was across to Kersbrook. This is a great section to ride as it the road undulates, as opposed to having some steep climbs, so you can pace yourself along.
The only disappointing part of the section was we came across two separate koalas that had been hit and killed by cars, so not so pleasant. They were moved off the road, so they wouldn’t t be a further hazard to cyclists or motorists.
Here is the group rolling along,
and at the regroup at Kersbrook.
As it was cold the stop was kept as brief as possible. To the groups delight the sun did break though just as they headed off, but only briefly.
The group again set up some pace-lines and before too long, they were in Lyndoch.
From Lyndoch it was back in to some climbing as the group headed up Pimpala Road, through Cockatoo Valley and back to Gawler via Balmoral Road. The wind had sprung up by now so it was a bit of a struggle to push though. In the end all good.
Special thanks to Haydn for taking on the role of TEC. He did a great job, firstly dolling up the jelly snakes at every stop.
Here he is with Alistair.
Supporting the riders at the back of the pack by providing a tow, providing an actual ‘push’ up steep bits for some, doing some mechanical adjustments, and looping back to ensure the koalas were off the road. Great support.
The shorter ride also had a great time, with six riders in their crew. The first section was fine out to Williamstown were they where able to meet up with the middle ride.
Here are the majority of the group at Williamstown.
Caren, Ash, Brendon, Matt and Lisa.
From there they headed back down Yettie Road before going up Pimpala Road to Lyndoch.
This was a short stop as it was still fairly cold, plus the wind was picking up so they were keen to get back to Gawler before it got any stronger. In the end they were back at the Exchange, enjoying warm drinks well before the other, so a good hit out for them
Thanks to Ash who was the ride leader. He did a great job in keeping everyone together and ensuring the ride kept rolling along. All good stuff.
Back to the Exchange we had our weekly awards.
Firstly Bec. Bec always puts in every time she goes out. She also support those around her, plus absolutely carves up the hills now.
Secondly Perter B. Peter is always taking on the bigger rides, so always up for a challenge. He always helps out everyone, including taking on the role of TEC on multiple rides. Well done.
It was also great to see out some people who have been away for a while.
Wayne has been in China, where cycling is still a popular form of transport. He was able to try out some bike in different cities including Xi-An, an ancient city with a city wall with big cobble stones that you can ride along. What a great experience.
Also Geraint, who has been off the bike for a while, so easing back in to it, although he was just fine on the ride.
So another great day with the Wheelers, and although the sun didn’t peek out too much, if you kept rolling along you were just fine.
Until next week
Gawler Wheelers: Winners of the Gawler Australia Day Community Group of the Year Award 2013
Great report Paul.
With the morning getting cooler now it's a challenge getting up but what a lovely morning to be on the bike.
Wind really only picked up at the end. Was a great day.