Today the choice of ride got down to a undulating run out to Hamley Bridge, 69kms and 354 m of climbing, or a very serious climb, up over the back of Checkers, for a 79 km ride with a mammoth 1084 m of climbing. The scene was set with 21 taking on Hamley and 8 zeroing in on Checkers.
The longer ride took off first and headed straight up Lyndoch Road. This is a great way of warming yourself up and getting ready for the big climbs. After a regroup at Lyndoch it was a straight run through to Williamstown. Although there were relatively small numbers on this ride, there was an opportunity for the group to form into two bunches, with Simon, Jarrod and Masa setting the pace out front. This allowed everyone to settle into a rhythm that suited.
The bunches arranged themselves into tidy pace line formations and worked superbly all the way to Williamstown, including the final rise, with the pace dropping accordingly, but not the discipline.
Once up and past the Warren Dam and on the Forreston Road, the conditions were just spectacular amongst the big trees, especially when the sunshine poked through. There was a regroup at the start of the climb up the back of Checkers, with everyone ready to take it on. This is a very steep climb, especially at the final corner were you have about 30 metres of around 27%. Everyone was fine and made it up, all good.
Here is the marker at the top, it’s just over 2kms to the bottom.
The descent was marked with some side wind, with many taking it very easy, although some did open it up a bit. This is the time disc brakes really come in to their own.
The next section was up and over Mt Gawler which is a good challenge in itself.
The only real problem was a flat that Dave N had. He picked up a thin piece of wire that caused a slow leak. In fact it was so difficult to get out that a set of tweeters couldn’t do the trick.
In the end Mike had to use his new multi tool with a knife to prise it out. Always good to be prepared.
So although very challenging, it was a great ride, that was ridden at a steady tempo. Thanks to Mike who did a great job marshalling to ensure everyone was supported through the whole ride. Well done.
The other ride also had a great time.
Heading straight out to Templers for the first regroup, it was possible to form into a pace line and take short turns out the front. Our group smoothly ran through and chewed up the Ks pretty quickly.
Here we are at the regroup, ready for the next section.
The road from Templers to Hamley gets a bit narrow and the edge a bit ragged, so it was not as conducive to forming pace lines. We took it fairly easy although we did have a head wind to battle with. At one stage we had a wind break on the right, and it was just fantastic for those few hundred metres.
At Hamley we had a regroup at the local park. Just recently, a local Gawler ceramic artist completed an installation as a Pinery fire memorial. It is just so fitting a piece
Here is the majority of the group.
The return trip was essentially downhill with a tail wind, this is what cycling dreams are made of. So pretty quickly we had retraced our steps and zoomed over to Wasleys for our final regroup.
The final section was a lot of fun really. We formed in to pace lines again and shared the effort out, quickly making our way back to Gawler.
It was a great ride overall, with the only incident Brendon getting a flat just out of Hamley, which was fixed pretty quickly.
We did have one new rider out for their first Saturday ride, Rob, Angela’s partner.
Here they are as they reached the Templers regroup point.
Rob did the ride quite easily.
Thanks also Michael for being the TEC. He did a great job and looked after everyone. Well done.
So another grand day out with the Wheelers.
Now don’t forget the three weeks of the Tour de France starts tonight. Let’s hope the Aussies give it a good shake, you never know, we may see an Aussie in yellow again on the podium on Champs Elysees.
Until next week
Gawler Wheelers: Winners of the Gawler Australia Day Community Group of the Year Award 2013
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Great report Paul
Next week's rides! includes a new route 57 through the back of Para Wirra.
Great ride report Paul.
I think the stand out for me was observing the manner in which we rode and rotated. Skills were certainly put into practice and some brilliant examples of group riding displayed. It isn't possible very often on public roads to ride 2 x 2 but the single file train with the front rider dropping off to the left worked a treat. Thanks to Geraint who put in a fair bit of work on the first leg out coaching the group I was riding in.
I rode in 3 different groups. Each time we worked well together. Special thanks to New Craig, 007 bond and BL aka Brendon for really looking after me.
Really enjoyed this one.
Next week's rides! includes a new route 57 through the back of Para Wirra. Same as ride cancelled week 8 July.