Great weather, great ride.
Finally after a two week hiatus, the weather was just great for a ride, with 25 riders out and three rides on offer.
The first was the SOB ride, 53 kms and 130 m of climbing.
The middle ride was two loops around Williamstown for a 60 km ride and 611 m of climbing
The big ride took in Para Wirra then to Williamstown, a loop up to the Warren Dam before heading to Lyndoch and then home. 71 kms and 1004 m of climbing.
So it was great to see so many riders out, and with the Gawler Show on, Dave had some commitments there, so Linda provided the ride safety brief.
Even though there weren’t any new riders out today, it is vital to keep safety front of mind whenever you prepare for a ride, and of course while out on the road.
Two took on the SOB ride, which turned out to be a real treat with perfect weather and traffic conditions. There was no wind in either direction, which is a bit rare, plus very little traffic to deal with at each crossing. In fact as they rolled into each road crossing, they checked for cars and mostly all clear. Even the usually very busy Curtis Road crossing was pretty good. So all in all, a great ride.
Here are Paula and Andrea back at the Exchange, wishing that all SOB rides could be so lucky.
The middle ride also had a great time of it with 11 taking it on.
Although a bit chilly to start with, by the time everyone got the first bit of climbing up Balmoral Road under their belts, everyone was nice and warmed up, and ready for the real challenge of the day, Yettie Road.
This was all fine, especially the crisp fresh air as everyone made their way up. You can always gauge the effort on these climbs as the chatter stops as everyone just concentrating on getting up and over the rise. Once you get that first section done, you know that the hardest climbing for the day is behind you, with everyone enjoying the spin in to Williamstown, and for a break.
Here is the crew getting ready for the loop.
The section between Williamstown and Lyndoch is an absolute hoot. After a quick run down to the CFS shed and up a small rise, it’s downhill all the way to Lyndoch. Two distinct pace lines formed and the group was off. It takes a lot of concentration to ride in a pace line and you really need to aware of everyone around you, plus all the calls, but the result is just magic. With everyone taking turns out the front it wasn’t too long before the group rolled into Lyndoch.
A stop at the stop sign, then left into Pimpala Road and out to Cockatoo Valley. This is a great road to ride as it undulates and you pass through big blocks of native vegetation. Given the time of the year the yellows of the acacia and purples of the hardenbergia are just great to see.
At the store, it’s a left turn toward Williamstown again. There was a quick regroup at the CFS station, so a chance to reload for the run back to Lyndoch. Again a pace line was formed, so another fun run back.
The was a short break at Lyndoch, so everyone could catch their breath and get ready for the final section home.
Here are Linda, Kate and Bec, thoroughly enjoying the ride.
The finial section back to Gawler was great, essentially downhill and there was a slight tail wind, with everyone safe and sound at the Exchange in very good time.
Also a big thanks to Bec who did a great job as TEC and keeping the show rolling along.
The Longer ride set a solid rhythm from the start; their first real challenge was Kentish Road. The first section is the steepest bit and then after that, you go up in steps. They had a quick regroup at the top of Kentish, before a run down to the roundabout and the climb up to the gates of Para Wirra.
Unfortunately one person, as they got close to the gates had a major mechanical with his derailleur snapping, leaving no option than ring for back up.
Here is the crew at the Para Wirra inspecting the damage.
Form here, the group headed off to the South Para crossing. This is a seriously steep descent in to the ford, and an equally steep climb out. Everyone took it very cautiously going down and then put in a big effort to get out the other side.
Once out of the ford it was a great run in to Williamstown.
Here are Glen and Peter making light work of it.
Next stop was Williamstown and a chance to get ready for the next serious climb up to the Warren Dam. Everyone was fine getting up, and to their surprise, in the layby, which was the turnaround point, there was a food caravan, providing all the refreshments you would want to break up a ride. A few people took advantage of the offerings to fuel up a bit.
From here it was a quick run back down all the way to Lyndoch for the final regroup. With a bit of a tail wind, it wasn’t too long before everyone was back at the Exchange for refreshments and checking their stats. A great ride.
Also a big thanks to Tim who was ride captain. Here he is getting the ride organised.
He did a great job, including going repeatedly up and down the group to make sure everyone was ok. He must have added another 20 ks to the ride!
Back at the Exchange Hotel we had our weekly appreciation awards.
Firstly to Simon.
Simon is doing a great job posting the rides each week, which is greatly appreciated. Plus, on today’s ride he helped out the person with the broken derailleur to make sure they were ok.
The second award goes to Glen
Glen always has a great time out on the rides and helps out everyone. It’s great fun to have Glen part of our rides.
So another great morning out with the Wheelers, and given the cold and wet conditions we have had recently, a welcome return. It was just great out on the bike with your friends, taking in the fresh air and feeling really energised.
Until next week
Gawler Wheelers: Winners of the Gawler Australia Day Community Group of the Year Award 2013