Perfect autumn weather for riding.
It was perfect weather for riding, a bit of a chill in the morning first up and then breaking out into a warm sunny day. Great for riding, but not the best for those on the land waiting for a break in the weather. Rain is forecast for late next week, so we will see if the clouds bump in to next Saturday’s ride.
With great conditions we saw just over 50 riders out, with three rides on offer.
Here is much of the group at the safety brief which is an important component of every ride day.
The first was a flat ride, out to Freeling and Wasleys, 48kms and 275 m of climbing.
The middle ride was up to One Tree Hill via Medlow road, then back down via Uley Road before retracing back along the SOB. 68 km and 589 m of climbing
The big ride was out to Williamstown, through to Birdwood, across to Gumeracha and then back to Gawler via Williamstown again. 97.3 kms and 1058m of climbing.
So again, choice a plenty.
The longer ride, with 13 riders, headed off first after their ride brief.
They were quickly in amongst the hills and the colder temps. Their first stop was Williamstown, but given the temp, they decided to make it quick so everyone didn’t cool down too much.
After Williamstown the group broke into two bunches so people could settle into a rhythm they were happy with. In particular the leading group set up quick rotations with each rider staying out the front for no longer than 500 metres. This proved to be a good move with the bunch rolling along nicely and in to Birdwood in good time. The other bunch wasn’t too far behind.
The next section was across to Gumeracha via Burfords Hill Road. This is a relatively new option with very few having ridden it before. It’s a bit of a challenge with three short climbs to deal with, and really got the legs pumping.
Next stop Gumeracha, where there was the option to visit the local bakery for some carbs and to check out how everything was going.
The next section back to Williamstown saw the group break up into two bunches again, and with both setting up rotations and settling into a rhythm that suited, they were able to cover the distance quickly.
Here they all are at Williamstown.
A few were tight for time, so said adieu and headed off home while the rest looked forward to a quick run back to Gawler.
Unfortunately Sam, a part of the leading bunch had a flat. As they stopped to repair the flat, the other bunch sailed by. The repair only lasted 100 metres until another stop and another tube.
In the end everyone got home safely, although it could have turned out differently. As Alan was riding along he ran over a bone, most likely part of a kangaroo thigh, that flicked up and lodged between the front tyre and the top of the forks. Those that heard it said it sounded like a tyre blowing. Alan was very lucky as the bone didn’t cause the wheel to lock-up, just slowed everything down.
For some, only 97k was a bit irksome, so many did a few loops of Gawler to get the other 3 ks, and do a neat 100ks for the morning.
So a big thanks to Craig for Ride Leader.
Also to Peter for notionally taking on the role as TEC
Here are Peter and the unlucky Sam.
The middle ride was the most popular with 33 deciding to do this ride.
Here is the group going through the ride brief with Warren who was the ride leader for this one.
The first section along the SOB was fine allowing everyone to warm up before the climbing.
Once they had manoeuvred through the suburbs the climbing started once they got past Adams Road. The first few hundred metres is always a bit of a kicker, but does set you up for the rest of the climbing, in particular the really steep bits as you get to Medlow Road.
After all that climbing it was a quick run along the Gawler One Tree Hill Road, before turning down Cornishman’s Hill Road where you can really whoosh down before climbing back up and regrouping at One Tree Hill.
After a good break it was the return trip via Uley Road, which can also be a lot of fun as you descend from the hills back into the suburbs.
The final section along the SOB saw the wind pick up so was a bit of a slog. For the leading bunch Haydn took the lead all the way back, towing everyone along, and didn’t even look like needing to rotate back.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for everyone, with Colin running over a small snake that was on the track. Luckily no one was injured and we hope the snake is recovering in the longer grass to the side of the track.
Also there were two riders who decided to vary the route a bit to fit in with how they were feeling. It is good to see people make good decisions about what they can do on a given day.
A special thanks to Kate who stepped in at the last moment to do the TEC duties. Unfortunately she got caught out at a few roundabouts on the way back, and copped a few bad lights, so ended up riding back on her own.
A big thanks to Warren for being Ride Leader. Great job.
The shorter ride, with 6 riders, also had a good time of it. The first section up to Freeling is always a bit of a drag, as it’s essentially up hill, and there was a head wind to cope with. The group set up a pace line and had quick rotations, so kept up a steady pace.
The first stop was Freeling and a good chance to have a break. In particular, it was good to see Dave out again and although he is new to riding in a pace-line, quickly picked up the technique and took some big turns out front. Well done.
From Freeling it was the usual quick run across to Templers and then Wasleys. For the final section back to Gawler it was back into a pace-line formation as the group worked together very nicely carving up the Ks.
Here is most of the group, minus Richie, back at the Exchange.
Ian, Ash, Matthew and Dave.
In particular it was great to see Ash riding so strongly after his recent mishap, that saw him off the bike for a few weeks, and good to see Ian out again after a while, also riding strongly.
Overall a great hit out with great company.
It was also good to see Lyn out again. Lyn lives a way away, so it’s only possible for her to come out with the Wheelers occasionally. She was sporting her newly acquired GW kit. Very smart looking!
And who doesn’t enjoy a new bike. Andrea was able to show off her new replacement bike and boy is it a beauty. Not only the componentry, but also the paintwork is fantastic, it’s the whole package.
Finally, back to at the Exchange, our weekly appreciations awards.
Firstly to Warren who can't always make every ride, so taking on the Ride Leaders role today was greatly appreciated. He kept the group rolling along.
Next Karen. Recently Karen has had a run of unfortunate mechanical mishaps, usually at the start of the rides, so had had to turn back. Also with today’s ride she was a bit apprehensive about all the climbing. In the end she smashed out the hills and came home very strongly. Well done
Finally Haydn. Haydn always supports everyone on the rides. In particular today he looped back many times to make sure others were ok, and on the SOB towed back a big bunch of riders without a break; the spirit of the Wheelers on show.
It is frequently mentioned, that the GWs has a big contingent of lady riders as members, which is just fantastic, especially when cycling can be seen as a male dominated sport. Today was no exception, with the ladies making up a big percentage of the overall numbers. Great to see.
So another big day out with the Wheelers. All good fun
Until next week.
Gawler Wheelers: Winners of the Gawler Australia Day Community Group of the Year Award 2013
You mentioned the women riders with GW and was wondering how the separate womens rides were going on Sundays ?