Chilly start.

 

Given it was a long weekend, the footy final, the start of school holidays plus a cold start, it was great to see 24 out for a ride.

Again we had three options. The first was a quick spin down the SOB, 54kms and 159m of climbing.
The middle ride was out to Williamstown, up past the Warren Dam along Forreston Road then Norsworthy and Hill roads, before looping back to Williamstown and home. 74kms and 888 m of climbing
The big ride was out to Kapunda, then down to Greenock and Tanunda and home. 93kms and 816 m of climbing.
So a good range to choose from.

Dave provided the safety brief, and included a reminder about animals we might come across.

In a car we are told to respond to animals in a certain way, but on a bike, we really need to avoid them at all costs, so being aware of your surroundings at all time. As we know the maggies are starting to get active again, but there is also the threat of roos, like the one that nearly hit Dave a few weeks ago and also emus at times.  

The SOB crew headed off first as they all had events to get to in the afternoon so needed to get out and back in good time. This they did without any concerns. So it was good to get in a run before settling down to watch the footy with a few refreshments.

Richie, Craig and Brendon

The middle ride, with 14 riders, headed off straight  up Lyndoch Road and settled into a steady rhythm. Although it was still cold, everyone warmed up quickly. It’s a bit of a climb to Williamstown but no real steep sections just a steady as you go, with a bit of a pinch, just as you reach the town.
After  a relatively short stop it was off to do the loop around the hills. The first section, up past the Warren Dam was a bit of a ‘procession’ with the group staying essentially as a bunch and working their way up. Up a little bit further the group turned on to the Forreston Road, which is a beautiful road to ride along with the big trees right up to the road. So there are plenty of sights to take in.

The big challenge for the day was the run up Norsworthy Road that morphs into Hill Road. Once you turn onto Norsworthy the climbing starts, just gently to start with. Then you come up to the serious climb for the day. Although not a long climb, a few 100 metres, it’s steep and there is a need to dig deep. Some riders were down to walking pace, and just enough to keep their balance and momentum. But all good, and great to have that challenge.
After the climb, it was just rewards with the road running quickly down, all the way to the South Para Road that leads back to Williamstown.
It was a great run back to Williamstown, although some emus were spotted in a paddock, but they kept themselves safely on the other side of the fence.

Here is everyone back at Williamstown for the last regroup, before a run down Yettie Road and back home.

So a great ride, beautiful scenery, fantastic company, and devilishly steep hill to get up and over.

A big thanks to Brad who did  a great job as TEC, supporting everyone,  in particular providing a great supply of jelly snakes, that was greatly appreciated.

Here he is with Jane, who also rode very well. Jane is training for an upcoming triathlon  event, so today’s ride made up part of her training program for the day.

The longer ride, with 7 riders, also had a good time of it. As a group they rode strongly together, so they were quickly at  Freeling for their first stop, and the newly established café was open!

Next it was the run up to Kapunda. The road undulates and you can really take in the wide open space across the cereal crops. From Kapunda it was a run down to Greenock for their next stop.

This was a chance to take in the sunshine and lament with Mike who was having some trouble with a slipping chain. Although an annoyance, it didn’t slow him down.

Here are Tim, Mike, Rob, Darren, Dani and Craig.

From there, they were back into the wine country, including passing through Seppeltsfield and the iconic palm avenue.

Next stop was Tanunda, and  it was great to see that the water fountain at the bike hub had been upgraded, so no issues with filling your biddens.

Here is Tim filling his bidden.

The final section back to Gawler was a straight  forward run, with the group linking up with the hills ride at Sandy Creek, so fantastic timing and effort given they had ridden an extra 20 ks

Again, a great ride with everyone riding as solid bunch, no issues with the wind and fantastic scenery. Special thanks to Tim who supported everyone across the ride, including doling out energy bars at Freeling.
Also, it was great to see Rob out on the plains, after his successful
Everesting last weekend. Epic.

Of special note was the great work rate from Dani and Darren. Both are also training  for an upcoming triathlon. Firstly, Dani had her tri-bike which was well suited to this type of ride, and  settled  into a strong riding pace and rhythm. Darren had his normal road bike and also set a strong pace, and worked it to ensure he could get as much benefit out of the ride as possible. Once they got back to Gawler, they then got off the bikes and did a 7km run, great stuff.

Here is Darren back at the Exchange for refreshments,

 

 and Dani at Greenock.

 

Also thanks to Simon for taking on the role as ride captain, and  making sure the ride kept rolling along smoothly.

So although a bit of a cold start, everyone go into their stride quickly and settled into their ride.
It was fun all round in the end.

Until next week,

Stay safe,

Cheers

Paul K.

Gawler Wheelers: Winners of the Gawler Australia Day Community Group of the Year Award 2013

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