The first day for our winter rides didn’t turn out too bad, although there was plenty of talk about what kit to wear. Some people were easing themselves into it and not opting for the full winter strip just quite yet. Being a bit chilly though, it initially looked like the numbers would be down, but not the case, with 35 riders out.
Again we had three options to choose from. The short ride was a return trip to Tanunda. Always a favourite, 52 kms and 526 m of climbing.
The middle ride took in the SOB before heading off into the hills, up to Para Wirra Con Park, through the South Para ford, then back home via Yettie Road for 65 kms and 706 of climbing.
The big ride was initially out to Springton, then along Eden Valley Road, before taking on the seven steps. It’s101 ks and 1,187 of climbing. A real challenge.
The middle ride, with 18 riders headed off first, keen to get into the fray. The first section along the SOB was all good. No wind, and everyone worked well together. At Curtis Road the group headed towards the hills. They stayed together as a long single chain, and safely navigated the suburban road. Luckily there was very little traffic.
At Yorktown Road the climbing really started in earnest, with the group stringing out. Once that climb was conquered, it was off to One Tree Hill, where the local market was in full swing.
After a bit of a break it was off to the gates of Para Wirra Conservation Park. This is a great climb with some really steep bits, plus some nice descents. The first section was a bit of a workout, as the road dips, there are plenty of overhanging trees and the sun finds it hard to get through. It was really cold.
In the end everyone got up the climb. Here are some at the top.
Kate and Richie
And enjoyed getting to the gates for a breather and to take in the views.
From the gates they headed around the Con. Park and then to the most technically difficult part of the ride; into and out of the South Para River. The road into the ford is very steep and you need to really be on the ball and have your breaking technique just right. Once in the ford there is a real steep climb out. Everyone was fine.
From there the road undulates all the way to Yettie Road and the great descent down to Williamstown Road. ( Yettie Road is sometimes used for the Tour Down Under, and when you to see a peleton descend at speed which is hard to comprehend, you can really appreciate the skill of the professionals).
The group then made their way to Sandy Creek where they met up with the shorter ride as they headed home. So the group really did make good time.
Thanks again to Dave for taking on the role as Ride Leader and Adrian for TEC duties.
They did a great job, ensuring the whole ride ran along very smoothly. Good stuff.
The shorter ride headed off with 12 taking on the ride. It was still very cool as the sun wasn’t really out and there were pockets that were really cold.
There was a quick stop at Lyndoch, and then off again before cooling down too much.
It was more of the same all the way to Tanunda with the whole group happy for the stop at the Bike Hub and a bit of a chance to catch a few rays which had just started to come out.
Tash, Andrea, Paula and Linda.
Bec and Caren
The return trip saw the temperature start to rise a bit, and the group opted for a quick regroup at Lyndoch.
The timing for the stop couldn’t have been better as the group crossed paths with Lisa and Diane. They had just completed a Park Run and were now on their bikes. They are training for a duathlon on July. Great stuff.
Here they are with Geraint.
The final leg home was great fun, and to catch up with some of the others from the middle ride was a real treat.
So it wasn’t too long before every one was safe and sound at the Exchange.
The big ride had five take in on. They had a bit of a delayed start as one person had forgotten their riding shoes, so had to duck home to grab them.
Once rolling, the group then made their way through Lyndoch, Williamstown and then Springton for their main regroup. To everyone’s delight the sun poked out, so that was good.
The next section is the very pretty Eden Valley Road. One person decided to go a little bit harder in an effort to really warm up. Unfortunately that provided to be a bit of false economy, as they burnt up a lot of energy and then had to take on the Seven Steps. It’s a wise option when taking on this ride, not use up all your petrol tickets too early, as the Seven Steps will trip you up.
In the end everyone made it up the steps and then a sweeping run down to Tanunda.
Here is the crew at the Bike Hub enjoying the sun.
Phil, Dave, Sue, Kevin and Simon.
From Tanunda a smooth run back to Gawler and the Exchange after four and a half hours of riding. Great work. And thanks to Dave for taking on the role of Ride Leader, and keeping the ride on track and rolling along.
Again we had our weekly recognition presentations at the Exchange.
The first goes to Dani.
Dani is a very accomplished triathlete, including taking out 1st place for her age group in the recent Gattie series. She has always been a strong rider, especially in the hills, where she just smashes them.
The second recognition presentation goes to Roger.
Roger is relatively new to cycling, but really does enjoy putting some ks away and enjoying the fresh air and open spaces. He did a great job today, taking on the hills on the middle ride, just chewing them up.
So another great day out with the Wheelers. Its great fun to get our and enjoy the crisp morning temps, they really make you feel alive.
Until next week,
Gawler Wheelers: Winners of the Gawler Australia Day Community Group of the Year Award 2013