A spin in the hills.
Earlier in the week the rain came down and there were predictions of a shower mid-morning. To everyones delight although there was some cloud, it was pretty high, but really no rain in sight, so all good to go for the 34 riders out for a spin.
We had two rides on today. The medium ride was up to Williamstown via Yettie Road then two loops through Lyndoch before heading home. Just on 60 kms and 611 m of climbing.
The longer ride was up and down the hill face; up Alexander, down Medlow, up Uley, then down Cornishman’s before a regroup at One Tree Hill. After that some climbing up to the gates of Para Wirra Conservation Park, before a return back down and along the ridge which is the Gawler One Tree Hill Road. 61kms and 952 m of climbing.
So not a great deal between the two, and with the prospect of both getting back home.
The longer ride, with 6 riders headed off first, keen to get amongst the hills. Their first real challenge was Alexander Drive. When you first look at it, it looks like you are about to climb a vertical wall. But once you get over the first section it not a bad run to the Gawler One Tree Hill Road ( GOTHR).
After a short run along the GOTHR the group headed down Medlow, which turns in to Craigmore Road. This was a fun decent with some nice quickish sections. Once at the bottom, a short run along Adams, before climbing all the way up again on Uley. At the top it was a quick rundown Cornishman’s Hill etc, with their regroup at One Tree Hill.
The group was making great time, and given the fantastic weather it was collectively decided to modify the route. Instead on going up to the Parra Wirra and turning around, they decide to continue on to the South Para river, in and out of South Para gorge, and then through to Yettie Road and back home.
Now that this section is sealed and given the weather it was great, plus the chance to get amongst the spectacular scenery a great option, and only added a few Ks to the ride.
The biggest challenge proved to be the actual South Para gorge, with everyone taking care on the descent and then working hard to get back up on the other side.
The final section along Yettie and Balmoral Roads was all good , with the group more or less getting in at the same time as the other ride.
Here is the group having a brief break on the side of the road
Also, thanks to Mike who took on the duties as TEC, and Simon S who led the ride.
The medium ride, with 28 riders also a great time.
The first section saw some steady climbing and on Balmoral Road, as you go through Cockatoo Valley the road dips down in one spot along with the temperature. So it was very picturesque to see some frost in the paddocks; signs of winter coming.
The big climb of the day was up Yettie. Given the make-up of the route, there is an option to scoot around to Williamstown, missing the climb, which is a great option, which some took. For those who went up Yettie, it was a matter of settling in to a rhythm and getting yourself up. For many the best option was to select the big rear cog early, and do a lot of spinning, so reducing the chances of lactic acid build up. All good
Here are a few topping out the hill.
Linda and Andrea smashing it out
The first regroup was Williamstown.
Here are some of the group rolling in. Dave, Bec, Ian and Brad.
Michael and Paula.
And birthday girl Kate.
After a quick break and with the sun starting to break through, it was off to Lyndoch. Here are many of the group heading off.
It’s a downhill run as you leave the town, but unfortunately the road surface is very rough and almost impossible to find a suitable line. It’s a matter of trying as hard as you can to miss as many rough spots that you can.
Once we made our way out of the town, we had a nice train strung together, and we were able to zoom along all the way to Lyndoch. It is so much fun being able to ride safely in a set up like this, and such an enjoyable experience ( a hoot).
At Lyndoch we turned at the pub, headed back out of town along Pimpala Road, which once you get over the first climb, is a fairly quick road to ride. Then a turn at the store, to set us up for the return loop back to Lyndoch. Again a lot of fun
The final section was all good, given it essentially downhill, and before long we were all back home.
We did have two mechanicals though. One person got a flat just as we reached Gawler, and another person has a problem with their derailleur just as they were turning in to the Exchange carpark. Bit of bad luck really.
So special thanks today firstly to Andrea. She had brought along her full kit bag and was able to help out with a pair of gloves and another person with a set of lights. Great stuff.
Also thanks to Linda for TEC duties, always supportive on every ride, even if she is not the TEC.
Back at the Exchange we had a weekly awards.
Firstly Craig was recognised for being Ride Captain the week before. Craig is a long time GW member and is always ready to support other whenever he can. Well done Craig.
Secondly, we had a new rider, Darren, who really excelled. Darren had been following the group for a while on social media to get a bit of a feel of the group and what to expect. He can usually be found training for triathlons, were drafting is not permitted. So riding in a group is not something he is very experienced in. In the end he adapted very quickly to riding in a group and also really rode very strongly, especially on the climbs. Well done.
Final Ian M. Ian, as well as many others, is always happy to help out, especially taking on TEC duties. If there is a gap in the roster he is happy to take on the role plus always helps out others on every ride. All good.
Also our thanks and appreciation to the Exchange Hotel for their support. Not only do they provide the bottles of wine for our weekly awards, but provide a safe place for all our bikes.
So another great day out with the Wheelers. The weather was just perfect, some good challengers, great company, plenty of smiles and the scenery fantastic. How good is that.
Until next week,
Gawler Wheelers: Winners of the Gawler Australia Day Community Group of the Year Award 2013