Not quite Spring weather.
What a contrast today was from last weekend, with its bright summer start and benign weather. Today it was gloomy, wet and windy. The conditions caught a lot by surprise, with many opting to not chance the conditions. 20 of the ‘hard core brigade’ were out and although it was a bit challenging, everyone had a great time.
We initially had 3 options on the table. A flat run out to Lewiston for a 40. 4 k run. A trip up to Tanunda via Gomersal Road, then looping around Bethany, before Lyndoch and then Pimpala and Balmoral Roads, 63 ks and 694 m of climbing. The big ride included Kersbrook, Cudlee Creek, Gumeracha and back home, 83 Ks and over 1000 m of climbing.
In the end there were no takers for the Lewiston ride. Although it is essentially flat, with a predicted strong north-easterly wind, this would mean you would be battling into it on the way home. Most opted on taking their chances on the middle ride.
In the end only Andrea decided on doing a shorter option. Instead of going out to Lewiston she decided to do a loop around Lyndoch, essentially the last section of the middle ride. Initially she headed off along the road, but then moved over to the bike track after getting a bit of grief from a number of drivers. It’s good to have this dedicated bike tack, but unfortunately it tends to have a fair few branches on it, plus grit from the multiple crossings, which was the case today. Add in five roos just near the Conservation Park, and it all made for an interesting section to ride.
After a quick stop at Lyndoch, Andrea headed off down Pimpala Road. Unfortunately there were a lot of gusty side winds that made it difficult. The section along Balmoral Road, wasn’t much better, so although a shorter ride, over 40 kms, still a challenge. Good stuff.
Here is Andrea back at home base.
The middle ride had a mixed bag, which tested everyone out.
The ride started with some rain and a cold wind. We had planned to have a regroup before we crossed over to Gomersal Road, but given the conditions, it was best to just keep rolling.
Once we got on to Gomersal, it wasn’t that bad. The rain had stopped and the wind had dropped away, so things were looking up. Unfortunately, by the time we reached the last third, the wind really picked up, so it then turned into a bit of a grind.
It was a welcome relief when we reached the bike hub at Tanunda, there was a chance to get out of the wind and into some shelter.
Haydn, Linda, Keith ( who rode strongly) , Mark and Peter.
After leaving the bike hub, we headed east before turning south, with the wind on our side now, so we all took care. When we turned towards Bethany , the strong wind was behind us and we literally flew all the way back to the main road. Unfortunately, this was really the only time that the wind was any real assistance across the whole ride, but it may have kept the maggies away, as there was no swooping.
The next section back to Lyndoch started with some rain, just adding to the fun. We had a quick stop at Lyndoch before heading off along Pimpala Road and then a regroup at the end. At the regroup there were two options, to either head to Balmoral Road via the Sandy Creek Oval and Davies Road , or duck around and join Balmoral at the end of The Barracks, so you could have the fun of the sharp little pinch just before Davies Road. We all opted to go via The Barracks, including some of us using a short cut that Sue knew about. All good.
By the time we got on to Balmoral Road the wind was really blowing a treat, so you needed to be careful. Many of us had to lean in to the side wind to make sure we kept our balance.
In the end, although it was a bit cold and a tricky wind, it was all good fun.
Also thanks to Peter for being TEC. Job well done.
The longer ride really had the elements to deal with, with four taking it on. Once they got going the rain came down which meant trying conditions all the way to Forreston, including some great timing when they reached Gumeracha just in time to get some shelter before a big downpour.
After Forreston the conditions cleared a bit so that make it a little bit better.
To cope with the conditions, the groups rode in a very tight bunch, sharing the effort out front. They also opted for very short stops and kept on rolling. The only real problem they had was some were caught out without enough wet weather gear, so got cold and wet feet, and had to deal with the spray off the bike in front.
In the end they averaged over 30kmph, which is great for those conditions and terrain.
So a great effort and the group rolled in not much later than the middle group.
Thanks to Kevin for leading this group. Here they all are enjoying a follow up drink.
Rob, Kevin, Simon and Nick.
Back at the Exchange Hotel we were able to warm up and get some refreshments, including today’s awards for great effort, going to Bec and Ian.
Bec has continued to build her strength on the bike and really puts in on every ride, well done.
Ian has been with the group for a while now and is very much the quiet achiever. He has steadily built up his skills and is happy to take big turns out the front of a bunch, like he did today.
Many from the GW family extend themselves competing in other events. Someone who really has had a lot of success is Alistair.
Last month he competed in the World 70.3 Championships in Chattanooga. What a great achievement and inspiration to us all.
Here is Alistair after the race, and check out the medal.
And catching up with everyone, with plenty of great stories to share.
The next challenge is he and Karen will be tackling another big ironman event in Busselton WA later in the year. So plenty of training to come for both of them. All good stuff.
So again a great day out with the Wheelers, although the weather was a bit iffy, we all had a lot of fun.
Until next week,
Gawler Wheelers: Winners of the Gawler Australia Day Community Group of the Year Award 2013
For more pictures and discussion, visit the Gawler Wheelers Facebook page.
Cheers Mike, hope you are enjoying your holidays, and back soon for a ride. We miss your videos!
Next weeks rides :)
Toilets available at the Gawler Information Centre.
One Tree Hill.
Turn right onto High St then left and left again on the Murray St turn right onto Adelaide Rd then right onto Twelfth St. At the enn of Twelfth St turn right and travel over the bridge then at the round about turn right again onto Ryde St. At the next roundabout make a right turn onto Jack Cooper Drv, just passed the bridge turn right onto Trotting Track Rd then a left turn is made onto the SOB.
Travel the SOB till Curtis Rd, this then becomes Craigmore Rd follow till you make a right turn onto Adams Rd. The beginning of Adams Rd pull over for the first re group.
Adams Rd is travelled then a left onto Uley Rd.
At the end of Uley Rd make a right onto the Gawler One Tree Hill Rd at the roundabout take the third exit then make a right onto Cross Hill Rd and have the first re group at One Tree Hill.
Leaving One Tree Hill head towards Cornishmans Hill Rd and travel Cornishmans till a left onto Tyeka Drive then left onto Black Top Rd then left back onto Cornishmans Hill Rd, then a right is made onto Uley then a left onto Gawler One Tree Hill Rd this takes us to Gawler make a left onto fifth St then take the third exit and head back to base using Ayers St then High St.
Toilets are available at the start around the back of the Gawler Information Centre.
One Tree Hill.
Turn left onto High St, when you get to the STOP sign continue onto First St turn left onto Seventh St then right onto Hill St a left is made onto Mount Terrace. At the roundabout a left turn is made onto Coleman Parade then a left onto Potts Rd.
At the top of Potts Rd a quick Re-Group is had then a right onto the Gawler One Tree Hill Rd is made a left is made onto Toolunga Rd which is travelled to the end, then make the return journey up Toolunga Hill at the top another Re-Group is had.
We then continue on and turn right onto Uley Rd then a left onto Cornishmans Hill Rd a left is made onto Black Top Rd. At One Tree Hill we have a Re-Group.
At the end of Black Top Rd turn left then at the large roundabout take the third exit onto Kersbrook rd, another Re-Group is had at Kersbrook.
Turn right onto S Para Rd then a left onto Checker Hill Rd at the stop a short Re-Group is had, a left is taken onto Forrest Rd then a left is made onto Norsworthy Rd this continues onto Hill Rd at the end of Hill Rd where a quick Re-Group is had. A right is made onto the S Para Rd and we have another Re-Group at Williamstown.
Leaving Williamstown we make a left onto the Williamstown Rd we turn left at Sandy Creek onto the Barossa Valley Way this is travelled for our return journey back to base.