There was a ride with the ATC leaving from Sedan meet by the church for 9:00 am where the instructions.
I was hoping that there was not more than one church in Sedan about a kilometre away I could see the steeple of the church an we arrived to find 2 other car there.
at about 9AM a group of 6 left for the river
about 2 hours later we arrived at Moobunde for morning tea
after about 4 hours the group arrived at the pumping station to find lots of fences stopping us getting to the river.
we found another spot for lunch.
there was al lot of water going down the river.
After lunch there were more dirt roads and I must admit I was beginning to wilt eventually the group got back to sedan about 4:30 I must admit I took a short cut along the bitumen.
I did about 70 Km for the day the rocks and quicksand made it a bit more challenging than I was expecting.
I slept well last night and feel surprisingly well today
Thanks to Peter for organising the ride.
The next ATC ride is in the 10 of June and it goes from Strath to Milang
Sounds (and looks) like you had a great day Don.
Must get some more information from you regarding type of bike needed and fitness level required for such endeavors.
I got told the next ride will be easier requiring less fitness at approx 40 - 45 km following disused railway lines near the river so it will be pretty flat.
You needed a MTB for the ride yesterday with reasonably big tyres. Most bikes were running smooth tyres with some tread a few guys let some the air out when we hit the dirt. The moving speed was below 20kph with a lot kms on soft edges and sand and we saw millions of rocks.
ATC expect you to have a reliable bike ... or the ability, tools and tubes to get home unassisted if required, lunch & snacks and enough water for the whole day. If you think it might rain take waterproof gear etc so a pannier or similar is a must to carry all this. Possibly a back pack would be okay but more possibly it would get very heavy as the day wore on.. Reading the map is hard without an odometer of some sort of device that measures distance travelled is handy as some of the trails were easy to miss if you were not expecting them to come up shortly (in the next half km sort of thing).
On the trail we saw no cars all day, no shops and no water taps we did see over 50 kangaroos and wallabies a couple of dead wombats a few rabbits and several wombat holes disturbingly close to the trail.
Great report Don. Lovely country. Reminds me of views I have enjoyed from the driver's seat of my old 4WD. But you would have taken in the smells, felt the breezes, seen much more wildlife, and heard the birds, from your bike seat. The 4WD is sitting under the carport unloved now that I have taken up road biking. But still have the mountain bike ready and waiting. Any chance of letting us know the route you took on that trip. I think those pics might have stirred a few of us to give it shot too. Looks great.
this is the file they sent me before the ride
View ATC go to Sedan in a larger map
Thanks for that Roger. Only driven along the bitumen from Sedan to Swan Reach. But have enjoyed flying over the scrub there, between Sedan and Swan reach, in the glider a few times. Look forward to getting in there on the MTB one day. I heard on the radio a couple of days ago that many of the wombats are dying out due to them eating a certain introduced weed. I think it causes a liver disease, and they end up losing all their fur. Horrible death. But not sure if that was in SA, or another state.
I have had a couple of outlandings in the Brookfield Conservation Park, about 15km north of Moorundie. Very tricky landing in the scrub. On both occasions I was playing with an imaginary ruler - 'laying it down' on the ground below, trying to get a straight line to land along. Long enough to come to rest before hitting a tree. Wide enough to cope with a 50 foot wingspan. And of course smooth enough for the one wheeled ( a small wheel at that ) to cope with the weight of the 500kg glider. Rocks, sticks and larger lumps of wood are not wanted!
After many attempts at this aerial geometry exercise, getting lower and lower the whole time, I was lucky enough to find a 'landing strip' on both occasions, before time ran out. On the first occasion, after the landing, I found a whole lot of wombat burrows, just a few metres to the side of where the wheel went! And on the other landing, across a small round mud flat, the nose of the glider came to rest nestled into the side of a nice soft bushy tree. No dents or scratches. It was a hot day, and when the ranger kindly drove me back to the gliding club, at Stonefield, through his conservation park, we saw lots of big roos lazing in the shade under the mallee. Too hot to be bothered getting up and hopping away.
So I think a mountain bike is definitely the best choice for exploring these parts! And this time of the year, when the snakes are sleeping, and before the tracks get muddy, would be the ideal time to do it. Looks like you timed it well - rain coming in over the next few days.
Adelaide Touring Cyclists also have a Thursday morning ride starting at Woodside.
This tends to finish about 2pm to 4pm in the afternoon.
there is a mixture of bike paths (Amy Gillet) secondary bitumen roads and gravel/dirt roads.
from the ATC site
Milang Ride Sunday June 10 starting 10am at Strathalbyn by the old railway station, down to Milang and back, visit the Nurragi Conservation reserve. Mainly dirt roads, about 45-50km
or the next sunday
Kanmantoo Ride: Sunday June 17 starting 10am Kanmantoo main street adjacent toilets, travel on quiet back roads to Monarto and Callingtion, BYO food, about 45km. Shared CPG/ATC ride so at a slower pace
CPG is the cycling for pleasure group while there are some prople that cycle for pain this group have a different philosophy.
You don't need elite standard fitness however riding dirt is physically more demanding than bitumen and wider tire like a hybrid or MTB will be more comfortably.
You would need to be comfortable riding for several hours and ideally able to ride at least 40 Km on the bitumen at an average speed of say 15 Km/hour on a MTB or hybrid.
if you haven't been on a bike for several years you may struggle.
Thanks Don. Some mighty fine tracks and bush, would whet Mike's appetite as well. Made me think of billy tea and a bit of cake rest stops. Did you go through any gates (needing land-owner approval), or was it all public access roads?
@ John - I think that wombat health problem might be here as well. I'm on a weed-killing and wildlife observation project next week in a similar area. The brief on any wombat sightings is to look for fur loss.
Yes Brian. It's very sad watching our native animals fade away into extinction. Another marsupial on the edge. A big one this time. I think the Southern Hairy Nosed wombat is fighting a combination of habitat loss and introduced species. Two of the five main causes of species extinctions on our planet. But what most environmental scientists/l videos/magazine articles/text books/newspaper articles don't mention is the reason for the five main causes - the human population plague of 7 billion. The 'elephant in the room'.
In the seventies a husband and wife team worked at the Waikerie Gliding Club. Flying instructing and administration. Bob and Sue Martin noticed that over the next twenty years, soaring over the Murray Mallee district, south of Waikerie, that the landscape was gradually changing. They compared the photos they had taken in the seventies with photos of the same areas twenty years later. It was very obvious what was happening - the wombats, and all their fellow critters, and native plants, were losing their mallee habitat. It was being ripped out to make more paddocks for sheep or wheat.
I remember outlanding south east of Waikerie one day, and then having to walk 15km in to Wunkar, across the droughted, sandy paddocks, to make the telephone call for my crew to come and get me. I saw this huge chain meandering through the remnant mallee, along the top of a sand dune. I puzzled over that for some years before a farmer told me how it was used to clear the land. The amount of land clearing worried Bob and Sue. I only became aware of their concerns when I happened to read one of their Letters to the Editor in the Advertiser.
Of course they weren't the only ones concerned about the loss of native species. As a result the government stepped in and introduced laws to try to stop the clearing of any more native scrub in the Mallee. But maybe too late for the wombats!
Looks like you are doing your bit to help the environment. Well done BJ.
There was a gate when we entered the reserve and another gate when we leave the reserve I guess the reserve is open to the public.
So you could do the route any time I would think in hot weather it would be uncomfortable if there had been a lot of rain it could be very challenging the group got back to the cars at about 4:30 pm so it was a full day.
On refection if we had had trouble such as a visit from the evil fairy we would have been close to finishing in the dark.
Fortunately the group had no punctures for they day.
Thanks for the pictures and write up Don.
I am glad every one enjoyed the ride.
Picking up on some of the comments made:-
I dont recomend the use of a back pack on long rides like this - too heavy on the back. As well as panniers I like to use a handle bar bag (or at least a map carrier). I give out an annotated map to all riders so they can keep track of where we are. (Just in case they get seperated from the group & need to get home. Haven't lost any one yet but you never know).
If we ever deviate off public access areas I always get permission. This is getting more difficult now to find out the owners of the properties - many councils now initially refuse to give the owners details for "privacy" reasons.
I run Travel Contact tires on these rides (26 X 1.75). They have a slick centre tread with nobbles on the side. Inflated to the max pressure of 80 psi they give good rolling resistance on bitumen and other hardpack surfaces. (At this pressure they run on the slick section). When it gets softer (ie sand), dropping the pressure increases the footprint and brings the nobble into play. The recomended minimum pressure is 50 psi - but all iI do is let a bit of air out in stages until I get the traction needed. The other attribute is they have pretty good puncture resistance. Bought off the net they are relatively cheap.
The finish time was a bit later than I anticipated but we still had a bit of time to cope with the evil fairy. The June ride will be around 50 km so will not be a problem. I am contemplating starting the 70 km July ride a bit earlier at 8:30 AM just to be safe.
New riders are welcome to join our June ride from Milang but contact us first to let us know you are coming