What a great ride, great weather and of course great company.
It all started at 7am and with backpack and bumbag I was off into the crisp morning. Few kms up road and first climb The Grove Way. Bit early for me to do a climb a like to get warmed up first. Then thru the North East to Gorge Rd. Thanks to Alex for help with the route one thing though Torrens Hill Rd is damn scary!! Would hate to go up that and if you have been up my hats off to you.
I meet up with my ride partner at Cudlee Creek. Juz had done it real Hardcore day before and done both Galwer Wheelers ride, day and night. We set off down Cudlee Creek Rd then into Fox Creek Rd. Juz had only done about 3km when had to climb Fox Creek. She did well though all the way up with a smile.
We then set off to Lenswood and on to Balhannah with a stop at Hahndorf. We stopped outside the info centre and found a tap cool fill the bottles. Then it was on to Echunga and Meadows. We pick a very direct route to Meadows so had a bit or traffic. I remembered doing one of the TDUs which went from Meadows and down to Ashbourne and it was great. So we found the road and it was just as I remember downhill all the way very scenic and light on traffic.
Only problem we had was that lunch was going to be had in Ashbourne. Well there is not much in Ashbourne so we had to have another banana and continue on. So down to Currency Creek around the Goolwa airport and finally Middleton
128.4km Avg 23.3
Next day the route was to be on the Bikeways from Willunga thru to the city. So off we set up Flagstaff Hill Rd. Less then 3kms in and a 12% hill cmon. We thought that was bad and around the corner the road sign says 15% WTF. All that and only 9 kms and we thought Sundays start was bad. A small trip on the Victor Harbour Rd (not reccomended) thru Mount Compass to Willunga. Nice spin down Old Willunga Hill. Juz has never been up it but assured me the first 2 hills earned her the right.
Then it was a great ride along the Coast to Vines to the Veloway. With a couple of detours where the new train line is going thru. It was getting warm and the Veloway was hard work in parts in the heat. Finally reached the outskirts of the city and decide Marion Rd would be good. Its not a bad road at all for riding on avg.30 on it towards Anzac Highway and into the city.
Quick goodbye in Hutt St. But is it no Juz needs 13km to get 100 for the day so company for few more kms. Finally a goodbye and thanks for a great ride and I head north and home.
119.8km Avg 23
Big thanks to those who help with the route including Juz's Iphone and biggest thankyou to Juz for being such great company.
Your ready for the hill rides with Galwer Wheelers now.
(sorry this is a long report well done if you read the whole thing lol)
great report michael and massive effort for you both,nearly 300km for juz over the long weekend ! i remember when juz took 8hrs to do 80km hee hee.well done to you both.not sure she will let you get away with the pic of her walking up a hill !!!
@ barry take alook at my comment above 300km
Great report Michael, looks like you and Juz made a good team for this trip. Big effort by both and Juz even with a short walk you can still look back and know you did it.
Congrats to you both
Thanks for writing this report Michael. It was a real pleasure joining you for this ride; thank you so much for agreeing to have me along! (And for waiting so patiently for me along the way) I think we worked well together as a riding team: good company, easy conversation and fabulous riding. Many thanks again!
My total kilometres for the 3 days of the long weekend (including both Gawler Wheelers rides) was 304kms. I did forget to start my Garmin a few times and it did bork out on me at Cudlee Creek so it may have been slightly more, but only slightly. (I’m also not sure how it goes recording distances when it auto pauses … I was going VERY slowly up some of those hills so chunks of data are likely missing there too). Three days, back to back, of ~100kms certainly tested me but I’m so proud of the outcome.
My ‘Epic Middleton Ride’ began after riding 112kms with the Gawler Wheelers on Saturday, not getting home and to bed until 2.20am Sunday morning and waking at 6.40am to pack the last of my things into my backpack. The reality of the kms I had signed up for hit me at about 9pm on Saturday so I rang Reidy and he very kindly agreed to give me a lift up into the hills on Sunday morning (Many, many, many thanks Reidy for helping me out with this lift in the beginning - I couldn't have made it if I'd started at 7am heading straight into the hills). I’d planned to have him drop me at the top of Anstey’s Hill, but when the morning dawned, I knew I needed more time to get ready and wake myself up after less than 4.5hrs sleep, so the Cudlee Creek Café became my start point. Little did I know that my first 6.4kms would be straight up Fox Creek Rd.
I did it though. Having made it to the top of Fox Creek without stopping, I knew I’d done the hardest climb for the day and I’d done it stone cold, so whatever Michael had planned from there really couldn’t break me. I’ve not seen the country out that way before so it was a rather idyllic little ride through the hills. I discovered we grow apples in SA !
The Hahndorf stop seemed a bit early in the ride but I figured it wise (and considerate as Michael had done ~30kms more than me by then) and it was good to fill bidons (very handy water tap tucked away in the rose garden at the Info Centre), eat a little bit, empty bladders and check the maps to see which route we would take to the next town. In Meadows, we began to notice all the smoke from the Victorian bushfires which was so thick I was a spot nervous about it. We toyed with the idea of lunch in Meadows but decided to push on to Ashbourne as we weren’t hungry – this didn't work for us and we were reduced to eating fruit and muesli bars on the side of the road with proper food waiting until we got to Middleton (although this also afforded us the first and only photo opportunity of the trip south - we each photographed our bikes leaning against the "Goolwa 18, Victor 35" sign).
The stretch from Meadows to Ashbourne via Bull Creek was a dream (except for the bit where the road forks off and I went left while Michael went right…) but from Ashbourne, the rest of the ride was a battle of my mind over body as I was so very tired by that stage. Once through Currency Creek, riding around the airstrip was short but tough with a cross wind and that sense of being sooooo close to the end but still having to pedal hard to get there.
I was so glad to arrive at the Middleton Caravan Park. Late lunch at the bakery (where I took my second and last photo of the journey - I was completely mesmerised by a large display of teapots and teacups hung high on the wall so had to photograph it!)
The return leg started casually on Monday morning with us checking out of the Middleton Caravan Park at 9.30am and checking into hell by 9.40am. Flagstaff Hill Rd… OMG. Looking up, we could see it rising into the distance ahead of us and I figured that after Fox Creek the morning prior, this really couldn’t be so bad. I was wrong. I simply couldn’t get up another +12% hill on cold legs, despite having had 10hrs (of desperately needed) sleep. As my heart rate peaked out at 219bpm, I decided I needed to walk it. The top of that hill was only ~4kms from our start point and I’ll graciously let it slide that Michael stood there photographing my very first ever walk up a hill.
That said, at only 8kms from our start, as we approached the second hill with it’s charming little 15% roadside sign, I felt much better and figured I could make it. After 2.6 of the slowest kms ever, we had a sweet downhill burst follwed by another hateful climb of 1.6kms. Now, I will point out that, even with my walking the first hill and then painfully slow climbs, I still took out the Strava QOMs for all of these first few climbs!
Coming through Mt Compass on the Victor Harbour Rd was a bit less than fun but, all in all, I found the drivers who passed us (there were LOTS of them) were all pretty good. As this stretch is mostly 2 lanes, we were generally given enough space and I didn’t notice any abuse of any kind. Even during the slooooow climbing up Mt Compass we were met with patient drivers who waited until it was safe to pass. Perhaps the sheer number of drivers (there would always be witnesses) played a part in the good behaviour? There was also a big triathlon meet in Goolwa on Sunday and lots of holiday makers with kids so plenty of the cars passing us had bikes strapped on and they all seemed very considerate.
Back to the journey… In Willunga we stopped for lunch at the bakery (highly recommend their Cornish pasties and the Barossa slice) then we hopped onto the beautiful Coast to Vines trail, paused briefly in McLaren Vale (where the fellow in the Info Centre hadn’t the faintest idea about the bike paths or any of the interruptions further north due to the road works) and followed this through to the Veloway and then the Veloway up to Marion Rd. As Michael said, the Veloway was very hot by the time we were there and I was so tired that every climb, no matter how short or slight, hurt more than the last.
I was pleasantly surprised by the ride up Marion Rd and Anzac Hwy. I’d never ridden Marion Rd before and it was a lovely surface after all the country roads we’d been on and the nice wide road felt quite safe to ride up. This also allowed us to pick up the pace considerably. We arrived in the city, incident-free and said our first farewells, then I realised I needed only 13kms more to crack 100kms for the day so I rode further with Michael, parted ways at the Hackney Bridge and then I looped through the suburbs a bit to clock up 100kms.
My stats were as follows:
The trip to Middleton was 91.1kms with an average speed of 24.7kph.
The return leg was 100kms with an average speed of 22kph.
Total distance for the weekend, including GW was 304kms.
... And if the ride wasn't epic enough, I've written an epic report... well done for making it through! :-)
Juz and Michael, that was an epic way to spend a long weekend! And maybe a great try-out for the future GW Gawler-to-Goolwa expedition.
Michael, no wonder your legs were sore on the SOBR ride, yesterday!
Yes when you left the Southern end and pulled away that was me done.
P.S. can I now add the 60km to my grand total and make it 368km over 4 days( may as well add the commute and make it 378 damn not 400 lol)
Fantastic work Juz, both on the road and in the report. From the time I talked to you on Saturday your intention were a regular topic of conversation for me. Your efforts are truly insperational. Keep up the good work and I look forward to your next adventure ;-) Keep on Keeping on!
Well done Juz and Michael, congrats on a massive weekend.
congrats to both, great riding - wish I could have been there.
i'm considering a similar 'Gawler to Port Elliot' ride for either April 28-29 or May 5-6, with an overnight stop at my dad's holiday rental, which is a 2-minute walk to beautiful Horseshoe Bay - there should be room for 5-8-ish riders to sleep overnight, gratis.
Look forward to that one, Andrew.
Just found 5 minutes to sit down and read your reports:
If I were a school teacher, I would give you an A+ !!!
I must say that I'm just a little bit jelious of your weekend. It sounds fantastic !
@ Andrew, I will work on the Misses, and see if I can get a 2 day leave pass. I reckon this is one not to be missed. Are you considering a loop, rather than to retrace the out ward bound route? I reckon we could be insane and include some "stupid hell hills" just to make it more painful ! I'm sure we could include Checker for one... ( maybe Mount Lofty Summit too :) ...