To finish the year the group held another unofficial ride.
The route was to ride Gomersal Road in reverse, to see if it still threw up its challenges.
Gomersal Road can take your breath away as well as your legs. Its long inclines draws your view up and your effort out. You must be ready with your climbing boots on and be willing to grind it out.
Added to the ride was the temperature, forecasted to be a scorcher. So on a hot day, a real challenge, whichever way you looked at it.
Leaving Gawler it was good to get back on the bike, after all the Christmas fare, and be part of a tight bunch as we snaked our way towards Tanunda.
With the temperature rising, the morning air still held a hint of moisture that helped in the open exposed sections and we searched for relief from clumps of shading trees. The run from Sandy Creek to Lyndoch was a treat as the road is lined by large trees with cool shade.
Past Lyndoch the work become harder. There was less talk as everyone was preserving their energy and their legs. A north wind sprang up just near Tanunda, and although eating into our reserves, it did promise a tail wind.
After re-grouping at Tanunda we only had Gomersal in front of us.
What we found was a kinder ride. With the hills, there was plenty of time to build up momentum to swoop up the side and then attack the final crest.
There was time to enjoy the rolling countryside as we wheeled along, at times nudging 40 kms.
At the bottom of Gomersal we took another head count before the final run into Gawler, just as the temperature was starting to bite. It was only this last section that you could feel the heat off the road rising and the window for comfortable riding closing.
So Dave, thanks for organising the ride. There were plenty of stops, to re-dehydrate and allow everyone to stay as a group and an opportunity to chat away from the effort. Also, again it was great to see the fantastic sprit on show, during the ride and at the end over a cool drink.
Cheers everyone and a safe and happy new year and looking forward to next weeks ride.
I was surprised to see we got 22 riders this morning, especially after starting off with 20. One of the late arrivals was Craig and his new Merida - a few last minute adjustments that meant he left ten minutes late, but still managed to catch us at the Sandy Creek pub.
Balmoral was indeed a blast coming back from the Barossa.
I was also surprised to see Gavin from Avanti+. According to JB, he did try a few devious race-day tactics on the way to Lyndoch. And we also had a guy new to group rides - Kurt from Tanunda.
All in all, a nice morning out. Looking forward to next week's frontal attack on Gormesal (not!).
All the best for the New Year everyone.
Good to hear guys. Hope you all stay "hydrated" tonight and I myself had a great day riding with the group i should be riding with in march to mt gambier and return. Was a fun day out, along the coast with a nice breeze to cap it all off. Hope to see you all tuesday for a kick off to 2012 in full spin! Drink up boys...you earnt it. (see how hard i tried to spell correctly...had a few already..shhhh)
Here are the pictures:
Theme seems to be water and shade!!
Great ride thanks to all.
First stop Sandy Creek Hotel. Lyndoch for shade and a refill..Tanunda, the top or is it the bottom of Gormersal road? Great run into Gawler from here, the sun was hot on the back though.Dave our ride leader negotiating the loose gravel into the Tanunda stop, great bike skills Dave!
it was a great ride, despite the heat. thanks guys for waiting for me at all the stops so i could catch my breath.
see you all in 2012 for more 'fun'.