It was Easter weekend and traditionally a time for renewal. In the Northern hemisphere it is moving in to Spring, and for us we are moving in to Autumn, so a difference in context.
It is also time that we traditionally spend with family and friends. So given that many people take this time to take a break away , it was surprising to see over 30 people out for our rides, which again is a great to see.
We had two rides on, both planned to be relatively cruisy, plus also a chance to lay down some markers for the obvious kilojoules we would be enjoying the next day, chocolate eggs etc .
The two rides were a trip down the SOB, and taking in Edinburgh for a 61km ride and 178 metres of climbing. The other was a loop around and Tanunda and Bethany for a 63 km loop, but 700 metres of climbing. So similar distance, and two different challenges.
The SOB ride had 11 riders, so it was a fairly compact group all the way around with everyone enjoying the pace and company. The only real concern was the number of flats we had, in total 3.
Bec got one just before we left, so luckily it could be fixed before we headed off.
Wendy got one half way round, luckily we were able to fix it at a regroup.
Finally Paula got one right at the end of the SOB. She realised she had a caltrop thorn in her tyre and was hopeful of just nursing it home. Unfortunately it went down all of a sudden so it needed to be fixed
Thanks to Dave who quickly volunteered to assist with the two repairs on the ride. He has been riding for many years and is a bit of a maestro when it comes to puncture repairs. Within a flash the tyre bead is back over the rim without any fuss , and you are ready to go again. Great stuff.
For the ride its self, we all kept a steady pace. Kate was strong all the way round and spent a lot of time leading out the group. Also Keith did a great job, in particular leading a group at a fair old clip for a good stretch. This is great to see Keith building back up again from his recent health issue.
Here is the group at the end of the SOB, just after we had finished checking our tyres for thorns.
The final section was the most challenging with the wind coming in to play. Again everyone formed in to groups and shared the effort, so all good in the end.
Thanks to Brad and Andrea who took on the role as TECs. They did a great job and ensured everyone was given support . In particular when Wendy’s flat was being fixed Brad whipped out a pair of tweezers to pull out any recalcitrant object. Sometimes you may get small pieces of wire stuck in your tyre, so tweezers are about the only thing that will get you back on the road again.
The other ride also had a good time, and was led by Craig B.
Here they are going through the ride brief amongst the Autumn colour.
They had a steady ride through to Lyndoch and then on to Tanunda for a good break
The wind was a factor in this ride as it tended to change directions throughout the morning, with head and side winds to cope with. There were only a few times it actually provided some assistance.
Here are a few just rolling into Lyndoch after the majority of the hard work done.
Although it is wonderful riding through the Barossa, we have to always be mindful that the area is a primary production area, so we always need to the conscious of trucks and machinery on the roads. At this time, Vintage, there is also the possibility of grape juice spills, that can make it sticky and create another hazard, which the group had to negotiate through today.
Being the Vintage Festival, there are a lot of festivities and colour on show
Allied to this time, the tourist numbers go up. In particular they want to take in the colours and atmosphere. Unfortunately this throws up another concern for cyclists, as drivers can be a little bit unpredictable. Across the ride there were a number of times tourists stopped unexpectedly as they sought to take in the view or capture a photo. To everyone’s credit, everyone was able to keep out of harms way, so no incidents.
Thanks to Craig for leading the ride.
Job well done as per usual.
About two months ago I spoke about an upcoming women’s cycling program. The broad aim of the funding was to encourage women to get back on to their bikes and substitute a trip that would normally be in a car with a bike trip.
Last Thursday saw the first group complete the program with some great results. Here is a number of the group on their bikes, refining their skills.
And the response to the program has been very positive with some of the following comments
Helen P – “I feel more confident riding now, plus it’s a whole lot of fun”
Emily G – ‘I feel more confident about riding now after doing the course” “It’s quicker and more convenient to ride then drive and park”. “ It was great linking up with others who want to ride their bikes”
Donna H – “ There is more to riding than meets the eye”. “I drop my son off at school on the bikes now, instead of driving the car”.
So it looks like those that did the program will be keen to ride a whole lot more.
This group’s sessions had been held on a Thursday morning. The next group has been planned to be held on a Saturday morning starting in late May ( dates to be confirmed) . So if you know any ladies, who would like to get back on their bikes, have a chat to me. Also, you can register for the next group at: www.RideaBikeRight.com.au and follow the links to available courses.
It is hoped that people doing this program will build up their cycling skills and confidence to come out with the Wheelers. So all good for encouraging women in particular to take up cycling.
So another great day out with the Wheelers, and I hope the Easter Bilby was able to bring some Easter fun on Sunday.
Until next week
Gawler Wheelers: Winners of the Gawler Australia Day Community Group of the Year Award 2013