There are some days that throw up a bit of an extra challenge, which you decide to take on, like today with forecasts of strong winds.
Everyone checked the different weather pages on the net and the consensus was the really strong winds would kick in around 10.30 so there was a bit of a window for a ride before it become really too much.
So at roll out time there were 13 who had decided to have a ride.
We originally had three rides on offer, but given the predicted wind we decided we would do the two loops of Williamstown for a 60km ride and 611m of climbing.
The other possible ride was a run out to Mount Pleasant , 90kms and just over 1000m of climbing. Given the predicted conditions, it was decided not to attempt it as there were some long open sections where you could be hit by the wind and you would defiantly be confronting strong winds at the end of the ride.
Also, we decided to make a decision about doing the second loop when we got to Williamstown. We felt by then we would have a better picture about the conditions.
So we headed off, and although there was some side winds on Balmoral Road, it did hint at a tail wind up Yettie Road. And that is exactly what we got, although we didn’t quite get blown up Yettie, the wind wasn't a hindrance.
Once we topped out Yettie, we knew the serious climbing was now behind us, and it was a pretty pleasant run in to Williamstown. Unfortunately, Richie got flat a few Kms out, and thanks to Dave for staying back to help with the repairs.
By the time we got to Williamstown, it really didn’t seem the wind was too bad, so we agreed to do the two loops. Also a group of three, Rob K, Nick and Vin, decided, that they would loop back to Gawler via Para Wirra, as they really wanted to get some hills in.
The main group then headed back towards Lyndoch, the first section was fine, until we got in to the more open area, and the strong head wind came in to play. We formed up in to small groups and set up a pace-line. This worked a treat, we agreed on the speed, and all took turns out front. There were quick rotations, and although it was probably the slowest I have ever ridden between the two towns, it really wasn’t too bad. Just a matter of getting low down on the bike and working through it. In fact it was a bit of fun putting in a solid effort.
At Lyndoch our group caught up with Dave who had got himself isolated and really had to battle it out. He was more than happy to join our group.
The run down Pimpala Road is always fun. There is a steady rise all the way up to a high point. From there, it’s like a roller coaster as you can build up enough momentum to get up the next rise.
When we turned on to Williamstown Road the wind was absolutely benign, as we just coasted along. We set up another pace line and were quickly at the CFS shed to start the section back to Lyndoch. Again we set up a pace-line, plus it felt like the wind had dropped a bit, so a pretty good run back really.
After a stop at Lyndoch, the final leg home. Just as we got going, and setting a good pace, Glen got a flat. He decided to opt for the recovery vehicle, so a quick call to his wife, and a pick up.
Here is Richie, going back to check on Glen.
We then set up another well organised pace-line and were doing just fine. And almost on cue, a few Ks out of Gawler, at around 10.30 the wind really did pick up. It was gusting from the side, so we abandoned the pace-line and rode to the conditions, which was all fine back to Gawler.
The other group decided to take in a bit of extra climbing, by including a run up to the Warren Dam as starters. Then back down to Williamstown, Yettie Road and turning left towards Para Wirra. This a good section of road, but does include crossing the South Para River, with a pretty steep descent and an equally difficult climb back out. But all good
From Para Wirra it’s a pretty quick run down to the Humbug Scrub roundabout. Being a fairly well vegetated area, they were protected from the wind, and given many of the plants are starting to flower, all in all pretty pleasant. After the roundabout the wind did start to take its effect, and once they passed Alexander Avenue, there was some side wind that raised the required skill level a bit.
All in all the group enjoyed the extra climbing and were pretty happy with the morning.
Here they are enjoying well earnt refreshments.
So although the conditions looked pretty menacing, it was surprisingly fairly warm, the wind was a bit of a challenge, but nothing too difficult and it didn’t rain. So on balance, a pretty good mornings ride.
Until next week
Gawler Wheelers: Winners of the Gawler Australia Day Community Group of the Year Award 2013
Next week! Can't wait....
Time: August 5, 2017 from 7:15am to 11:30am
Location: 41 High Street Gawler East
ROUTE 3 SOB, TWO WELLS RD,ANGLE VALE RD, SOB https://www.strava.com/routes/9231778
Route 64 SHORT - Black Top Rd, Target Hill, Cobbler Creek, NE Rd, Range Rd N, Snake Gully https://www.strava.com/routes/9093140
ROUTE 64 MEDIUM-Target Hill, Anstey Hill & Chain of Ponds return https://www.strava.com/routes/9091246
Great report Paul,
It certainly was a morning of unusual conditions felt like rain at one stage, sky was clear, wind was very strong and we all thought it was going to be extremely tough, however it ended up being of mixed fortunes. Most of the wind was coming from east to west. For those that had deep rims it felt like we were on a sail boat, tacking into the wind. With us getting into groups and working as a team it made life a lot easier. All finished in good time and and certainly looked forward to the glass of Stout!!! and the cup of gold liquid coffee at the exchange.
Thanks to Simon for pushing me through the first loop, just shows what the mind can do. Also to Masa for keeping great tempo up the hills, managed to keep both of us on your wheel,. well done.
Another enjoyable ride can't wait for my next Saturday off.