McLaren Vale, just before we set off
Today we were testing a new L Ride route, for a while now we've only had one and it's high time we had another one to chose from. The ingredients of an L Ride should include:
With that in mind, Michelle and I had designed a route that went from McLaren Vale over to Aldinga, along the Esplanade, across to Willunga and back to McLaren Vale. Let's not beat about the bush here, this morning was pretty cold and although we'd had a load of people say they were going to come, I hadn't anticipated that they would all actually turn up, plus one or two more - maybe having new routes every now and then is just the incentive people need to get out on those mornings when the urge to stay in bed is almost over-whelming.
The route leaves McLaren Vale and heads south via the bike track, we continued along here on familiar territory until we hit Binney Road, then it's a right turn towards the sea and across the main McLaren Vale/Willunga Road and onto Malpas Road. We kept going up Malpas, past the infamous California Road, right up to Bayliss Road. This is a new area for most of us and it's a pleasant part of the area to cycle through, with vineyards and quiet roads all around. Once at Bayliss Road, we stopped for a quick regroup and picked up a couple of stragglers in the form of Tony and his son Daniel - apparently, they'd been a few minutes late and had been trying to catch us since we left.
Steve has a tree growing out of his helmet (Bayliss Rd)
Bayliss Road, part of the new route, it's asking to be a Strava segment
When you turn up late, we make you ride in shorts when it's 5 degrees
The next stage of the route takes you through the vineyards and across to Aldinga, there's a little cut through at the end of Aldinga Road that allows you to get a bike through and to cross straight over Main South Road and onto Port Road. Whilst this was quiet when we went towards Aldinga, it was a fair bit busier when coming back - we'll need to be aware of safety on future rides on this route, but all went well today.
Once onto the Esplanade, we follow part of the TDU course in reverse, a pleasant route with the sea and beach on one side - this will be particularly nice when spring time comes round which I'm looking forward to. The route stops once we reach Norman Road and there's an opportunity to make a quick pit-stop, grab some water and play in the park and soak up the beach atmosphere, on hot days I can see us heading towards the sea to cool down.
After a few photo-shots, we turned around and headed back the way we came along the Esplanade and up towards Port Willunga, passing through the mid-stage sprint which is part of the TDU in January.
Just before everyone went for a swim (mandatory part of the L Ride, don't forget your bathers)
Silver Sands and some cyclists
Once back across South Road, we headed back towards Willunga via Aldinga Road. This is part of the route we're going to change, it's a bit of a drag and it's slightly uphill for about 3km, plus the road was getting quite busy with traffic heading towards Willunga for the farmers market. For future rides, we'll effectively go back the way we came, heading north back up Bayliss, then east onto Malpas and back to McLaren Vale via the bike track. This will introduce a couple of steep ramps, but they're pretty short and will hopefully be the right level of challenge for new riders.
Two bearded fellas
Once back in McLaren Vale, we headed for Koffee and Snax for the mandatory refuel that is part of the SSRC training regime which all riders must adhere to. We did a bit of asking around, particularly the new riders, to find out what people thought of the new route. Aside from the section of road up to Willunga, the route got a big thumbs up and it's definitely one we'll be keeping and doing again.
On this ride we had Andrew Queisser from Onkaparinga Council, he's an Asset Planner and responsible for the all the shared paths in the Onkaparinga area - he's also a keen cyclist. He enjoyed himself so much, he's committed to coming along to an L or P ride once a month from now on (no pressure Andrew!). He's also interested in getting views from the www.adelaidecyclists.com website for future plans in the area - be nice to him, he's a good ally to have!
Total distance: 46.3km
Metres climbed: 235m
Average speed: 22.2
Pun***re Fairy visits: 0 (A.V.O. cast a spell last week that has effectively banished the puncture fairy for the foreseeable future)
Grin factor: 8/10
SSRC rides run every week, alternating L and P ride routes. Next weeks ride will be a P ride on Sunday. Event details here.
Skippy wins this week's prize for getting in the most ride report photos
Martin on his 3rd bacon sandwich
Be nice to Andrew (left), he works for the council and is responsible for all the shared paths in the Onkaparinga area.
Renata, Ellison Junior, Ellison Senior
Great turn out on such a cold morning!! Well done guys n girls.
Zippy with a Crick in his neck maybe? Good report Phil and a good ride, well done for this alternate L ride route!
it was a good turnout and right in my backyard, enjoyed it
Great ride today, bit chilly, but still really nice down by the beach.
Can't wait to do the full route myself and yes summer will be awesome down the beach :-)
Great report Phil. looks like route 2 is a winner and I am looking forward to riding this when the opportunity arises. Well done to all for getting out on the bike today.
Good report again Phil, a great turn out and ride. Good to have a different route.
I can now feel my toes.
Thanks to Ellison Snr. for being my pilot down to Mclaren Vale on his new high speed route.
We wont mention the incident with the red traffic lights...or the lack of helmet.
Great to see such a big group out. With the change this route will be a winner. Nice and flat, even more stunning scenery.
Was quite impressed as Ive never been to silver sands.
Even Willunga Hill can be thrown into the mix for the 'L ride A team' if desired!!