Two hardy souls namely Michelle Crick and myself met at Becks Bakehouse 7.30 am looking forward to having our first 100km plus ride. We are keen to do the Grandslam double loop which is 150km and felt some training was required to ensure we were capable of the challange ahead.
We had a few tentative people express interest but no others showed in time for departure. It was a cloudy overcast start which was a relief from potential showers forecast. The name of the game was to conserve energy and not chase Strava glory and ensure we were capable to complete the ride.
We trundled along the L ride route 1 down the Esplanade heading south onto the bike track to McLaren Vale before doing the legendary California Road. The roads and tracks were quiet with few others out and about. We arrived at Willunga to refocus and drop our heart rates and commence the Old Willunga Hill climb, which was my second time at it and I think Michelle's third so we were novices at it. I chose to spin my way up but Michelle couldnt help but try and make a PR attempt.
We arrived at the top and my legs were feeling average considering I had only done 26km to date it wasnt a good sign, something to do with 700 metres of climbing on Wednesday night might be something to do with that I think. The sun was out and it was looking okay. We departed Willunga Hill riding down Brookman Road towards Meadows, then the forecast fog appeared and got thicker and damper.
Michelle at the top of Willunga Hill ready for the next stage
The fog at Kuipto
We rode through the fog all the way to Meadows for our first Bakery stop and refuel. It was Foggy all the way into Meadows but on exiting the Bakery the fog had gone and the sun was out?
We pushed on towards Paris Creek with a few more climbs ahead that neither of us had riden, our legs felt like lead after the cafe stop but soon warmed up with the climb. The loop from Meadows to Strathalbyn via Paris Creek is now my favourite ride, some of car drivers left a lot to be desired, they need to learn to share the road.
Fantastic quick descent into Strath picture above, the sun was out and clouds light.
We chose to push onto Macclesfield for lunch as it was 11.10 and a little early. The ascent from Strath to Macclesfield is gradual but just keeps going, the 11km to Maccey took forever.
Picture of the scenery on the road to Macclesfield.
After out puncture fest and drowning the week before on the Muddies ride to Lofty we were both a little apprehensive and over compensated with layers of clothing, we lightened our kit and pushed onto to lunch.
After Macclesfield we rode on towards Meadows with our last big climb ahead, our pace had slowed but we ground our way up with some darker clouds rolling in and the western winds picking up. Road through Meadows, Kangarilla, Mclaren Flat and Vale enjoying the relatively flat riding with some good speeds averaged out of tired legs.
We pushed back home on the bike track to the Seaford Esplanade where the sun was out again and the winds had dropped a little, it was beautiful cruising the Esplanade making us feel we could push on and do another 20km to achieve the magic 150km, but we decided to call it a day on our arrival at Becks. Mission accomplished, zero P fairies, 2 cafes, fog, sun, wind, fantastic scenery, great company and another step up the ladder of achievement for us both.
Thanks to Michelle for fantastic company and conversation. 130.6km in 7 hours including stops and breaks.
Watch the Events page for some group rides from SSRC in this area over a shorter distance during Spring, not to be missed :-)
Well done guys. That's a big effort!
We will have to do that loop as a spring classic.
A big ride so well done, great story & photos
Thanks, it was just iphone photos, but it was magic out when the sun was out.
Well done Michelle and Paul. The GS will be easy now : )
I agree with MB, a definite Muddies/SSRC spring classic route.
Great ride guys, well done.
well done, you picked a sensational day to it - kudos
brilliant day, tomorrow should be good for your race, good luck, kick a....
you will do gs4 easy.i was still sleeping at that time went out a little later and did my training 120ks then a short social ride this arvo
Thanks Scott we missed you, hopefully next time you can make it. So will we see you at GS4?
yeah i will be there