Yet again my wife had abandoned us in favour of other things (that's the third time this week dear!), so it was left to me to lead the L ride around McLaren Vale, not that I mind, I like this ride and the group of people we ride with and the weather was fantastic today.
So 16 hardy souls braced themselves for the Baltic conditions of Port Noarlunga this morning, OK so 11 degrees isn't that cold, but it bloody felt it! We had more Matts than I care to mention, Graham, Wayne, Scott, Blake, two Davids, Colin, Ann, Michael, Geoff and yours truly - apologies if I have forgotten you, but I struggle to remember my children's names never mind complete strangers names!
We get up so early for L rides that Colin (background) is still asleep
Michael 'Carb Caffeine Loading' before the ride
Wayne tries to get Scotts stuck hand out of the bottle cage
Blue skies and sunshine beckoned and we toddled off down the Esplanade at a sedate 20kmh like a long line of ducklings.
The ride down to Moana and across the bike track was largely uneventful, no one was killed in action, no one was sent on covert surveillance operations and with the absence of RD6 (some poor excuse about a race), we had no canine related issues. Once across to the Victor Harbour Road, Colin and newly arrived fiance Ann parted company with the group and heading off into McLaren Vale to go shopping have a coffee and meet up with us on the return trip. The overpass across the Victor Harbour Road is taking shape, but it's pretty messy round there with mud, gravel and a fair few trucks in places - you have been warned!
Strava fun started up past Tatachilla School on California Road, good effort to Blake, this is the third time he's been out with us this week and that hill is already becoming easier - maybe shaving off the beard made all the difference?
More fun was had on the California Road Descent and Post California Road Descent segments, the first a quick sprint down one side of a small valley and the second the short climb up the other side, a hat full of strava PRs, trophies and crowns was won, which isn't bad considering most of us aren't what you'd call 'professional cyclists'.
After spending over an hour with the group, I noticed Matt J was sporting one of the new SSRC jerseys so I took a picture of it on the bike trail between Willunga and McLaren Vale.
New SSRC jersey as modeled by Matt J (front)
Back of SSRC jersey - pockets are stuffed full of money
The group meditate in preparation for their record breaking run back to Port Noarlunga
Wayne used to be a gymnast in his youth.
Once back on our bikes, the group put the hammer down and whizzed through McLaren Vale, Colin and Ann were still in the shops having coffee, so we didn't actually pick them up on the way through. Although Ellison junior (our TEC) did manage to find Simon loitering around suspiciously. Simon made the remainder of the ride and I think satisfied himself that he's not too slow and can keep up and we're very likely to see him on future rides. We also had a brief flying visit from Patrick and Baron up Pedler Road Rail Trail Rise as they sliced through the group on their Chasing Baron Ride.
The group we had today was of similar ability to each other and I think we probably broke the L ride record for getting back to Port Noarlunga before 10 am - I don't think I've ever been on one of these that has got back before 10:30. Then I realised why, not only did we have 15 riders queuing up for cake, 7 additional gate-crashers partners and children potential new recruits decided to join us at Becks for the obligatory cake and coffee. Cake can be a great motivator, just look at some of the strava times this lot did today!
7 more turn up for the post ride debrief and we find Simon (Blue jersey, white sleeves), loitering in McLaren Vale.
Blake (left) in disguise, Ellison junior right
Performance enhancing food
Looks good doesn't it? You too could have one (or two) of these if you join us on an L ride
Being a professional TEC I recon that arse helping Scott out is Wayne...not Matt K.
Although you probably had a 50% chance of getting the person calling them Matt.
A brisk start to the morning. Was feeling a bit lonly at the NTSSRC.....I have now learnt the NTSSRC constitution is a bit like the pirate code.....fall behind ...and your left behind :(
Turned into a magic day, sorry I only got to see the first 5 odd kms with the group.
Seaford Rd is closed by the way.
Well spotted (I've changed it to Wayne), I have no idea who half these people are - yet still they come and eat cake ride their bikes with me on a regular basis.
Don't know why you complain that you have to do the ride report you always do a great job :-)
Looked like fabulous weather today sorry I missed it but I went up to the Superdrome this afternoon for track training and it is great but I reckon I should be able to do both in the future :-)
Great work again Phil of the write up - you are getting good at these with all the practice you have to do them this week.
Really enjoyed today's ride, great weather and great people.
Was a good way to finish my L rides for a while with school footy starting next Saturday morning.
When do you think that you'll be getting your rides in Matt?
Great write up and a great ride today, thanks Phil.
great ride today as the weather warmed up or was that the coffee at coffee and snax ?
ahhh missed ya fellas, RD7 had his 1st soccer game this morning & I had that Alphutte RR today - feeling rather smashed
i had a great ride today. thanks to everyone. and apologies for not actually checking the start times and running late.
i rode along the esplanade hoping to catch up, but i couldnt see anyone. i turned off and took a side street to seaford rd. the road workers were kind and let me ride through their workzone.
whatever the hill is called heading out along victor harbor rd was a decent enough challenge for me. i was determined to get to mclaren vale and at least get to do some of the ride! i waited at the edge of the biketrack and eventually noticed the contact number on the ride page and Michelle said you'd all be where i was in a while. so i sat and enjoyed a museli bar, trod in some mud and clogged my cleats.
the ride back to pt noarlunga was great. a bit faster than i have ridden before, but i felt fairly comfortable doing it. heart rate was certainly higher than normal though.
i'll be on more of these l rides. i really enjoyed it, and meeting everyone.
@matt b We now know 7 am actually means 7.05 we will wait for 5 mins at NTSSRC meets. Scott was itiching to get a move on as he didn't want to be late. Good weather, good company. good speed on the way home
hahahahah - normally I would have sent a text....but I figured stopping to do that would have made me later!
We should set up a code. Perhaps a message in a bottle or tree carving, so anyone arriving knows there has been a departure.
A bit like Burke and Wills.