Yup, I finally got a chance to ride Stuey's bit of black bitumen - I had to take my daughter to Salisbury Nth for a sleepover so I thought that while I was the other side of the black stump, I'd take the opportunity to ride the path (I've been wanting to since they opened it).
So I parked at the Pt Wakefield Rd end - there's a nice cul de sac there with access to the bikeway - and set off.
Head wind, all the way :(
Okay, so it wasn't a strong head wind, but enough to keep you working and seeing I was on the Hillbrick, I couldn't drop down a gear and spin. Needless to say, I got to the gliding club feeling relieved and a bit knocked around - my inner thigh muscles were rather sore at that point, which is one of the things that happens to you when you take a month off cycling because it's too cold and wet.
The return trip should have been easier, seeing the wind was behind me, and so it was ... and boy was I glad because I felt stiff and sore by then. Still, I hit some nice speeds, loped along at moderate speeds, crawled at granny pace (a very, sick, sore granny) and sat along at a fast cruise (low 30's which, with my gearing, is a cadence of 100-110), so you could say I got the full work out. Even held 42km/hr at one point which is a cadence of the spinny side of 130 - reasonable on the flat, I usually need a downhill to do better.
But yeah, I really felt the effects of taking a month off cycling.
The Stuart O'Grady Bikeway itself?
Apart from its location which guarantees you're going to get a head wind going in at least on direction, it's not a bad ride. Sort of flat - there are ups and downs to get you over roads, around intersections and to bypass old bomb dumps. It's probably not the most interesting ride as far as scenery goes but as you get closer to Gawler, there are the old bomb dumps and other ex-military buildings. I'll be doing it again ... one day (hell of a long trip from Happy Valley though).
Oh, and some local reprobates have been bunging stickers along it, the Gawler Steelers or something similar, must be a grid-iron club, couldn't be a respectable cycling club ...
(bung some contact details on the stickers, such as a reference to here, so people can track you down).
The Hillbrick has wormed itself a further 45 kms into my heart.
All I need now is for Cadell to win the time trial tonight :)
If they put their contact details on the the council may sent then a letter asking them to remove them :-)
I found it a pleasant but exposed track there is little shade or shelter from the wind.
Driving past on Sunday ir seems there have been a few shelters added since I rode the track.
I rode the SOG cycleway one - I have vowed never again.
Apart from dicing with death riding down Pt Wakefield Road to get there, the headwind all the way was terrible, and the scenery was BLUGH.
That said though, bravo to the government for including cycle infrastructure on a big project.
I haven't tried it coming back from Gawler, so maybe if I caught a tailwind I wouldn't have hated it so much.
I think definitely need to create some sort of cycle friendly way to get from the CBD to the SOG path, otherwise I just see the cul-de-sac as a convenient spot for car theives to hang out :)
Richard, I often (not always) remove illegal posters. Some I report to the local council.
Transport, DPTI, are responsible for the the SOB. You could email DPTI.EnquiriesAdministrator@sa.gov.au
LOL! I've got a few photos of the main offender there, heather!
LOL? Then guess it is Gawler Wheelers rather than Gawler Steelers.
Yep. i think that's what Richard's hinting at :))
Why do you do that Heather ? What is an illegal poster ?
I don't mind the SOG path, it's a good workout without you having to navigate for a while. It makes a good loop with the train, Gawler (not Gawler Central) station is close to the top end, from Salisbury station there's a more-or less straight road to the start of the bikeway (Diment Rd and other names) and bikes travel free between 9 and 3 weekdays.
Plus you don't have to pay on weekends or after 6pm.
Done it many times and again tomorrow!
Richard the Gawler Wheelers are a group on this site, they ride every Saturday morning.
Mark, any AC member who logs on regularly would know of GW from their interesting reports. Richard writing with tongue-in-cheek.