In near perfect Autumn conditions, close to 30 riders turned out for a ride in the hills.
The route chosen for the day allowed for turnaround points along the way, depending on the challenge you were after. The furthest point was Gumeracha at 97 kms and 1,058 m of climbing, with turnaround points at the Warren Dam, 45kms and 450m of climbing, and Birdwood, 80kms and 550m of climbing. So everyone had a chance to ride as a big group initially, then peel off when they were happy to.
At the safety briefing everyone was again reminded about the sun, as we were travelling east. With daylight saving well and truly over, heading off at around this time, with the sun low in the sky, it requires you to be very cautious and take that into consideration when planning your ride.
The first section saw the group climb out of Gawler and make their way onto Balmoral Road, passing through rolling farmland. It provides a chance to get the legs warmed up and ready for the more serious climbing later on.
Rob and Kevin.
Williamstown was the first regroup, with everyone given a chance to rehydrate and take on any food ect.
Here is Colin and Chris. It was great to see Colin out again, riding strongly, after some time off the bike.
All the ladies. Andrea, Tash, Paula, Linda, Karen, Kate and Sue.
Haydn, who always rides strongly and did a lot of back up support across the day.
Brad, David and Ian. Thanks to Brad and Ian who are taking on the role of TEC roster organisers while Kate is on holidays.
The next section was up to the Warren Dam and the major climb for the day. Everyone set a pace they were comfortable with and were able to take it all in their stride.
Brendon topping out.
Colin, doing it easy.
Once over the top it was a quick run down to the Warren Dam with a number of riders opting to turn around here.
For the rest of the group it was off to Birdwood. The next section of the road undulates with some small climbs, but nothing too severe. The road passes though some beautiful scenery and given the great weather and no wind to speak of, very pleasant.
Here is all the group at Birdwood, getting ready to head off again.
The return trip for the group was fine, especially given there was more down than up.
Two riders, Kevin and Rob took on the extra leg of the ride retuning through Gumeracha. They also had a good time of it.
Here they are enjoying some refreshments after the ride.
Back at the Exchange Hotel we had our usual encouragement awards provided by the Hotel.
Firstly to Ian, who does a great job as TEC. He supported everyone to ensure a safe and enjoyable time by all.
It was great to see Tash out again. She has been off the bike for a while and working back into it, although it looked like she had not lost much of her normal dash.
So another great day out with the Wheelers, with everyone enjoying the ride they had chosen.
Until next week
Gawler Wheelers: Winners of the Gawler Australia Day Community Group of the Year Award 2013