Wetter than we had thought.
What started out with a very low probability of rain and less than one mm if it did rain, turned out pretty much the opposite. It led to everyone riding to the conditions, and getting back safe and sound.
As usual, we had three rides on. The short ride took in Lyndoch, Williamstown, Warren Dam, and Yettie Road for 51 k ride and 641m of climbing. The middle ride took in Kersbrook, Williamstown then back to Gawler, 58kms and 819 m of climbing. The long ride also took in Kersbrook, then Cudlee Creek, Gumeracha before also going through Williamstown and back to Gawler, 83kms and 1,030 m of climbing.
In the end there were no takers for the long ride, so with 20 riders out, there was more or less an even split between the two other rides.
At the ride safety brief, it was highlighted that there would be debris on the road from the recent weather, and to be careful where the road narrows, especially on the Williamstown to Gawler Road.
The middle ride headed off first and started with the climb out of Gawler and as the elevation increased so did the fog, plus the roads got progressively wetter.
Here they are as they reached the top of Mt Gawler.
Ian and Glen.
Haydn with fogged up glasses
So the big challenge was the descent into Kersbrook. Everyone took it very cautiously as they wound their way down. This can be a very tricky descent as it’s very quick with some sweeping curves, so with a damp road, extra concentration and awareness was needed.
At Kersbrook the sun poked out a bit, so the group was able to have a short respite from the conditions.
Once you reach Kersbrook, you know it’s a more or less downward run to Gawler. The next section to Williamstown was a lot of fun although it was becoming wetter.
Here is the group at Williamstown, under cover and steeling themselves for the last section.
As they headed off, the rain got heavier, and with the road getting a narrower, there were some close passes with speeding trucks and cars.
Everyone was happy to get to Gawler and the Exchange Hotel, which had the heaters on, so the cold and wet conditions were quickly put to one side as the socialising started.
It was also great to see Tim on this ride as his bike fitness is returning after his accident.
Thanks to David for being the Road Captain.
In wet conditions like today, it’s important to ensure everyone is riding to the conditions, plus keeping things rolling along so people don’t get too cold before moving off again.
Special thanks to Glen for taking on the role as TEC at short notice. Peter B was to be the TEC, but a spoke broke before the ride so he had to pull out of the ride. Peter generously gave his bag of jelly snakes to go along with the role of TEC.
The other ride also had to deal with the weather. The first few kilometres were fine, but as the group started to , it started to drizzle. By the time they reached Cockatoo Valley the rain started to set in. Just out of Lyndoch is was quite heavy and making the ride look a bit unpleasant.
At Lyndoch, after a bit of umming and ahhing, it was decided to modify the ride and take out the climb to the Warren Dam, and the descent down Yettie Road. With cold and wet and some slippery roads, it was best to take a more cautious approach to the ride.
Here is the group at Lyndoch just before heading off again.
So the group rode out to Williamstown, turning at the CFS shed and heading back to Gawler. This proved to be a good decision as the rain got a heavy around Sandy Creek, so best to have safety first.
The last section back to Gawler was pretty good as the sky cleared up. It was a welcome relief to get to the Hotel out of the rain and next to the heaters.
With Mothers Day on the Sunday it was planned that today’s rides would have a focus on the mums; those who ride with the Wheelers, and also the partners and families of riders who provide the support. It was hoped that many of the ladies who ride with the Wheelers would be out, and after the ride, partners, who don’t ride, would join in the socialising at the Exchange. Unfortunately the weather was a bit of a deterrent, although a good number joined the group after the ride.
As part of the after ride ‘celebrations’ the Exchange Hotel put on a special deal of a bacon and egg roll with a drink ie coffee, wine or bubbles. It was very well received and a lot of fun.
We also had our usual weekly appreciation awards, which are supported by the Exchange Hotel.
The first to Roger. Roger was just back from an overseas trip and has been off the bike for a while. This was his first ride back and he was feeling it, but he put in the effort and rode very well.
Secondly we recognised Linda. She does a lot behind the scenes, plus always supports those around her on the road. In particular she organised today’s events and the special recognition of our mothers.
Although there were no incidents across the two rides, the hard luck award goes to Peter for getting a snapped spoke before the ride.
At the start of the day Alan H, who has moved into the country, dropped by to say hello. As he lives a way away he hasn’t been able to get out to GW rides for a while, so it was good to catch up with him.
So another successful ride with the Wheelers
Until next week,
Gawler Wheelers: Winners of the Gawler Australia Day Community Group of the Year Award 2013