The forecast for the day was cool temperatures and increasing winds later. It was a slow start with the numbers to begin with,
then all of a sudden everyone turned up. In the end we had 29 riders out.
Initially there were three rides on offer, but with not many opting for the short ride, everyone joined the two other rides.
The long ride was a loop out to and round Eden Valley taking in Williamstown, Mount Pleasant, Springton, then back to Williamstown and Lyndoch before the run back to Gawler. 90 kms and 1008 m of climbing.
The other ride also took in Williamstown, before heading down to Kersbrook and back, off to Lyndoch then Cockatoo Valley and the Gawler. 71kms and 842 m of climbing.
The longer ride, with six, headed off first taking in Balmoral Road before the first serious climb up Yetti Road. From there it was a quick run down to Williamstown for their first regroup.
From there they rode up past the Warren dam before turning east for the run out to Mt Pleasant. This is a very scenic section to ride through with lots of native vegetation, plus the road undulates, so you can really coast along.
Next stop was Mt Pleasant and a chance to catch their breath. The section though to Springton along the Eden Valley Highway is also very pleasant, with the scenery opening up a bit and nice long stretches to wind out the legs.
Before turning back to Williamstown at Springton, they paused to remember and reflect on the sad loss we all feel at the Wheelers at this point.
The next section starts with a steady climb and then a bit of a plateau before running down in to Williamstown. A quick regroup before heading across to Lyndoch and back to Gawler.
It was a great run with no mechanicals. A big thanks to Simon for taking on the role of road captain and keeping the ride rolling along.
The other ride headed straight out to Sandy Creek climbing steadily most of the way.
Here is Caren reaching the top of the main climb to Williamstown.
And Mike and Ian also getting to the high point
The first stop was at Williamstown and a chance to take on board some food and drinks
Here is Karen, who is in training for a big charity ride later this year.
The next section was down to Kersbrook. This is a great section to ride as there are no big climbs, just some nice rises to get up and over.
Along the way the group was led out by a moderately big kangaroo bounding out in front and taking up most of the road. To everyone’s credit, including the motorists, the roo was given ample space to eventually move off the road and into the surrounding paddocks.
On the way to Kersbrook, Sue has a major mechanical, leaving her in one gear, so it was a bit of an extra effort for her to get through.
At Kersbrook Haydn and Mike worked on the bike but a component had snapped, so it could not be repaired. This left Sue essentially still with a ‘fixie’ for the trip home
The return trip back to Williamstown was all fine although a bit of a head wind to contend with. There was also a quick regroup to make sure everyone was ok.
The next section back to Lyndoch is essentially a down hill run.
At Lyndoch there was the option to either head straight back to Gawler , which a few people choose, or take in Cockatoo Valley via Pimpala Road before the final section along Balmoral Road.
In the end everyone from both rides got back to Gawler at around the same time and well before the predicted strong winds.
A big thanks to Mike who was the TEC for the medium ride. He was well prepared carrying a big back pack with spare tubes, tyres ect, plus a great selection of tools.
Back at the Exchange Hotel, it was time to take in some refreshments and socialise, which after a ride, is a great time.
We were also able to catch up with Andrea and Paula. Andrea was mixing it up a bit starting with a Parkrun before meeting up with Paula on the SOB for a run into Gawler, a stop at the Exchange before heading back to their cars on the SOB. Good stuff.
Here they both are in very colourful pink riding kit.
We also had our regular weekly recognition awards.
The first goes to Sue as the hard luck award for the day. When the component on her gear lever broke she was in a high ring at the rear. This was fine when climbing but on the flat, a lot of spinning for not a lot or distance covered. So well done Sue for hanging in there.
The second awards went to Dale on the longer ride. Dale is a strong rider and lent a wheel to Simon to ensure the group stayed as one big bunch. Well done.
So another great day out with the Wheelers, it was a cold start and the predicted strong northerly winds didn’t blow up till well after the ride.
Gawler Wheelers: Winners of the Gawler Australia Day Community Group of the Year Award 2013
Nicely written Paul. When we arrived the car park was baron. One by one cars and bikes rolled in.
Top day for a ride with the wind holding off until after we returned. Really enjoyed it.