There were a few concerns about the weather, which may have put a few people off. A check of the radar showed some cloud away to the south, so all in all the risk of rain was really low, which turned out to be the case.
There were three rides on again. The short ride was out on the SOB before heading across to Virginia via Angle Vale. From there back to the SOB and home 51k and 157 m of climbing.
The medium ride also took in the SOB, before going through Craigmore and climbing up to One Tree Hill. From there up and around Para Wirra CP, before heading back to Gawler via Sandy Creek, 62 kms and 696 m of climbing.
The long ride was again the real challenge for the day. It included climbing up Kentish Road, across to Humbug Scrub Road and up to Para Wirra. Then across to Williamstown and a climb to the Warren Dam. To get back to Gawler a run across to Lyndoch and home. 71 kms and 1,004 m of climbing.
For the long ride there were only initially two takers, but then the numbers swelled to four with a late arrival and a change of mind. They headed off first, navigating through the side streets of Gawler, with the first serious climb at Kentish Road. From there they made their way to the big roundabout, where they met up with Kevin, and the climb up to Para Wirra. At this time of the year this section of road becomes very slippery with a carpet of moss spreading across it in places. It’s ok riding up to Para Wirra, but not a good idea in the opposite direction as you can pick up a fair bit of speed and it can be easy to lose your front wheel.
Once up at Para Wirra they took a road through the park and through some very beautiful areas.
Once back on the main road it was a dip though the South Para River and all the way to Yettie Road. From there to Williamstown before climbing up to the Warren Dam and a turn around.
From there it was a quick run back down to Williamston and across to Lyndoch and all the way home via the Barossa Valley Way.
They had a great ride, although there were some issues with some drivers getting a bit ordinary. Thanks to Rob for taking on the role as ride captain and Simon essentially taking on the role as TEC.
The middle ride, with 13 on it, started with a run down the SOB, then through Craigmore, with everyone keeping together. Once they starting climbing up Yorktown Road the group spread out a bit before a regroup at One Tree Hill.
Here are the majority of the riders.
From there it was down to the roundabout and climbing up to the gates of Para Wirra. They had a regroup with Dave, ride captain, who reinforced the need to be very cautious with the crossing of the South Para, with its very steep descent and then climb back out. Everyone tackled this technically difficult section with aplomb, and they were all quickly over to Yettie Road and the section back to Gawler. The last section was a bit of a hoot, especially for Adrian and Kate who really gobbled up the Ks.
Thanks to Dave for his role as ride captain and Brad for being TEC, and the very generous bag of jelly snakes.
The shorter ride started with six riders, with one deciding to do a run down and back on the SOB in lieu of the run out to Virginia.
The others then made their way across to Virginia, and set up a train with fairly quick rotations. Again there were some concerns about dogs coming out of yards to harass riders, but in this case they didn’t get too close.
At Virginia, as the group was making very good time they put the ‘S’ firmly back in the Social Ride group that the Wheelers are; there was a stop at the local tavern for a coffee and chat. Very enjoyable.
Here is the group in front of the tavern.
After the break, the group made their way across to the SOB again via Penfield Road, which unfortunately is in pretty poor repair, so there was a lot of “pot hole” call backs.
Once back on to the SOB, the group was riding essentially into a head wind. Again they set up a train and had quick rotations off the front, which ensured the worst of the effects of the wind were negated.
The only real issue on the ride was crossing over the bridge at the Gawler River. It is a bit of a blind spot and as the group came over the bridge they were surprised by two riders travelling in the opposite direction who were a bit close to the centre line at the corner. Remember, always single file over this bridge.
The last section was all fine and it was good to see Peter out on his unicycle having fun.
All in all a great morning out across the three rides.
Back at the Exchange, it was the usual loud chatter and refreshments.
We also had our recognition awards.
This week to Dave and Adrian. Both are great supporters of the Wheelers and are out as much as possible. They are strong riders and support those around them and are always fun to ride with.
So another great day out with the Wheelers, it threatened to rain, but was all clear sailing.
Until next week
Gawler Wheelers: Winners of the Gawler Australia Day Community Group of the Year Award 2013
Was a great morning for riding. A bit cool to start but no rain and only a bit of wind on the SOB (nothing unusual) The short ride would have made it back to HQ quite early so the coffee stop saw us arrive back at the same time as the other 2 rides.
Very enjoyable ride.