It was another great day out with the Wheelers, almost perfect weather and strong numbers. What a great way to start the weekend.
Again we had three options. The shorter ride, SOB return, the medium out to Wasleys and Freeling, 48 kms and 274 m of climbing or the longer ride, Williamstown, Birdwood return, 89 km and 921 m of climbing.
The longer ride took the opportunity to roll out half an hour earlier at 7pm so they could get back late morning. The safety brief was at 6.45, so they could cover any safety issues, and ensure everyone was clear about the route.
Here is the group before they headed off.
Given the distance they were traveling, the group made sure they kept to a schedule and in fact their timing was impeccable. By 8 they were at Williamstown. They then took in the section up to the Warren Dam at a very steady pace and then some great sections to be at Birdwood by 9.
After a break, the loop back to Williamstown saw them there for a regroup at 10. After a quick drink and food, they passed through Lyndoch at 10.15 and back to Gawler by 10.45.
Ian and Peter
Ian and Darren ( Darren did a run after the ride to prepare for an upcoming tri-event)
Dave, Sam Glen and Mark
Overall it was a great ride taking in some great scenery and enjoying beautiful autumn weather. They did come across some wallabies as they headed back in to Williamstown around the Warren Dam, and it was great that a number of motorists alerted the group about them.
Just after Lyndoch though Mathew had a major tyre blow out, that ended his ride and he needed to be picked up. He was fine though and was all smiles back at the Exchange.
Thanks to Dave for taking on the role of ride leader, plus also Simon who helped out across the ride. Well done.
The middle ride also had a great time of it with 28 taking on this route. The first section out to Wasleys was all good, especially everyone being very cautious up to the Mallala turnoff in particular.
Bec, Andrea and Caren
Matt, Mic and Michael
At Wasleys it was a chance to have a good drink and take on some food.
Sue, Denny, Craig and Kate
Dave, Jamie and Richie. It was Jamie's first ride with the Wheelers, having just moved from interstate. He rode very well and enjoyed the hit out.
Colin, Scott, Tim, Roger and Dave.
The rest of the crew
Up to then the conditions had been more or less ideal. As the group left Wasleys a strong headwind sprung up which caused everyone to break into small bunches and help each other out.
Once past Templers the wind seemed to drop down a bit and it was just then a steady climb in to Freeling, where the group stopped under the veranda next to the bakery. A number of people ducked in for a quick coffee and a fill up of their biddons, so thanks to the staff at the bakery for being so helpful.
What was a surprise was to see Linda turn up at the regroup. Linda had had an injury (not bike related) which meant she was off the bike for a few weeks. Today was the first day she could get back on the road bike. She had planned to do the SOB, but changed her mind and timed it to catch up with the group at Freeling, so at least she could do that leg with the group.
Here she is in the middle of the group of the ladies.
After the break, it was time to roll out again and head back to Gawler.
The last section is more or less downhill and a lot of fun. Bunches formed with everyone rotating off the front, so it was a swift run back.
The hard luck story of the ride was Kate. As she got into Gawler, she realised that her rear tyre was going down. Being so close to the finish, she decided to just put some air in and see how it went. She almost made it back to the Exchange, but decided to push her bike the last few hundred metres.
It was a fun ride, and enjoyed by everyone.
A big thanks to Bec and Caren who took on the role of ride TEC. They did a great job supporting everyone, plus plenty of jelly snakes to go around. Also Bec helped Kate out with her pump, which needed a bit of persuasion to operate, plus stayed with her over the last few hundred metres
Back at the Exchange Hotel we had our recognition awards.
Firstly to Peter. Peter always helps other riders on every ride, he is on a good stick.
Secondly to Andrea. It was great to see her out again and she rode strongly. In particular, she took some big turns out front on the bunch she was in from Freeling. That group was really motoring along.
So another great morning out with the Wheelers, and with autumn weather settling in, some nice mornings to look forward to.
Until need week, which will be the Wheelers anniversary ride, celebrating 8 years, stay safe.
Gawler Wheelers: Winners of the Gawler Australia Day Community Group of the Year Award 2013