Good day out.
It was another good day with the Wheelers, albeit a bit cold to start with, and 35 riders out for a challenge. As per usual Dave provided the ride and safety brief, highlighting the need to be watchful at all times.
There were three options on offer with each sharing part of the same route with different turn around points. The first section was out to Williamstown for a regroup. From there the longer option was out to Gumeracha via Birdwood 97, km and 1058 m of climbing. The middle ride was a turn-around at Birdwood, 80 kms and 550 m of climbing. The shorter ride also included the climb up to the Warren Dam, and then turning around, 46kms and 450 m of climbing.
The longer ride headed off first and quickly made it to Williamstown. They made a very brief stop and kept rolling all the way to Birdwood for a longer stop.
After catching their breath, they headed out east for a loop around to Gumeracha, including some challenging climbing, on some great open roads with very little traffic.
The group stayed as one bunch all the way and worked very well together, with the only mishap being one rider dropping a chain a few times, so maybe it may be a bit stretched.
A big thanks to Simon for taking on the role of ride leader, all good.
The rest of the group had a longer stop at Williamstown which is always welcomed. One rider though was not so good and was having a medical issue. They decided to bail out of the ride and rang to get picked up, which ultimately led to them going off to the hospital. From all reports, they are in good spirits, and after some recovery time and assessments should be out hospitable soonish. A big thanks to Brad, Andrea and Paula who stayed while they all waited for the pick up, and were on hand to assist if needed.
As the medical issue was being managed, the rest of the group moved off, with the bunch going to Birdwood heading off first. They did the climb up to the Warren Dam without too much effort and then in to the longer flatter section through to Birdwood. As the group was being ably led by Peter B, two massive roos bounced right across the front of him. On a rating of 1 to 10 for a scary moment, this was rated as a 10. Peter did a great job of not panicking and everyone was kept safe. Roos can be very unpredictable and can appear from nowhere, so you really have to be on your toes all the time, especially with some close calls from roos on recent rides.
The group was then all fine to Birdwood, where they had a chance to take on some food etc.
Here is Mike, Richie and Glen making good time.
The return trip was a bit of a hoot, with everyone rolling in together safe and sound.
Thanks to Dave for being the ride leader and Mic for TEC duties, including doling out the mini mars bars, yum.
The bunch taking on the shorter option decided to ride on past the Warren Dam out to the Mt Pleasant turn-off to add a few extra ks, taking the round trip to 55 kms.
The first section up to the Warren Dam saw the bunch split up a bit as everyone settled into a rhythm they were happy to tap out.
Here are a few reaching the top of the climb.
It was great to see Brendon out again, as he has moved closer to the city, and has been riding routes down and around where he now lives.
Karen Tash and Karen
The extra run out to the turn-off was welcomed, as it added that little extra to make it that bit more interesting.
Here is the bunch ready to head back home. In particular we welcomed Geoff, middle of picture with red helmet, for his first ride with the Wheelers, having just moved down from Darwin. Darwin is not renowned for its hills, so it was the first climb for him in seven years, which he did just fine.
The return trip was all fine, with some fun down hill sections to enjoy and a nice run back in to Gawler, especially the section from Sandy Creek. All good.
Back to the Exchange Hotel, it was time to socialise, relax and also have our weekly recognition awards.
Firstly to Alistair. Alistair was on the shorter ride and is recovering from an operation, so felt every bump through his handle bars. He rode strongly, in particular helping out others along the way. Well done.
The other award went to Peter and the way he reacted to the roos bouncing across in front of him. Well done.
So again another good day out with the Wheelers and it’s a relief to know the person who went to hospital is on the mend, and that support was on hand if things had turned for the worse.
Until next week,
Gawler Wheelers: Winners of the Gawler Australia Day Community Group of the Year Award 2013