Big day out.

Another big day out with the wheelers, with two challenging rides on offer, with 32 riders out.

The shorter ride was the steady climb to Kersbrook, before a run across to Williamstown, then back to Gawler. 58kms and 819m of climbing.
The longer ride was out to Tanunda, before heading up to Kapunda via Greenock. From there, crossing over to Tarlee and the big section back to Gawler. A total of 105kms and 900m of climbing. With the Tour Day Under about 8 weeks away, this ride was an opportunity to start building up the distances in preparation for those taking on the community challenge ride.

Given that the longer ride was over 100 kms we decided to leave a little bit earlier than normal. This was in part to get back at a reasonable time and before it got too hot. The group had their ride brief at 6.45 and rolled out at 7am.

Here they all are just before heading off.

The first main section to deal with was Gomersal Road. Again this was a bit of a grind as there are a few rises to get up and over. At Tanunda they had a welcomed break at the bike hub before heading off. Here is Glen leading the group out of town.

From Tanunda, they made their way through vine country on the way to Greenock.

Here is Simon and others in front of the Institute Hall for a short regroup.

The section between Greenock and Kapunda runs takes you through cropping country. It’s a steady rise to start with, before reaching a high point with great views across the landscape. From there it’s essentially a downhill run to Kapunda, where they had a quick stop to rehydrate and fill their bidons, Then off to Tarlee.
This is a very nice section to ride, with some wooded country and includes the biggest climb of the day. The first half was steady climbing and the second half downhill all the way to Tarlee.

Once they reached Tarlee they decided to have a decent break and look for some food.

Which they did.

The final section back to Gawler was the most challenging. There was a cross head wind and the road was busy, so they couldn’t set up any form of an echelon. It was just a matter of grinding it out for the next 35 km. Some riders were starting to wilt by now and to the groups credit, riders dropped back to give them a tow. Great to see the group supporting each other.

The group made it back in very good time, more or less as one big bunch, with everyone really enjoying the ride. There were no incidents, just some weary legs. Thanks to Simon for leading the ride and keeping the group rolling along.

Great stuff.

The shorter ride also had a good time of it.

Three riders, Paula, Wendy and Lisa decided to leave a bit earlier to get in front of the group so they could tackle the climbing at their own pace. All good.

After navigating through Gawler, it was straight in to the climbing up the Gawler One Tree Hill road. It’s a steady climb until just before Alexander Avenue. This is a short section, but rises steeply and is more or less the hardest section of the ride. Once past the intersection, the road undulates all the way to the Humbug Scrub roundabout where the group had their first regroup. It’s a great chance to catch your breath, ready for the climb over Mt Gawler.

From here, it’s a steady climb up Mt Gawler. Although there were no real steep bits to get over, it’s just a steady grind.

Once you get over the top of Mt Gawler, it’s a quick decent into Kersbrook. Given there was some tricky side winds, everyone took in to account and rode to the conditions.

Just as the group reached Kersbrook, Paula, Wendy and Lisa were heading out to Williamstown, so making good time.

The group had a decent break, knowing the majority of the climbing was behind them.

The section across to Williamstown was a lot of fun. The road undulates, so you can set a steady pace.

At Williamstown every one joined up, and to get ready for the final run home.

Having a chat (maybe about driving?)

Caren, Paula, Lisa and Bec.

The last section was essential downhill although there is a very nasty rise on Balmoral Road, which is only a few hundred metres, but very steep, and near the end of a ride, so can catch you out. But once over it, it’s clear sailing all the way back to Gawler.

Unfortunately one person had a mishap with their derailleur, with the bottom arm snapping in half, which lead to a support vehicle being called to pick them up. So off to the bike shop for repairs.

There was great riding from everyone, in particular Paula who was the QoM for the day, having ridden up Mt Gawler for the first time.

Also a big thanks to Brad for TEC duties, he did a great job supporting every one for the whole ride. Great stuff.

Not everyone who turned up today was on a road bike, with Kevin sporting his new ‘gravel bike’. This bike is specially designed for riding predominately on gravel roads. Kevin did a big loop on the back roads and had a great time.
It’s fun riding on the back unsealed roads, as you are away from the traffic, and you tend to go at a slower pace so you can take on the surrounds. Good stuff

Here is Kevin with his new bike.

Back at the Exchange we had our appreciation awards. We talked about the incident from last week and the way the group responded so quickly and appropriately to the two riders who were injured. In particular Mark F. and Glen.
Both took control of the situation and put the two at ease while waiting for ambulance, which arrived very quickly.

Also thanks to Kate who ensure the rides were retrieved safely. Also, both are at home and on the mend.

So another great day out, with two challenging rides.

With summer a few weeks away, so nice weather coming up.

Until next week,

Stay safe,

Cheers,

 

Paul K.

 Gawler Wheelers: Winners of the Gawler Australia Day Community Group of the Year Award 2013


 

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