Climbing on a chilly morning.
The mornings are getting colder, but the fun of getting out early on the bike has definitely not cooled off, with over 40 out for the morning ride.
We had three rides on, the SOB, a run up to Medlow Road with just over 50km and 378m of climbing and a loop around to Kersbrook, 60km and 848 m of climbing. So all sorts to pick from.
It is always good to see new riders out plus also guests.
Firstly, it was great to see Craig out for his first ride with us.
He is a friend of Brink, who told Craig about the group. Craig has a background in running and although relatively new to cycling did very well, in particular carving up the climb. Good stuff.
We also had a special visitor from Fiji, Lenna.
Lenna is in Australia doing some training, including sessions with her coach in Launceston. Cycling in Fiji is growing and Lenna invited everyone to visit Fiji, including upcoming events, which can be viewed at the following link. Cycling Fiji
Supporting Lenna with her training is Ian, who has been a regular rider with the Wheelers over the past years, but has moved up north for work.
So it was great to see him out and to see the fantastic mentoring role he is providing. Lenna rode very well today and really enjoyed her ride with the Wheelers.
For the rides, a small group of four took on the SOB. They had a good time and enjoyed the wind assistance all the way down. They were also fine with the return trip, getting back in good time.
The middle ride also has a lot of fun. Again, the section down the SOB was all good, notwithstanding the help from the tailwind. By the time we got to Curtis Road we were all warmed up and ready for some climbing.
The next section along Curtis Road is one of the few busy urban roads we regularly ride and one where we always need to watch out for debris on the side. Today was no exception, with patches of glass etc we needed to negotiate round.
Once we passed the Adams Road roundabout, the climbing really started, and the group strung out a bit. It was just a steady climb up all the way to Medlow Road, which was the peak of the climb.
It was agreed not to do the loop which includes the quickish decent down Medlow, and retrace our ‘steps’back down Craigmore Road, in particular, with the first section back to Adams Road a lot of fun.
Turning back on to the SOB from Curtis Road is a bit of a tricky manoeuvrer now that there is the big hardware store generating a lot of traffic. If the road is clear in both direction, it’s all fine. If not, it’s best to stop on the left, and when clear, go across. The last thing you want to do is prop in the middle of the road and be waiting to turn. That would put you in a very vulnerable situation. Lucky for our group, the traffic was clear and with good callbacks we were able to re-enter the SOB smoothly and safely.
The trip back to Gawler was pretty straightforward from there although the wind was a bit of a factor. We rode in a fairly tight formation and shared the role of leading, to even out the effort.
When we got close to Gawler we decided to take a different route back home. This involved using the cycling paths that link the centre of town, crossing over the rivers and under the train lines. This took us away from the morning traffic. It is a great route to take, including quite a technical turn as you get in to the Gawler Centrals sports ground. Here is the smiling group after conquering the difficult bit.
From there it was a nice run through the quite streets back home.
The long ride also has a good time of it with 20 riders. Heading up One Tree Hill Road the ride split into three distinct groups, which was a good move. This allowed everyone to settle in to a group they were comfortable with pace-wise and reduce the frustration for drivers if they need to manoeuvre around a group of riders.
Closer to Kersbrook the weather was quite threatening, so when everyone regrouped they only had a very short stop. At Williamstown the sun had come out and it was all good. The final section back to Gawler was a lot of fun; essentially downhill and with a tail wind, everyone zoomed along.
One slight mechanical was Ian H needing to do an adjustment, and while he was doing this realised one of his tyres was a bit spongy, so that needed to be fixed. Other than that, all smooth sailing.
One of the important roles we need to fill each week is TEC , who ensures everyone is supported and riders are not left on their own. This week Haydn was the TEC for the middle ride.
He did a great job supporting everyone.
For the long ride, an assembly of riders took on the role. This included Kate, Glen, Peter, Mark, Dave and Brendon.
Well done this collective.
Finally, it is great to recognise those special milestone. Today’s ride was Peter’s 200th GW ride. It’s a great achievement, with plenty of Ks rolled through and conversation to-boot. Well done Peter.
So another great morning out with the Wheelers, it started out a bit chilly but ended up being a sunny ride.
Until next week,
Gawler Wheelers: Winners of the Gawler Australia Day Community Group of the Year Award 2013