Winter solstice.

Winter solstice can bring our some interesting behaviour. Some see it as the time to hibernate and not venture out too much, while others embrace it, and enjoy the occasion. For the Wheelers we had 23 riders out, and although it was no Dark Mofo Winter Solstice nude swim, it did challenge. As everyone rolled in the temperature was around 3 degrees, and everyone had their own plans to keep warm. The main one was to get rolling as soon as possible, as that’s how you can deal with cold conditions, get in to it.

There were three ride again on offer. The shorter ride was a climb up to One Tree Hill, 49 kms and 472 m of climbing. The middle ride was out to Mallala, 73 kms and 188 m of climbing. The big ride was called the “Three Rivers Ride” as it crossed over the North Para, Light and Gilbert rivers. It took in a new section from Hamley Bridge, via Stockport to Tarlee and then to Kapunda, 97kms and 736 m of climbing.

First off the rank was the long ride a group of four, led by Simon, who met 6.45 for the ride and safety brief, to roll out at 7. The aim was to get away early so they time it to be back around 11ish, to fit in with the other rides.

Here is  Jon, Simon, Dale and Luke, who was out for this first ride with the Wheelers.

The first section was up to Hamley Bridge was all fine as the sun came up and with a slight wind.

The group then headed off on a new route for the Wheelers, to Tarlee via Stockport.

Here is Luke on the way out of Hamley bridge.

This is a very nice piece of road to ride, across a ridge with some great views, plus there was minimal traffic, so great for riding.

Next stop was Tarlee where they took the opportunity to visit the local bakery for a quick bite. It’s always good to keep your calorie intake up, especially on these bigger rides.

From Tarlee across to Kapunda, this section is also very scenic, and took in the main climb of the day, which everyone was fine with. A Kapunda they were able to enjoy some jelly snake, thanks to Dale in the recently completed Town Square.

With all the climbing finished and with a bit of wind assistance, it was a more or less a straight run back to Gawler, with the group bypassing Freeling as they zoomed past.

It was great riding from everyone, in particular Luke as it was his longest ride to date. He did though have a flat, and thanks to Dale for assisting with the repair, and getting everyone back rolling along pretty quickly.

Thanks to Simon for leading the ride and scoping it out beforehand. So, another great ride to add to the Wheelers repertoire, and I’m sure it will be on the list to do for others.

For the ride to Mallala, twelve took it on. At the safety brief mention was made of kangaroos and deers that had been spotted on this ride before, So extra caution as you really don’t want to bump in to either of them at any time.

The first section out to Two Wells was ridden as one group, so all good, although still chilly.

The next section to Malala saw the group break up into a few bunches, as every found the speed they were comfortable to sit on.

At Mallala everyone was pleasantly surprised by Richie, the TEC not only had the staple, jelly snakes, but also violet crumbles. Now that has lifted the bar.

The final section saw the group break up again, depending on the speed everyone was comfortable with. As the group climbed over the rise at Redbanks and a slight change in direction, they felt the effects of a tricky side wind which added a bit extra effort, but all good.

Overall a great ride, everyone rode strongly, there were no mechanical problems and no sight of roos or those pesky deers.

Thanks to David for being ride leader and of course Richie, supporting everyone on the ride.

The ride to One Tree Hill was also a lot of fun.. The group headed off with seven riders, although two Richard and Haydn needed to modified the route to fit in with some time constrains..

With this ride all the serious riding is in the first 10 kms, which for most is the best way to attack a ride. As the group got up and over the first climb, the sun came out and everyone started to warm up, plus it highlighted the spectacular views in all directions.

The big climb for the day is up to Alexander Avenue, with the last 100 metres really kicking up.

Everyone put in the effort and were fine.




Paul and Tash.

Karen and Linda.


Once past this climb the ride takes in a few smaller rises, but essentially a downhill run.

The first regroup was at One Tree Hill, with a lot of activity in the hall around a wellness events, so a good chat with the organiser.

Here is the group before heading off.

The next section was a run down Yorktown road. It saw a big effort from Linda who really knows how to descend safely, as she zoomed passed everyone. Well done. There was a quick regroup at the end of Adams road, just to make sure everyone was ok, plus some jelly beans.

The next section was along Craigmore and the Curtis Roads. There is more a more development along this section and there is increased traffic and plenty debris in the cycling lane. So it’s a bit difficult to navigate through, although the group was ably lead by Cindy who called out all the hazards.

Getting onto the SOB from Curtis Road is always tricky with cars up and cars behind. For safety first the group when up a few hundred metres to the roundabout and then back down to the SOB. Worked a treat.

On the SOB the wind had picked up, so the six formed a 2 by 2 paceline. As the rider on the right hand side reached the front of the line they moved across to the left, soft peddled and allowed the next ride to come across. It worked very well with everyone taking a quick turn out front. So before too long the group was at the end of the SOB, then back at the Exchange. So another great ride, although short in distance, plenty to challenge.

Back at the Exchange we have our weekly recognition awards. This week it was decided to acknowledge the wonderful service provided by the Hotel. Each week we effectively take over the open area, being a little bit loud and very enthusiastic about our rides. All the Hotel staff are just wonderful keeping up with all the orders as we regal on about the ride. We really appreciate how welcomed we are at the Exchange

Here is Tori who was on the coffees and Adrian on the grill, thanks to all the staff for making us feel so welcomed.

So although it was a bit cold to start with, everyone warmed up pretty quickly and had a great mornings ride.

Until next week,

Stay safe.




Paul K.

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

Click here for Gawler Wheelers Facebook Page

Click here to join the Wheelers on Adelaide Cyclists

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