It’s winter and time to get our all the winter kit, which is what everyone did. The temperature was hovering near zero when everyone started rolling in to Lyndoch for today’s ride. In the end we had 23 riders out braving the cold temps.
By starting at Lyndoch it gives a little easier access to the sections out the back of the Barossa, so a great variation to mix it up a bit.
We had three options again, all having common sections.
The big ride took riders up to Tanunda, out to Seppeltsfield, then across to Nuriootpa and Angaston. From there off out to Flaxman’s Valley before getting to Menglers Hills and then through Bethany and back to Lyndoch. 80kms and 889 m of climbing
The middle ride, from Tanunda headed straight up to Nuriootpa, then across to Angaston via the bike track, and then the same route home as the longer ride. 63 kms and 679 m of climbing
The shorter ride also took in the bike track between Nuriootpa and Angaston, then looped back on the track to Lights Pass Road, before passing through Bethany also and back to Lyndoch. 51 kms and 415m of climbing.
So a mixture of vines and great scenery.
The longer ride headed off first, with two willing starters, Rob and Nick.
They had a great time of it, setting a cracking pace with the aim of catching up to the middle ride. At Angaston they crossed paths with those on the short ride at Angaston, so were looking on track to do that. After Angaston they headed up on to Flaxmans Valley Road, commenting how stunning the scenery is. Also they had a good run with the traffic, noting there were very few cars on the road and no trucks. In the end they rolled into Lyndoch a few minutes behind everyone else from the other two rides, so a massive effort by Rob and Nick. Here they are at the end of the ride, still smiling
The middle and short ride all headed off to Tanunda together, keen to warm up as quickly as possible. It was a bit of a struggle to get moving along as the coldness seemed to seep right in. After a few Ks we were all fine and just coasting along.
We did have a two slight mishaps, with Andrea’s light dropping off just after we started, so a scramble back for her to find it and then refit it. With foggy weather like we had, it is essential to have a bright front light. Also Kate lost a bidon as she crossed over the railway line. It’s a fast decent here in to Rowland Flat so the bump over the line was enough for the bidon to jump out of its cage. It took Kate ages to find it in amongst the tall wet grass. Not the most fun thing to do on a cold morning.
We had our main regroup at Tanunda, although some had not quite warmed up, and were looking for the hand dryers to warm up their fingers and toes. Here is the group looking for any hint of sunshine to warm up.
The middle group headed off first, connecting up with the bike track between Tanunda and Nuriootpa. This track runs along a beautiful rose hedge, which is a great back drop any time of the year, especially when the TDU runs past it at the height of summer. At Nuriootpa they connected up with the track to Angaston. This is a great track and shared by bikes and walkers. The only real downside is the bollards at the road crossing are a little bit tight, so it takes a bit of extra manoeuvring to get around them
A highlight is the cutting.
It’s fun riding through it and at this time of year can get a bit damp, as the sun would struggle to reach inside.
And a group making their way through.
The group then had a quick stop at Angaston, before heading out on to Flaxmans Valley Road. For many people this was their first ride along this road, so many took it very easy to soak in the views. The route also went past Kaisertuhl Conservation Park, and wonderful environs to ride through. Here's a few enjoying the surrounds.
Bec and Scott.
The next section was the run down Menglers Hill, with everyone taking a cautious approach as usual, especially considering the wet conditions. They then headed down through Bethany, where they met up with the short ride as they were regrouping, before heading back to Lyndoch. So in the end both groups rode together to finish off a great mornings ride
Thanks to Dave for leading the ride.
And Tim for TEC.
Job well done.
The shorter ride also have a great time of it, and in fact took a more ‘jovial’ approach to the day, taking some opportunities to enjoy the scenery and comradery. They also took the bike track between Tanunda and Nuriootpa, soaking in the views across the vines. At Nuriootpa they got onto the track to Angaston, and just after the cutting stopped to take in the view, plus a touch of sunshine that was peeking through.
A little way along the group stopped again for a bit of fun with the art installation. Andrea, Paula, Karen, Linda and Colin plus all the bikes racked up.
From there it was a quick hop in to Angaston for a regroup and an opportunity for a ‘bike lean’ up against the famous Clydesdale statute. Iconic.
The return trip was a loop back on the track, before turning off at Light Pass Road. This took the group back through Bethany, a quick regroup at the Barossa Way intersection and meeting up with the middle group. It was great fun as we all rolling back to Lyndoch together.
It was a great ride, especially from Karen, who was having a few mechanicals around her Di2. She stuck at it and put in the extra effort to compensate for the bike not behaving as it should have.
Andrea also set a great pace.
Deny in particular had a great ride. He’s been off the bike for a while, work commitments, but included riding from Gawler with Linda to add a few extra ks. Fantastic effort, especially how cold it was to start.
So another great day out with the Wheelers, it started out a bit cold and gloomy, but once we started to turn the peddles over, everyone warmed up and had a cracking time out in the Barossa.
The Wheelers are part of the bigger cycling community, and are happy to help other groups when they can. Early last week we had a call from Patsy, who coordinates the Saturday Express cycling group. They had a ride planned that included taking the train to Gawler, and then riding back to town via Mawson Lakes. Unfortunately, the planned ride leader was off to the footy so they asked if we could help. I was happy to help out and after a shout out to the Wheelers members, Daryl also offered to help. Daryl lives in Salisbury and knows all the roads and linking paths in the area, so we shared the duties of ride leader and TEC. Most of the ride was on pathways, or quiet back streets and it was great to see a different view of Salisbury. Great stuff.
Here we all are at Mawson Lakes for a regroup and refreshments.
Pasty is on the far left, and next to her is Helen. Helen has ridden with the Wheelers before and rode up to Gawler with Daryl for the start of the ride. This ride saw her crack the 100k mark, for the first time. Well done. On the far right is Daryl, who has ridden with the Wheelers a number of times; thanks for guiding us all through your back yard. The Saturday Express group are a great bunch of riders and really venture out, taking on rides all over the place. I had a great time riding with them, and if you get the chance, check out their program. The group is very welcoming and a lot of fun.
Until next week,
Gawler Wheelers: Winners of the Gawler Australia Day Community Group of the Year Award 2013