Adios 2016.- Donde ha ido el ano?

While people are planning how to ring in the New Year, the Gawler Wheelers are seeing out the year by putting some ks away.

There was some trepidation originally about having a ride on Christmas and New Year’s Eve. It was thought people would be too busy organising stuff, plus it may be good to have a break. Well, that didn’t prove to be the case. Last week we had 65 riders out and today 47. Planning for potentially small numbers we decided to have one ‘simple’ ride for each day. In the end it was all fine, and it was great to ride as one big bunch.

Today’s ride took in the Barossa, with some undulations, some quick flat sections, a few sharp rises, a decent hill climb and a downhill run to finish it all off. A 50 km run, just what we needed to finish off the year.

At the ride brief, the condition of the roads after the big storm was pointed out. This was a timely warning as there was gravel in places, and branches galore close to the roads edge.

We had on new rider out this morning, Steve.

Steve came across the Wheelers on the SOB during a Wednesday evening run. He then decided to come out for a Saturday run. He did a great job, amongst it all the way round. It was great to see him out and hopefully he will be out for other rides.

It was good to see Evan out as well. He has ridden with the Wheelers before, and this was his first ride with the Wheelers for the year.

Evan does a lot of mountain bike riding, so keeps fit, and was easily able to keep on pace. Good to see you out.

Another person we haven’t seen for a while is Michael. Michael's  work means he is very busy for a few months leading up to Christmas, so couldn’t make it out. But he has been busy on the bike though, taking on racing at Victoria Park on an evening during the week. In fact he has even won a few races. Congratulations. Here he is with his new racing bike. Just the ticket!

The ride itself started with the climb up Lyndoch Road. This can be a bit much to start with, especially for those who have driven in. One solution to tackle this issue, used by Glen, was to get in early, then do a warm up lap around Gawler. He did a 10 K loop which took him about 25 minutes. Sounds likes good prep for the hill climb.

At Sandy Creek we turned right and off to Cockatoo Valley, and then in to Pimpala Road. This is a great road to ride, with just enough undulations to keep you honest.

After the stop at Lyndoch, a quick run across the Valley floor before you hit the hills leading in to Williamstown.

At Williamstown you have the chance to decide whether to tackle the Warren Dam or head straight back. It’s good to have this option, especially if you need to get back quickly or have heavy legs and are looking more for a bit of an overall recovery ride. In the end about half a dozen took this option and headed back. They were all fine and made it back without too much ado.

The bigger bunch then took on the Warren Dam. In fact, most were up and over pretty quickly, so it just shows the progress of the group.

The return trip was pretty much a downhill run, great reward for the climbing, although there is a sneaky steep bit on Balmoral Road, that can test you out. But after that bit, the road surface is pretty smooth, so you really get value for effort.

Two that really put in great efforts was Andrea and Keith. Both have been working to get cycling fit, and decided to tackle the Warren on their own. Neither took in the regroups, but kept on going. As we were getting up ,they were zooming down. Great to see both of you riding so confidently.

Another was Ian. He has been doing a fair bit on the flat, but hasn’t been in the hills much. So getting up to the Warren fairly easily was a great result.

It was also good to see Kevin D out again. He had been waylaid a bit over the last few months, so good to see his fitness improve enough to be out and tackle the climb.

Summer is the time of year we like to get out on our bikes. Especially this time of the year when we have the TDU Festival just around the corner. One thing we have to consider is the heat though. One way of doing this is ventilation in our shoes. Here is Steve with a pair of cycling shoes that gives you plenty of air flow.

One noticeable absence was Dave. It was noticeable as he pulled up in his car just as we were leaving. He had trouble with a flat and unfortunately used tyre levers to get the bead up over the rim, pinching the new tubes. It’s good practice to persevere and get the tyre back on to the rim without levers. He should be all fine for next week.

Finally, thanks again to Paul I for TEC duties again. An essential part of keeping the ride safe.

So again another great ride with the GWs, happy New Year to all, and hope that next year will be full of safe riding adventures.



Paul K.

ps, I'm away for the first two weeks of Jan, so catch you just as the TDU starts.

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


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Bye Bye 2016

No better way to see out the year than with an early morning ride. Well into summer but still a cool morning. With practically not wind to speak of it was lovely.

With one ride it was a big group that all headed out together. A sea of bright yellow and black fluttering through the beautiful Barossa hills.

Small groups formed and it seemed that calling was pretty good all day. With plenty of debris it was a must.

Keith and Andrea did take that early minute and made a start which kept them ahead of the group most of the ride. It's always inspirational seeing the smiles on the faces of riders when the roll in to HQ after completing the ride. Coming back after a set back takes a lot of grit and determination, both Keith and Andrea are showing that giving up is not an option.

On a safety note, leaving Williamstown along Yetti Rd was once again very messy. There were riders 4 abreast at one stage with "car back" call which didn't seem to be heard. A toot from a motorist quickly had riders pull in but this is not a good look. for future rides maybe a staggered start. Just a thought. It was only this one very short section otherwise very tidy for the rest of the ride.

Once again lovely coffee and breakfast at the Exchange. They weren't expecting 40 or so cyclists as there was no ride originally planned until Paul suggested the one ride option. All in all they coped very well and looked after us. 

Once again thanks to The Exchange for the lovely wine. This weeks recipients were Danni and Alistair. Danni has been riding with GW for a little less than a year and can only come out fortnightly. She started on a borrowed bike with flat pedals and we could see instantly that she was a great little rider. She had since purchased her own bike and rides with cleats just flourishing in the hills.  Alistair is a seasoned GW'er and a very strong rider. Alistair, AKA Magnet has completed several Triathalons including Kona in Hawaii. On many occasions you will find Al staying with newbies or taking on TEC duties making sure every one is looked after. So many of our members give there time to make our rides enjoyable. 

Looking forward to many more adventures in 2017.


Apart from being called Kev and Chris it wasn't a bad morning. A relaxed ride with Len catching up with what's been going on recently. All the best for another year.

Mistaken for Kev Thomas is good, Kev Drumm not so much.

totally different shape to RKRB - more like KRB!!!!!!

Enjoyed this ride. Took off ahead of the main group from the start and regroups just to ride my own ride in trying to see where I am in regaining some fitness. Finally caught up to Andrea on Balmoral who followed a similar idea but started before me, riding with her on the last section home was great company. The atmosphere at the exchange was excellant topping off a great last ride for 2016 

haha  I called you Kev as you walked past me. Carl think the lack of bright clothing threw me big time.

No worries, mate - just having a little joke...........


Thanks for the update :)


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