A day to remember.
It was the first day of the post-winter rides, with temps predicted to be up in the low 30’s at the end of the ride. So it was good not to have to think about how many layers you would need, it was the summer kit today. We had another three options on, so choices aplenty. The shorter ride was out to the Warren dam, 51km and 641 m of climbing. The middle ride was out to One Tree Hill, via the SOB and included the run up Cornishman’s Hill, 53kms and 579 m of climbing. The big ride was out to Kapunda via Freeling before returning via Greenock and Tanunda, 84 kms and 736 m of climbing.
As per usual, the day started with the safety and ride brief. One of the topics of conversation was maggies and where they may be and what you may expect.
The longer ride headed off first with 12 riders. There was some thought that the group would break up into two separate bunches, but given the weather conditions, the group stayed fairly homogeneous. The first leg to Freeling was more or less into the wind, with Ian H. leading most of the way. Here is the group at Freeling.
The next section was almost to Kapunda, turning a few Ks short, to head through to Greenock. The group headed off and broke into smaller bunches and battled the wind, before enjoying a tail wind when they turned towards Greenock.
Here is the group at Greenock.
The next section through to Tanunda includes the iconic Seppeltsfield, which is always a pleasure to ride through.
After a regroup at Tanunda the ‘fun’ really started. The next section was along Gomersal Road. The group had hoped for at least a side tail wind, but instead the wind had changed and it was a side head wind. Added to this, the temperature had now reached the 30s so it was like riding into a big hair drier blasting away. There is very little protection on Gomersal Road, so the group just battled on. Also, one person got a flat, so that added to the ‘enjoyment’, but thanks to those that stopped to help with the repairs.
In the end, everyone made it back safely to the Exchange and took on plenty of cool liquids.
Thanks to David for being the ride leader. Well done everyone in trying conditions.
The middle ride also had a good time of it. The first section was along the SOB, so a chance to warm up the legs before the climbing.
The next section included the run along suburban streets before making their way across to Uley Road and the climbing. This is a good hill to climb as you gain height incrementally as opposed to steep sections, with big gradients.
Paula and Sean.
The group made their way up and then across to One Tree Hill (OTH), and a chance to get ready for the big climb of the day, Cornishman’s hill. Here is the 'class photo' of the group.
After leaving OTH, it was on to the big climb of the day. To make things interesting, it included a loop around Tyeka Drive before tackling Cornishman’s proper.
This is an interesting climb with the last 100 metres or so getting very steep. Everyone put in the effort, including Paula who got up it for the first time. Well done.
From there it was a run back to Gawler via the Gawler One Tree Hill road, which runs along the top of the hills, so great views and pleasant rollercoaster-like undulations. Always fun to ride. So a great ride from everyone and no issues at all. Thanks to Craig H who took on the dual role as ride leader and TEC. Everyone enjoyed the ride and rode together as one big bunch.
The shorter ride headed out towards Lyndoch, via Sandy Creek and Cockatoo Valley.
At Sandy Creek one rider felt some discomfort, and decided to stop, and get assistance. This led to an ambulance being called, a trip straight to hospital, and some tests etc. From all reports they are doing well and are under good care. It was good to see the support from others on the ride, plus also a number of people stopped to helped, including assisting with getting bikes picked up.
With the incident under control, the rest of the group decided to continue on. From Lyndoch it was a straight run though to Williamstown. There had been reports of a swooping magpie, and it struck half way along, swooping one rider three times. Not the most pleasant part of the ride for them. One interesting fact, supposably maggies in Tasmania don’t swoop, so what’s going on? Here is the remainder of the group at Williamstown.
The next section was the climb to the Warren Dam. This can be a bit testing if you haven’t been doing hills for a while. In the end though, everyone was fine.
Here are some shots of a few getting over the top.
Brad and Ian.
Lorraine is new to the group, and although she has been riding for a while, is new to climbing. In this case she smashed out this climb.
Kevin and Cindy. It was great to see Kevin out a again, as it’s been a few years since he’s been out with the Wheelers. Cindy also easily took care of the climb.
The return trip back down to Williamstown was a bit eventful though. One rider developed a speed wobble. It can get very scary when it all goes awry, but they didn’t panic, working away to get it under control again. Later at the Exchange there was talk about how to respond to speed wobbles, which included shifting your weight and damping out the problem. There is plenty of on-line information about how to respond, but rule number one is don’t panic.
The last section into Gawler along Balmoral Road saw the temperature rise and the wind become a factor. Luckily it was only a short section, so not too taxing with everyone back at the Exchange for drinks and a good chat.
A special thanks to Brendon who was the TEC for the ride. With Mick, they were instrumental in providing the initial support at Sandy Creek earlier in the ride. Also to Cindy who took on the role of TEC for the second part of the ride. Well done.
Overall a good day out, some challenges, and an incident that showed the value of being part of a group and the support it intrinsically provides.
Until next week,
Gawler Wheelers: Winners of the Gawler Australia Day Community Group of the Year Award 2013