Although winter is amongst us we still had 24 out for a ride, which was a great number considering it was a long weekend and many people had plans to get away. Today’s rides took in the Barossa, which is a great place to ride, especially with the beautiful scenery as you pass through the vineyards.
The medium ride was up to Tanunda via Gomersal Road, a loop to take in Bethany, before heading to Lyndoch, Cockatoo Valley and back to Gawler. There was an option to miss the loop to take out a bit of climbing and Ks; with the loop, 63 k and 694 m of climbing. Without the loop, 53 K and 590 of climbing
The longer ride also took in the section to Tanunda, before heading off to Greenock and Kapunda before turning back towards Gawler, taking in Freeling and Roseworthy for a 87 K ride and 736 m of climbing.
The day started with the safety brief, again highlighting issues we need to have front of mind.
When it came to splitting into the different rides, there were only a few takers for the big ride, but once a few more started to opt for it, others joined, ending with the numbers being fairly even; 10 for the longer ride and 14 for the medium ride.
The longer ride headed off first and made very good time to Tanunda.
At Tanunda it was decided to split the group in two with one opting for a quicker ride, the other a little bit slower. This was great as it allowed everyone the opportunity to enjoy the ride at their own pace.
For the quicker group, with Simon leading they headed out first. They even had some time to stop for a picture at Seppeltsfield, which is just magic to ride through.
From there they made their way through Greenock before turning south just before Kapunda. They now had a tailwind which really helped to motor them along. Their next stop was Freeling, where they decided to cut across to Templers so they could really take advantage of the tailwind and straighter run back to Gawler. This group had a great time and really covered the distance in very good time.
The other bunch also had a great time of it, although Dave did pick up a large sliver of glass just near Greenock. Once that was fixed, it was a run up to Kapunda before turning to enjoy the strong tail wind home. They too made very good time.
Thanks to Simon and Peter for taking on the role of ride leaders for the different bunches. It all rolled along very well.
The medium group also started with the climb out of town, which is a good way to warm up the legs.
Next was up the Thiele Hwy before turning across to the Sturt Highway. As the cars are always travelling at speed there was a quick regroup and then crossing over to Gomersal Road when it was safe.
Gomersal Road can be a bit of a grind, with its undulations, but with no wind and the green open fields, it was a treat to ride.
The next regroup was at Tanunda and an opportunity to take in that the hardest part of the ride was behind you and enjoy the sunshine.
It was also a chance for people to decide if they would do the loop around Bethany. A few decided to take a shorter option that took out a bit of climbing.
Although you do have a bit extra climbing on the loop, you do get a fast run down through Bethany, which is always fun.
Here is Tash and Karen after their loop.
From Tanunda it was a quick run down to Lyndoch and another chance to have a break.
A few people decided to head back to Gawler directly while the rest headed to Cockatoo Valley, up Pimpala Road which is a lot of fun. The road undulates so you can pick up a bit of speed for the next little climb.
The last challenging bit of this section is the sharp rise on Balmoral Road. It’s only short, but it’s a kicker. Once you are over that rise, it’s more or less a straight run back to Gawler, including views right across to the gulf. Just magic.
This bit though did see a strong headwind blow up, so for the longer ride it was the tail wind they were enjoying! Luckily for this ride it was only for a very short bit.
All in all it was a great ride, no issues at all and thanks to Kate for her great job as TEC.
Back at the Exchange Hotel we had our weekly recognition awards.
Firstly to Ian who rides strongly each week, and is always happy to help out, providing a lead, being a TEC or assisting with a mechanical. Great stuff.
Scott has been riding with the Wheelers for a number of years. He is a strong rider and supports everyone around him, on and off the bike. He is great fun to ride with.
So another great day out with the Wheelers. There were plenty of options to choose from. Although the starts can be a bit chilly, once you get going you warm up pretty quickly and it’s always fun out in the countryside with friends.
until next week,
Gawler Wheelers: Winners of the Gawler Australia Day Community Group of the Year Award 2013