A day to remember.
There was a forecast for winds and possibly some showers. What was served up really put the challenge out there.
We had two options again. The medium ride was out to Hamley Bridge, a relatively flat ride, 70ks and 354m of climbing.
The big ride was to the Barossa , taking in Bethany, Menglers hill, down to Angaston around Penrice, regrouping in Tanunda and then back to Gawler via Lyndoch a second time. 87 kms and 1040 m of climbing.
Again the Safety brief is an important time to highlight any safety concerns. In particular the wind and the wet roads around Lyndoch that had just received a drenching.
Dave giving the safety brief.
The longer ride headed off first with seven riders, and along the way picked up three more.
They made steady progress and then the rain started to settle in, and by the time they reached Lyndoch they were looking for some shelter, and a wait until the rain had stopped.
Here is Glen, with the rain setting in.
After Lyndoch it was a straight run up the Barossa Way, before turning right before Tanunda and going through Bethany and to the base of Menglers and the climb.
Given the conditions it was a bit of a struggle for some, with the cross wind making it a bit more of a challenge.
Here are Mark and Adrian pointing out the high point
From there it was a quick rundown all the way in to Angaston and a regroup and shelter.
The group then took a run through Penrice, before turning south and heading home. This included a quick regroup at Tanunda to get out of the rain and wind.
Ian and Dave
Sue, Peter, Chris, Andrew and Glen
The final section was straight back to Gawler with everyone thoroughly drenched and happy to get out of the weather. It was a real challenge and at times the rain just pelted down, plus the strong wind. Some people commented that it was all head and side winds, and no tailwinds at all!
Big thanks to Mark who took on the role as ride captain. He made sure the re-groups allowed people to shelter as much as possible from the worst of the weather. In the end, everyone got back to Gawler safe and sound.
The other group also had its challenging moments, with eleven taking on the ride.
The first section out to Templers was all ok, just with some side winds to cope with.
The next section saw the road narrow a bit with ‘raggedy’ edges, so a need for everyone to ride single file.
As the group set off again an ominous dark cloud moved across and the rain came down. It was pretty heavy, with some looking at an old farm house, close to the road, with a bull nose veranda that could have provided some shelter if needed. The group pushed on through, and the rain stopped. The gusty side wind was now the issue.
Nearing Hamley Bridge the road turns north, and the last section was more or less with a tailwind and a bit of sunshine.
It was a welcome stop at Hamley Bridge and the turn-around point, which is always a good point to reach.
The return trip started out ok all the way back to Tempers. There was a side wind, but nothing to be really concerned about. The real effort started when the group turned westerly towards Wasleys. The group was riding straight into a headwind. This is usually the fastest section of this ride as it’s downhill all the way. Today it was an absolute grind, and no one was looking at a PB.
At Wasleys it was a chance to have a quick rest. Given the intense effort everyone had put in, Carren led a group in some stretching exercises, which really did help loosen up your muscles.
Before the group left Wasleys, one person commented that the worst was behind us, unfortunately that may have been a jinx.
The group was now riding into a strong side wind now. The best that could be done was setting up two person echelons and swapping around . Further down, the group noticed a dust storm from a paddock and battened down the hatches for the blustery winds. This was followed by rain which turned everything to mud. Luckily the rain came down heavily as they reached Gawler, so that washed off most of the mud. In the end everyone was very happy to get to the Exchange for a hot drink and a chance to warm up a bit.
One person though, had to ring for a pick up at around the Roseworthy Uni campus as they were feeling unwell. A big thanks to Mic and Tim who stayed with them until their ride turned up. It’s important not to leave a fellow cyclist on their own, especially if they are feeling unwell, best to make sure that it is all fine.
So a big thanks to Tim for taking on the TEC duties, which he did with gusto, especially the jelly snakes. Tim had a serious accident a few months ago and has recovered sufficiently now to be back out riding. He has a few rides up and down the SOB and this was his first ride back out on the open road and rode very well. Great stuff.
So another interesting day out with the Wheelers. We were all expecting some wind, but not to the extent that we got, plus not the rain and dust. In the end though, a good ride and a lot of fun with your friends.
Until next week,
Gawler Wheelers: Winners of the Gawler Australia Day Community Group of the Year Award 2013