Pea soup fog.
It’s quite surreal riding in fog. It’s all a grey white, fairly damp and cold, your viability is low and it’s eerily silent as the birds aren’t quite up and about yet. It’s also the time to be ultra-cautious, as although you have your lights on, visibility for the motorists is down a fair way, so you need to hug the left hand edge and keep a safe distance from the bike in front of you. But it’s a great experience and a lot of fun.
We had three rides on again.
The short ride was out to Freeling via Templers, than across to the Sturt Highway via Daveyston Road before retracing your steps to Freeling and a run straight back to Gawler, 51 kms and 342 m of climbing.
The middle ride, started with a straight run to Kersbrook starting up the Gawler One Tree Hill Road (GOTHR) , then across directly across to Cudlee Creek, then returning, including a run down Kentish Road, 70kms and 1,018 m of climbing.
The long ride shared some of the same route up to Kersbrook then toward Cuddle Creek, but then a loop on Chain of Ponds Road. From there, back to Kersbrook and then straight back to Gawler. So 79km and 1,226 m of climbing.
So in the end, 28 riders out for some fun.
The middle ride, with ten riders, took off first, keen to get into the ride and warm up. The first section up the GOTHR was a bit tricky with thick fog, a wet road and visibility down. Everyone took it very cautiously as they wound their way up including the step pinch around Alexander Avenue. In fact for some people this little rise was so well hidden in the fog they were half way up it before realising the dreaded climb was coming up.
Once they reached the big round-about at Humbug Scrub, the fog started to clear a bit.
From there it was the climb up Mt Gawler, with everyone starting to feel a bit more settled with the conditions and as they reached the summit they were above the fog. The run down to Kersbrook was again a quick affair and back into a bit of fog.
Here is Brad leading a group into Kersbrook.
The section across to Cudlee Creek was a bit cool, so the group kept up a steady pace. Once at North East Road they took Tippet Road across to Gorge Road. This is a very nice run past Millbrook Reservoir, although it’s very windy and narrow, with no real passing opportunities. To everyone’s credit they safely navigated this section and made their way to the Cudlee Creek café.
Just as they arrived, long time GW rider, Dave H was just coming out of the café laden up with treats, so it was good to catch up with him.
As it was fairly cold the group had a quick turnaround and retracted their steps back to Kersbrook and then the big climb out again.
Here are Haydn, Brad and Craig after getting to the top of the climb.
From there it was a run back to Gawler, including a quick descent down Kentish Road.
The only real problem was one person getting a flat close to the end. They were able to fix it up quickly, so all good.
Special thanks to Brad who took on the role as Road Captain, for the first time, and to Ian for TEC. Well done.
The longer ride took off with 6 riders, keen to get amongst it. Like the middle ride they needed to battle the fog, which only really cleared as they reached the top of Mt Gawler.
From there they dipped down into Kersbrook and the fog again.
They then set a steady pace across to North East Road, they did a loop taking Chain of Ponds Road, Paracombe, Cudlee Creek (West), Tippett Road, the back to Kersbrook. Thankfully, the traffic was friendly on Chain of Ponds Road, which can get busy and has very little verge and not many passing points. They then went past the Paracombe cold stores to the Torrens Hill descent. This descent is quite tricky at the bottom and turning onto Gorge Road, but everyone took this into account and safely negotiated it. Once on Gorge Road the group was able to take in the fantastic scenery along this section before heading back to Kersbrook.
Just out of Kersbrook Simon, who was Road Captain for the day broke a spoke. He was able to nurse it back to Gawler, and luckily the route went close to his home and he was able to duck home and pick up another bike to finish off the ride.
In the end a great ride, with the group working together to keep it all rolling along. Again thanks to Simon for leading the group. Here is the crew, Simon, Colin, Masa, Nick and Darren.
The short ride, with 12 riders also had to cope with some foggy conditions to begin with.
The section to Templers saw thick fog with visibility down.
Peter B took on the role of TEC for this section as his bright green wind jacket really stood out in the gloom so motorists could pick out that there were riders ahead.
And some, like Paula, were revelling in the conditions.
The group took it very carefully, and here is Wassa leading the way, and it was great to see Keith out again.
And even at Freeling it still created a shroud.
After a quickish stop as no-one wanted to get too cold it was off to the Sturt Highway. Amazingly, just as the group turned onto the Daveyston Road the fog lifted and the view of the landscape opened up. Daveyston Road is a great road to ride long, with some nice sweeping sections and a few little rises to get up and down.
Here is Andrea enjoying the sun and the open road.
At the hamlet of Daveyston the group took the time to look at the bit of a scenic tour. This included Andrea taking another ‘bike lean’ shot in front of an old farm house, plus a photo stop in front of the previously smallest post office in the South Hemisphere. Good stuff.
Although Daveyston is out and away, it can be plagued with the wrong element. Here is a hint of what can happen around the place.
The return trip back to Freeling was again a lot of fun, in particular Mark F. leading out a bunch all the way back and setting a cracking pace.
Here is a regroup before heading back to Gawler.
The last section back to Gawler was all fine, with a strong pace set, with everyone safe and sound back at the Exchange in good time.
Toady’s Good Samaritan’s award goes to Richie and Peter. Coming back to Gawler, they noticed a phone on the side of the road, looped back and picked it up. Although the screen was smashed, it kept constantly ringing. Back at the Exchange they rang the after-hours number and it turned out to be a tradie’s phone, so Richie dropped it off to the Police Station for pick up. Good stuff fellas, as we all know how devastated we would be if we lost our phones.
This week’s recognition awards were again presented by Linda, who was able to come in and catch up with everyone, although not able to ride this morning.
Firstly to Elaine.
Elaine has been a member of and supporter of the Wheelers right from the beginning.
She has branched out a bit and helps to run a similar group in Salisbury, which also rides on a Saturday morning. Today she was able to come out and have a ride with the Wheelers, so it was great to see her again. Plus she rode very strongly.
Masa is a great supporter of the Wheelers. He takes on the role of Ride Captain, plus always helps out on every ride, in particular when a group is in the hills. Well done Masa.
So another great day out with the Wheelers. It was a foggy start, with everyone riding to the conditions. Once the fog lifted, and the sun came out, so did everyone’s spirits. All good.
Until next week,
Gawler Wheelers: Winners of the Gawler Australia Day Community Group of the Year Award 2013
Great report Paul.
Looks like all 3 rides experienced thick fog. Good lights are the key but being mindful to ride to the conditions. Not ideal when visibility is 30mts at it's best. Good to see all groups were mindful and rode as far left as possible until the fog lifted.
Well done to the award recipients.