The SSRC L and P rides both left from McLaren Vale today, heading for Silver Sands at Aldinga. The L ride took our more usual route and the P ride took a new route (route here) which sent our riders up Penney's Hill, along the Range, down Willunga Hill and out towards the sea - essentially following part of the Tour Down Under route but doing it backwards.
I'm starting to feel like a new teacher at a school, where all the kids know my name but I have no idea what the kids names are. Matt K lead the L ride (more from him later) and I lead the P ride out of McLaren Vale and soon found myself on one of the roads we use for racing at the Southern Vets, I have no idea what that's called either! It does, however, lead back to McLaren Flat via a nice quiet route, mostly avoiding Kangarilla Road.
Today's main objective for our P riders was to get themselves up Penney's Hill, it's similar to Old Willunga Hill in terms of gradient and length but I always find it a bit harder as it's not a constant gradient all the way up. The temperature was making it harder too, quickly heading towards 30 degrees just after 9am. Well done to Greg and a couple of others on their first attempts of Penney's.
Top of Penney's for our mate from Oregon, USA
Brett and Greg at the top of Penney's
Once at the top of Penney's, we pootled across the Range to the top of Willunga Hill, and for once the wind wasn't trying to blow me into the trees (why doesn't it do this when I'm racing?). We blasted down the hill into Willunga and then picked up the Aldinga Road towards the sea. Next up was Almond Grove, I've driven past it and looked at it from a distance many times but never actually been down it until today. It's a natural extension of California Road, which is one of my favourites, and it will be getting a repeat visit in the near future I suspect.
This is where you were looking last week - California Road in the distance (link)
After negotiating Main South Road for a short distance and trying to avoid being wiped out by the traffic, we ended up at Silver Sands and a welcome break in the shade by the sea.
Waiting for the ice cream shop to open
The route continues along the esplanade in Aldinga, following the TDU route and about as far from Kelso, Scotland as new guy David could expect to be right now. BTW, here's the weather forecast for Kelso if you're interested - you are spoilt with the weather here! Once at the end of the Esplanade, we turn inland and onto some of the quietest roads we follow for the whole route, this includes Bayliss Road shown below which has a small kick in it for the unsuspecting.
From there, we headed back towards McLaren Vale via Malpas Road and the bike track and a well deserved coffee and snack after about 60km and 700m of climbing.
Total distance: 60km (approx)
Metres climbed: 700m (approx)
Average speed: 25kmh (approx)
Pun***re Fairy visits: 0 (woot :-)
Grin factor: 8/10
SSRC rides run every fortnight, with L and P ride routes. Keep an eye on the SSRC Group for the next event
Glad you all had a blast, I thought it appropriate for us to add Penny's to our list of southern hills and this route works well. If anyone has any route suggestions please feel free to let us know.
that's worth thinking about David...will add it to the list :-)
Well the L Ride was undertaken by four willing participants, Tony, Andrew (Wattsy), Craig and myself. We headed out of McLaren Vale along the bike path to Malpas rd. From there we made an extremely quick, for an L Ride, trip down to Aldinga. Enjoying the fabulous weather that was on offer for us, warm and no wind, we traveled from Aldinga to Port Willunga and along the esplanade to Silver Sands. The ride along the esplanade was spectacular with the sea looking like glass
Not a bad view !!!
At Silver Sands we stopped to re-hydrate and take in the view, just long enough for the northerly to pick up for our return leg along the esplanade.
So after being stalked by a bus along the esplanade and pushing into a headwind, we turned and headed back to McLaren Vale. Tony reminded us of the battle yet to be done with the short, yet steep Bayliss rd kick. Craig and Tony made short work of that, whilst Andrew and I lead from the back and made it to the top without too many complaints! Still not sure how Phil made it up there in 32 seconds......
Heading back along Malpas rd, Tony had a protein in take of wines flies, leaving a few for the rest of us and then we headed back along the bike path to McLaren Vale and Koffee and Snax for a well deserved beverage!
Overall we made really good time, with an average speed well above the 20Kmph posted, 22.5km!
It was a very enjoyable ride with a great group of guys. Thanks to Wattsy, Craig and Tony!