SSRC P & L Ride combined The P ride 50 km route is : while the L group will only complete the shorter ride of , just over 40 km's.

The next SSRC P Ride will be on May the 10th with the event published at:

This was to be a unique event as there had been no official L ride organised.Not wanting to leave new riders without a group ride to attend I decided to modify the P ride to provide them with an event.

No matter what I did this was going to be an easy P ride.  The best I could come up with was to keep the first 35 km's to the L ride pace at which stage the L riders would be able to ride the last 5 km's to the end without support on a shared walking / bike path. The P riders would then be released to up the pace a little for a rapid 15 km's of their own with a little more undulation.

On The Day

Lynn was not attending this one so I chose to ride down. Leaving home at a little after 6:30am I had an uneventful ride down to rock up to the meeting point, in front of the Cottage Bakery, just before 7:30am to find 1/2 a dozen riders already assembled. Very keen indeed!  i think the temp was around 13C and there were clear skies.

By 7:45 there were 13 riders assembled although several who had their names down had not arrived. I had a message from Wattsy to say he would join us at Aldinga as he had had some problems overnight.The Cottage Bakery had been kind enough to open the loo's for a couple of riders before we started the briefing.

We had Yvonne Sears as a new rider, Jason C who is returning to riding after an injury but new to the SSRC rides, Fred, David, John, Jolie, Alison, Peter, Colin ware-Lane, Mirai, Wendy, Greg who volunteered to be TEC, thanks Greg and myself.

In the briefing I brought up an individual's concern about one section of the proposed ride to see if anyone actually riding shared the concern. I had a contingency plan in mind but wasn't keen to use it unless there were concerns.   I had ridden the L section of this route, which included the particular section, twice in the previous 6 days, once with Lynn to gauge the suitability for L riders. The 1 km of the route in question passes between Hann Road and Norman roads on the Main South Road at Sellicks. The speed limit is set at 100 kph. Yes it sounds bad but in reality its not!  It is a straight piece of quality road with a 1.5 to 2 meter bitumen verge ideal to cycle on giving well over 1 meter of clearance from passing motorists. At the time of the ride, early on a Saturday morning I have only ever experienced very light traffic that is South bound.  

As usual, in the briefing I ask all riders to ride single file on busy or main roads and to move into single file on quiet roads if they receive the call "car back" warning of a car approaching from the rear. I discussed the main group calls for our new riders and then briefly explained the direction we were going and the format of this combined ride.

Underway by 7:55am.

We were a little late getting underway. I asked everyone to reassemble on the South Side of main road as we were going to head West to the bike track and felt we would be safer starting on that side of the road.

Heading up the shared path on the South side of Main road we exited onto Caffrey St and headed South. Its only a short incline to Tatachilla road but enough to get the heart started. At this intersection I stopped the group and remind them to stay single file and to be careful of the rough edge of Tatachilla road. 

A short ride down to California road saw us turn South once again on the familiar section used on so many of our rides, past the Tatachilla School and the California road descent. Nothing too exciting but a little undulation to keep the heart cranked up a little. Along here we ran into Andrew, on his way to meet some other SSRC members for their own ride. He rode with us for a couple of hundred meters to chat before pealing of and continuing in the opposite direction.

The first regroup along here was at the corner of Malpass road where historically we have turned either left or right depending on the ride. Today, for a change we were going straight on. We allowed everyone to regroup and made sure they hydrated before continuing. 

Continuing along California road crossing onto Almond Grove road we finally reached the highest point of the L ride, at the top of Hann road. With less than 2 minutes wait, we regrouped, re-hydrated  and set off on the long shallow descent to the infamous Main South Road section of the ride. We made sure we were cautious crossing each of the cross roads. 

Jason decided to stretch his legs down here and was waiting at the Main South Road intersection for the regroup. I reminded everyone the dangers of this next section and that I would like them to ride single file. I asked them to regroup just before we cross the main road onto Norman road so that we could all cross safely.  We had maybe 4 or 5 cars heading South along here in the time it took us to travel the 1 km section.  When we regrouped the traffic in both directions disappear so we were all able to cross the road together in a quick and safe manner.

Everyone seemed to have managed a good strong pace since starting out at the top of Hann road and continued to along Norman road down to Silversands. The first 20 km's of the ride had been completed in about 55 mins of riding. 

Peter, Colin, Marai & Yvonne.
Greg & Jason C.Alison, a couple of dog walkers, John & Yvonne.Peter, Colin & Mirai

Alison,Fred, Greg, Jolie, Wendy & John.

Heading for Home.

After a 10 min stop, for food, re-hydration and loo's we were ready to head back towards McLaren Vale. I had mentioned that the section from here, until we get past the Aldinga Boat ramp was a little narrow and that we should use single file. Oddly, I think we had more traffic along this section than we had seen on Main South road but we all managed to survive. As we climbed up the kick, from the boat ramp, Watts was on the corner taking photo's! 

Wattsy joined the back here as we cruised along the esplanade to Port Willunga. Regulating the speed at the front managed to keep the group from spreading out. After crossing Main South Road we regrouping on the other side and I warned everyone that the tree routes have pushed the road up a lot and that this was in the shade of the trees so to be very careful. 

Heading along Baylis road a few struck out early to get a run up at the kick!  I was coasting to the bottom of the kick when Wendy put some pace on to get a run up. I decided at the bottom to hit it hard, without a run up, with only a three people left behind, I think!  Jason C had hit it hard but I notice he seemed to have dropped right off part way up as I passed him. I think he had overdone it aggravating his injury! That injury is going to take a little longer to recover now I expect!

I think the only sensible one in the group was Yvonne who just plodded up at a steady pace whiles not trying to kill herself!  

A short regroup at the top with time to rehydrate saw us on our way along Malpass road, across California and eventually to the shared Rail Trail at Binney road.

At this point I asked anyone that wanted to leave the group now to head towards McLaren Vale along the safe track for early refreshments. Wattsy, John and Yvonne took this option while everyone else continued up Binney, just a gentle climb before heading North to McLaren Flat. I was regulating my lead with an extra 20 bpm heart rate to give a greater effort for the remaining part of the P ride. 

Adding a little pace to the remainder of the ride so that the P riders could use up some of that stored up energy. It was along this section of the ride we encountered our first gentle shower. We continued to get a few spots even as we passed through McLaren Flat and on to McLaren Vale. Before we reached the rail trail entrance we had two small groups of Oxygen Cycles pass us.

It was not long before we joined the rest of the group at the Cottage Bakery, now about 10:30am. Just as we arrived there were a group of SSRC riders, who had chosen to go on their own ride dropped in to say hello. Graham, looking well recovered, Steve, Martin, Paul and Andrew were with him.

A couple of pictures of those that stayed for refreshments and a chat at the Bakery,


  • Average speed: L ~22 kph, P ~24 kph
  • L ride 41 km's, ~ 300m of elevation gain
  • P ride 52 km's - ~400m of elevation gain
  • Punct$^e Fairy Visits: 0
  • Mechanical issues: 0
  • Enjoyment factor: 9/10

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Nah - my back's fine today. Let's just put it down to general lack of core strength after 3-4 months off the bike. I would normally have flown up a hill like that but I hit the wall about 2/3rds of the way up.

Great ride and nice to meet everyone.  It was great to stretch my legs and the chilli and lime sausage roll wasn't bad either :)

I'm glad you made it out for the ride!  It was a pleasure to have you along. Even when fit its nice to go on an easy ride like this sometimes ;-)

Good to hear he back is good today.

I agree Wattsy, I am happy Jason's back was fine this morning, I was a little concerned after the ride! Good enough to go on a family ride this morning I see ;-) Way to go Jason!

Thanks for organising Steve :-)

My pleasure, it turned out quite well ;-)

Looking forward to the next L ride :) Thanks Steve & Greg!

Yvonne, Checkout L Ride Route 1 - Port Noarlunga and its our pleasure, I am sure!


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