So election day had been announced, The Dirty Dozen was on, The Royal Show was on so whats a bloke to do. Get out of Adelaide, away from car park seeking drivers with electoral dysfunction away from psycolists suffering from altitude sicknes, away from dagwood dogs and fairy floss.
So 3 hardy souls (myself, Andrew and Roger) departed Sefton Park at the crack of dawn and 2 nocturnal ferals (possums Brett and Quentin) departed McLarenVale sometime earlier and all by car headed for Auburn in the Clare Valley. Roger chauffered the Sefton trio choosing a route as advised by a friendly trucky which he had downloaded to his GPS thingy. Trouble was that the GPS thingy was used to guiding at bicycle speed and so tended to issue instructions just as we were passing any intersection where we needed to turn but after a couple of U Turns we made it to Auburn.
After a brief unscheduled tour of the backlots of Auburn we found ourselves on the Riesling Trail. Fairly soon we came across two local gentlemen dumping and tamping gravel into what few minor potholes and rain gullies could be seen and it was obvious as we rode on that this maintenance was kept up on a regular basis as we saw hardly any places that needed maintenance. The path climbs steadily but not steeply for some distance giving pleasent views of vineyards, wineries and other small properties. The surface is compacted gravel and a good surface for your average flat bar tyre, even better for MTB tyres but anybody on thin roadies should take care as there is the odd patch or drift of loose gravel. Halfway on route we found a convienient shelter for a breakfast/morning tea of fruit cake and bananas as supplied by Brett. From about this point on we encountered numerous cyclists, joggers, ramblers and the odd walker with fairly innefectual control over yapping beasties. The route to Clare is straight forward and after a couple of kms of riding paralell to the main street we ventured into town for coffee. Surprised at how few options there were we found what looked like a reasonable place for coffee, I've had worse coffee, staff seem to be harried and sitting outside at the pavement tables was a mistake as traffic was heavy and close.
Soon we were moving again with the intention of riding the extention of the trail to White Horse Road. Rather than backtrack to where we left the trail I decided it would be a good idea to explore the first street that we came to on the right. Whereupon I found a route that appeared to take us to the place we wanted to be that involved a climb up a seriously steep staircase carved into the hillside, rather than run the gauntlet of Clares Saturday morning traffic we climbed. Once at the top we were soon on our way to White Horse Road and the only memorable part of this section is that it ends at White Horse Road and theres nothing to see. From there we returned to Auburn enjoying the spin down into the valley.
There is a nice sheltered BBQ area in Auburn which is where we elected to enjoy our lunch of chicken shasliks and Greek salad after Roger and I had placed our absentee votes in the appropriate envelopes. The afternoon was moving on rapidly and Brett and Quentin were ready to head home, Roger and Andrew had other ideas so three of us stayed on to extend our adventure.
It's late and time for bed, this tale to be continued.
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