Planning rides can be a chore, the reason being there are only so many roads suitable for road bikes and because of that we tend to do the same old routes over and over again. This year I decided to try and mix it up a bit by riding a few roads less travelled in our usual trips down south.
I was a bit unsure how many riders we would get as this was both a Saturday ride and it fell on the Saturday of the Clipsal 500.
Twenty five turned out however at the start point at BP St Mary’s. The weather was great and everyone was in good spirits.
The first sector of the ride was up past Windy Point, Belair National Park and through a few back streets to Coromandel Valley Road and on to Clarendon. Then, via Blewitt Springs to McLaren Vale for the first stop after an hour’s riding following the hill tops above McLaren Vale.
A new morning tea venue at the ‘Tin Shed’ was enjoyed and we found that the service and amenities were very good with the rear courtyard fully covered with shade cloth and plenty of seating. Morris was less than impressed with the men’s facilities as this was literally a tin shed and he mused that he had a herd of sheep and four snakes pass through while he was in there. We didn’t have the heart to tell him that the new facilities were on the other side of the courtyard.
From McLaren Vale we travelled towards Willunga and then doubled back to McLaren Flat and up Wickham’s Hill Road to the Range following the range through to the top of Willunga Hill and on to Pages Flat Road and via a back road to Mount Compass where we again backtracked travelling via a less travelled route to Yundi and then on to Ashbourne where we had lunch at the Greenman Inn. A great feed and plenty of socialising took place during the lunch break before heading off along Bull Creek Road into Meadows.
A right turn, took us to Green Hills Road and onto the Macclesfield to Echunga Road to Flaxley, where we turned again and headed towards Mt Barker. Not finished yet we doubled back to Macclesfield via an alternate path and then turned at Maccy travelling across to the Strath to Mt Barker Road via the Gemmells to Mt Barker or so they thought.
Another right turn and we travelled out past the Mt Barker summit and into Nairne following the old highway back to Bald Hills Road and into Mt Barker the back way, finishing at Giovanni’s for coffee. Aaron joined us here and it was good to see that he is still interested in joining in even though he is without a ride for the short term. We all hope to see Aaron back in the saddle soon.
In all a great day and it goes to show that we can mix it up a bit even though we still go through the same areas. If you are leading a ride at some stage, please give this some thought, it will keep everyone fresh and there is some great scenery we may not have seen before.
As always thanks to everyone taking their turn at marshalling and to Tony W for his usual sterling job as TEC.
See you all at the next ride.