Anzac Weekend 2010
This trip was a loop from Elizabeth to Melrose, over to Waikerie and back down the Murray to Elizabeth over four days. My plan was to do an average 200km per day over the four days. I failed in this due to two flat tires, an appalling head wind, and unseasonable cold on the last day. So I had a short fifth day of some 50km.
Thursday April 22
Elizabeth 6.30am - Melrose 8.51pm
243 kilometres approx. Ave Road Speed 21.7km/hour Total: 243
This day included a great spin on the Riesling Trail, which is the old Railway Bed from Auburn to Clare. It is set up for bikes, and a much easier ride than the Main North Road through that section. Elizabeth to Clare seems to be a long slow uphill ride. It is then much easier to Melrose, especially past Yacka. Once you get past Tarlee the country traffic is courteous. The road surface to Melrose is excellent for pushbikes. I had a slight tail wind on this leg, for which I was very grateful.
The Riesling Trail: Auburn to Clare
Friday April 23
Melrose 7.50am - Burra 2.45pm
Approx 143km. Ave Road Speed 26.2km/hour Total: 386
A magic day. Melrose, Appila, Jamestown, Spalding, to Burra is basically downhill after you get to Booleroo Centre. I had tail winds to Jamestown and then side on from the West to Spalding. Then tail wind to Burra. I took the longer trip via Spalding to visit friends... who were away, as it turned out. Road surfaces are good. A great tea with friends at Burra.
Jan and Ian's Sheep have their own bridge. Dry feet at Spalding
The new crop for the country...
Saturday April 24
Burra 9.05am - Wakerie 2.55pm
129km Ave Road Speed 27.9km/hour Total: 515
Left later due to clearing rain. Great road surface which goes out from good agricultural country into dry grazing saltbush and bluebush country to the River Murray. I road through Locusts in patches, which was painful. I deliberated continuing the loop back to Morgan, but decided against this which was a mistake, given the weather the next day.
On the Burra Road, looking back to Spalding.
The land behind the hills receives 16-18 inch annual rainfall.
Out here 8 is a very good year. We are well past Goyder's Line.
Sunday April 25
Waikerie 5.45am - Mt Pleasant 8.20pm
215 km Ave Road Speed 19km/hour Total: 730km
Yech! A flat tire in the dark before Waikerie. Another flat tire on the Blanchetown Bridge. Both the back tire, so it took a while to change. From Waikerie on, all the way to Walker's Flat the bitumen is very coarse, much worse than most SA roads and this makes riding much harder. There was a strong southerly which was also very cold for the time of year. I ended up wearing my rain jacket for the section Blanchetown to Walker's Flat just to keep warm. It was a lovely dusk ride across to the range, but so cold in the hills that I decided to stop at Mt Pleasant for safety's sake.
Monday April 26
Mt Pleasant 9.00am - Elizabeth 11.25am
52km Ave Road Speed 21km/hour Total 782km You can see I took the short route home and didn't bother with the last 20km to make the 800!