Robertstown Loop

I've wanted to see a stretch of road between Truro and Eudunda that I've only ever ridden late at night, so this trip was the opportunity. I setup the route for scenery and low traffic rather than minimising distance, and to allow me to get the whole thing done in a long day without being heroic about the time on the bike.

1-BarossaWinter2-AngastonBikePath3-Treasury Wines Moculta4-5-Moculta-Truro Road4-Moculta-Truro Road5-Eudunda from the north 6-Robertstown Power Station 7-Black Springs Road 8-Waterloo Windfarm 9-Pancharpoo Methodist Church Basic Route: Elizabeth – Angaston  via Coventry Road and the Barossa Bike Paths; Moculta; Truro; Eudunda; Robertstown via Word's End Highway; Black Springs; Waterloo; Marrabel; Kapunda; Nuriootpa via Koonunga; Elizabeth via bike paths and Coventry Road. Clearly, you could do a similar loop using the main roads, but who'd want to spend hours on the Sturt and Barrier Highways, if they could avoid it!? Obviously, the train can provide transport to Gawler, but the last train back to the city is always before midnight.

* Leave the bike path at Rowland Flat and take the road to re-join the path at St. Hallet Road. It saves all the messing around on the creek twists and turns.

* There is metal road from the intersection of the Black Springs – Burra Road (with a brief section sealed into Waterloo) and sealed road does not begin again until the intersection of Main Road 45 and Steelton Road, about 6km north of Marrabel.

* You can hop off the bike at the Sturt Highway – Belvedere Road intersection and cross straight into Nuriootpa, thus staying off the Sturt Highway.

* You will have phone dropouts through the Tothill Range, if not elsewhere.

Water: There are taps
* outside Coles Express, bottom of Murray Street Gawler
* outside the public toilets in Lyndoch
* in the park behind Rotunda in Tanunda
* outside in Pioneer Park in Truro
* at old Eudunda Roadhouse, 9 Thiele Highway (run for a bit)
* knee-tap in the unisex public toilet in Robertstown, with plenty of clearance for bidons
* and OTR at Kapunda, Tanunda
You can also get water in the public toilet at Waterloo.

Buy Food
24 hour OTR Kapunda and Tanunda, limited hours elsewhere. Don't depend on finding food at Robertstown or Marrabel, especially on weekends.

The Ride
This was a 275 kilometre loop from Elizabeth, which took me 18 hours, unhurried.  Younger riders would improve that with little effort.  It was a freezing day, not getting above ten degrees until I was past Angaston.  You'll see from the map that around Waterloo there was a 12 degree drop over the space of 5 kilometres! This was about 5.30 in the afternoon as the sun set-  not that I saw much sun for most of the day.

I wore booties for the feet, and a padded gilet over my jersey and jacket.  I always wear tights for sunscreen purposes, but they certainly help with the cold days! After dark, I added puttees (also known as long  Explorer socks with the feet cut out) to help with keeping the lower legs warm, and a Kathmandu winter jacket with hood. Some folks use a face cover in such conditions, but I find the cold makes my nose drip, so a face cover is a pest.

Despite the cold, it is lovely country to ride. I had never heard of Pancharpoo, or Waterloo and its wind-farm. I knew nothing of the solar farm being built at Robertstown; I'd guess there are about 30 acres of panels at present, but the site is projected to produce 500MW of power from 1.7 million solar panels.

I have plans to head back for the Niblet's Gap road, which looks fun.


June 2020

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