When the wind blows - Melrose to Adelaide (361km), 29 October 2023
We were spending some time in Melrose, so I took the bike to ride home. I planned a 24 hr 400km ride with lots of gravel, but it became clear from the weather forecast that this was not really going to be an option. 20-30km head winds were forecast, and for once, the BOM was exactly correct. The plan was to leave Melrose, head north to Wilmington and across to Orroroo. Then I would head south east to Peterborough. After this I would head south on Booborowie Road to Gum Creek, covering 50km of gravel road until about 20km north of Booborowie. I checked with Peterborough and Goyder Councils that this was a made road and not earth formed (with the possibility of sand.) I need not have bothered because it is in very good condition, mostly because it follows the Moomba gas pipeline and is probably it’s all-weather service road... Read on >>>>
We were going to Creswick for a friend's significant birthday, so I decided to ride back to Adelaide afterwards. Last time I took the coast road home from Creswick, this time I went up through the inland route. It's about 750 kilometres and I decided to see if I could do it as a non-stop trip, knowing I had only an outside chance of doing this.
It is change of seasons here in Australia, so I was expecting a large diurnal temperature range. (I measured 0 to 34 degrees.) This makes travelling with a very light kit unwise; I couldn't quite manage with only a bivvie and sleeping bag tucked up to the side of the bike with a couple of octopus straps, and with water strapped to the other side. Eventually I settled on my Topeak MTX Trunkbag which also has small side panniers. That allowed me to carry a little cold night clothing, and the three litres of extra water which I thought necessary to safely ride overnight... Read on >>>>
A week ago, I rode over Mt Hotham. It was a glorious 20 degrees in the alpine village, even though I had begun riding at -2 degrees earlier in the day. There was no wind to speak of despite a forecast of 30km winds. Today, the forecast is for snow and rain, with 50km hour winds. The temperature at the village is about 3 degrees and "feels like" -5. How does a cyclist survive unpredictable weather, long distances, and “brutal climbs?”
I’m particularly interested in riding “for the rest of us.” Not the kind of riding that gets the young and fit up Mt Hotham in an hour and a half, but the riding that lets “old people” (I’m 68) ride from Bright to Omeo in a day, and then tackle another long climb to Corryong the day after, in relative comfort. This is the anatomy of a ride... Read on >>>
This week's 200km was a trip to Victor Harbor and return. I find this a fascinating ride. At 212 km it's only 11km further than my loop up through Angaston. But where I can do that in well less than 12 hours, start to finish, this ride takes a whisker over 13 hours at best or, this week, 14hrs 18. Is it the hills? Does an extra 675 metres climbing make that much difference? Certainly, the climbs are a lot more concentrated.
It's a fast slope down the Linear Park to the city and then flat out to Darlington on the Marino Rocks Greenway and the Sturt Linear Park. The first climb begins at Darlington,... Read on >>>
Farina is an old railway siding on the original Ghan line to Alice Springs. It's about 600km north of our house, and a group of volunteers have restored the old underground bakery which is near the station homestead. It seemed like a good ride; what's not to like about a bakery. :)
I was feeling a bit undercooked after some illness, so Day One was a deliberate test for whether the ride would proceed. It was a 214km stretch to Jamestown, which is a great launchpad for going further north. The immediate challenge on this day is the ride out of Adelaide. Highway One is suicidal. All roads have a "personality" and the road from Gawler to Tarlee (Main North Road) is also unpleasantly busy, and feels bike-unfriendly. It is one of the few places I expect oncoming traffic to overtake in my lane, forcing me off the road! But there is a very nice workaround which costs only 8km.... Read on >>>
I've been enjoying 200km loops out from Adelaide. My latest trip introduced a variation on the normal routes through Angaston and/or Sedan. I took the bike paths up to Nuriootpa and then cut across to Greenock and on up to Kapunda, which is just shy of 100km. From Kapunda I cut across to Truro which allowed me a "straight" run down to Mt. Pleasant and home via the Torrens Gorge... Read on >>>>
One of my long-time friends was leading her last service before retirement recently. We travelled over to be there, and I took the opportunity to ride home to Adelaide. She was the minister at Creswick, which is a little north of Ballarat, and the shortest way back to Adelaide is along the Western and the Duke's Highways. Traffic is very heavy on both these roads. They are not pushbike friendly, especially the Western Highway. I chose a parallel route for the first 170km and then headed due west to the coast to take the much quieter Princes Highway along the Coorong. The direct (car) route is 630km. My tourist route was 769km, which is pretty good given the big loop out to the coast. I planned the ride over four days... Read on >>>>
My last couple of rides have been out around Fox Creek. The first ride involved a gentle pedal up the Linear Park and the Gorge from our place, and then a long climb up Fox Creek to the top of Croft Road... Read on >>>>
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